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Kings of Pontus, and of Pontus with Bosporus

Ancient Coins from the Pontic Kingdom in the Forum Ancient Coins shop

Burnett, A., M. Amandry and P.P. Ripollčs. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (1992 and supplement).
Prokopov, I. Coin Collections and Coin Hoards From Bulgaria, Volume I.. (Sofia, 2007).
Price, M. J. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 4: Bosporus - Lesbos. (New Jersey, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. (Berlin, 1957-1967).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Part 9: Bosporus - Aeolis. (London. 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Reinach, T. L 'histoire par les monnaies: essais de numismatique ancienne. (Paris, 1902).
Reinach, T. Numismatique Ancienne: Trois Royaumes De L 'asie Mineure, Cappadoce-Bithynie-Pont. (Paris, 1888).
Von Sallet, Alfred. Zur Num. der Könige von Pontus u. Bosporus. (Berlin, 1866).
Waddington, W., E. Babelon and T. Reinach. Recueil Général des Monnaies Grecques d 'Asie Mineure, Part 1: Pont et Paphlagonie (Pontos and Paphlagonia). (Paris, 1904).
Wroth, Warwick. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia. (London, 1889).

1. Mithradates I, B.C. 302-266, founder of the Kingdom of Pontus. [1] No coins.

1 The kings numbered 1-7 were rules of Pontus only, before its union with Bosporus.

2. Ariobarzanes I, son of Mithradates I, B.C. 266? - 255? No coins.

3. Mithradates II, son of Ariobarzanes I, B.C. 255 1-2201

Head of Athena helmeted.
[Reinach histoire, p. l. m., p. 131; Reinach Trois, p. 162; Rec gén., p. 9, No. 1.]
ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ Nike standing holding palm.
AV Stater.

4. Mithradates III, son of Mithradates II, B.C. 220? - 185?

FIG. 261.
Head of Mithradates III, wrinkled, with close beard. (Fig. 261.) [Reinach Trois, p. 166; cf. Reinach histoire, p. l. m., pp. 131, 132.] ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ Zeus seated, holding eagle; in field, star within crescent (sun and moon), the symbol of the House of Mithradates, which claimed Persian descent [R. N., 1900, p. 229; Reinach histoire, p. l. m., Pl. VI. 2]
AR Attic Tetradrachm; also Drachm.


5. Pharnaces I, B.C. 185? - 169. Son of Mithradates III.

FIG. 262.

Head of Pharnaces I. (Fig. 262.)
[Reinach Trois, p. 168.]
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΡΝΑΚΟΥ Male figure (Pantheistic divinity ?), standing, facing, wearing spreading hat, chiton, chlamys and cothurni; holds cornucopia, caduceus, and vine-branch, at which a doe beside him nibbles; in field, star in crescent
AR Attic Tetradrachm; Dr.

6. Mithradates IV, Philopator, Philadelphus, B.C. 169-150? Son of Mithradates III; married his sister, Laodice V. Philadelphus.

Heads of Mithradates IV and Laodice, r., jugate.
[Reinach histoire, p. l. m., p. 127.]
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΙΘΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΛΑΟΔΙΚΗΙ. ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΩΝ Zeus and Hera standing facing, each holding sceptre [Paris].
AR Attic Tetradrachm
Head of Mithradates IV, r.
[Reinach histoire, p. l. m., p. 128.]
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΟΥ Perseus (ancestor of the Persian kings) standing facing, holding harpa and Gorgon 's head; in field, star in crescent [Berlin. Paris]
AR Attic Tetradrachm


7. Mithradates V, Euergetes, B.C.; 150? - 120. Son of Pharnaces I ? No coins known. (Cf. N. C., 1905, p. 117 f.; Bull. Corr. Hell., xxx. p. 47 f.)

Laodice. The following coin has been attributed to the mother of Mithradates VI, Eupator, who was regent of Pontus, B.C. 120-113. Her name, however, is not stated by the historians, and the coin may belong to some other Pontic queen named Laodice (cf. the rev. with the rev. of the tetradrachm of Mithradates IV and Laodice, supra).

Head of Laodice.
[Reinach histoire, p. l. m., p. 134; Pl. VI. 5.]
ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ [Λ]ΑΟΔΙΚΗΣ Hera standing, holding sceptre [Paris]
AR Attic tetradrachm

8. Mithradates VI, Eupator (the 'Great '), B.C. 120-63. King of Pontus and Bosporus. Son of Mithradates V.

FIG. 263.

Head of Mithradates VI. [Rec gén., p. 13, where varieties without the monogram of Pergamum, etc., are given.] ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΕΥΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ Stag feeding; in field, crescent and star, and Monogram of Pergamum, where the coin was struck when Mithradates was resident there; whole in ivy-wreath
AV Stater 131 grs.
Head of Mithradates VI.
[Rec gén., p. 14 f.]
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΕΥΠΑ. ΤΟΡΟΣ Pegasos drinking; in field, crescent and star, and usually a date (Era beginning Oct., B.C. 297) and numeral representing the month of issue; whole generally in ivy-wreath, ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ sometimes omitted.
AR Attic Tetradrachm

Similar; hair more flowing. Similar, but type, stag feeding instead of Pegasos
AR Attic tetradrachm (Fig. 263) (Rec gén., p. 16 f.). AR Drachm (Reinach Trois, Pl. XI. 3).

