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

Ancient Coins of Mysia, Antatolia

Mysia is the northwestern region of Anatolia (Asia Minor) located on the shore of the Propontis (Marmara Sea) between Troas and Bithynia. The chief physical features of Mysia are the two mountains, Mount Olympus at (7600 ft) in the north and Mount Temnus in the south. The most important cities were Pergamon in the valley of the Caïcus, and Cyzicus on the Propontis. The whole sea-coast was studded with Greek towns, several of which were places of considerable importance; thus the northern portion included Parium, Lampsacus and Abydos, and the southern Assos, Adramyttium. Further south, on the Eleatic Gulf, were Elaea, Myrina and Cyme.


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 550 - 450 B.C.

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Kyzikos, purportedly the first Milesian colony, was located on the southwest shore of the Propontis in ancient Mysia next to the river Aisepos. Its prosperity was due principally to its two fine harbors, which made the city a convenient stopping point for merchant ships trading between the Aegean and Black Seas. Its principal export was the tunny, of which its waters had abundant stock. The prevalence of winged beings in Kyzikene coinage is a reflection of archaic mythological convention that assigned wings to most divine or sacred entities as an immediately visible and understandable symbol of their nature, and in the case of gods, of their power to move at will across great distances. In the case of the winged animals, we should probably understand these to be attributes of or animals sacred to a particular Olympian god.
SH86217. Electrum stater, Von Fritze I (Nomisma VII) 104 & pl. 3, 23; Boston MFA 1433; SNG BnF 245; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Mysia -, VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 16.091 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos mint, c. 550 - 450 B.C.; obverse winged dog seated left, head turned back right, curved archaic wing, wearing collar, tunny fish below to left; reverse quadripartite incuse square; extremely rare; $7800.00 (€6630.00)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Cyzicus, Mysia

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This is the finest of only two specimens of this type known to Forum, the other example in SNG Von Aulock. Although we can't quite agree, NAC graded it extremely fine.
RP86162. Bronze AE 26, SNGvA suppl. 7377, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tübingen -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Leypold -, BMC Mysia -, McClean -, Mionnet -, gVF, nice dark green patina, marks, small patina chips, reverse slightly off center, weight 10.976 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 194 - 217 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse KYZIKHNΩN NEOKOPΩN, man sitting right on rocks under a tree, milking goat standing right, goat's head turned back looking left; ex Numismatica Ars Classica auction 100 (29 May 2017), lot 1212; ex Gorny & Mosch sale 237 (7 Mar 2016), 1656; ex Gitbud & Naumann auction 34 (2 Aug 2015), lot 581; extremely rare; $1500.00 (€1275.00)


Pergamene Kingdom, Eumenes I, 263 - 241 B.C.

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Philetaerus, an officer of Lysimachus, deserted in 282 B.C., taking control of Pergamon and a large treasure deposited there. At first nominally a Seleukid suzerainty, Pergamon grew into a strong, prosperous and independent kingdom. Loyal allies of Rome in the Macedonian Wars and against the Seleucids, they were rewarded with all the former Seleucid domains in Asia Minor. When Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C., to prevent a civil war, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic.
GS85677. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark group III; SNG BnF 1606; SNG Cop 334; SNGvA 7453; Meydancikkale 3003; BMC Mysia p. 115, 31, VF, toned, high relief portrait, bumps and marks, weight 16.882 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, struck in the name of Philetairos; obverse laureate head of Philetairos I right; reverse ΦIΛETAIPOY downward on right, Athena enthroned left, wearing crested helmet, chiton and peplos, right hand supporting grounded round shield before her, shield ornamented with a gorgoneion, resting left elbow on left arm of throne which is ornamented with a sphinx, transverse spear leaning on left arm, ivy leaf above knee, A on throne, bow outer right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 47 (9 Oct 2016), lot 130; $480.00 (€408.00)


Kyzikos, Mysia, 550 - 500 B.C.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. It was said to have been founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly, according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later, allegedly in 756 B.C., it received many colonists from Miletus. Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. The site of Cyzicus, located on the Erdek and Bandirma roads, is protected by Turkey's Ministry of Culture.
SH85573. Electrum hemihekte, Von Fritze I (Nomisma VII) 53 & pl.2, 3; Boston MFA 1409; BMC Mysia p. 19, 13; SNG BnF -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Rosen -, VF, marks, edge split, slightly off center, weight 1.323 g, maximum diameter 8.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 550 - 500 B.C.; obverse dolphin left, tunny left below; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 49 (8 Jan 2017), lot 188; rare; $450.00 (€382.50)


