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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.

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||hemiassarion|
According to myth, Hermes and Dionysos were sons of Zeus, but Hermes' mother was the princess Semele and Dionysos' mother was the minor goddess Maia. To protect the infant Dionysos from his wife Hera, Zeus entrusted him to Hermes, who together with a band of nymphs, hid the child near Mt. Nysa in Anatolia.
RP111796. Bronze hemiassarion, RPC Online IV 5875 (3 spec.); Rec Gen 79; SNG Cop 480 corr. (obv. leg., M. Aurelius), aVF, dark and earthen patina, weight 4.044 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT KAICAP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKAIEΩN, Infant Dionysos seated right in cradle, extending both arms, thyrsus in cradle behind (not visible); Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Julia Mamaea Augusta, 222 - 235 A.D. Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Julia| |Mamaea| |Augusta,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |21|
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.
RP110615. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online VI T30682 (this coin); cf. SNG Leipzig 68, SNG Cop 514, Rec Gn 628, Lindgren I A146A, McClean 7498, VF, green patina, scratches, off center, weight 4.840 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse IOVΛIA MAMAIA AVΓ (VΓ ligate), bare-headed draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, with looped plait at the back of neck, ornate drapery; reverse three standards topped by wreaths (outer two perhaps topped with crude Capricorns or eagles), N-IKA-IEΩ-N across field below center divided by standards; this coin is the only specimen of this variation on RPC Online; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |26|
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.
RP111942. Bronze AE 26, SNGvA 713 var. (obv. leg., bust, etc.); Rec Gen II.3 p. 501, 804 - 806 var. (same); BMC Pontus -; SNG Cop -; SNG Tbingen -, gF, broad flan, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, light scratches, central dimples, weight 9.078 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, Oct 253 - c. Jun 260 A.D.; obverse ΠOY ΛIK OVAΛEPIANOC CE, radiate bust left wearing imperial mantel; reverse NIK-A-I-EΩN, Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted, both radiate and wearing military garb, clasping hands, each holding long scepter or spear; priest on right, veiled and togate, standing left, sacrificing from phiale over small altar at feet; rare; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |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.
RP110609. Bronze AE 23, cf. Rec Gen II.3 p. 477, 617; RPC Online VI T3248; BMC Pontus p. 168, 101; SNG Cop 520; SNGvA 623, VF, green patina, centered, earthen deposits, scratches, edge crack, weight 5.565 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CEVH AΛEZAΔPOC A, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse three standards, each topped with a wreath, NI-K-AI-E/ΩN in two lines, the first divided by the standards, the last two letters in exergue; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


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 BAΣIΛΕΩΣ ΕΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔOY, 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.

|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.
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 BAΣIΛΕΩΣ ΕΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔOY, 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.

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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Nikomedes| |III| |Euergetes,| |128| |-| |94| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
 
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 BAΣIΛΕΩΣ ΕΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔOY, 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.

|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 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 BAΣIΛΕΩΣ ΕΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔOY, Zeus standing left, wreath in right hand, scepter in left, in inner left field eagle on thunderbolt over monogram and IΠP (year 187); SOLD




  



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REFERENCES

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