Holm (Gr. Gesch., iv. p. 724) would connect the introduction of the stag (of Artemis) with the conquest of Western Asia Minor (B.C. 88). During the reign of Mithradates a more or less uniform coinage of bronze was issued in the various cities of Pontus and Paphlagonia, bearing, however, the name of the city, not that of the king (BMC Pontus, p. xv; Imh., Griech. M., p. 561 f.):—

2. Head of young Ares. Rev. Sword in sheath. (AMASIA, Amisus, CABEIRA, CHABACTA, Gaziura, LAODICEIA, PIMOLISA, TAULARA, AMASTRIS, SINOPE.)
3. Head of Athena (as on Athenian tetradrachms). Rev. Perseus standing; at his feet, body of Medusa. (AMISUS, CABEIRA, COMANA, AMASTRIS, SINOPE.)
4. Bust of young Perseus. Rev. Cornucopia between caps of Dioskuri, above which, stars. (AMASIA, AMISUS, SINOPE.)
5. Head of Mithradates VI as Perseus (Imh., Gr. M., p. 564). Rev. Pegasos drinking. (Amisus, CHABACTA.)
6. Head of Perseus helmeted. Rev. Harpa winged. (AMISUS.)
8. Female bust in wolf 's skin. Rev. Nike. (AMISUS, SINOPE: see Imh., Gr. M., p. 570; Z. f. N., xxi. 218.)
9. Head of Artemis. Rev. Tripod with lebes. (AMISUS, SINOPE.)
10. Various Dionysiac types. (AMISUS, CABEIRA (Imh., Gr. M., p. 575), LAO- DICEIA (Z. f. N., xx. p. 263).)
11. Youthful bust (of Mithradates VI) in helmet. Rev. Quiver. (AMISUS Imh., Gr. M., p. 560; Z. f. N., xx. p. 256.)

On these coins the supposed Persian descent of Mithradates is emphasized by the types relating to Perseus. Dionysiac types are frequent at Amisus, and the head of the god is often assimilated to that of Mithradates himself (BMC Pontus, p. xvi); compare the surname of Dionysos adopted by Mithradates, and the wreath of ivy (cf. Cistophori) on his tetradrachms.

For his dominions in Bosporus, Mithradates seems to have issued bronze money only (BMC Pontus, p. xxx, p. 44 f.; R. N., 1900, p. 128), marked by his name ΒΑ(σιλεος) Ε(υπτορος) in monogram. Also, probably, thick bronze pieces, obv. Young head in leather helmet, rev. Star (generally countermarked: Imh., Gr. M., p. 567). On the connexion of Mithradates with the coins of Smyrna, Odessus, and Athens, see BMC Pontus, p. xxvii, and supra, p. 385.

Polemo I. King of Pontus from circ. B.C. 36; king of Bosporus from B.C. 17, ob. B.C. 9-8. AR Drachm. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΠΟΛΕΜΩΝΟΣ ΕΥΣΕΒΟΥΣ. Rev. Pegasos; Star, etc. (von Sallet, Beiträge ... Cimm. Bosporus; Podschivalov, Besehreibung, p. 11; R. N., 1866, pp. 420 ff.; Rec gén., p. 19.)

Pythodoris, B.C. 8 - A.D. 22-231, widow of Polemo I; queen of Pontus. AR Drachms. ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΑ ΠΥΘΟΔΩΡΙΣ. With heads of Augustus and of Tiberius. Also with obv. head of Pythodoris (Rec gén., p. 20, No. 21). Types: Cornucopia; Capricorn; Scales; Star. (von Sallet, Beiträge, p. 69; Giel, Kleine Beiträge, p. 12; Reinach histoire, p. 143.)

Antonia Tryphaena, B.C. 22-23 ?-A.D. 49?, daughter of Polemo I and Pythodoris, and mother of Polemo II. AR Drachms, with her son Polemo, and with portrait of each. ΒΑCΙΛΙCCΗC ΤΡΥΦΑΙΝΗC, ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΑ ΤΡΥΑΙΝΑ. (Z. f. N., xx. p. 267; R. N., 1900, p. 131; Reinach histoire, p. 145; Rec gén., p. 21 f.)

Polemo II, son of Antonia Tryphaena, king of Pontus, A.D. 38-64/5, and king of Bosporus till A.D. 41. JR Drachms, with head of Polemo H and heads of Claudius, Agrippina 0), Nero, Britannicus; also with Tryphaena (q. v.). Inscr., ΒΑCΙΛЄΩC ΠΟΛЄΜΩΝΟC. Dates from Era beginning Oct. A.D. 38. (Reinach histoire, p. 145 f.; BMC Pontus, p. xxviii, p. 46; Rec gén., p. 22 f.)


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