Pergamene Kingdom, Attalos I Soter 241 - 197 B.C., In the Name of Philetairos

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Attalus, a capable general, champion of the Greeks, and loyal ally of Rome, made Pergamon a powerful kingdom. He earned the name "Soter" (savior) by defeating the Galatians, who had plundered and exacted tribute for more than a generation. In the Macedonian Wars he allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedon.
SH70868. Silver tetradrachm, Westermark Group VIB; SNG BnF BnF 1626; BMC Mysia p. 117, 45; McClean 7685, VF/F, excellent portrait, uneven toning, weight 16.753 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, 235 - 210 B.C.; obverse Philetairos (founder of the Attalid dynasty) diademed head right; reverse Athena enthroned left, crowning dynastic name ΦIΛETAIPOY to left, holding spear and resting left arm on shield, XAP monogram inner left, bow on right; very rare with this monogram; $390.00 (€331.50)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Located near Lampsacus, Parium belonged to the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, it was in the domain of Lysimachus and then the Attalid dynasty. Julius Caesar refounded it as a colonia within the province of Asia. After Asia was divided in the 4th century, it was in the province of Hellespontus.
RP70938. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 304; SNGvA 1343; BMC Mysia p. 108, 116; SNG BnF -; SNG Hunterian -, VF, perfect centering, struck with a damaged obverse die, weight 4.774 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate,draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse Capricorn swimming right, holding celestial globe between legs, cornucopia on back, C G I H P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) below; ex Russian Coins; $300.00 (€255.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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Eros was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"). According to Hesiod (c. 700 B.C.), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus (the Abyss or the Underworld). Parmenides (c. 400 B.C.), one of the pre-Socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence. In early Greek poetry and art, Eros was depicted as an adult male who embodies sexual power. But in later sources, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form, often illicitly. Ultimately, by the later satirical poets, he is represented as a child, the precursor to the chubby Renaissance Cupid.
RP85220. Bronze AE 20, RPC Online VI temp 3886 (3 spec. all same dies); BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG BnF -, SNG Tub -, SNG Hunt-, SNG Çanakkale -, SNG Leypold -, gVF, centered on a tight flan cutting off tops of some letters, marks and scratches, weight 6.148 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV AL-EXANDER, radiate head right; reverse DEO CVPIDI-NI COLI C IL [?] PA (to the god Cupid, Colonia Gemella Julia Hadriana Pariana, blundered), Cupid standing slightly left, head right, nude but for drapery over left arm, right hand held over herm at feet on left; extremely rare; $250.00 (€212.50)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Parium, Mysia

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An excellent gift for a veterinarian! The 18th-century French numismatist Belley, cited in BMC Mysia p. 105, suggested that the SVB in the reverse legend should be expanded to "subvenienti," giving the meaning "To Aesculapius, the god who helps." This extraordinary depiction of Aesculapius is the only ancient coin reverse type referring to veterinary medicine.
RP85231. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online VI temp 3871 (unpublished in refs, 4 spec. listed from auctions); SNGvA -, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, SNG Çanakkale -, BMC Mysia -, aVF, centered on a tight flan, marks, scratches, corrosion, weight 6.228 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 45o, Parium (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP CAEƧ L ƧEP ƧEV ALEXANDER, laureate and cuirassed bust, right from the front, wearing cuirass with Gorgoneion; reverse DEO AE ƧVB (Deo Aesculapius subvenienti - to Aesculapius, the god who helps), Asclepius seated right on throne, treating an injured bull standing left before him, with his right hand holding the bull's raised right foreleg, C G H I P (Colonia Gemella Iulia Hadriana Pariana) in exergue; rare; $190.00 (€161.50)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 323 - 301 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 301 B.C.) was a nobleman, general, and governor under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GS84664. Silver drachm, Price 1382, Müller Alexander 612, SNG Cop 887, SNG Alpha Bank 578, SNG Saroglos 705, ADM II series X, SNG Munchen -, VF/gF, nice style, well centered on a tight flan, toned, reverse double struck, scratches and marks, some porosity, weight 4.094 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Mysia, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on backless throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, lotus tipped long scepter vertical in left hand, forepart of Pegasos left, No monogram under throne; $180.00 (€153.00)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 27 B.C.

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The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.
GB84965. Bronze AE 17, BMC Mysia p. 129, 160; SNGvA 1371; SNG BnF 1813; SNG Cop -, VF, tight thick flan, scratches, weight 8.662 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 133 - 27 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Asklepios right; reverse AΣKΛHΠIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ, Asklepian snake coiled around omphalos, owl standing on the snake's back; $180.00 (€153.00)




  






REFERENCES

ANS Collections Database - http://numismatics.org/search/
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Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
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Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen. Nomismata 3. (Milano, 1999).
Kleiner, F. "Hoard Evidence and the Late Cistophori of Pergamum" in ANSMN 23 (1978).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
MacDonald, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow, Vol. II: Greece, & Asia Minor. (Glasgow, 1901).
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Mionnet, T. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Müller, L. Die Münzen Des Thracishen Konigs Lysimacus. (Copenhagen, 1858).
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Winzer, A. Antike portraitmünzen der Perser und Greichen aus vor-hellenistischer Zeit (Zeitraum ca. 510-322 v. Chr.). Die frühesten Portraits lebender Menschen: Von Dareios I. bis Alexander III. (March-Hugstetten, 2005).
Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Mysia. (London, 1892).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
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Mysia, Anatoloia