Ancient numismatic collection

  • Post category:Numismatics
  • Reading time:3 mins read

The ancient numismatic collection of the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia contains coins dating from the beginning of coinage on our territories, i.e., from the end of the VI century BC, to Late Antiquity. The gold, silver, and bronze coins were struck in various mints and denominations.

The oldest coins belong to the Paionian tribes and their rulers (Darius, Lycceius, Patraeus, Audoleon, Leon, Dropion, Pigres), followed by coins of the ancient Macedonian kings from Alexander I “Philhellene” (498-454 BC) until the last Macedonian king Perseus (179-168 BC.), as well as coins from Macedonian cities (Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Pella, and others).

A large number of coins originate from the time of Roman domination in Macedonia, i.e., the last century of the Roman Republic and the early centuries of the Empire. Here belong the coins minted in the Roman province of Macedonia with permission from the Roman authorities; autonomous issues of Macedonian districts (merides) and issues of Macedonian cities are found as well.
The ancient collection includes a number of hoards discovered on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, from the time of the Macedonian kings, and hoards of silver and bronze coins from the pre-Roman, Roman and Late Roman periods.

During the imperial period the province of Macedonia, as a constituent part of the Roman Empire, was an integral part of the Roman monetary system. In the province of Macedonia, bronze coins were minted for local usage (municipium Stobi, the colonies of Pella, Dion, and Philippi, as well as the cities of Amphipolis, Beroia, Edessa, Thessalonica, and Heraclea Sintica). The coins minted during the Roman period in the important and sole mint on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, i.e., at Stobi, are of particular importance. The ancient numismatic collection includes a large number of examples struck in many Balkan provincial mints as well as coins minted in distant parts of the great Roman Empire; those coins circulated within the territory of Macedonia.

The need for more valuable gold and silver coins (aurei, denarii) was satisfied by coins from the official mints at Rome, from the Augustan period until the collapse of the Roman Empire.
In the permanent exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia, the coins are presented chronologically, beginning with the oldest example, a Derronian coin of the Paionians from 500-480 BC, until the V century, i.e., the period of the emperor Zeno (474-491).

The collection includes ancient coins found in hoards. In the permanent exhibition are shown several ancient hoards with tetradrachms of Macedonian rulers, a hoard from the time of the Paionian ruler Audoleon, hoards of tetradrachms from the first Macedonian meris minted in Amphipolis, a hoard of republican denarii (II-I centuries BC), a hoard of antoniniani (III century), a hoard of folles (end of III – beginning of IV century) and a Late Antique hoard from the IV-V centuries.

M.A. Sanja Bitrak, numismatist, curator.