Dozens of ancient Greek coins were discovered recently by a retired policeman in a village in southern Romania.
The haul of 68 coins was found with a metal detector near the village of Radomiresti, 140 kilometers (87 miles) west of Bucharest and and about 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of Bulgaria.
Police say the find could be “a real treasure” and the coins appear to be very old, minted in the 2nd century according to the retired officer who found them.
Coin inscription: “Makedonon first”
The coins bear the inscription “Μακεδόνων Πρώτης” (“Makedonon first”) and are decorated with oak leaves.
Retired officer Paul Durca, who had a license to use a metal detector found the silver coins on land he owned and handed them over to the police department, Adevarul reported. They will be sent to the Culture Ministry to be authenticated and dated.
“After counting twenty-odd coins, I stopped and called the authorities,” the former officer said on Facebook, adding that going out with his metal detector was one of his hobbies.
“It’s a favorite pastime. Today on the 13th, the goddess of fortune and all the gods of fortune were with me. I dug up 68 coins from the 2nd century. Thank you Lord!” the finder wrote jubilantly.
Greek presence in Romania
The Greek presence in what is now Romania dates back as far as the apoikiai (colonies) and emporia (trade stations) founded in and around Dobruja beginning in the 7th century BC.
Starting with the Milesian colony at Istros, the process reached its height after Tomis was founded in the 5th century BC.
Although forever subject to the Dacian interference and easily disrupted by changes in the politics of neighbor tribal chieftains, the colonies prospered until being briefly under the rule of King Burebista in the late 1st century BC.
Immediately afterward, and for the following centuries, they were stripped of their privileges by their new Roman masters, and followed the Empire into its many years of crises.
In the Middle Ages, the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire was a living presence north of the Danube, maintaining a cultural hegemony over the lands virtually until its disappearance, and for long periods exercised actual political dominance in the area of modern Dobruja (known to the Byzantines as Scythia Minor).