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

Bithynia

The kingdom of Bithynia held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. 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. Under Rome, the boundaries of Bithynia frequently varied and it was sometimes united with Pontus. For securing communications with the eastern provinces, the monumental Bridge across the river Sangarius was constructed around 562 AD. Troops frequently wintered at Nicomedia. The most important cities were Nicomedia, founded by Nicomedes, and Nicaea. The two had a long rivalry with one another over which city held the rank of capital. At a much earlier period the Greeks had established on the coast the colonies of Cius (modern Gemlik); Chalcedon (modern Kadiky), at the entrance of the Bosporus, nearly opposite Byzantium (modern Istanbul) and Heraclea Pontica (modern Karadeniz Eregli), on the Euxine, about 190 km east of the Bosporus.

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; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Kios, Bithynia, c. 340 - 330 B.C.

|Bithynia|, |Kios,| |Bithynia,| |c.| |340| |-| |330| |B.C.||1/8| |siglos| |(or| |obol)|NEW
This type is published in two larger denominations, a half siglos (or hemidrachm) and a quarter siglos (or trihemiobol), and both were struck by the magistrate Athenodoros, and other magistrates. We do not know of another 1/8 siglos (or obol) of the type; not from any of the magistrates. Traditionally, the earliest precious metal coinage of Kios has been dated after Alexander the Great's capture of Kios in 334 B.C. More recently, however, Oliver Hoover and other numismatists suggest these Apollo / Prow types were struck on a Persic standard and were probably minted to pay mercenaries to defend against Alexander's invasion, which began in 336 B.C.
GB110039. Silver 1/8 siglos (or obol), Apparently unpublished, cf. Rec Gen p. 313, 4 & pl. XLIX, 21; BMC Pontus p. 131, 15; HGC 7 554 (all trihemiobols), aVF, toned, centered on a tight flan, porous, weight 0.527 g, maximum diameter 8.2 mm, die axis 225o, Kios (near Gemlik, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo right; reverse AΘHNO∆ΩPOΣ (Athenodoros), galley prow left, apotropaic eye on side of hull, magistrates name in two lines above and below; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades, no other specimens known to FORVM; extremely rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Byzantion, Thrace, Late 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., Alliance with Kalchedon, Bithynia

|Byzantion|, |Byzantion,| |Thrace,| |Late| |3rd| |-| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.,| |Alliance| |with| |Kalchedon,| |Bithynia||AE| |27|
Byzantion was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 B.C. The city was rebuilt as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 330 A.D. and renamed Constantinople. It became the capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was conquered in 1453. Today it is Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, and the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart.
GB110075. Bronze AE 27, Schnert-Geiss Byzantion 1271 - 1275; SNG Cop 530; MacDonald Hunter p. 398, 2; HGC 3.2 1428 (R1), aVF, rough corrosion, weight 10.658 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, late 3rd-2nd centuries B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter right, wearing wreath of grain; reverse Poseidon seated right on rock, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, raising aphlaston (apluster) in extended right hand, transverse trident in left hand over left shoulder, inner right, BYZAN downward on right, KAΛXA downward on left; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |18|
The first ecumenical council of the Christian church was held in Nicaea by Constantine in 325.
RP97864. Bronze AE 18, BMC Pontus p. 172, 123; Rec Gen II.3 p. 489, 713; RPC VII.2 U19873; Mionnet Sup V 865; SNGvA 653; cf. SNG Cop 526 (no eagle, three with wreath), Choice VF, green patina, slight porosity, light earthen deposits, weight 3.175 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AV, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse legionary aquila (eagle) between two legionary standards each topped with a wreath, N-IK-AI-E/ΩN in two lines the first above the exergue line divided by the shafts, the last two letters in exergue; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |23|
Nicaea remained an important town throughout the imperial period. Although only 70 km (43 miles) from Constantinople, Nicaea did not lose its importance when Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The city suffered from earthquakes in 358, 362 and 368; after the last of which, it was restored by Valens. During the Middle Ages, it was a long time bulwark of the Byzantine emperors against the Turks.
RP99995. Bronze AE 23, RPC Online VI T3128; SNG Leypold 170; McClean 7489 (Caracalla); SNGvA 513; Rec Gen p. 471, 571; BMC Pontus p. 167, 93, Choice VF, green patina, some encrustation, small spots of light corrosion, closed crack, weight 4.700 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AVP ANTΩNINOC AVΓ, laureate head to right; reverse three legionary standards topped with wreaths, NI-KA-IE-ΩN (ΩN ligate) above exergue line divided by the standards; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00







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REFERENCES

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