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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.

Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes I, c. 279 - 255 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Nikomedes| |I,| |c.| |279| |-| |255| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Nicomedes I was the first King of Bithynia to strike coins. He is primarily known for bringing the Gauls known as Galatians to the Asia Minor in 277 B.C. to fight against his brother and Antiochus I. This short-sighted mistake brought troubles for local Greeks for a century. About 264 B.C., according to Eusebius, he moved the capital to Nicomedia on the Propontis. Mřrkholm describes the very similar portrait of Nikomedes on his tetradrachms as "the realistic portrait of an aged king with large and rugged facial features."
GB96095. Bronze AE 17, Rec Gen I-2 p. 219, 4, & pl. 29, 5; HGC 7 609 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tub -; BMC Pontus -, F, scratches, corrosion, rough, weight 4.477 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, c. 279 - 255 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the King right; reverse Warrior goddess Artemis-Bendis seated left on rock, two vertical spears in right hand, left hand resting on sword in sheath, circular shield on ground leaning on rock on near side, tree behind on far side of rock, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King) downward on right, NIKOMH∆OY (Nikomedes) downward on left, EP monogram outer left; only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades; extremely rare; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.||dichalkon|
Bithynia was a flourishing kingdom in northwest Asia Minor. 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.
GB97884. Bronze dichalkon, SNG Cop 632; Rec Gén p. 225, 25; HGC 7 634; BMC Pontus p. 210, 5 var. (monogram); SNGvA 258 var. (same), aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, minor cleaning scratches, scattered small pits, spots of corrosion, weight 3.886 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 185 - 149 B.C.; obverse head of Prusias II to right, wearing winged diadem; reverse Herakles standing slightly left, head left, nude, right hand resting on grounded club before him, Nemean Lion's skin in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΠPOYΣIOY downward on left, monogram lower inner right; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nicaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |14|NEW
The first ecumenical council of the Christian church was held in Nicaea by Constantine in 325.
RP97244. Bronze AE 14, Burrell p. 208, type 1; BMC Pontus -; Rec Gen II.3 -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Weber -, aVF, rough, corrosion, weight 1.427 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse CEOVHPOC AVΓOVCTOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKAIEΩN, temple with four columns; very rare; $70.00 (€57.40)
 


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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.||AE| |23|
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.

Chiron was immortal but sacrificed his immortality. Herakles and the centaur Pholus were dining in Pholus' cave when Pholus opened a bottle of sacred wine given to him by Dionysus. The smell attracted other centaurs who attacked to take the wine. Heracles killed many of them using arrows poisoned with Hydra-venom. One of those arrows hit Chiron by mistake. Chiron could not die, but the wound was incurable and caused unbearable pain. Chiron gave up his immortality in exchange for Prometheus' freedom, when suggested by Heracles. Zeus then placed him amongst the stars as the constellation Sagittarius or Centaurus.
GB93822. Bronze AE 23, SNG Cop 640; BMC Pontus p. 210, 8; Rec Gen II.3 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, F, brown patina, well centered, corrosion, rough, flan adjustment marks, flan crack, weight 6.157 g, maximum diameter 22.8 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 cloak flying behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΠPOUΣIOY downward on left, NΦ monogram inner right under raised foreleg; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€49.20)
 







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