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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 Kadiky), 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.

Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Koinon of Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Koinon| |of| |Bithynia|, |AE| |35|
The mint location for the Koinon of Bithynia is uncertain but it was probably Nicomedia. 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 as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman 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 the nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa in the vicinity of 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.
RB95774. Bronze AE 35, RPC Online III 1009B.4 (this coin, 4 spec.); SNG Bar 665; BMC Pontos, p. 106, 14; Rec Gen I.2 p. 241, 43, F, dark patina, scratches, edge crack, weight 21.908 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Nicomedia?) mint, 117 - 138 A.D.; obverse AVT KAIC TPAI A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse octastyle temple on podium of two steps, Nikai on roof, she-wolf and twins in pediment, KOI-NΩN divided across field, BEIΘYNIAC in exergue; ex Naumann auction 63 (4 Mar 2018), lot 710; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.

|Bithynia|, |Kios,| |Bithynia,| |c.| |325| |-| |203| |B.C.|, |AE| |11|
According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.
GB89135. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 382; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; var. (KIA); SNGvA 7004 var. (same); Rec Gn I.2 7 var. (same), VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.020 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverse Kantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
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.
GB91912. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 639; BMC Pontus p. 211, 9; Rec Gen I p. 226, 26; HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, F, corrosion, weight 5.443 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 centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his animal skin cloak flying behind, monogram inner right under raised foreleg, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΠPOYΣIOY downward on left; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00







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