Bronze 28mm (13.61 grams) of. Nicopolis ad Istrum in Moesia Inferior under Sabinius Modestus, consular legate. AVT K M ANTO NIOC G???????
Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. POC ICTPON, Eagle standing facing on thunderbolt with open wings and head left with wreath in beak. Jupiter is usually thought to have originated as a sky god.His identifying implement is the thunderbolt , and his primary sacred animal is the eagle, which held precedence over other birds in the taking of auspices and became one of the most common symbols of the Roman army (see Aquila). The two emblems were often combined to represent the god in the form of an eagle holding in its claws a thunderbolt, frequently seen on Greek and Roman coins. As the sky-god, he was a divine witness to oaths, the sacred trust on which justice and good government depend. Many of his functions were focused on the Capitoline ("Capitol Hill"), where the citadel was located. He was the chief deity of the early Capitoline Triad with Mars and Quirinus. In the later Capitoline Triad , he was the central guardian of the state with Juno and Minerva. His sacred tree was the oak.
The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, and in Latin literature and Roman art , the myths and iconography of Zeus are adapted under the name Iuppiter. An aquila , or eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion. A legionary known as an aquilifer , or eagle-bearer, carried this standard.
Each legion carried one eagle. The eagle was extremely important to the Roman military, beyond merely being a symbol of a legion. A lost standard was considered an extremely grave occurrence, and the Roman military often went to great lengths to both protect a standard and to recover it if lost; for example, see the aftermath of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest , where the Romans spent decades attempting to recover the lost standards of three legions.Nicopolis ad Istrum was a Roman and Early Byzantine town founded by Emperor Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup , 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its apogee during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian , the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. The classical town was planned according to the orthogonal system. The network of streets, the forum surrounded by an Ionic colonnade and many buildings, a two-nave room later turned into a basilica and other public buildings have been uncovered. The rich architectures and sculptures show a similarity with those of the ancient towns in Asia Minor. Nicopolis ad Istrum had issued coins, bearing images of its own public buildings. In 447 AD , the town was destroyed by Attila's Huns. Perhaps it was already abandoned before the early 400s. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. The largest area of the extensive ruins (21.55 hectares) of the classical Nicopolis was not reoccupied since the fort covered only one fourth of it (5.75 hectares), in the southeastern corner.
The town became an episcopal centre during the early Byzantine period. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
A Bulgarian medieval settlement arose upon its ruins later (10th-14th century). Nicopolis ad Istrum can be said to have been the birthplace of Germanic literary tradition. In the 4th century, the Gothic bishop, missionary and translator Ulfilas (Wulfila) obtained permission from Emperor Constantius II to immigrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum in 347-8. There, he invented the Gothic alphabet and translated the Bible from Greek to Gothic. , known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244.
Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and his father was an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Very little is known on his early life before becoming Roman Emperor. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238.
Following the murder of emperor Alexander Severus in Moguntiacum (modern Mainz), the capital of the Roman province Germania Inferior , Maximinus Thrax was acclaimed emperor, despite strong opposition of the Roman senate and the majority of the population. In response to what was considered in Rome as a rebellion, Gordian's grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and II, were proclaimed joint emperors in the Africa Province. Their revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax.
The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace loving and literate men, victims of Maximinus' oppression. Meanwhile, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors. These senators were not popular men and the population of Rome was still shocked by the elder Gordian's fate, so that the Senate decided to take the teenager Gordian, rename him Marcus Antonius Gordianus as his grandfather, and raise him to the rank of Caesar and imperial heir. Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus, mainly due to the defection of several legions , namely the Parthica II who assassinated Maximinus.
But their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and even an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian guard and Gordian proclaimed sole emperor.
Due to Gordian's age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the senate. In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was dealt quickly. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina , daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus. As chief of the Praetorian guard and father in law of the emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman empire. In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube , and the Sassanid kingdom across the Euphrates increased its own attacks.When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia , the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, and sent a huge army to the East. The Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena (243). The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy's territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the emperor's security, were at risk. Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab , stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefect and the campaign proceeded. In the beginning of 244, the Persians counter-attacked. Persian sources claim that a battle was fought (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away, upstream of the Euphrates. Although ancient sources often described Philip, who succeeded Gordian as emperor, as having murdered Gordian at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah), the cause of Gordian's death is unknown. Gordian's youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of another usurper, granted him the everlasting esteem of the Romans. Despite the opposition of the new emperor, Gordian was deified by the Senate after his death, in order to appease the population and avoid riots.
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