“For many years it was considered that Thasian imitations were a product of the Thracian tribes… In my opinion, the Thasian imitations coinage and its use are closely associated with a population who arrived and settled later within the Balkan territory. In fact, the east Celts had played a signiﬁcant role in the regional history since the 270s BC. There are good reasons to believe that the imitations of Thasos tetradrachms had an ‘international’ nature and featured interactions and activities of a culture dominated by the east Celts”…
FULL ARTICLE by Dr. Ilya Pokopov, President of the Bulgarian Museum Association and Bulgarian Numismatic Association:
The most enigmatic and artistically varied of Iron Age European coinage, the barbarian issues based on the Thasos prototype became a de facto common currency among the tribes of the central and eastern Balkans in the immediate pre-Roman period…
After more than half a century of complete academic silence, the past few years have witnessed the miraculous (re)discovery of numerous hoards of Celtic coins from the Republic of Bulgaria. This phenomenon is particularly remarkable in the Rousse area, which has hitherto yielded the highest concentration of such numismatic material, leading Bulgarian experts to conclude that, “The line from Rousse to Veliko Tarnovo, mostly along the Jantra and Russenski Lom rivers, is the central axis of this type of Celtic coinage, respectively the Celtic tribal state/organization that produced it” (Paunov 2013)….
UD: April 2019
‘’…not content with making incursions merely into the neighboring provinces of Thessaly and Dalmatia, (they) penetrated as far as the Adriatic; checked by the boundary which it formed, since nature apparently stayed their advance, they hurled their weapons against the very waters’’.
(Florus, Epitome of Roman History XXXVIIII, iii)
From a military perspective they were capable of mounting a successful and sustained resistance to Roman expansion in this region for over a century, in a number of cases defeating major Roman armies sent against them. Furthermore, as has been pointed out, the archaeological and numismatic evidence from this area indicates a well developed market economy/state organization, and despite the conflict conditions of the time, ‘’this Celtic state, in what is now south-western Bulgaria, was able to produce and maintain a controlled economic/monetary system’’ (Paunov 2012).…
On Celtic Strymon/Trident type coinage see also: https://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/celtic-strymontrident-coinage/
Major progress in archaeological and numismatic science in southeastern Europe has come with the recent completion of the work – From Koine To Romanitas – by Dr. Evgeni Paunov of Cardiff University (Paunov E. (2013)From Koine To Romanitas: The Numismatic Evidence For Roman Expansion And Settlement In Bulgaria In Antiquity (Moesia and Thrace, ca. 146 BC – AD 98/117) Phd. Thesis. School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Cardiff University. November 2013). In this comprehensive study the Bulgarian archaeologist/numismatist presents for the first time an objective overview of all the available archaeological and numismatic material from Thrace relating to the immediate pre-Roman and Roman periods – evidence which fundamentally alters our understanding of the history of s.e. Europe during this period.
From the perspective of the Celtic presence in Thrace, a number of conclusions in Dr. Paunov’s work are worthy of consideration..