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

Pontos

Pontus is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey. The name was derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea, Pontos Euxeinos ("Hospitable Sea"), or simply Pontos. The extent of the region varied through the ages but generally extended from the borders of Colchis (modern Georgia) until well into Paphlagonia in the west, with varying amounts of hinterland. Several states and provinces bearing the name of Pontus or variants thereof were established in the region in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, culminating in the late Byzantine Empire of Trebizond. Pontus is sometimes considered as the home of the Amazons, with the name Amazon used not only for a city (Amasya) but for all of Pontus in Greek mythology.


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Lysimachos Type

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Mithradates VI Eupator "the Great"expanded his Pontic Kingdom through conquest, which inevitably brought him into conflict with Rome. Mithradates regarded himself as the champion of the Greeks against Rome, however, after three years of war, he was defeated by Pompey the Great. The design of this coin is taken from a coin of Lysimachos, bodyguard of Alexander the Great, and King of Thrace 323 - 281 B.C. The Lysimachos coin depicted Alexander the Great on the obverse. The features of the obverse portrait on this type are those of Mithradates VI.
SH12093. Gold stater, SNG Cop 1089 var. (monogram), Choice EF, weight 8.232 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 100 - 85 B.C; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great (with the features of Mithradates VI), wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, holding Nike and resting left arm on shield, transverse spear against her side, BY on throne, (AP monogram) over right arm, trident and two dolphins in exergue; fantastic style with superb portrait of Mithradates as Alexander the Great!; SOLD


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariathes I, 330 - 322 B.C.

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The attribution we have made for this type is the widely accepted attribution, but it is possible that it was struck earlier, c. 340 - 331 B.C. and it is a half stater on the standard of Cilicia.
SH26864. Silver drachm, SGCV II 3658; BMC Galatia p. 29, 1; Simonetta 1d, VF+, toned, weight 4.941 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 270o, Pontus, Gaziura mint, obverse Aramaic legend "Baal-Gazur", Baal of Gaziura enthroned left; eagle, grain and grapes in right, scepter in left, monogram right; reverse griffin attacking stag, wreath above; beautiful toning, the nicest example of the type we have seen; very rare; SOLD


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Lysimachos Type

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Mithradates VI Eupator "the Great" expanded his Pontic Kingdom through conquest, which inevitably brought him into conflict with Rome. He regarded himself as the champion of the Greeks against Rome, however, after three years of war, he was defeated by Pompey the Great. The design of this coin is taken from a coin of Lysimachos, bodyguard of Alexander the Great, and King of Thrace, 323 - 281 B.C. The Lysimachos coin depicted Alexander the Great on the obverse. The features of the portrait on this type are those of Mithradates VI.
SH85133. Gold stater, De Callata˙ p. 141 (D1/R1), SNG Cop 1090 (Thrace), VF, die wear, weight 8.395 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Moesia Inferior, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, First Mithradatic War, 88 - 86 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great (with the features of Mithradates VI), wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, wearing crested helmet, Nike in right hand, resting left arm on round shield behind, monogram and V above knee, TO on throne, trident in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 92 (23 Jun 2004), lot 27; SOLD


Amisos, Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.

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Amisos, the mythical home of the Amazons, was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire until it was captured by the Seljuks in 1200, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
SH73961. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 165; SNGvA 66; SNG BM 1218; SNG Stancomb 704; Rec Gen p. 56, 38; HGC 7 244; Laffaille -, VF, green patina, earthen encrustations, weight 7.574 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, Mithridatic War issue, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Amazon right, wearing wolf scalp headdress; reverse Nike walking right, extending wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left, AMI−ΣOY horizontal divided across field; scarce; SOLD


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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The portrait on the obverse bears an unmistakable likeness to Mithridates VI and is similar to his portraits on tetradrachms minted in Pontus. Mithridates likely issued this type during the second Mithridatic War to pay Scythian and Thracian mercenaries.
SH24750. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1191 (same dies), Choice gVF, weight 15.978 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, Second Mithradatic War, 83 - 81 B.C.; obverse Mithradates VI bust right as Herakles in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, eagle in right, long scepter in left hand, ΛA left, O∆E exergue; SOLD


Amisos (as Peiraeos), Pontos, c. 435 - 370 B.C.

