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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ PontosView Options:  |  |  |   

Pontos

Pontus is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey. The name was derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea, Pontos Euxeinos ("Hospitable Sea"), or simply Pontos. The extent of the region varied through the ages but generally extended from the borders of Colchis (modern Georgia) until well into Paphlagonia in the west, with varying amounts of hinterland. Several states and provinces bearing the name of Pontus or variants thereof were established in the region in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, culminating in the late Byzantine Empire of Trebizond. Pontus is sometimes considered as the home of the Amazons, with the name Amazon used not only for a city (Amasya) but for all of Pontus in Greek mythology.


Amisos, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 B.C.

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A natural fortress and harbor on the south coast of the Black Sea in the former land of the Chalybes, Pharnakia stood at the end of a route over the Pontic mountains from Armenia Minor. Pharnakes I of Pontus founded it, c. 180 B.C., in newly conquered territory with citizens from Kotyora. The city was annexed to Galatia with the rest of the Pontic Kingdom in 64 or 65 A.D.
GB87633. Bronze AE 16, SNG BM Black Sea 1142, SNG Stancomb 672, SNGvA 71, HGC 7 250 (R1), EF, dark green patina, light marks, weight 4.165 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, time of Mithradates VI Eupator; obverse bust of Eros right; reverse AMI−ΣOY, quiver and unstrung bow; rare; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Amasia, Pontos

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According to Strabo the Greek name Amaseia comes from Amasis, the queen of the Amazons, who were said to have lived here. The name has changed little throughout history: Amaseia, Amassia, and Amasia are all found on ancient Greek and Roman coinage and continue to be used in modern Greek. Modern Turkish Amasya represents the same pronunciation. Amaseia was captured by the Roman Lucullus in 70 B.C. from Armenia. Pompey designated it a free city and the administrative center of the new province of Bithynia and Pontus. Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers, and poets. Strabo left a full description of Amaseia as it was between 60 B.C. and 19 A.D.
RP88308. Bronze AE 29, Dalaison, type 25, 471; SNGvA 36; Waddington 18; Rec Gén I p. 38, 75; BMC Pontus -; SNG Cop -; SNG Tübingen -; SNG Leypold -, aF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porosity, a few light scratches, legends weak, weight 14.100 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Amaseia (Amasya, Turkey) mint, 206 - 207 A.D.; obverse AY KAI M AYP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse A∆P CEY ANT AMACIAC MHT NE ΠP Π (NT, MHT, NE, and ΠP ligate), Caracalla standing slightly left, wearing military garb, head bare, spear vertical in left hand, sacrificing from a patera in his right hand above a flaming altar on the left, star above left, ET / CΘ (year 209) in two lines in right field; ex Gerhard Rohde Ancient Coins; very rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Komana, Pontos, c. 85 - 65 B.C.

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Next to the Yesilirmak river (ancient Iris), 9 km from the town of Tokat (ancient Dazimon), A mound rising on a natural hill is believe to be the site of Komana Pontike. It is largely unexcavated and it is still uncertain if it was a city or a sanctuary.
GB89145. Bronze AE 22, cf. BMC Pontus p. 28, 2; SNG BM 1262; Rec Gen p. 79, 4; SGCV II 3657, gVF, attractive toned brassy metal, weight 7.106 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Komana mint, c. 120 - 63 B.C.; obverse Aegis with facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) in center; reverse Nike advancing right holding palm across shoulder, KOMA-NΩN divided across field, monograms (controls lower left and lower right; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Amisos, Pontos

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Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
GB89732. Bronze AE 25, SNG BM 1217; BMC Pontus p. 19, 64 var. (monogram left slightly different); SNG Cop 158 var. (monograms); SNG Stancomb 701 var. (same); HGC 7 239 (S), gVF, slightly off center, scattered porosity, small edge cracks, weight 12.378 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 30o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Mithradates VI as Perseus right, wearing diadem and Phrygian helmet; reverse Pegasos grazing left, right foreleg raised, monogram left, AMIΣOY over monogram in exergue; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI Eupator the Great, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Anonymous Coinage

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Mithradates VI Megas (the Great) was king of Pontus in northern Anatolia from about 119 to 63 B.C. He was of both Greek and Persian origin, claiming descent from both Alexander the Great and King Darius I of Persia. Mithradates is remembered as one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the most prominent generals of the late Roman Republic in the so-called Mithridatic Wars: Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey the Great. After Mithradates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he attempted suicide. The poison failed because he had taken daily doses to build immunity. He then made his bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, kill him by the sword.
GB89057. Bronze AE 26, SNG Stancomb 649, SNG BM 973, SNG Cop 232, HGC 7 310 (S), VF, thick, heavy coin, marks, light earthen deposits, porosity, weight 19.569 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, uncertain (Amisos?) mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse male head left in a satrapal leather bashlik cap; reverse comet star of eight rays, bow right facing inward, possibly a monogram between the rays; ex Forum (2010).; scarce; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Lot of 5 Ancient Greek Coins, c. 120 - 60 B.C., (4) Amisos, Pontos, (1) Pharnakeia, Pontos

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Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
LT87366. Bronze Lot, 5 ancient Greek coins, 18.9 - 21.7 mm, (4) Amisos, Pontos, (1) Pharnakeia, Pontos, VF, c. 120 - 60 B.C.; no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $125.00 (€110.00)
 


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Chabakta, Pontos

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Chabakta was an important town within the territory of Amisos. Quite a few towns first struck coins under Mithradates VI, including Amaseia, Abonutheichos, Chabakta, Comana, Laodiceia, and Taulara. The cities issued the same types indicating central control over the mints.
GB76955. Bronze AE 24, SNG Stancomb 714; SNG BM 1258; SNG Cop IV 204; Rec Gen p. 77, 1; BMC Pontus -; SNGvA -; Laffaille -, aVF, well centered, uneven green patina, weight 10.718 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chabakta mint, c. 100 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Perseus right, wearing Phrygian helmet with griffin's head crest and diadem; reverse Pegasos grazing left, monogram left, XABAKTΩN in exergue; very rare; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.

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The comets depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
GB84563. Bronze AE 12, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, VF, small flan, slightly off center, green patina with buff earthen highlighting, weight 1.623 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with comet star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; ex Agora Auctions sale, lot 25; very rare; $85.00 (€74.80)
 


Pontos (Uncertain City), c. 119 - 100 B.C.

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The comets depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin's epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): "The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set."
GB89134. Bronze AE 12, SNG BM 984; SNG Stancomb 653; Lindgren III 154; HGC 7 317, gVF, weight 2.328 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, Pontos, uncertain mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse horse-head right, with comet star of eight points and central pellet on neck; reverse comet star of seven points, central pellet, and tail to right; very rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Amisos, Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.

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Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks, to be later taken over by the Ilhanlilar. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
GB84982. Bronze AE 20, SNG BM 1221 ff.; SNG Cop 134; SNG Stancomb 705; BMC Pontus p. 15, 24; HGC 7 245; SNGvA 56 var. (monogram), VF, centered, uneven green patina with areas of brassy bare metal, weight 9.205 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, under Mithradates VI of Pontos, 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse eagle standing on thunderbolt, head turned back, open wings, monogram left; $70.00 (€61.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Monday, July 15, 2019.
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Pontos Coins