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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, 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; $500.00 (€460.00)
 


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


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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Prusias II, son of Prusias I, inherited his father's name but not his character. Few mourned his death when he was murdered in the temple of Zeus at Nikomedia. -- Greek Coins and Their Values, by David R. Sear
SH14037. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7265; BMC Pontus p. 210, 1v; SNGvA 252v (same obv die); Rec Gen II.3 221, 10b, nice VF, weight 16.431 g, maximum diameter 41.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 185 - 149 B.C.; obverse head right wearing winged diadem; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY (Π retrograde), Zeus standing left, scepter in left, crowning King's name with wreath in right hand, eagle left on thunderbolt over two monograms in inner left field; large flan; scarce; 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 Münzen der Sammlung des Instituts für Altertumskunde der Universität zu Köln, Band 2: Könige, Commune Bithyniae, Städt (außer Nikaia). (Opladen, 1996).
de Callataÿ, F. "Les derniers rois de Bithynie: problèmes de chronologie" in RBN 132 (Bruxelles, 1986), p. 5 - 30, pl. I - IV.
de Callataÿ, 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 Hellénistiques de Byzance et de Calcédoine" 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, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, 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 Général 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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