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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Kingdom of Bithynia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Bithynian Kingdom

The Kingdom of Bithynia was a flourishing kingdom in northwest Asia Minor founded in the early third century by Zipoetes, chieftain of the Bythyni, a Thracian tribe. 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. The area became a Roman Province with Nicomedia as its capital.

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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.||AE| |20|
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.

Like satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being wild, lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, violent when intoxicated, and generally uncultured delinquents. Chiron, by contrast, was intelligent, civilized and kind. He was not related directly to the other centaurs. He was the son of the Titan Cronus and the Oceanid Philyr. The other centaurs were spawned by the cloud Nephele on the slopes of Mount Pelion. Apollo taught the young Chiron the art of medicine, herbs, music, archery, hunting, gymnastics and prophecy, and made him rise above his beastly nature. He became a renowned teacher who mentored many of the greatest heroes of myth including the Argonauts Jason and Peleus, the physician Asklepios, and Achilles of Troy.
GB99271. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 639; BMC Pontus p. 211, 9; Rec Gen I p. 226, 26; HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, aVF, dark patina, spots of corrosion, reverse edge beveled, weight 5.240 g, maximum diameter 20.3 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; $110.00 (111.10)


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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Nikomedes| |II| |Epiphanes,| |149| |-| |128| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
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.
SH14038. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7273; BMC Pontus p. 213, 1; SNG Cop 646 var.; SNGvA 261 var.; Rec Gen II.3 pl. 32, 7, Choice EF, weight 16.631 g, maximum diameter 39.7 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 149 - 148 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMH∆OY, Zeus standing left, wreath in right hand, scepter in left, in inner left field eagle on thunderbolt over monogram and NP (year 150); huge broad flan; SOLD


Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes III Euergetes, 128 - 94 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Nikomedes| |III| |Euergetes,| |128| |-| |94| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Nikomedes III aided Marius during the Cimbrian War, about 103 B.C. During the later part of his reign he struggled with Mithradates, King of Pontus, for control over Cappadocia. This struggle led to Roman intervention and the Mithradatic War.
SH30002. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7274 var.; BMC Pontus p. 213, 4 var.; Rec Gen II.3 p. 230 var.; De Callatay p. 54 (D30/R1), EF, weight 16.814 g, maximum diameter 36.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 122 - 121 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMH∆OY, Zeus standing left, wreath in right hand, scepter in left, in inner left field eagle on thunderbolt over monogram and IOΠ (year 177); extremely rare, 2 known; SOLD










REFERENCES|

Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Corsten, T. Katalog der bithynisgen Mnzen der Sammlung des Instituts fr Altertumskunde der Universitt zu Kln, Band 2: Knige, Commune Bithyniae, Stdt (auer Nikaia). (Opladen, 1996).
de Callata, F. "Les derniers rois de Bithynie: problmes de chronologie" in RBN 132 (Bruxelles, 1986), p. 5 - 30, pl. I - IV.
de Callata, F. L'histoire des guerres Mithridatiques vue par les monnaies. (Louvain-La-Neuve, 1997).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Anatolia, Pontos, Paphlagonia, Bithynia...5th to 1st Centuries BC. HGC 7. (Lancaster, PA, 2012).
Jameson, R. Collection R. Jameson. Monnaies grecques antiques. (Paris, 1913-1932).
Naster, P. La collection Lucien de Hirsch. (Brussels, 1959).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies Hellnistiques de Byzance et de Calcdoine" in Essays Robinson.
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 4: Bosporus - Lesbos. (West Milford, NJ, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 1: Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lesbos, Ionia. (Berlin, 1957).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Mnzsammlung Universitt Tbingen, Part 3: Akarnanien-Bithynien. (Berlin, 1985).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 6: Asia Minor: Pontus - Phrygia. (London, 1965).
Waddington, W., E. Babelon and T. Reinach. Recueil Gnral des Monnaies Grecques d'Asie Minuere, Vol. I, Part 1: Pont et Paphlagonie. (Paris, 1904).
Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia. (London, 1889).

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