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The Bosporan Kingdom (or Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus) was in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus, the present-day Strait of Kerch (it was not named after the Bosphorus beside Istanbul). The mixed population adopted Greek language and civilization. The prosperity of the kingdom was based on the export of wheat, fish and slaves. The kingdom's golden age was 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. At the end of the 2nd century A.D., King Sauromates II inflicted a critical defeat on the Scythians and expanded his state to include the entire Crimea. It was the longest surviving Roman client kingdom, lasting until it was overrun by the Huns c. 375 A.D.GB85937. Bronze tetrachalkon, Frolova-Ireland p. 52, pl. 33/1, pl. 34/1-5, MacDonald Bosporus 229, SNG Stancomb 961, Anokhin 256, HGC 7 347 (R2), RPC I -, SNG BM -, SNG Pushkin -, nice VF, bold strike, slightly off center, attractive near black patina with buff earthen highlighting, scratches, edge cracks, countermark, weight 9.295 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, c. 14 - 9 B.C.; obverse head of gorgon Medusa (or Perseus? - most references say a gorgon) right, winged, snakes (or drapery) around neck, obscure round countermark before; reverse monogram of Polemo I; very rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
Amisos, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 B.C.
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.GB89146. Bronze AE 18, SNG BM 1129; SNG Stancomb 655; Lindgren-Kovacs 32; BMC Pontus p, 19, 65; Rec Gen p. 70, 36; HGC 7 249, VF, near black patina, earthen deposits, scattered porosity, weight 3.762 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, struck under Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Perseus right, wing in hair; reverse cornucopia, flanked on each side by a pileus surmounted by a star, AMI−ΣOY divided across field below pilei; $120.00 (€105.60)
Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Chabakta, Pontos
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)
Macedonian Kingdom, Perseus, 179 - 168 B.C.
Perseus of Macedonia was the last king of the Antigonid dynasty, who ruled the successor state in Macedonia created after the death of Alexander the Great. After losing the Battle of Pydna on 22 June 168 B.C., Macedonia came under Roman rule.
The hero Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty there, was the first of the mythic heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits in defeating various archaic monsters provided the founding myths in the cult of the Twelve Olympians. Perseus was the hero who killed Medusa and claimed Andromeda, having rescued her from a sea monster. GB83486. Bronze AE 19, cf. SNG Alpha Bank 1142, SNG Cop 1275, SNG Dreer 628, HGC 3.1 1099 (R2), SNG München -, VF, green patina, weight 5.227 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Pella or Amphipolis mint, c. 179 - 168 B.C.; obverse head of hero Perseus right, wearing winged helmet peaked with griffin head, harpa right; reverse eagle standing facing on thunderbolt, wings open, head right, B − A flanking head above wings, Π-E flanking across lower field outside wings, star in exergue; rare; $95.00 (€83.60)
Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C.
Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. She was believed to lead soldiers into battle as the war goddess Athena Promachos. The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis was dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments across Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. Her usual attribute is the owl and Nike is her frequent companion.GB87740. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 1164, Lindgren I 908, Müller 13, HGC 3.2 1755 (S), VF, nice glossy green patina, bumps and scratches, small edge split, weight 4.968 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain W. Anatolian mint, 301 - 281 B.C.; obverse male head right, wearing Phrygian helmet; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, trophy of captured arms, arranged to resemble Athena Parthenos standing left, with helmet, shield, and spear; scarce; $85.00 (€74.80)
Amaseia, Pontos, c. 120 - 100 B.C.
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.GB89154. Bronze AE 16, SNG BM 1046; SNG Stancomb 655; BMC Pontus p. 6, 2; Rec Gén p. 28, 4; HGC 7 225, F, scattered light pits, weight 3.938 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, Amaseia (Amasya, Turkey) mint, c. 120 - 100 B.C.; obverse draped bust of youthful Perseus right, head bare and wing in hair; reverse cornucopia between two pilei (caps of the Dioskouroi), eight-rayed star above each cap, AMAΣ−ΣEIAΣ divided across field below caps; $40.00 (€35.20)