Review: SNG Bulgaria: Bobokov, vol. 1: Deultum

Draganov, Dimitar. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Bulgaria. Bobokov Bros. Collection. Thrace & Moesia Inferior. Volume 1: Deultum. Ruse, 2005. Hb., 303pp., ISBN 954-9460-01-0.

Although it is somewhat ironic that this first Bulgarian SNG volume covers only Roman provincial coins from a private collection, the book is a welcome contribution to the corpus of these coinages. It covers the coinage of the Roman colony of Deultum in Thrace from the reign of Trajan to Phillip I.

The volume follows the standard (small) SNG format, with a short introduction and bibliography followed by the catalogue, with descriptions and plates on facing pages. The coins are arranged by emperor, denomination (large, small), and reverse type. All legend variants, including spacing, are catalogued. Even at this level of detail, many varieties are represented by six or more specimens. It would, perhaps, have been helpful to further sequence identical coins by weight, thereby facilitating metrological analysis. Except in the case of previously unpublished types, one or more references are given for each type, often correcting previous errors. The catalogue is followed by indices of emperors, obverse legends, reverse types, and countermarks, overstrikes, and so forth. The indices of legends and types are arranged by emperor, making it a bit more difficult to identify a coin where the emperor is uncertain. Overall, the book is handsomely produced: it is printed on heavy coated stock, sturdily bound, and the plates are of good quality, considering the unphotogenic nature of the coins.

The collection is wonderfully comprehensive for the mint of Deultum (2,010 coins are included, with 613 of Gordian III alone). This is the first in what is planned as a series of publications of the massive collection of the coins of Thrace and Moesia Inferior being formed by Plamen and Atanas Bobokov of Ruse. They are to be congratulated both for forming such a comprehensive collection and for underwriting its scholarly publication. And the author, Dr. Dimitar Draganov, deserves much credit as well for a meticulous job of researching and cataloguing the collection.

—Rick Witschonke