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

Bithynia

The kingdom of Bithynia held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. The coins of the Bithynian kings depict their regal portraits in a highly accomplished Hellenistic style. Nicomedes IV, the last king of Bithynia, was defeated by Mithridates VI of Pontus, and, after being restored to his throne by the Roman Senate, bequeathed his kingdom by will to the Roman Republic in 74 B.C. Under Rome, the boundaries of Bithynia frequently varied and it was sometimes united with Pontus. For securing communications with the eastern provinces, the monumental Bridge across the river Sangarius was constructed around 562 AD. Troops frequently wintered at Nicomedia. The most important cities were Nicomedia, founded by Nicomedes, and Nicaea. The two had a long rivalry with one another over which city held the rank of capital. At a much earlier period the Greeks had established on the coast the colonies of Cius (modern Gemlik); Chalcedon (modern Kadiköy), at the entrance of the Bosporus, nearly opposite Byzantium (modern Istanbul) and Heraclea Pontica (modern Karadeniz Eregli), on the Euxine, about 190 km east of the Bosporus.

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Nicomedia, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Nicomedia,| |Bithynia||AE| |26|
Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa near Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RP92638. Bronze AE 26, RPC IV.1 T9895 (1 spec.), Rec Gen 144(2), SNG Cop 568, SNGvA -, Corsten -, aVF, well centered, earthen highlights, porous, weight 10.629 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 30o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse A K M AV KO ANTΩNI, laureate head right; reverse MHT NEΩ NEIKOMH∆, Athena standing left, wearing crested helmet, small galley in extended right hand, grounded vertical spear and round shield in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection, this is the second known and finest know specimen of the type; extremely rare; $500.00 (€460.00)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes I, c. 279 - 255 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Nikomedes| |I,| |c.| |279| |-| |255| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Nicomedes I was the first King of Bithynia to strike coins. He is primarily known for bringing the Gauls known as Galatians to the Asia Minor in 277 B.C. to fight against his brother and Antiochus I. This short-sighted mistake brought troubles for local Greeks for a century. About 264 B.C., according to Eusebius, he moved the capital to Nicomedia on the Propontis. Mørkholm describes the very similar portrait of Nikomedes on his tetradrachms as "the realistic portrait of an aged king with large and rugged facial features."
GB96095. Bronze AE 17, Rec Gen I-2 p. 219, 4, & pl. 29, 5; HGC 7 609 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; BMC Pontus -, F, scratches, corrosion, rough, weight 4.477 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, c. 279 - 255 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the King right; reverse Warrior goddess Artemis-Bendis seated left on rock, two vertical spears in right hand, left hand resting on sword in sheath, circular shield on ground leaning on rock on near side, tree behind on far side of rock, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King) downward on right, NIKOMH∆OY (Nikomedes) downward on left, EP monogram outer left; only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades; extremely rare; $450.00 (€414.00)
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. Late 4th - 3rd Century B.C.

|Bithynia|, |Kalchedon,| |Bithynia,| |c.| |Late| |4th| |-| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |13|
The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GB93820. Bronze AE 13, SNG BM Black Sea 128; SNG Cop 356; Rec Gen p. 294, 19; SNGvA -; BMC Pontus -; AMNG -; Lindgren -, VF, mottled patina, a little rough, weight 2.411 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 270o, Kalchedon (Kadikoya District, Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. late 4th - 3rd Century B.C.; obverse head and neck of bull left; reverse KAΛ in center of three ears of grain forming a triangle; from the Errett Bishop Collection; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $150.00 (€138.00)
 







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REFERENCES|

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