A large number of works by Bulgarian and foreign authors have been dedicated to the coins of Pautalia.
As early as 1779, the founder of the academic numismatics J. Eckhel described and released forty coins issued in Pautalia.
Almost all contributions (published before 1998) describing and/or commenting on Pautalia coins have been strictly collected and systematized in alphabetical order in the bibliographic work of the German researcher E. Schӧnert-Geiss, dedicated to the coinage of the towns in Thrace and Moesia.
In 1933, the study on the coinage of Pautalia by L. Ružička was released in Volume VII of the Bulletin of the Bulgarian Archaeological Institute (Известия на Българския археологически институт). This work is the first attempt to present a more complete picture of urban coinage, based on a significant share of the available numismatic material. Some of Ružička's conclusions are still valid today, others have long been anachronistic and it is high time to be corrected.
Over the last two decades, a catalogue of popular science and commercial nature has appeared, as well as several articles addressing some of the many problems of Pautalia coinage.
Articles and scientific reports have been published on hoards, which include Pautalian coins or single specimens found during archaeological excavations or by chance.
Further on, some unpublished coins of Pautalia were released, as well as Pautalian coins from the numismatic depots of some Bulgarian museums.
Some online catalogues have also appeared, but there is still a lack of comprehensive academic work clarifying all major aspects of Pautalia coinage. The limited numismatic material available to the authors is the reason for the imprecise chronological systematization and partial illustration of the coins described in their works.
The numismatic material discovered in the period of 1930—2020, huge in its volume and type diversity, as well as the results of the archaeological discoveries of the recent years, necessitate a thorough study of the urban coinage, meeting modern requirements of numismatics.
With this work we have tried to correct the inaccuracies accumulated over the years and to solve the main problems of the coinage of Pautalia.
The monograph here presented is the first comprehensive study of the coinage of Ulpia Pautalia.
We have managed to collect 3920 coins from museum depots and private collections, as well as from auction catalogues and websites.
After processing them, we separated 2761 whole, not erased, well-preserved pieces, on which we measured the metric parameters and used to create the third chapter of Metric parameters and denominations.
For the catalogue of the work, out of the main amount of coins (3920) we allocated 2034 — only one copy of each respective iconographic type, variant, subvariant and combination of dies, i.e. there is no repetitive combination.
The collected, researched, analyzed, systematized and catalogued such a significant amount of numismatic material allowed to cover the main aspects of urban Pautalian coinage: the reverse iconographic types, coin legends, metric parameters and denominations, chronology of issues and connections between coin dies, and also counterfeits of Pautalian coins.
The results obtained from the study of the new numismatic material are radically different from the previous ones in all matters of Pautalian coin production.
The following problems have been solved in the relevant chapters and paragraphs:
— All types of reverse images known so far are differentiated and their number is determined;
— A number of reverse iconographic images have been identified and reinterpreted;
— All reverse types known so far have been collected, analyzed and systematized with their variants and sub-variants, issued during the whole period of the town mint operation;
— The reverse types, variants and sub-variants have been differentiated and their number determined, as well as the number of reverse dies of the respective type, issued for each emperor or member of their family;
— The preceding chronology of the appearance of some reverse types has been corrected;
— The monographic work presents for the first time a large number of new reverse types, variants and sub-variants, as well as dozens of new combinations between coin dies;
— The paleographic and orthographic features of the obverse and reverse legends, as well as the spelling variants for individual emperors or members of their families are thoroughly studied for the first time;
— On the grounds of a large amount of numismatic material (only well-preserved specimens) the average parameters of all types of Pautalian coins have been correctly determined, as well as the number of denominations minted for each emperor or member of their family. Some inaccuracies have been corrected (in previous publications by other authors) in identifying the denominations of some of the town coins;
— It has been established how many denominations were issued and circulated in parallel in the local economy at each moment of the town mint operation;
— It has been established that the coinage of the peregrinae town of Ulpia Pautalia lasted seventy-eight years, from the minting of pseudo-autonomous coins at the very beginning of Emperor Antoninus Pius’ reign (138—161) to the end of the solo reign of Emperor Caracalla 212—217);
— The boundaries of the hiatus of the town mint operation have been determined, as well as the periods of its activity;
— The dating of the individual urban issues has been defined precisely, within the narrowest possible chronological limits, and not in general (within the reign of each emperor);
— The exact number of obverse and reverse dies of the coins included in the study has been determined and the links between them – pointed out;
— The number of individual issues for each imperial family and the chronology of their minting have been established;
— The common reverse dies for the members of the imperial families have been identified;
— Ten contemporary counterfeits of authentic Pautalian coins have been recognized, analyzed and correctly illustrated;
— The coins in the Catalogue of the monograph are systematized according to the chronology, their denomination, numbers of obverse and reverse dies, their full metric parameters, the position of the dies relative to the coin blank, the current storage location of each piece and the publication presenting the corresponding coin type for the first time.
The catalogue includes only one specimen of the respective type, variant, sub-variant and combination of dies, i.e. there is no repetitive combination.
All specimens (2034) included in the catalogue are illustrated with correct photographs in real size.
The cumulated, analyzed and systematized numismatic material, provided for the academic work, can serve as a solid ground for future research related to the political, cultural and economic development of Pautalia during the Roman Age.
The completion of the work became possible thanks to the responsiveness and help of many colleagues and friends who assisted me during the stages of the research.
My heartfelt thanks to Prof. Ilya Prokopov, Assoc. Prof. Dochka Vladimirova-Aladzhova, Prof. Georgi Karastoyanov, Dr. Svetoslava Filipova, Dr. Veselka Katsarova, Mariana Slavova, arch. Georgi Velkov, Anton Georgiev, Boyan Bosachki, Ivan Varbanov and all those who supported me in the process of work.