AE29. 14.45g, 28.6mm
MINTED: MACEDONIA, Thessalonica, circa AD 54-68
REF: Varbanov 4251 (R5); RPC 1602
OBVERSE: NEPΩN ΣEBAΣΣTOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head left.
REVERSE: PΩMH ΣEBAΣΣTH ΘΕCCAΛΟΝΙΚΕΩΝ, Roma standing half left, holding spear and parazonium.
Almost Very Fine. Slightly rough patchy patina. A big heavy coin.
In 316 BC, Cassander had wrested control of Macedon from Olympias, mother of the late king, Alexander the Great. Cassander executed Olympias and imprisoned Alexander's son and heir (Alexander IV), then set about leaving his mark on Macedon with actions that included the founding of the port-city of Thessalonica, which he named after his wife, Thessalonike, who was Alexander's half-sister.
During the Roman period, Thessalonica prospered economically and flourished culturally. Numerous festivals and games were held in the city, and in the mid 3rd century, it was granted the status of a Roman colony by Emperor Trajan Decius. During the Tetrarchic period, it was the seat of Emperor Galerius, who built a monumental arch and rotunda that still stand today, linked to his palace there. It was also one of the most prolific mints in the Empire during the Late Roman and Byzantine period.
Thessalonica is today the second largest city in Greece.
NERO . MACEDONIA, Thessalonica . AE29 . Zeus
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