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Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
GS86613. Silver siglos, SNG BM 1059; SNG Stancomb 660; SNG Cop 122; Rec Gen p. 46, 1; McClean 7351; HGC 7 229; SNGvA -; BMC Pontus -, VF, attractive style, light toning, bumps and scratches, obverse off center but not too detracting, weight 5.593 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 45o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 435 - 370 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Hera-Tyche right, hair rolled, wearing a turreted stephane ornamented with palmettes and annulets, triple-drop earrings and pearl necklace; reverse owl standing facing on shield, head facing, wings spread open, caduceus upper left, sword in sheath upper right, AΦ-PO (magistrate Aphro...) divided across field below wings, ΠEIPA in exergue; SOLD


Amisos (as Peiraeos), Pontos, c. 435 - 370 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
SH86577. Silver siglos, SNG BM 1059; SNG Stancomb 660; SNG Cop 122; Rec Gén p. 46, 1; McClean 7351; HGC 7 229; SNGvA -; BMC Pontus -, gVF, beautiful style, nice toning, tight flan, some die wear, light bumps and scratches, weight 5.516 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 435 - 370 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Hera-Tyche right, hair rolled, wearing a turreted stephane ornamented with palmettes and annulets, triple-drop earrings and pearl necklace; reverse owl standing facing on shield, head facing, wings spread open, caduceus upper left, sword in sheath upper right, AΦ-PO (magistrate Aphro...) divided across field below wings, ΠEIPA in exergue; SOLD


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Mithradates VI Megas (the Great) was king of Pontus 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 King Darius I of Persia. 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: Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey the Great. On this coin, minted in the name of Alexander but with his own portrait replacing that of Herakles (Alexander), Mithradates VI presents himself as Alexander's successor, the "defender" of Greece, 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 Greece. His campaign for Greek allegiance was aided in no small part by his enemy Sulla, who allowed his troops to sack Delphi and plunder many of the city's most famous treasures to help finance his military expenses. Mithridates likely issued this type 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 by the sword.
SH21578. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1193, VF+, weight 16.162 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, Second Mithradatic War, 83 - 81 B.C.; obverse Mithradates VI bust right as Herakles in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, eagle in right, long scepter in left hand, ΛAKΩ left, O∆H in exergue; SOLD


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

Click for a larger photo
The portrait on the obverse bears an unmistakable likeness to Mithridates VI and is similar to his portraits on tetradrachms minted in Pontus. Mithridates likely issued this type during the second Mithridatic War to pay Scythian and Thracian mercenaries.
SH33807. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1192; SNG Cop 725, gVF, some flatness on reverse, weight 14.057 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, c. 120 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle perched on extended right arm, scepter in left, ΛAK inner left, O∆H in exergue; SOLD


Celtic Ring Money, Black Sea Region, c. 800 - 100 B.C.

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This curious, extremely rare, and very special object is clearly related to the knobbed ring money of the Black Sea region. The referenced similar object in Victoor is inferior in design and manufacture and does not have a loop. Cast as a single piece, it is the product of a highly skilled craftsman and was very likely made for an important person to wear.
SH69205. Bronze Ring Money, cf. Victoor VIII 22 (crude, no loop); "ring money" orb made up of six knobbed wire meridians and equator, with a loop for suspension, probably 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; extremely rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Amandry, M. & B. Remy. Comana du Pont sous l'Empire romain. Etude historique et corpus monetaire. Glaux 14. (Milan, 1999).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol III, Part 1. (London, 1926).
Grose, S. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. III: Asia Minor, Farther Asia, Egypt, Africa. (Cambridge, 1929).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Anatolia, Pontos, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Phrygia, Galatia, Lykaonia, and Kappadokia...Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 7. (Lancaster, PA, 2012).
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Müller, L. Numismatique d'Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Nordbř, J. "The Imperial Silver Coinage of Amisus 131/2 ? 137/8 A.D." in Studies in Ancient History and Numismatics presented to Rudi Thomsen (1988), pp. 166-78.
Price, M. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
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Prokopov, I. Coin Collections and Coin Hoards From Bulgaria, Volume I.. (Sofia, 2007).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 4: Bosporus - Lesbos. (New Jersey, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. (Berlin, 1957-1967).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Part 9: Bosporus - Aeolis. (London. 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XIII, British Academy, Collection of the Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle Upon Tyne. (Oxford, 2005).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Österreich, Sammlung Leypold, Kleinasiatische Münzen der Kaiserzeit, Vol. I: Pontus - Lydien. (Vienna, 2000).
Simonetta, B. The Coins of the Cappadocian Kings. Typos II. (Fribourg, 1977).
Tekin, O. The Sivas Hoard, Bronze Coins of Pontos and Paphlagonia from the Reign of Mithradates VI. (Istanbul, 1999).
Topalov, S. Apollonia Pontica: Contribution to the Study of the Coin Minting of the City 6th - 1st c. B.C. (Sofia, 2007).
Victoor, R. Roulles Celtes et Objets Assimilés. (Rosendaël-lez-Dunkerque, 1989).
Von Sallet, A. Zur Num. der Könige von Pontus u. Bosporus. (Berlin, 1866).
Waddington, W., E. Babelon & T. Reinach. Recueil Général des Monnaies Grecques d'Asie Mineure, Part 1: Pont et Paphlagonie. (Paris, 1904).
Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia. (London, 1889).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
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Pontos Coins