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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.


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 2nd Century B.C.

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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 (Bakircay) 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.
GB73551. Bronze AE 19, SNGvA 1374; SNG Cop 396; SNG BnF 1875; BMC Mysia p. 131, 172 ff., Choice VF, weight 7.491 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 2nd Century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAC NIKHΦOPOY, trophy of captured arms, Pergamon monogram lower right; $130.00 (€114.40)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 2nd Century B.C.

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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 (Bakircay) 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.
GB71726. Bronze AE 20, SNGvA 1374; SNG Cop 396; SNG BnF 1875; BMC Mysia p. 131, 172 ff., VF, nice green patina, small areas of earthen encrustation, weight 6.019 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 2nd Century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAΣ NIKHΦOPOY, trophy of captured arms, Pergamon monogram lower right; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


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.
GS76213. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum 5; Pinder 93; SNG BnF 1713; SNG Cop 419; SNGvA 7466; BMC Mysia p. 124, 102, F, well centered, uneven toning, bumps, marks and scratches, weight 12.202 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon 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 in 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; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 16 B.C.

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Asclepius, one of Apollo's sons, was the Greek god of medicine, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean (the Healer). Pilgrims flocked to the Asclepieia, his healing temples, where the physicians and attendants were known as the Therapeutae. Ritual purification would be followed by offerings or sacrifices to the god, and the supplicant would then spend the night in the holiest part of the sanctuary, the abaton, where the non-venemous snakes slithered around freely on the floor. Any dreams or visions would be reported to a priest who would interpret the dreams and prescribe the appropriate therapy. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
GB76834. Bronze AE 17, BMC Mysia p. 128, 155, SNG BnF 1832 ff., SNGvA 1373; SGCV II 3968, VF, green patina, highlighting deposits, tight flan, weight 5.076 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, Roman rule, c. 133 - 16 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ (to Asklepios the Savior), snake-encircled Asklepian staff; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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During the Peloponnesian War, 431 - 404 B.C., Cyzicus was subject alternately to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians. 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.
GA71686. Silver hemiobol, SNG Kayhan 57 ff.; SNG BnF 375; SNG Cop 49; BMC Mysia p. 35, 120; SNGvA -, gVF, broad flan, toned, porous, weight 0.364 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 270o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, star of four rays above, all in incuse square; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 16 B.C.

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When the Pergamene king Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., to prevent a civil war, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic.

The Greeks and Romans did not view snakes as evil creatures but rather as symbols and tools for healing and fertility. Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
GB71736. Bronze AE 19, SNG BnF 1815 (with owl countermark); SNG Tübingen 2415 (same); BMC Mysia p. 129, 161 (same); SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, F, green patina, small flan, obverse right side flattened by counter-marking, flan crack, weight 6.107 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 315o, Pergamon mint, c. 133 - 16 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, head right; countermark: owl standing right with head facing, in 6mm round punch; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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.
RH90508. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 2279, SNG Cop 233, VF, weight 4.856 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lampsacus mint, obverse CEBAC, laureate head right; reverse ΛAMΨAKH, forepart of Pegasos right, uncertain object below; scarce; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 480 - 400 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.
GA71821. Silver hemiobol, SNG BnF 386; SNGvA 1215, SNG Ashmolean 540, Von Fritze II 13, SNG Kayhan -, aEF, porous, weight 0.399 g, maximum diameter 9.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 480 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, retrograde K on shoulder, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, small facing panther head above left, all within a shallow incuse square; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Atarneus, Mysia, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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Atarneus was founded by Cilicians during the 5th century B.C., it received many Chian colonists. It was probably deserted completely in the 1st century A.D. due to an epidemic.
GB74443. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 24; BMC Mysia p. 14, 4; SNG BnF 126 ff. (control); SNGvA 1067 var (same), VF, scratches, weight 3.787 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Atarneus mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse forepart of a horse right, coiled snake above left, ∆ (control) right, ATAP below; rare city; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 310 - 284 B.C.

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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 (Bakircay) 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.
GB71698. Bronze AE 18, SNG BnF 1573, SNG Cop 331, SNG Tübingen 2363, SNGvA -, BMC Mysia -, F, green patina, light corrosion, many cleaning scratches, weight 3.962 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, c. 310 - 284 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse head and neck of bull right, monogram left, ΠEPΓA below, countermark(?); $90.00 (€79.20)
 




    



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
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Mysia Greek Coins