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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Cyzicus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey)

Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. According to tradition, it was founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly and later received many colonies from Miletus. Like the other Greek cities in Asia, it fell under the rule of the Persia Empire until Alexander the Great captured it in 334 B.C. In 74 B.C. the city, allied with Rome, withstood a siege by 300,000 men led by King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Rome rewarded this loyalty with territory and with municipal independence which lasted until the reign of Tiberius. When it was incorporated into the Empire, Cyzicus was made the capital of Mysia, and afterwards of Hellespontus. Dates of operation: The Cyzicus mint was opened by Gallienus (253 - 268 A.D.) and continued to strike coins well into the Byzantine era. Mintmarks: C, CM, CVZ (sometimes with the Z reversed), CVZIC, K, KVZ, MC, MK, MKV, SMK.


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
SH65426. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 904 (S); Cohen VI 69; Pink VI-1, p. 43; Hunter IV 311 var. (A in ex); cf. SRCV III 11195 (Rome mint, etc.), Choice EF, nice patina, weight 4.002 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 2nd emission, end 276 - beginning 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, oval shield decorated with charging horseman on left arm; reverse ADVENTVS PROBI AVG (the arrival of Emperor Probus), Probus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, horses' right foreleg raised over bound captive seated left, nothing in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Constantius I, May 305 - 25 July 306 A.D.

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SH18891. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Cyzicus 4, Choice VF+, weight 3.282 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 294 - 295 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTIVS CAESAR, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIA AVGG (the foresight of the two emperors), the four tetrarchs sacrificing in front of six-turreted enclosure (city or castrum), CM in exergue; full circle strike on both obverse and reverse; rare (RIC R4); SOLD


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

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A scarce and popular historical type - the reverse commemorates Claudius' great victory over the Goths at Naissus in Upper Moesia.
BB67670. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC T987 (2 spec.), Normanby 1107 (1 spec.), RIC V-1 252 var. (draped and SPQR in ex), SRCV III 11381 var. (SPQR in ex), Cunetio -, EF, weight 3.470 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, issue 4, c. mid 270 - Sep 270; obverse IMP CLAVDIVS P F AVG, radiate head right, two pellets below; reverse VICTORIAE GOTHIC (victory over the Goths), two captives seated at the base of a trophy of captured arms; extremely rare; SOLD


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

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This is perhaps one of the most unusual issues in the entire follis series. It is nearly always attributed to Treveri (Trier), but a comparison of style and examination of hoards reveals that this issue was not struck in Trier but in Cyzicus. The KS in the field between the two figures is actually the mint mark, not the PTR. A look at the coins of Cyzicus (RIC VI Cyzicus 22-23) shows that the same two officinae (4th and 6th) struck this issue with and without the PTR. The Senior Augustus issues of Diocletian and Maximianus were struck at every mint currently in operation. Apparently, the first coins of this type were prepared at Trier and examples were sent to the various mints for the individual mints to copy. At Cyzicus, the die engravers copied everything, including the Trier mint mark and put their own mint mark in the field. Eventually someone realized the mistake and new dies were prepared with the mint mark replacing PTR in its proper location.

Quies is the personification of rest and retirement. This coin honors the Senior Emperors Diocletian and Maximian after their abdication in 305 A.D. The obverse dedicates the coin, to our lord Maximian the happy senior emperor. The reverse translates, By the providence of the gods, the restful retirement of the Emperors.
SH51541. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 677a; cf. RIC VI Cyzicus 22 - 23; SRCV IV -, EF, weight 10.854 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 305 - 307 A.D.; obverse D N DIOCLETIANO FELICISSIMO SEN AVG, laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, olive branch in right hand, mappa in left hand; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG, Providentia on left standing right, extending right hand to Quies, who is standing left with branch in right and leaning on scepter in left, S - F in outer fields, KS bottom center, PTR in exergue; rare; SOLD


Severus II, 25 July 306 - Summer 307 A.D.

