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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Pontos||View Options:  |  |  | 

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.

Pontus (Amisos?), Roman Quaestor (Lucius Lucullus?), c. 100 - 50 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Pontus| |(Amisos?),| |Roman| |Quaestor| |(Lucius| |Lucullus?),| |c.| |100| |-| |50| |B.C.||AE| |21|
The Q identifies the bare male head as a Roman Quaestor. This letter is not noted in RPC but is visible here and clear on other examples known to Forum. Perhaps the image is of Lucius Lucullus, an important Quaestor of Sulla, about whom Plutarch wrote. The reverse legend, the Latin FETIA, refers to the fetial ceremony, part of the treaty making process, during which a pig was sacrificed to sanctify the oaths. The mint location is unknown but Imhoof-Blumer placed it at Amisus, where Leypold acquired his specimen.
RP96461. Brass AE 21, RPC I 2156, SNG Leypold I p. 24, 69; Imhoof-Blumer GRMK 281, F, dark patina, flat centers, scratches, reverse die wear, reverse off center, weight 7.913 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pontos (Amisos?) mint, c. 80 B.C.(?); obverse bare male head right, Q (quaestor) below; reverse two men standing, holding a pig between them, each with a hand raised, taking an oath of fealty, FETA IA in exergue; rare; $225.00 (€207.00)
 


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

|Pontic| |Kingdom|, |Kingdom| |of| |Pontus,| |Mithradates| |VI,| |c.| |120| |-| |63| |B.C.||AE| |18|
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."
GB92048. Bronze AE 18, cf. SNG BM Black Sea 980; SNG Stancomb 645; SNG Cop 230, HGC 7 314 (S), VF, green patina, weight 4.930 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, Amisos(?) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse bashlyk (Persian satrap's leather cap with flat top and ear flaps), bow on left pointed right, monogram(?) on right, facing horned bust of Pan below; reverse comet or star of eight rays, bow on right facing inward; scarce; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Amisos, Pontos, 300 - 125 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |300| |-| |125| |B.C.||reduced| |siglos|
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.
GB93482. Silver reduced siglos, SNG Stancomb 663 var. (different monogram), SNG BM 1113 var. (same), SNGvA 50 var. (same), HGC 7 233 (R1), SNG Cop -, VF/F, well centered, light porosity, weight 3.428 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, magistrate At..., 300 - 125 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Hera-Tyche right, wearing low turreted stephanos; reverse owl standing facing on shield, wings open, ATI(?) monogram under left wing; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 (€110.40)
 


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

|Pontic| |Kingdom|, |Kingdom| |of| |Pontus,| |Mithradates| |VI,| |c.| |120| |-| |63| |B.C.||AE| |22|
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; $115.00 (€105.80)
 


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

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |c.| |120| |-| |100| |B.C.||AE| |13|
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.
GB93480. Bronze AE 13, SNG Stancomb 670; HGC 7 255 (R1); Rec Gen p. 52, 23 & pl. VII, 13; SNG Cop 138; SNG Black Sea -; BMC Pontos -, VF, dark patina, light marks, scattered spots of minor corrosion, weight 2.367 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, rule of Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse tripod lebes, AMI-ΣOY divided across field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


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

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |c.| |120| |-| |100| |B.C.||AE| |17|
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.
GB93481. Bronze AE 17, SNG BM 1129; SNG Stancomb 655; Lindgren-Kovacs 32; BMC Pontus p, 19, 65; Rec Gen p. 70, 36; HGC 7 249, VF, attractive style, well centered, porosity, light corrosion, weight 4.182 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, rule of 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; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (€82.80)
 


L'Atelier D'Amaseia du Pont, Recherches Historiques et Numismatiques

|Greek| |Books|, |L'Atelier| |D'Amaseia| |du| |Pont,| |Recherches| |Historiques| |et| |Numismatiques|
The Amaseia [Pontos] workshop of the bridge, historical and numismatic research.
BK22361. L'Atelier D'Amaseia du Pont, Recherches Historiques et Numismatiques by Dalaison, Julie, 2008, in French, 233 pages, 69 plates, soft cover, very good condition, international shipping at actual cost of shipping; $65.00 (€59.80)
 


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

|Pontos|, |Pontos| |(Uncertain| |City),| |c.| |119| |-| |100| |B.C.||AE| |11|
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."
GB89134. Bronze AE 11, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, earthen deposits, weight 2.328 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with comet star of eight points and central pellet on and below neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; rare; $60.00 (€55.20)
 


Amisos, Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |85| |-| |65| |B.C.||AE| |21|
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.
GB93486. Bronze AE 21, SNG BM 1221; SNG Cop 134; SNG Stancomb 705; BMC Pontus p. 15, 24; SNGvA 56 var. (monogram), VF, dark tone with brassy high points, highlighting buff earthen deposits, light scratches, mildly porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 7.492 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, under Mithradates VI of Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, head turned back right, open wings, monogram left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€55.20)
 







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REFERENCES|

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