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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ BithyniaView 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.


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias II Kynegos, 185 - 149 B.C.

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Prusias II, son of Prusias I, inherited his father's name but not his character. He first joined with Eumenes of Pergamon in war against Pontus, but later turned on Pergamon and invaded. He was defeated and Pergamon demanded heavy reparations. Prusias sent his son Nicomedes II to Rome to ask for aid in reducing the payments. When Nicomedes revolted, Prusias II was murdered in the temple of Zeus at Nikomedia.
GB83585. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 640; BMC Pontus p. 210, 8; Rec Gén I.2 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, aEF, nice green patina with a few tiny edge chips, pre-strike flan adjustment marks, weight 4.496 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his cloak flying behind, NΦ monogram inner right under raised foreleg; $310.00 (€275.90)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes II Epiphanes, 149 - 128 B.C.

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Nikomedes II accompanied his father, Prusias II, to Rome in 167 B.C., where he was brought up under the care of the Senate. His father, favoring a younger sibling for succession, decided to assassinate him. But Nikomedes discovered the plot, seized the throne and put his father to death. He remained faithful to Rome, assisting in the war with Attalus, king of Pergamus in 131 B.C.
SH63494. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Pontus p. 213, 3; Rec Gén p. 229, 40; Cohen Dated 443; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -, VF, dark hoard patina with some chipping (stabilized), weight 14.896 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 129 - 128 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMH∆OY, Zeus Stephanophoros standing left, wreath extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle left on thunderbolt in inner left field above monogram over ΘΞP (year 169); $270.00 (€240.30)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias II Kynegos, 185 - 149 B.C.

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Prusias II, son of Prusias I, inherited his father's name but not his character. He first joined with Eumenes of Pergamon in war against Pontus, but later turned on Pergamon and invaded. He was defeated and Pergamon demanded heavy reparations. Prusias sent his son Nicomedes II to Rome to ask for aid in reducing the payments. When Nicomedes revolted, Prusias II was murdered in the temple of Zeus at Nikomedia.
SH71012. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 636; BMC Pontus p. 211 and pl. 38, 12; Rec Gén I.2 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, VF, flan adjustment marks, weight 5.468 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 45o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his cloak floating behind, ΠM monogram inner right under raised foreleg; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


Dia, Bithynia, 85 - 65 B.C.

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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.
GB79968. Bronze AE 21, SNG Stancomb 807; SNGvA 347; Callata˙ pl. XLIX, B; Rec Gén p. 342, 3; HGC 7 453 (S); SNG BM 1560 ff. var. (no monogram r.); SNG Cop 404 var. (same), gVF, attractive style, well struck on a tight flan, nice green patina, weight 7.690 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Dias mint, under Mithradates VI of Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse laureate, bearded head of Zeus right; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, monograms left and right, ∆IAΣ below; rare city; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias II Kynegos, 185 - 149 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Prusias II, son of Prusias I, inherited his father's name but not his character. He first joined with Eumenes of Pergamon in war against Pontus, but later turned on Pergamon and invaded. He was defeated and Pergamon demanded heavy reparations. Prusias sent his son Nicomedes II to Rome to ask for aid in reducing the payments. When Nicomedes revolted, Prusias II was murdered in the temple of Zeus at Nikomedia.
GB83586. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 640; BMC Pontus p. 210, 8; Rec Gén I.2 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, VF, nice green patina with a few small edge chips, marks and scratches, pre-strike flan adjustment marks, weight 5.864 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his cloak flying behind, NΦ monogram inner right under raised foreleg; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


Kios, Bithynia, c. 340 - 330 B.C.

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Traditionally, the earliest precious metal coinage of Kios has been dated after Alexander the Great's capture of Kios in 334 B.C. More recently, however, Oliver Hoover and other numismatists suggest this type, struck on a Persic standard, was probably minted to pay mercenaries to defend against Alexander's invasion, which began in 336 B.C.
GS75225. Silver 1/4 siglos, SNG Cop 378; SNG Berry 911; Rec Gén I.2 p. 312, 4, pl. XLIX, 24; HGC 7 554 (R1); cf. SNGvA 504 (1/2 siglos); BMC Pontus p. 130, 11 (same), VF, light toning, irregular shaped flan, slightest eching and porosity, weight 1.170 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, Kios (near Gemlik, Turkey) mint, Proxenos, magistrate, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, KIA below; reverse war galley prow left, hull ornamented with star over apotropaic eye, ΠPOΞ/ENOΣ (magistrate's name) in two lines one above and one below; $175.00 (€155.75)
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, 387 - 340 B.C.

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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.
GS75212. Silver drachm, SNG BM Black Sea 104; SNG Cop 352; Rec Gén p. 292, 13; Klein 241; Türkoglu S02aD; HGC 7 511 (S), VF, tight flan, scratches, weight 3.796 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, Kalchedon mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on grain ear left, kerykeion and ∆ over A monogram before legs; reverse quadripartite incuse square with stippled surface; scarce; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, 387 - 340 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
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.
GS75222. Silver drachm, SNG BM Black Sea 104; SNG Cop 352; Rec Gén p. 292, 13; Klein 241; Türkoglu S02aD; HGC 7 511 (S), VF, toned, tight flan cutting off part of bull's head, weight 3.745 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, Kalchedon mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on grain ear, kerykeion and ∆ over A monogram before legs; reverse quadripartite incuse square with stippled surface; scarce; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Kios, Bithynia, c. 340 - 315 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Traditionally, the earliest precious metal coinage of Kios has been dated after Alexander the Great's capture of Kios in 334 B.C. More recently, however, Oliver Hoover and other numismatists suggest this type, struck on a Persic standard, was probably minted to pay mercenaries to defend against Alexander's invasion, which began in 336 B.C.
GS75224. Silver 1/4 siglos, Rec Gén I.2 p. 312, 4, pl. XLIX, 26; HGC 7 554 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Berry -; SNG Ashmolean -; BMC Pontus -; Klein -; Macdonald -, VF, tight flan, lightly etched and porous surfaces, weight 1.206 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 270o, Kios (near Gemlik, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 315 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, KIA below (off flan); reverse war galley prow left, ornamented with an apotropaic eye, large ram, waves indicated on hull, TEIΣAN/∆POΣ (magistrate's name) in two lines one above and one below; very rare magistrate; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
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.
GS75218. Silver half siglos, SNG BM Black Sea 118; SNGvA 484; SNG Stancomb 14; BMC Pontus p. 124, 8; HGC 7 518, gVF, off-center, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 2.430 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, Kalchedon mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on ear of grain; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, stippled texture within incuse areas; $100.00 (€89.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Friday, February 24, 2017.
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Bithynia Coins