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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic Monarchies ▸ Kingdom of BithyniaView Options:  |  |  | 

Bithynian Kingdom

The Kingdom of Bithynia was a flourishing kingdom in northwest Asia Minor founded in the early third century by Zipoetes, chieftain of the Bythyni, a Thracian tribe. 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. The area became a Roman Province with Nicomedia as its capital.


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

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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.
GB83585. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 640; BMC Pontus p. 210, 8; Rec Gén I.2 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, aEF, nice green patina with a few tiny edge chips, pre-strike flan adjustment marks, weight 4.496 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his cloak flying behind, NΦ monogram inner right under raised foreleg; $310.00 (€275.90)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes II Epiphanes, 149 - 128 B.C.

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Nikomedes II accompanied his father, Prusias II, to Rome in 167 B.C., where he was brought up under the care of the Senate. His father, favoring a younger sibling for succession, decided to assassinate him. But Nikomedes discovered the plot, seized the throne and put his father to death. He remained faithful to Rome, assisting in the war with Attalus, king of Pergamus in 131 B.C.
SH63494. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Pontus p. 213, 3; Rec Gén p. 229, 40; Cohen Dated 443; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tüb -, VF, dark hoard patina with some chipping (stabilized), weight 14.896 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 129 - 128 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMH∆OY, Zeus Stephanophoros standing left, wreath extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle left on thunderbolt in inner left field above monogram over ΘΞP (year 169); $270.00 (€240.30)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
SH71012. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 636; BMC Pontus p. 211 and pl. 38, 12; Rec Gén I.2 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, VF, flan adjustment marks, weight 5.468 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 45o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his cloak floating behind, ΠM monogram inner right under raised foreleg; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
GB83586. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 640; BMC Pontus p. 210, 8; Rec Gén I.2 p. 225, 26; SNGvA 256 var. (monogram); HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, VF, nice green patina with a few small edge chips, marks and scratches, pre-strike flan adjustment marks, weight 5.864 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOYΣIOY, centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his cloak flying behind, NΦ monogram inner right under raised foreleg; $180.00 (€160.20)
 







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REFERENCES

Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Corsten, T. Katalog der bithynisgen Münzen der Sammlung des Instituts für Altertumskunde der Universität zu Köln, Band 2: Könige, Commune Bithyniae, Städt (außer Nikaia). (Opladen, 1996).
de Callata˙, F. "Les derniers rois de Bithynie: problčmes de chronologie" in RBN 132 (Bruxelles, 1986), p. 5 - 30, pl. I - IV.
de Callata˙, F. L'histoire des guerres Mithridatiques vue par les monnaies. (Louvain-La-Neuve, 1997).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Anatolia, Pontos, Paphlagonia, Bithynia...5th to 1st Centuries BC. HGC 7. (Lancaster, PA, 2012).
Jameson, R. Collection R. Jameson. Monnaies grecques antiques. (Paris, 1913-1932).
Naster, P. La collection Lucien de Hirsch. (Brussels, 1959).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies Hellénistiques de Byzance et de Calcédoine" in Essays Robinson.
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 4: Bosporus - Lesbos. (West Milford, NJ, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 1: Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lesbos, Ionia. (Berlin, 1957).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 3: Akarnanien-Bithynien. (Berlin, 1985).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 6: Asia Minor: Pontus - Phrygia. (London, 1965).
Waddington, W., E. Babelon and T. Reinach. Recueil Général des Monnaies Grecques d'Asie Minuere, Vol. I, Part 1: Pont et Paphlagonie. (Paris, 1904).
Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia. (London, 1889).

Catalog current as of Sunday, February 19, 2017.
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Bithynian Kingdom Greek Coins