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

Ancient Coins of Mysia, Antatolia

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.


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Kyzikos, Mysia

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The Julio-Claudian princes depicted on this type are uncertain. References most often identify them as Caius and Lucius caesars, but Drusus and Germanicus have also been suggested, and there are other possibilities. The features of both portraits on this coin resemble Augustus, which doesn't help.
RP77421. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 2246 (7 spec.), SNG Ashmolean 1188, SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, BMC Mysia -, gF, nice green patina, old scratches, light corrosion, weight 2.040 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Erdek, Turkey) mint, c. 4 B.C. - 2 A.D.; obverse bare headed male head right; reverse KYZI, bare headed male head right; very rare; $155.00 (€137.95)


Parion, Mysia, c. 5th Century B.C.

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Imitative of this type were struck in large numbers by the Thracian Odrysian Kingdom. The original coins from Parion are much scarcer and also more attractive.
GA76155. Silver hemidrachm, SNG BnF 1343; Traité II 1, 652, pl. XVI, 22; SNGvA 1318; Rosen 525; Asyut 612, VF, high relief, bold strike, porous, slightly off center, weight 3.240 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, Parion mint, c. 5th century B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with open mouth and protruding tongue; reverse incuse square containing an irregular cruciform pattern, with pellet in center; $150.00 (€133.50)


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. 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)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain (Philippi?), Macedonia

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Howgego notes the capricorn was a standard type for Parium. The capricorn was a symbol of Augustus and was probably adopted as a symbol of the city after a Augustan refoundation of the colonia. Howgego notes that the capricorn countermarks on the colonist plowing types may have indicated a devaluation of the coins.
RP85357. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 1656.43 (same countermark); SNG Cop 282; Varbanov 3770 (R4); McClean 7660 (Tiberius); SNG BnF 1439 (Parium, Mysia); c/m: Howgego 302 (Parium), gF, c/m: VF; scratches, corrosion, earthen deposits, reverse flattened by counter-marking, weight 3.861 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Uncertain (Philippi?) mint, 16 Jan 27 B.C. - 19 Aug 14 A.D.; obverse AVG, bare head right; c/m Capricorn right in rectangular punch; reverse two priests with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; rare with countermark; $125.00 (€111.25)


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; $120.00 (€106.80)


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; $115.00 (€102.35)




    






REFERENCES

ANS Collections Database - http://numismatics.org/search/
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Catalog current as of Friday, August 18, 2017.
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Mysia, Anatoloia