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A Provincial of Faustina II from Bizya for Christmas

Roman Collector

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My son gave me this attractive provincial of Faustina the Younger as a Christmas present. It’s only the second coin in my collection from the city of Bizya in Thrace.

Bizya served as the capital for the ancient Thracian tribe of the Asti and was mentioned by several authors in antiquity. Bizya is now the city of Vize in the Marmara region of Turkey. It is home to the only open-air amphitheater in Thrace, built in the second century AD. Astonishingly, it was not excavated until 1998.


The Roman amphitheater in the city of Vize, Turkey. Photo by Vmenkov. Used with permission.


Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 21.2 mm, 4.63 g, 7 h.
Thrace, Bizya, 161-175 CE.
Obv: ·I·AVCTEINA CEBACTH, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΒΙΖVΗΝΩΝ (Ζ reversed); Artemis advancing right, drawing arrow from quiver of shoulder and holding bow.
Refs: RPC IV.1, 9307; Varbanov 1439; Moushmov 3458; Mionnet Suppl. 2, p. 234, 170; Jurukova Bizye 24.

Two of the five coins issued by Bizya for Faustina the Younger depict Artemis. This coin depicts the goddess as huntress, drawing an arrow and holding a bow. The other reverse type to feature the goddess depicts her as Artemis Phosphoros (Diana Lucifera), Artemis, the bearer of light. This depicts the goddess bearing a torch; a stag at her side and an arrow in her hand identifies her as Artemis. This is the reverse type that appears on the only other coin of Bizya in my collection, this one of Otacilia Severa struck some eighty years later.


Otacilia Severa, 244-249 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 23.5 mm, 6.89 gm, 7 h.
Thrace, Bizya, 244-249 CE.
Obv: M WTAKEIΛIA CEBHPA CEB, diademed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΒΙΖVΗΝΩΝ, Artemis standing right, holding arrow and torch; stag at her feet.
Refs: Tachev, Bizija 5 (this coin); RPC VIII, (unassigned; ID 48718); Moushmov 3514; Sear GIC 3991; Varbanov 1592; Lindgren II 759; Jurukova 147; Mionnet Suppl 2, 193.
Notes: Double die-match to RPC specimen and to Lindgren II 759.

Do you have any coins of Bizya? Post comments, coins, and anything you feel is relevant!

Edited by Roman Collector
Increasing the size of the previously bifocal-defying font
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If you collect Faustina II and Artemis coins, these are coins that you have to have. But until now I have only one:



Faustina Junior
Thrace, Bizya
Obv.: ΦΑVСΤΕΙИΑ СΕΒΑСΤΗ, Draped bust right.
Rev.: ΒΙΖVΗΝΩΝ, Artemis standing left, holding torch and arrow over stag to left
Ae, 7.25g, 23mm
Ref.: RPC IV online 9308.

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Nice post, RC…and great Christmas gift!  

Here’s my only coin from Bizya:
Septimius Severus, Thrace, Bizya, AE Assarion (20 mm, 4.40 g). ΑΥ Κ Λ CΕΠ CΕΥΗΡΟC Π Laureate head of Septimius Severus to right. Rev. BIZYHNΩN Zeus standing left, holding patera in right hand over flaming altar at his feet to left, and long scepter in left

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