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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; $6660.00 (€5661.00)


Western Anatolia, c. 620 - 600 B.C., Plain Globular Type

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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Unpublished! The majority of the earliest electrum issues were struck on the lighter Milesian weight standard, with hectes weighing approximately 2.35 grams. This example, however is on the heavier Phocaic standard that was used at mints such as Cyzicus, Mysia and Phocaea, Ionia.
SH85577. Electrum hekte, Phokaic standard 1/6 stater; unpublished, EF, flan cracks, weight 2.721 g, maximum diameter 8.96 mm, uncertain western Anatolia mint, c. 620 - 600 B.C.; obverse plain globular surface; reverse one small incuse square punch; extremely rare; $2920.00 (€2482.00)


Pergamene Kingdom, Attalos I, 241 - 197 B.C.

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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.
GS86503. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Mysia p. 117, 43 (same tiny die break on monogram); SNGvA 1360; SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tüb -, SNG Delepierre -, SNG Hunt -, Meydancikkale -, VF/F, superb portrait, light toning, bumps, marks, porosity, small test cut from edge, weight 16.393 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, Mysia, Pergamum (Bergama, Turkey) mint, 215 - 197 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Philetaerus right in taenia; reverse ΦIΛETAIPOY downward on left, Athena enthroned left, crowning dynastic name with wreath in right hand, left arm resting on shield at side ornamented with a gorgoneion, transverse spear on her far side, ME monogram inner right under arm, star over bee outer left, strung bow right; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; very rare variant; $500.00 (€425.00)


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; $430.00 (€365.50)


Julius Caesar, Imperator and Dictator, October 49 - 15 March 44 B.C., Lampsacus, Mysia

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In 45 B.C., Cleopatra and Caesarion, his son by her, were living in Caesar's villa on the Tiber just outside of Rome. Caesar and Cleopatra never married. Caesar was already married. Also, Roman law only recognized marriages between two Roman citizens. Romans did not consider their relationship adultery - a husband was free to have sex with slaves or unmarried women.

The reverse depicts the ritual founding of a Roman colony at Lampsacus, c. 45 B.C. Lampsacus and Parium were founded as twin colonies by Julius Caesar for his retiring veterans. The colony at Lampsacus disappeared after the city was occupied by Sextus Pompey.
RP86127. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 2268 (12 spec., 2 with this countermark), SNG BnF 1260, Waddington 930 (Parium), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Mün -, SNG Tüb -; c/m: Howgego -, aF, centered, green patina, rough, weight 7.935 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, c. 45 B.C.; obverse C G I L (Colonia Gemella(?) Iulia Lampsacus), laureate head of Julius Caesar right; countermark: LAE monogram(?) in rectangular punch; reverse Q LVCRETIP / L PONTIO / II- VIR / M TVRIO LEG (in four lines across fields and the last in exergue), priest plowing with two oxen, marking the pomerium (sacred boundary marking the foundation of a new Roman colony); very rare; $300.00 (€255.00)


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 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; $280.00 (€238.00)


Britannicus, Son of Claudius, b. 12 February 41 - d. 11 February 55 A.D.; Cyzicus, Mysia; His Sisters on Reverse

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Tiberius Claudius Britannicus was born in 41 A.D., the son of Claudius I and his third wife, Messalina. Although the natural heir to the empire, Britannicus was passed over in favor of Nero who then had him murdered a year after his fathers' death. Octavia was Britannicus' older sister and Claudia Antonia was his older half-sister, the only child of Claudius with his second wife, Aelia Paetina.
RP87092. Bronze AE 12, RPC I 2248 (9 spec.), BMC Mysia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, aVF, nice portraits, green patina, centered on a tight flan, light earthen encrustations, weight 1.579 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, before 43 A.D.; obverse NEOC ΓEPMANIKOC (N reversed), bare head of Britannicus right, K - Y (Kyzikos) across field; reverse AN OKTA, confronted, draped busts of Claudia Antonia and Octavia; ex Savoca Numismatik, blue auction 3 (25 Nov 2017), lot 622; $200.00 (€170.00)


Lampsacus, Mysia, 360 - 340 B.C.

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Recent hoard and coin finds prompted Ashton to reattribute this type to the Troad, probably Lampsakos (Ashton Memnon, NC 162 (2002), pp. 11-15). Ashton suggests ME refers to Memnon of Rhodes, that these coins were struck at Lampsakos when he controlled the city and similar coins inscribed EY and NI possibly refer to Memnon's subordinates. Memnon of Rhodes was a prominent Greek commander in the service of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Related by marriage to the Persian aristocracy, he served the Persian king for most of his life. Memnon was arguably the toughest defender to challenge Alexander and was nearly successful in putting a halt to his advance.
GB86134. Bronze chalkous, Ashton Memnon 2 (A1/P2); Ashton Solar p. 30, 1; BMC Caria p. 221, 4; SNG Cop (Caria) 914; Waddington 2813; Traité II 1733, VF, green patina, tight flan, earthen deposits, areas of light corrosion, weight 0.708 g, maximum diameter 8.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lampsacus (near Lapseki, Turkey) mint, under Memnon of Rhodes, c. 360 - 340 B.C.; obverse radiate youthful head of Helios right; reverse rose in profile, M-E flanking low across field; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)


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; $150.00 (€127.50)


Kyzikos, Mysia, 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

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In 74 B.C. Cyzicus, allied with Rome, withstood a siege 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, it was made the capital of Mysia, afterward of Hellespontus. Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world.
GB86887. Bronze AE 13, RPC I 2239 (6 spec.); Von Fritze X 41; SNG BnF 514; SNG Cop 85; BMC Mysia p. 41, 173, VF, earthen encrustations, weight 2.219 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 1st - 2nd century A.D.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse lyre, K-Y/Z-I flanking in two lines; $150.00 (€127.50)




  






REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, November 17, 2018.
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Mysia, Anatoloia