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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. This coin is dedicated "to the Genius (guardian spirits) of our emperors and caesars."
RB49914. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus 20a, SRCV IV 14629, Cohen VII 18, Choice EF, full circles strike, most silvering remains, weight 10.915 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 180o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 1 May 305 - 25 Jul 306 A.D.; obverse FL VAL SEVERVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGG ET CAESARVM NN (to the guardian spirits of our emperors and caesars), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, KA in exergue; rare; SOLD


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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Quies is the personification of rest and retirement. This coin honors the Senior Emperors Diocletian and Maximian after their abdication in 305 A.D. The obverse dedicates the coin, to our lord Maximian the happy senior emperor. The reverse translates, By the providence of the gods, the restful retirement of the Emperors.
SH51542. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus 23b, gVF, weight 11.442 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 305 - 307 A.D.; obverse D N MAXIMIANO FELICISSIMO SEN AVG, laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, olive branch in right hand, mappa in left hand; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG, Providentia on left standing right, extending right hand to Quies, who is standing left with branch in right and leaning on scepter in left, S - F across fields, K∆ in exergue; scarce; SOLD


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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In 327, Christianity was adopted as the state religion of Georgia.
RL63757. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Cyzicus 54, EF, well centered, some silvering remains, weight 3.085 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 135o, 5th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed down in right, raising fold of pallium with left, pellet right, SMKE in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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This reverse type unlisted in RIC for the (officina / *) issue of 312 A.D.

The Farnese Hercules is one of the most famous ancient sculptures. It is a colossal copy made after a smaller Lysippos original, and intended to adorn the Baths of Caracalla. The sculpture was discovered and removed from the baths in 1546, entering the famous collection of Alessandro Farnese. It now resides in the museum of Naples.

The Farnese Hercules is also known on coins of other Eastern mints such as Cyzicus and Nicomedia. It is interesting that the type was adopted when these cities entered under Maximinus' authority, so we might assume he selected it himself. We do not know if he ever had a chance to visit Rome and Caracalla's Baths. Maybe someone from his entourage did. Perhaps he saw a copy in an Eastern city.
SH25867. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus -, aEF, weight 4.331 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI VICTORI, the "Farnese Hercules" standing right, right hand behind back, left resting on club draped with lion's skin, B left, star right, ANT in exergue; nice black patina with highlighting desert earthen fill; extremely rare; SOLD


Galeria Valeria, Augusta, June 293(?) - 311 A.D., Second Wife of Galerius

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The coins of Galeria from the mint of Cyzikus were all struck in the 4th officina which is marked in the left field. In these years the mint issued three groups, the second being marked with a star in the right field and the third with three dots in the right field. But our coin has only one dot. A RIC footnote records a similary marked Licinius in the Oxford collection and states it is probably a mint error. The coin was made in the first officina which probably rules out a repeat error by a die cutter. More likely, the mint started its third group by marking with only one dot, then quickly switched to three dots, perhaps to make the coins more noticeable. Another treat for the specialist collector.
RB07643. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus 71 variant, gVF, weight 7.27 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 311 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL-ERIA AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VENERI V-ICTRICI, Venus standing left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, D in left field, ē in right field, MKV in exergue; from the Scott Collection; very rare; SOLD


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. In 74 B.C. allied with Rome, it withstood a siege by 300,000 men led by King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Rome rewarded this loyalty with territory and with municipal independence which lasted until the reign of Tiberius. When it was incorporated into the Empire, Cyzicus was made the capital of Mysia, and afterward of Hellespontus. Gallienus opened an imperial mint at Cyzicus, which continued to strike coins well into the Byzantine era.
RL71414. Bronze centenionialis, RIC VIII Cyzicus 129, VF, excellent centering, porous, weight 2.039 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 361 - 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, CVZICΓ in exergue; rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. "Coins with a Double Effigy Issued by Licinius at Nicomedia, Cyzicus, and Antioch" in NC 1973.


Catalog current as of Monday, November 18, 2019.
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Cyzicus