Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Mithradates VI (the Great) was of in northern Anatolia from about 119 to 63 B.C. He was of both Greek and Persian origin, claiming descent from both Alexander the Great and Darius I of . Mithradates is remembered as one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the most prominent generals of the late Roman Republic in the so-called Mithridatic Wars: , Lucullus, and . On this coin, minted in the name of Alexander but with his own portrait replacing that of (Alexander), Mithradates VI presents himself as Alexander's successor, the "defender" of , and the "great liberator" of the Greek world. His propaganda translated the Romans into "barbarians," as the Persian Empire was during Alexander's campaign. How many Greeks genuinely bought into this claim will never be known but it served its purpose. At least partially because of it, Mithradates VI was able to fight the First War with Rome on Greek soil, and maintain the allegiance of . His campaign for the allegiance of the Greeks was aided in no small by his enemy , who allowed his troops to sack and plunder many of the city's most famous treasures to finance his military expenses. Mithridates likely issued this during the second Mithridatic War to pay Scythian and Thracian mercenaries. After Mithradates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he attempted suicide. The poison failed because he had taken daily doses to build immunity. He then made his bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, kill him with a sword.
SH74513. Silver , p. 83, 24 (same dies), 1192, 725, 2681, -, VF, excellent portrait, dark , porous areas, marks, edge bump, 14.463 g, maximum 27.7 mm, 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, Second Mithradatic War, 83 - 81 B.C.; Mithradates VI right as in scalp headdress; BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, in right, long vertical in left, ΛAK left, O∆H in ; $450.00 (€391.50)
Barbaric Imitative with Types and In the Name of Alexander the Great, c. 223 - 200 B.C.
This barbaric Alexandrine , imitative of early issues from the Amphipolis mint, is usually identified in sales catalog listings as Eastern . It is not, however, listed in the major Eastern coin references, so presumably it is not ordinarily found in Bulgaria or Romania. We know of one example from the same dies that was found in Jordan.
CE75897. Silver , B6, 108 - 121, -, -, -; imitative of types struck at Amphipolis, F, porous, uneven , 16.450 g, maximum 26.2 mm, 0o, uncertain (Middle Eastern?) tribal mint, c. 223 - 200 B.C.; of right, clad in skin headdress; AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus enthroned left, throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime ), in extended right, long vertical behind in left; $175.00 (€152.25)
BB74172. Bronze half unit, cf. 338 ff. (various control ), 746 ff. (same), F, green , light corrosion and encrustation, 3.359 g, maximum 14.2 mm, 90o, Macedonian mint, 336 - 323 B.C.; diademed of right; AΛEΞAN∆POY, horse right, uncertain control symbol below; $40.00 (€34.80)
Kingdom of , , 305 - 281 B.C.
GS74866. Silver , 178, 365, -, aVF, rough, bumps and scratches, some corrosion, defect on top near edge, 15.601 g, maximum 28.5 mm, 0o, Herakleia Pontika (Karadeniz Ereğli, Turkey) mint, c. 288 - 281 BC; diademed of the deified Alexander right, with horn of ; seated left, in her right hand crowning king's name with wreath, left arm resting on grounded round behind, transverse spear against far side, HP on throne, club left in ; $450.00 (€391.50)
, The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
BB75488. Bronze unit, ON RESERVE
266 ff. (various ), 6.077 g, maximum 17.69 mm, Macedonian mint, 336 - 323 B.C.; of right, clad in scalp headdress tied at neck; AΛEΞAN∆POY, club, bow and quiver, uncertain control symbol below; $36.00 (€31.32)
Lifetime issue. This coin was issued during the lifetime and rule of Alexander the Great. Most Alexander coins were issued after his death.
BB75453. Silver , 2090; 763; 895; 629; 771; -, F, , scratches, 4.089 g, maximum 16.9 mm, 0o, , Miletos mint, 325 - 323 B.C.; of right, clad in scalp headdress tied at neck; AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, in extended right, long vertical behind in left, legs not crossed, ∆H left; ex coins; $120.00 (€104.40)
BB75455. Bronze half unit, cf. 338 ff. (various control ), 746 ff. (same), F, green , edge chips9999, 3.943 g, maximum 15.5 mm, 270o, Macedonian mint, 336 - 323 B.C.; diademed of right; AΛEΞAN∆POY, horse right, uncertain control symbol below; $36.00 (€31.32)
is most often depicted on coinage wearing the scalp of the over his . The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the and bring back its skin. 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. stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the , he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise , noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
BB75470. Bronze unit, 373, aF, green , rough, corrosion, 5.234 g, maximum 18.4 mm, Macedonian mint, c. 325 - 310 B.C.; of right, clad in scalp headdress tied at neck; B thunderbolt A, club above, bow in quiver below; $30.00 (€26.10)
Mesembria, , c. 125 - 65 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland . Today it is a seaside resort and a man-made isthmus connects it to the coast. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms possibly as early as 275 B.C. It is likely Mesembria issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms, possibly even under Roman rule, as late as 65 B.C.GS74508. Silver , 1128; 487, gVF, double struck, die damage, edge crack, 33.92 g, maximum 16.348 mm, 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 125 - 65 B.C.; of right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, in extended right, long vertical behind in left, ∆IO horizontal under arm in inner left , AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, MEΣAM below; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann auction 27 (4 Jan 2015), lot 110; $250.00 (€217.50)
The B A on the abbreviates BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Alexander. It may actually refer to Alexander IV, Alexander the Great's son with the Bactrian princess Roxana. After Alexander's death, the Macedonian generals made his infant son and his mentally handicapped brother, Philip III, joint kings. They were both only pawns. The generals divided the empire among themselves. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to , and executed in 317 B.C. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed in 311 B.C.GB74822. Bronze AE Unit, 782, 376, 1026, II 2146, -, -, F, green , porous, corrosion, 5.494 g, maximum 17.0 mm, 90o, , Amphipolis(?) mint, c. 325 - 310 B.C.; of right, clad in scalp headdress tied at neck; quiver right atop within bow with string downward, above B A, club left over thunderbolt below; $38.00 (€33.06)
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