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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.


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.

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The comets depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
GB92131. Bronze AE 11, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, dark green patina, tight flan, weight 2.204 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with star of eight points and central pellet on and below neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; ex Ancient Imports; rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Amaseia, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 B.C.

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According to Strabo the Greek name Amaseia comes from Amasis, the queen of the Amazons, who were said to have lived here. The name has changed little throughout history: Amaseia, Amassia, and Amasia are all found on ancient Greek and Roman coinage and continue to be used in modern Greek. Modern Turkish Amasya represents the same pronunciation. Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 B.C. from Armenia. Pompey designated it a free city and the administrative center of the new province of Bithynia and Pontus. Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers, and poets. Strabo left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 B.C. and 19 A.D.
GB92903. Bronze AE 16, SNG BM 1046; SNG Stancomb 655; BMC Pontus p. 6, 2; Rec Gén p. 28, 4; HGC 7 225, VF, green patina, porous, reverse a little off center, weight 3.967 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Amaseia (Amasya, Turkey) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse draped bust of youthful Perseus right, head bare and wing in hair; reverse cornucopia between two pilei (caps of the Dioskouroi), eight-rayed star above each cap, AMAΣ−ΣEIAΣ divided across field below caps; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Amisos, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 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, 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.
GB89146. Bronze AE 18, SNG BM 1129; SNG Stancomb 655; Lindgren-Kovacs 32; BMC Pontus p, 19, 65; Rec Gen p. 70, 36; HGC 7 249, VF, near black patina, earthen deposits, scattered porosity, weight 3.762 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, struck under Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Perseus right, wing in hair; reverse cornucopia, flanked on each side by a pileus surmounted by a star, AMI−ΣOY divided across field below pilei; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Amisos, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 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, 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.
GB89153. Bronze AE 20, SNG BM 1138; SNG Stancomb 671; BMC Pontos p. 37; HGC 7 226 (R1), VF, dark patina, light marks, slightly porous, weight 8.195 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse head of Artemis right, wearing stephane, hair rolled, bow and quiver at shoulder behind; reverse tripod lebes, AMI-ΣOY divided across field; rare; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Amaseia, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 B.C.

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According to Strabo the Greek name Amaseia comes from Amasis, the queen of the Amazons, who were said to have lived here. The name has changed little throughout history: Amaseia, Amassia, and Amasia are all found on ancient Greek and Roman coinage and continue to be used in modern Greek. Modern Turkish Amasya represents the same pronunciation. Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 B.C. from Armenia. Pompey designated it a free city and the administrative center of the new province of Bithynia and Pontus. Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers, and poets. Strabo left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 B.C. and 19 A.D.
GB89154. Bronze AE 16, SNG BM 1046; SNG Stancomb 655; BMC Pontus p. 6, 2; Rec Gén p. 28, 4; HGC 7 225, F, scattered light pits, weight 3.938 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, Amaseia (Amasya, Turkey) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse draped bust of youthful Perseus right, head bare and wing in hair; reverse cornucopia between two pilei (caps of the Dioskouroi), eight-rayed star above each cap, AMAΣ−ΣEIAΣ divided across field below caps; $40.00 (€35.20)
 


Kingdom of Pontus, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C.

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The star almost certainly depicts one of Mithridates comets. According to Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
GB89059. Bronze AE 22, SNG Stancomb 651, SNG BM Black Sea 976, SNG Cop 230, HGC 7 311 (S), F, dark patina, weight 10.131 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, Amisos(?) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse bow case with strap; countermark: helmet right(?) in a c. 5.5mm diameter round punch; reverse comet or star of eight rays, bow right facing inward; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); scarce; $130.00 (€114.40)
 


Amisos, Pontos, c. 105 - 85 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, 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.
GB91473. Bronze AE 21, cf. SNG BM 1177 ff.; BMC Pontus p. 19, 69 ff.; HGC 7 242 (various controls), VF, nice patina, tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 7.498 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 105 - 85 B.C.; obverse aegis with facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) in center; reverse Nike advancing right, holding palm frond across shoulders behind, AMI−ΣOY divided across field, monogram (control) lower right; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI Eupator the Great, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Anonymous Coinage

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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. 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.
GB89057. Bronze AE 26, SNG Stancomb 649, SNG BM 973, SNG Cop 232, HGC 7 310 (S), VF, thick, heavy coin, marks, light earthen deposits, porosity, weight 19.569 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, uncertain (Amisos?) mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse male head left in a satrapal leather bashlik cap; reverse comet star of eight rays, bow right facing inward, possibly a monogram between the rays; ex Forum (2010).; scarce; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Neocaesarea, Pontus

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Niksar has been ruled by the Hittite, Persian, Greek, Pontic, Roman, Byzantine, Danishmend, Seljuk and Ottoman Empires. It was known as Cabira in the Hellenistic era. In 72/71 B.C., during the Third Mithridatic War, the Romans took the city in the Battle of Cabira. Pompey made it the metropolis Diopolis. Pythodoris, widow of Polemon, made it her capital and called it Sebaste. It is uncertain when it took the name of Neokaisareia, first mentioned in Pliny, "Hist. Nat.", VI, III, 1. Judging from its coins, it was probably during the reign of Tiberius. In 344 the city was completely destroyed by an earthquake but recovered. Neokaisareia became part of the Eastern Roman Empire when the Roman Empire divided in 395. Another earthquake occurred in 499.
RP91968. Bronze tetrassarion, SNGvA 99 corr. (date PMB), SNG Hunterian 1154, Rec Gén 13, BMC Pontus - (same rev. type as p. 33, 7 for Caracalla), SNG Cop -, Lindgren -, gF, brown patina, some light deposits, weight 11.362 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 45o, Pontus, Neocaesarea (Niksar, Turkey) mint, 209 - 210 A.D.; obverse AY K Λ CEΠ CEOYEIPOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse KOIN ΠON NEO-KAI MHTPO, Tetrastyle temple, statue of nude male figure on pediment in center, ET PMς (year 146, Mς appears as ligate MR); $70.00 (€61.60)
 


Amisos, Pontos, c. 85 - 65 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, 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.
GB91908. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 167 (no controls); cf. BMC Pontus p. 20, 69 ff.; SNG Stancomb 687 ff.; SNG BM 1177 ff.; Rec Gén I 44; HGC 7 242 (all cf. with controls), aVF, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 8.479 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse aegis with facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) in center; reverse Nike advancing right, holding palm frond in both hands across shoulders behind head, AMI−ΣOY divided across field at center; $50.00 (€44.00)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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Pontos Coins