Collection of Greek Coins of Thrace
Thracian King Cotys & Rhaescuporis   12-19 AD
Κότυς και Ραισκούπορις Βασιλείς Θράκης

Copenhagen: 12-19 AD; Head: 12-19 AD; Lindgren: 12-19 AD; Mladjov: 12-19 AD; Moushmov: 12-19 AD; Pauly 12-19 AD; RPC I: 12-19 AD

   On the death of Rhoemetalkes I the Thracian Kingdom was partitioned by Augustus between the late King's son, Cotys III (XI), and brother, Rhaeskuporis II (IV). The former reigned over the coastal areas, the latter ruled over the mountain regions of Thrace. After a joint reign of seven years Rhaeskuporis murdered his nephew, but was then condemned by the Roman Senate to exile in Alexandria where he died [Sear Greek Imperial Coins, 2001, p.533].

Tacitus Annales - Book II:  War in Thrace 19 AD
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
64. Tidings having also arrived of Artaxias being made king of Armenia by Germanicus, the Senate decreed that both he and Drusus should enter the city with an ovation. Arches too were raised round the sides of the temple of Mars the Avenger, with statues of the two Caesars. Tiberius was the more delighted at having established peace by wise policy than if he had finished a war by battle. And so next he planned a crafty scheme against Rhescuporis, king of Thrace. That entire country had been in the possession of Rhoemetalces, after whose death Augustus assigned half to the king's brother Rhescuporis, half to his son Cotys. In this division the cultivated lands, the towns, and what bordered on Greek territories, fell to Cotys; the wild and barbarous portion, with enemies on its frontier, to Rhescuporis. The kings too themselves differed, Cotys having a gentle and kindly temper, the other a fierce and ambitious spirit, which could not brook a partner. Still at first they lived in a hollow friendship, but soon Rhescuporis overstepped his bounds and appropriated to himself what had been given to Cotys, using force when he was resisted, though somewhat timidly under Augustus, who having created both kingdoms would, he feared, avenge any contempt of his arrangement. When however he heard of the change of emperor, he let loose bands of freebooters and razed the fortresses, as a provocation to war. 

65. Nothing made Tiberius so uneasy as an apprehension of the disturbance of any settlement. He commissioned a centurion to tell the kings not to decide their dispute by arms. Cotys at once dismissed the forces which he had prepared. Rhescuporis, with assumed modesty, asked for a place of meeting where, he said, they might settle their differences by an interview. There was little hesitation in fixing on a time, a place, finally on terms, as every point was mutually conceded and accepted, by the one out of good nature, by the other with a treacherous intent. Rhescuporis, to ratify the treaty, as he said, further proposed a banquet; and when their mirth had been prolonged far into the night, and Cotys amid the feasting and the wine was unsuspicious of danger, he loaded him with chains, though he appealed, on perceiving the perfidy, to the sacred character of a king, to the gods of their common house, and to the hospitable board. Having possessed himself of all Thrace, he wrote word to Tiberius that a plot had been formed against him, and that he had forestalled the plotter. Meanwhile, under pretext of a war against the Bastarnian and Scythian tribes he was strengthening himself with fresh forces of infantry and cavalry. He received a conciliatory answer. If there was no treachery in his conduct, he could rely on his innocence, but neither the emperor nor the Senate would decide on the right or wrong of his cause without hearing it. He was therefore to surrender Cotys, come in person transfer from himself the odium of the charge. 

66. This letter Latinius Pandus, propraetor of Moesia, sent to Thrace, with soldiers to whose custody Cotys was to be delivered. Rhescuporis, hesitating between fear and rage, preferred to be charged with an accomplished rather than with an attempted crime. He ordered Cotys to be murdered and falsely represented his death as self-inflicted. Still the emperor did not change the policy which he had once for all adopted. On the death of Pandus, whom Rhescuporis accused of being his personal enemy, he appointed to the government of Moesia, Pomponius Flaccus, a veteran soldier specially because of his close intimacy with the king and his consequent ability to entrap him. 

67. Flaccus, on arriving in Thrace induced the king by great promises, though he hesitated and thought of his guilty deeds, to enter the Roman lines. He then surrounded him with a strong force under pretence of showing him honour, and the tribunes and centurions, by counsel, by persuasion, and by a more undisguised captivity the further he went, brought him, aware at last of his desperate plight, to Rome. He was accused before the Senate by the wife of Cotys, and was condemned to be kept a prisoner far away from his kingdom. Thrace was divided between his son Rhoemetalces, who, it was proved, had opposed his father's designs, and the sons of Cotys. As these were still minors, Trebellienus Rufus, an ex-praetor, was appointed to govern the kingdom in the meanwhile, after the precedent of our ancestors, who sent Marcus Lepidus into Egyptas guardian to Ptolemy's children. Rhescuporis was removed to Alexandria, and there attempting or falsely charged with attempting escape, was put to death. 

Cotys was an intelectual. He supported the fine arts and the greek language and entertained poets, writers, painters and musicians in his court in Bizya.

   The coins usually attributed to these two rulers have been lately reallocated to Cotys I (IX) and his son Rhescuporis I (III)
. [Youroukova, 1976; RPC I, 2006, p. 312-313]

6963 Cotys III (XI) & Rhaescuporis II (IV) Reges Thraciae AE
SHH 6963
AE   20.8 mm   7.63 g   Peykov D1200; Youroukova (1992) 119

1258 Thrace King Kotys & Rhaeskuporis AE 1948 Thrace King Kotys & Rhaeskuporis AE
SHH 1258
SHH 1948
2934 Cotys III (XI) & Rhaescuporis II (IV) Reges Thraciae AE
SHH 2934
AE   20-22 mm   4.20-8.70 g   Moushmov ---; RPC I: 1702; Youroukova 153/156
Statistics 1/1   Statistics 1/2   Statistics 1/3   Images 1/1   Images 1/2   Images 1/3

3049 Cotys III (XI) & Rhaescuporis II (IV) Reges Thraciae AE 5267 Cotys III (XI) & Rhaescuporis II (IV) Reges Thraciae AE
SHH 2992
SHH 3049
SHH 5267
AE   14-17 mm   3.11-4.54 g   Moushmov ---; RPC I: 1703; Youroukova 157
Statistics 11/1   Images 11/1

   Reges Thraciae