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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic Monarchies ▸ Kingdom of BithyniaView 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.

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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


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

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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 II Epiphanes, 149 - 128 B.C.

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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.
SH10961. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7273; SNGvA 261; Waddington I pl. 32, 8; BMC Pontus p. 213, 2 var.; SNG Cop 646 var., gVF, toned, weight 16.540 g, maximum diameter 37.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 143 - 143 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 NPC (year 156); ex Realms; SOLD


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias I Cholos, 228 - 185 B.C.

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Prusias I, son of Ziaelas, and grandson of Nikomedes I. The Bithynian Kingdom reached its zenith under his reign. He was an enlightened and courageous ruler who managed to maintain the prosperity of his realm at a time of great political turmoil in Asia Minor. -- Greek Coins and Their Values, by David R. Sear
SH14039. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7259; BMC Pontus p. 209, 1; SNG Cop 623v; SNGvA 244v, nice VF, weight 16.740 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, obverse his diademed head right with whiskers; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, Zeus standing left, scepter in left, crowning King's name with right, thunderbolt and monogram inner left field; exceptional figure of Zeus; SOLD


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

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SH18346. Silver tetradrachm, Rec Gen II.3 p. 230, 4 var.; BMC Pontus -, SNGvA -, EF, uncleaned, dark toning, weight 16.688 g, maximum diameter 34.7 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 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 ZOP (year 177); SOLD


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

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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 led to Roman intervention and the Mithradatic War.
SH10959. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7274; BMC Pontus p. 214, 12v; SNGvA 263v; SNG Cop 648v; De Callatay p. 56, D73/R1, VF, weight 16.21 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 112 - 111 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 IΠP (year 187); SOLD


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

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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.
SH18363. Silver tetradrachm, Rec Gen II.3 p. 229, 1; BMC Pontus -, SNGvA -, Choice gVF+, weight 16.723 g, maximum diameter 39.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 147 - 146 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 BNP (year 152); dark toning; SOLD


Kingdom of Bithynia, Nicomedes IV Philopator, 94 - 74 B.C.

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In 88 B.C., Mithradates destroyed Nikomedes' army forcing him to flee to Italy. His throne was not restored until Rome defeated Mithradates in 84 B.C. Waddington, Recueil General, pp. 217-8, notes, "it is difficult to explain the very rare coins that bear the dates IC, AIC, BIC. These dates correspond to 89/8 to 87/6 BC..; but between mid-88 and the end of 83, the whole of Bithynia was in the hands of Mithradates Eupator. We are forced to conjecture (no text says so) that during this period several fortified places in Bithynia remained faithful to the legitimate king and continued to strike coins in his name."
SH14034. Silver tetradrachm, SGCV II 7276; BMC Pontus, p. 213, 6 var.; SNG Cop 651 var., SNGvA 266 var., aEF, weight 15.539 g, maximum diameter 36.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 87 - 86 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Nicomedes 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 date BIΣ (year 212); very rare; SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH18362. Silver tetradrachm, Rec Gen II.3 pl. 32, 9; BMC Pontus -, SNGvA -, Choice gVF+, weight 16.717 g, maximum diameter 37.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 140 - 139 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 ΘNP (year 159); SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH18364. Silver tetradrachm, Rec Gen II.3 p. 229, 4; BMC Pontus -, SNGvA -, Choice gVF, weight 16.608 g, maximum diameter 36.3 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 141 - 140 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 HNP (year 158); SOLD




  




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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).

Catalog current as of Monday, March 25, 2019.
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Bithynian Kingdom Greek Coins