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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 Kadiköy), 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.

Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.

|Bithynia|, |Kios,| |Bithynia,| |c.| |325| |-| |203| |B.C.|, |AE| |11|
According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.
GB89135. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 382; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; var. (KIA); SNGvA 7004 var. (same); Rec Gén I.2 7 var. (same), VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.020 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverse Kantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


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

|Bithynia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia|, |AE| |20|
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.
MA95426. Bronze AE 20, cf. Rec Gen II.3 p. 477, 617; BMC Pontus p. 168, 101; SNG Cop 520; SNGvA 623, VF, excellent portrait, well centered, light corrosion, edge ragged with splits, weight 4.191 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVP CEV AΛEΞA∆POC AVΓ (VΓ ligate), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, 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; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias II Kynegos, 185 - 149 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
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.
GB91912. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 639; BMC Pontus p. 211, 9; Rec Gen I p. 226, 26; HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, F, corrosion, weight 5.443 g, maximum diameter 21.1 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; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00
 


Dia, Bithynia, 85 - 65 B.C.

|Members| |Auction| |Listed|, |Dia,| |Bithynia,| |85| |-| |65| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
Mithradates VI Eupator "the Great"expanded his Pontic Kingdom through conquest, which inevitably brought him into conflict with Rome. Mithradates regarded himself as the champion of the Greeks against Rome, however, after three years of war, he was defeated by Pompey the Great.
MA95723. Bronze AE 21, cf. SNG Stancomb 807; SNGvA 347; Rec Gen p. 342, 3; HGC 7 453 (S); SNG BM 1560 ff.; SNG Cop 404 var., VF, green patina, some porosity, weight 7.731 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Bithynia, Dia (near Akcakoca, Turkey) mint, under Mithradates VI of Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse laureate, bearded head of Zeus right; reverse eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, monograms left and right, ∆IAΣ below; rare city; $29.00 (€26.68)







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