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.
Pergamon, Mysia, c. 2nd Century B.C.
Pergamon, Mysia was located to the northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey, 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the Caicus (Bakirçay) River. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty, 281-133 B.C. Pergamon is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.
GB67495. Bronze AE 18, cf. SNG BnF 1875 ff.; SNG Cop 393 ff.; BMC Mysia p. 130, 172 ff., Fair, weight 6.767 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 2nd century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAΣ NIKHΦOPOY, trophy of arms; $36.00 (€27.00)
Pergamon, Mysia, c. 300 B.C.
Herakles is most often depicted on coinage wearing the scalp of the Nemean lion over his head. The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. Herakles discovered arrows and his club were useless against it because its golden fur was impervious to mortal weapons. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
BB69780. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 323; BMC Mysia p. 112, 22; SNG BnF 1596; SGCV II 3958, F, oval flan, green patina, weight 0.676 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 90o, Pergamon mint, c. 300 B.C.; obverse head of young Herakles right wearing lion's head; reverse head of Athena right in crested helmet, ΠEP below; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $36.00 (€27.00)
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