Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

The mythical past of Thrace and its reflection in the selected monetary issues of Hadrianopolis

Sep 15, 2022, 2:40 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall B

Auditorium Maximum - Hall B


Marek Jurkowski (University of Silesia )


The paper examines the reflection of the mythical origins of Thrace in some interesting monetary issues of Hadrianopolis. These include coins from the times of Gordian III with the image of Orestes, Iphigenia, and Pylades – one of only a few images of Orestes in the Roman provincial coinage. This legendary founder of Hadrianopolis (originally Orestias) is shown with his sister and cousin returning through Thrace from Tauris. Another reference to the region's tradition is the presence of Triptolemus (inventor of agriculture who visited Thrace) on the coinage of Hadrianopolis issued under Caracalla and Gordian III. Thrace was visited also by Heracles who killed here the cruel king Diomedes – a deed commemorated on coins issued under Commodus. These coins illustrate the role played by this medium in preserving and constructing the memory of the local past, and are at present a valuable source for research on the cultural identity of Thrace.

Primary author

Marek Jurkowski (University of Silesia )

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