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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ MysiaView Options:  |  |  |     

Mysia, Anatolia

Mysia is the northwestern region of Anatolia (Asia Minor) located on the shore of the Propontis (Marmara Sea) between Troas and Bithynia. The chief physical features of Mysia are the two mountains, Mount Olympus at (7600 ft) in the north and Mount Temnus in the south. The most important cities were Pergamon in the valley of the Caïcus, and Cyzicus on the Propontis. The whole sea-coast was studded with Greek towns, several of which were places of considerable importance; thus the northern portion included Parium, Lampsacus and Abydos, and the southern Assos, Adramyttium. Further south, on the Eleatic Gulf, were Elaea, Myrina and Cyme.


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Eros was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"). According to Hesiod (c. 700 B.C.), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus (the Abyss or the Underworld). Parmenides (c. 400 B.C.), one of the pre-Socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence. In early Greek poetry and art, Eros was depicted as an adult male who embodies sexual power. But in later sources, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form, often illicitly. Ultimately, by the later satirical poets, he is represented as a child, the precursor to the chubby Renaissance Cupid.
GB84659. Bronze AE 21, CNG e-auction 380, lot 417 (same dies); BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG BnF -, SNG Tub -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Çanakkale -, SNG Leypold -, F, well centered, small centration dimples, weight 6.202 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 45o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES L SEP SEV ALEXANDER (many letters blundered or retrograde), laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse DEO CVPIDI-NI C G I H PAR (D and H blundered, god Cupid, Colonia Gemella Julia Hadriana Pariana), Cupid standing slightly left, head right, nude but for drapery over left arm, herm at feet on left; missing from the many references examined by Forum, but several examples are known from auctions; extremely rare; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 104 - 98 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS76186. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 5; Pinder 93; SNG BnF 1713; SNG Cop 419; SNGvA 7466; BMC Mysia p. 124, 102, VF, toned, light marks, weight 12.637 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 104 - 98 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case holding strung bow and ornamented with an apluster, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, AΣ (control letters) above between heads of snakes, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $155.00 (€137.95)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion was a major coastal city, near Lampsacus, with two harbors used to connect Thrace with Anatolia. Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it came under the domain of Lysimachus, and subsequently the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia in the province of Asia. It was the main customs station through which all goods bound for Byzantium from Greece and the Aegean had to pass. When this coin was minted, Parium was within the Conventus of Adramyteum. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, Parium was in the province of Hellespontus. Today it is the village of Kemer in the township of Biga, Canakkale province, Turkey.
RP84686. Bronze AE 22, SNG BnF 1494, SNG Cop 296 var. (obv. legend), BMC Mysia -, SNGvA -, SNG Tübingen -, SNG Hunterian -, Lindgren -, VF, porous, centration dimples, weight 6.182 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 178 - 180, probably 180; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AV, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, beardless, from behind; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between hooves, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 100 B.C.

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The torch is a symbol of Demeter. After Hades abducted Demeter's virgin daughter Persephone to be his wife, Demeter searched for her lighting her way through the earth with torches. While she searched, she was preoccupied with loss and grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.
GB84944. Bronze AE 22, SNGvA 1239 var. (r. control); SNG Cop 81 var. (same); Von Fritze III 13 var. (same); SNG BnF 490 ff. var. (controls); BMC Mysia p. 39, 161 ff. (same), VF/F, well centered, reverse flatly struck, tiny flan crack, light corrosion, centration dimples, weight 7.706 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 100 B.C.; obverse bull butting right on exergue line; reverse flaming torch, KYZI/KHNΩN in flanking downward lines starting on the right, monograms (controls) flanking the bottom of the torch; unpublished variant(?); $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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In Megalopolis, Arkadia, there was a sanctuary of Kore the Maid. "The image is of stone, about eight feet high; ribbons cover the pedestal all over. Women may enter this sanctuary at all times, but men enter it only once every year." -- Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.31.8
GB85164. Bronze AE 19, cf. SNG BnF 452 ff.; SNG Cop 68 ff.; SNGvA 1235 f.; SNG Tub 2256 ff.; BMC Mysia p. 39, 147; Lindgren I 220 (none with this monogram or countermark), aVF, c/m: VF; well centered on a broad flan, flattened on reverse opposite countermark, weight 5.749 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse bust of Kore Soteira (the savior maiden) right, wreathed with grain; countermark: griffin head right in oval punch; reverse KY/ZI in two lines, divided by ΠAT monogram at center, all inside oak wreath, within a shallow round incuse; apparently unpublished and both the monogram and countermark are extremely rare - we were unable to find specimens with either this monogram or this countermark in our many references or online; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 123 - 104 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS76210. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 7; Pinder 101; SNG Cop 424; SNGvA 7465; BMC Mysia p. 126, 125; SNG BnF -, VF, uneven toning, reverse slightly off-center, light marks, weight 12.474 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 123 - 104 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case holding strung bow and ornamented with an apluster, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, ΠA monogram above between heads of snakes, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 92 - 88 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS76212. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 33; Pinder 108; SNG BnF 1737; SNG Cop 431; SNGvA 7477; BMC Mysia, p. 125, 109, VF, well centered, dark uneven toning, struck with a worn obverse die, weight 12.595 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 92 - 88 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case holding strung bow and ornamented with an apluster, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, EY over Prytaneis monogram above, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 104 - 98 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS76209. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 12; Pinder 95; SNG Cop 420; BMC Mysia p. 124, 106; SNGvA -; SNG BnF -, aVF, obverse struck with a worn die, uneven toning, light marks, weight 12.514 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 104 - 98 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case holding strung bow and ornamented with an apluster, flanked on each side by a snake with head erect, ∆I above between heads of snakes, Pergamon monogram to left, snake entwined thyrsos to right; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Priapus, Mysia, 3rd Century B.C.

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Palinurus Elephas is a spiny lobster, which is commonly caught in the Mediterranean Sea. Its common names include European spiny lobster, crayfish or cray (in Ireland), common spiny lobster, Mediterranean lobster and red lobster. Claws are much smaller than those of the American lobsters.
GB76833. Brass AE 19, cf. BMC Mysia p. 176, 3 - 5; SNG Cop 548; SNGvA 1435; SNG Tub 2499; SNG BnF 2401 - 2402, F, centered on a tight flan, earthen encrustation, pin-prick pitting, weight 5.014 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 90o, Priapus (Karabiga, Turkey) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΠPIAΠHNΩN, lobster or crayfish right, control symbol below (off flan); rare; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Priapus, Mysia, 3rd Century B.C.

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Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey today) is located on the Mysian coast, on a small east-facing bay at the mouth of the Biga River, about a third of the distance from ancient Parium to Cyzicus. Strabo mentions that the area produced fine wine and that the god Priapus gave the town its ancient name. Thucydides mentions the town as a naval station. In 334 B.C., the town surrendered to Alexander the Great without contest, prior to the Battle of Granicus. Deities worshiped there included Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus. Under the Eastern Roman Empire, the town was known as Pegae and was the site of a Byzantine fortress.
GB84105. Bronze AE 10, Lindgren III 293 var. (AE14), SNG BnF 2404 (scallop control), BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Tub -, VF, green patina, weight 1.184 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 0o, Priapus (Karabiga, Turkey) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse crawfish or shrimp right, ΠPI above, stalk of barley right (control symbol) below; very rare; $125.00 (€111.25)
 




    



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
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Mysia Greek Coins