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Mithridates VI

King of Pontus, c. 120 – 63 B.C., sometimes called Mithradates the Great.


Historia Nummorum

Kings of Pontus, and of Pontus with Bosporus

[Th. Reinach, Trois Royaumes de l'Asie Mineure, and L'histoire parles Monnaies (p. 137 for genealogy and dates); Wroth, B. M. C., Pontus, etc.; Waddington, Babelon, and Reinach, Recueil général, p. 9 f.; Von Sallet, Zur Num. der Konige von Pontus u. Bosporus. Berlin, 1866.]

...

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

»WW »SNG B »ANS


FIG. 263.

Head of Mithradates VI. [Rec. gén., p. 13, where varieties without the mon. of Pergamum, &c., 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

502

Similar; hair more flowing.Similar, but type, stag feeding instead of Pegasos
AR Attic tetradr. (Fig. 263) (Rec. gén., p. 16 f.). AR Drachm (Rein., Tr. Roy., 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 (B. M. C., p. xv; Imh., Griech. M., p. 561 f.):—

1. Head of Zeus. Rev. Eagle on fulmen. (At AMASIA. AMISUS, CABEIRA, GAZIURA, LAODICEIA, PHARNACEIA, PIMOLISA, TAULARA, AMASTRIS, SINOPE, cf. ABONUTEICHUS.).
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. Cornucopiae 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.)
7. Aegis with Gorgon’s head. Rev. Nike. (AMISUS, CABEIRA, CHABACTA, COMANA, LAODICEIA, AMASTRIS, SINOPE.)
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 (B. M. C., 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 (B. M. C., 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 B. M. C., Pontus, p. xxvii, and supra, p. 385.