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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


Plautilla, Augusta 202 - 22 January 205 A.D., Nikaea, Bithynia

|Bithynia|, |Plautilla,| |Augusta| |202| |-| |22| |January| |205| |A.D.,| |Nikaea,| |Bithynia||AE| |18|
Plautilla was the wife of Caracalla and daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Plautianus. She and Caracalla hated each other, lived separately, and the marriage was likely never consummated. After the fall and execution of her father, she was exiled to the Lipari islands and executed in 212 A.D.
RP111800. Bronze AE 18, Apparently unpublished in references, 4 specs. known from auctions, gVF, nice green patina with a few small chips, nice portrait, light earthen deposits, broad flan with a casting sprue remnant, weight 2.803 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 45o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse ΠΛAVTIΛΛA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse NI-KAI-EΩN, basket four stalks of grain and a poppy in the center; Coin Archives records only four specimens of the type at auction in the last two decades and these are the only specimens known to FORVM; very rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


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

|Bithynia|, |Julia| |Mamaea| |Augusta,| |222| |-| |235| |A.D.| |Bithynia,| |Nicaea||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, cf. RPC VI T3149, SNG Leipzig 68, SNG Cop 514, Recueil Gnral 628, Lindgren I A146A, McClean 7498 (none with this rev. inscription arrangement), 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; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


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

|Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bithynia,| |Prusias| |II| |Kynegos,| |185| |-| |149| |B.C.||AE| |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; $110.00 SALE PRICE $85.00 ON RESERVE


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 ΓOPΔIANOC 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; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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, 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; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


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







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REFERENCES

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