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

Mysia

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.


Parion, Mysia, 4th Century B.C.

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A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GS79922. Silver hemidrachm, SNGvA 1319; SNG BnF 1357; SNG Delepierre 2530; BMC Mysia p. 95, 14 - 16; SNG Cop 257 ff. var. (various control symbols), VF, well centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 2.251 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 180o, Parion mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse bull standing left, looking right, ΠA/PI in two lines above and below bull, no control symbol; reverse Gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), surrounded by snakes; $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.
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 12.674 g, maximum diameter 27.7 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; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
GS76211. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 7; Pinder 101; SNG Cop 424; SNGvA 7465; BMC Mysia p. 126, 125; SNG BnF -, VF, well centered, uneven toning, weight 12.632 g, maximum diameter 26.7 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; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 27 B.C.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GB72168. Bronze AE 28, SNGvA 7355 (with same countermark); SNG BnF 505 (also with same c/m); SNG Cop 84; BMC Mysia p. 40, 167, VF, nice style, well centered, nice green patina, bevelled obv edge, weight 12.530 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 27 B.C.; obverse head of Kore Soteira right, wearing grain wreath; countermark: eagle standing right, wings open in a 7.5mm round punch; reverse tripod with three loop handles, KYZI/KHNWN from upper right, in two flanking downward lines, branch right above, torch left below, monogram outer right, monogram outer left; $145.00 (€129.05)
 


Lampsakos, Mysia, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.

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This type is apparently missing from the major references and collections but we have handled several and know of about a dozen. The styles vary considerably, indicating they may have been struck over a long period. The mint city is not certain.
GA90771. Silver hemiobol, SNG BnF -, SNG Keckman -, SNG Kayhan -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Mysia -, Rosen -, Klein -, VF, weight 0.444 g, maximum diameter 9.0 mm, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, c. 5th - 4th century B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in Corinthian helmet; reverse star of four rays and four pellets surrounding central pellet; ex Forum (2010); very rare; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


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 Tübingen 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 Tübingen -, 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)
 


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Lampsakos, Mysia

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RPC identifies this ruler as Uncertain Emperor (Tiberius?) while SNG Copenhagen says Tiberius. The portrait does look like Tiberius.
GB90185. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2279, SNG Cop 233, BMC Mysia -, F, weight 3.804 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 225o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, obverse CEBAC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAMΨAKH, forepart of Pegasos right; rare; $120.00 (€106.80)
 




    



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
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Mysia Greek Coins