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Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI Eupator the Great, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Anonymous Coinage
Mithradates VI Megas (the Great) was king of Pontus in northern Anatolia from about 119 to 63 B.C. He was of both Greek and Persian origin, claiming descent from both Alexander the Great and King Darius I of Persia. Mithradates is remembered as one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the most prominent generals of the late Roman Republic in the so-called Mithridatic Wars: Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey the Great. After Mithradates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he attempted suicide. The poison failed because he had taken daily doses to build immunity. He then made his bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, kill him by the sword.GB89057. Bronze AE 26, SNG Stancomb 649, SNG BM 973, SNG Cop 232, HGC 7 310 (S), VF, thick, heavy coin, marks, light earthen deposits, porosity, weight 19.569 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, uncertain (Amisos?) mint, c. 119 - 100 B.C.; obverse male head left in a satrapal leather bashlik cap; reverse comet star of eight rays, bow right facing inward, possibly a monogram between the rays; ex Forum (2010).; scarce; $140.00 (€123.20)
Parthian Empire, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.
The severed head of the Roman general Crassus was presented to Orodes II during a performance of Euripides' tragedy, The Bacchae. It was used as a prop, carried by one of the actors in the play. In Rome it was said the Parthians poured molten gold into his mouth as a symbol of his thirst for wealth. GS89569. Silver drachm, Sellwood 47.5, Shore 239, Sunrise -, VF, toned, nice portrait, reverse off center, weight 3.935 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left with short beard, top of head flat, torque ending with pellet, no wart, wavy hair covering ear, star upper left, crescent horns up upper right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛEΩN − APΣAKOY − EYEPΓET / ∆IKAIOY − EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ squared legend around, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right, K (mintmark) below bow, squared seven-line legend around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); ex Michigan State Numismatic Society Auction (Nov 1998), part of the Parthian Collection lot; $140.00 (€123.20)
Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 214 - 211 B.C., Time of Hannibal
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.GB91980. Bronze half unit, Scheu Bronze 27, SNG Cop 1681, SNG ANS 60, HN Italy 1982, HGC 1 1371 (S), gVF, nice green patina, edge chips, weight 2.585 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Brettii mint, c. 214 - 211 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Nike left, hair tied in a bun at the back, NIKA upward lower left, barley-ear behind lower right; reverse Zeus standing right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter in extended left hand, BPETTIΩN upward on left, cornucopia right, star between legs; ex Harlan J. Berk; scarce; $110.00 (€96.80)
Parthian Empire, Mithradates III, c. 87 - 79 B.C.
Mithradates III and his brother Orodes II murdered their father. Orodes became king of Parthia. At first he made Mithridates king of Media but then deposed him. Mithridates was forced flee to Roman Syria but returned, and made himself king of Parthia. He was besieged in Seleucia by Orodes forces, defeated, captured and executed. GS92034. Silver drachm, Sellwood 31.6 (Orodes I); Shore 123 (Orodes I); BMC Parthia p. 42, 1 (Sinatruces); Sunrise 308 var. (six pointed star), VF, toned, scratches, light corrosion, small edge split, weight 3.661 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rhagae (Ray, part of Tehran, Iran) mint, c. 87 - 79 B.C.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing tiara ornamented with three rows of pearls and eight-pointed star, pellet ended torque; reverse archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, left foot drawn back, bow in right hand, seven-line squared legend around: BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOY in two lines above, AP−ΣAKOY downward on right, ATOKPATOPOΣ ΦIΛOΠATPOΣ in two upside-down lines below, EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ in two downward lines on the left; ex Ancient Numismatic Enterprise (ANE); $100.00 (€88.00)
Petelia, Bruttium, Italy, c. 216 - 204 B.C., Time of Hannibal
"In 216, when most of South Italy joined Hannibal after Cannae, Petelia remained faithful to Rome and sought the dispatch of a Roman garrison. The Senate, however, felt it self unable to lend aid to so distant and ally; the town was besieged and after eleven months fell to the Carthaginians, who handed it over to the Bretti. After the defeat of Hannibal a substantial contingent of refugees who had escaped to Rome were restored to Petelia in recognition of their loyalty to Rome." -- N.K. Rutter, Historia Numorum ItalyGB88309. Bronze AE 21, BMC Italy p. 372, 8 (also Λ); HN Italy 2454; SNG ANS 602 var. (control); SNG Cop 1908 var. (same); SNG München 1551 - 1552 var. (same), F, uneven strike with weak areas, olive green and red patina, areas of corrosion, weight 7.431 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 90o, Petelia mint, under Hannibal, c. 216 - 204 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing veil and wreath of barley; reverse ΠETHΛINΩN (clockwise on left), Zeus in fighting stance left, head right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, transverse long scepter in left hand, star with five rays around a central pellet left, Λ (control letter) lower right; ex Rudnik Numismatics; scarce; $90.00 (€79.20)
Brettii, Bruttium, Italy, c. 208 - 203 B.C., Time of Hannibal
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.GB88317. Bronze reduced uncia, Scheu Bronze p. 60, 101; HN Italy 2008; SNG München 1292 var. (thunderbolt over crab); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 6.151 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Brettii mint, c. 208 - 203 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, no control symbol; reverse BPET−TIΩN (clockwise from upper right), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, crab (control symbol) left, bucranium (control symbol) lower left; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $90.00 (€79.20)
Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, 300 - 264 B.C.
In 278 B.C., envoys from the Sicilian cities of Agrigentum, Syracuse, and Leontini asked Pyrrhus for military aid to remove the Carthaginian dominance over that island. With an army of 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, 20 war elephants, and some 200 ships, Pyrrhus defeated the Carthaginian forces and captured the city-fortress of Eryx. Carthage sued for peace, but Pyrrhus demanded Carthage renounce its claims on Sicily entirely. Pyrrhus set his sights on conquering Carthage itself, and began outfitting an expedition. However, his ruthless treatment of the Sicilian cities and his execution of two Sicilian rulers led to such animosity that he was forced out of Sicily and abandoned his plan.GB87736. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 149, Alexandropoulos 57, Müller Afrique 268, aVF, dark patina, a little off center, pre-strike flan casting sprue, weight 5.096 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardinian mint, 300 - 264 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and plain necklace, dotted border; reverse horse's head right; $80.00 (€70.40)
Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 214 - 211 B.C., Time of Hannibal
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.GB93005. Bronze half unit, Scheu Bronze 27, SNG Cop 1679, SNG ANS 60, HN Italy 1982, HGC 1 1371 (S), gF, blue-green patina, centered on a tight flan, scrapes, patina flaking, weight 3.214 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, Brettii mint, c. 214 - 211 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Nike left, hair tied in a bun at the back, NIKA upward lower left, barley-ear behind lower right; reverse Zeus standing right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter in extended left hand, BPETTIΩN upward on left, star between legs, cornucopia right; ex Gerhard Rohde Ancient Coins; scarce; $40.00 (€35.20)