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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; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |17|
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.
RP95450. Bronze AE 17, Rec Gen II.3 p. 415, 129 & pl. LXIX, 28 (same dies, M. Aurelius); BMC Pontus p. 157, 37 & pl. XXXII, 9 (same); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aF, green patina, well centered, porous, light earthen deposits, weight 2.287 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, as caesar, c. 195 - 198 A.D.; obverse M AV ANTΩNINOC KAIC, laureate head right; reverse hexastyle temple with floral acroterion, and disk on pediment, NI-KA,IEΩN divided across field and ending in exergue; RPC Online V-2, still in draft and not yet online, re-attributes this type from Marcus Aurelius to Caracalla; they have identified 5 specimens; very rare; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00







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REFERENCES

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