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

Bithynia

The kingdom of Bithynia held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. The coins of the Bithynian kings depict their regal portraits in a highly accomplished Hellenistic style. Nicomedes IV, the last king of Bithynia, was defeated by Mithridates VI of Pontus, and, after being restored to his throne by the Roman Senate, bequeathed his kingdom by will to the Roman Republic in 74 B.C. Under Rome, the boundaries of Bithynia frequently varied and it was sometimes united with Pontus. For securing communications with the eastern provinces, the monumental Bridge across the river Sangarius was constructed around 562 AD. Troops frequently wintered at Nicomedia. The most important cities were Nicomedia, founded by Nicomedes, and Nicaea. The two had a long rivalry with one another over which city held the rank of capital. At a much earlier period the Greeks had established on the coast the colonies of Cius (modern Gemlik); Chalcedon (modern Kadiköy), at the entrance of the Bosporus, nearly opposite Byzantium (modern Istanbul) and Heraclea Pontica (modern Karadeniz Eregli), on the Euxine, about 190 km east of the Bosporus.


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

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The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GS92991. Silver siglos, SNG BM 112; SNGvA 482; SNG Cop 348; BMC Pontos p. 124, 4; HGC 7 517, VF, centered on a tight flan, light marks, weight 5.377 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, Kalchedon (Kadikoya District, Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse bull standing left atop ear of grain, KAΛX above; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, pebbled texture within incuse areas; ex Civitas Galleries; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias II Kynegos, 185 - 149 B.C.

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Bithynia was a flourishing kingdom in northwest Asia Minor. Prusias II, son of Prusias I, inherited his father's name but not his character. Few mourned his death when he was murdered in the temple of Zeus at Nikomedia.
GB82669. Bronze dichalkon, SNG Cop 632; SNGvA 258 var. (monogram); Rec Gén p. 225, 25; BMC Pontus p. 210, 5; HGC 7 634, nice VF, attractive glossy mottled brown surfaces, some light marks, weight 3.872 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 185 - 149 B.C.; obverse head of Prusias II to right, wearing winged diadem; reverse Herakles standing slightly left, head left, nude, right hand resting on grounded club before him, Nemean Lion's skin in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΠPOYΣIOY downward on left, monogram lower inner right; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GS89052. Silver half siglos, SNG BM 118; SNGvA 484; SNG Stancomb 14; BMC Pontus p. 124, 8; HGC 7 518, gF, toned, struck with a worn obverse die, weight 2.806 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, Kalchedon (Kadikoya District, Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on ear of grain right; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, stippled texture within incuse areas; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Kios, Bithynia, c. 325 - 203 B.C.

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According to myth, Kios (Cius) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. Kios was often subject to greater powers, predominantly the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great invaded and took the city in 334 B.C. After disputes with Alexander's successors, Kios joined the Aetolian League, in opposition to Macedonia. In 202 B.C., Philip V of Macedonia and Prusias I of Bythinia destroyed the city and massacred, banished, or enslaved its citizens. Prusias built a new city on the site and named it for himself (Prusias ad Mare). After this atrocity, the Rodians asked the Roman Senate for help. The Romans seized this opportunity to invade Greece and defeat Philip V. In 74 B.C., after the death of King Nikomides III, the Romans occupied Kios and the whole of Bythinia. Under Rome, the name Kios was revived. An important link in the ancient Silk Road, Kios became a wealthy town.
GB89135. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 382; BMC Pontus, p. 131, 20; var. (KIA); SNGvA 7004 var. (same); Rec Gén I.2 7 var. (same), VF, nice dark green patina, weight 1.020 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) mint, c. 325 - 203 B.C.; obverse young beardless male head (Mithras?) right, wearing a Phrygian cap and laurel wreath; reverse Kantharos between two bunches of grapes hanging on vines which emerge from the cup, K-I divided by stem, all within wreath of two stalks of grain; rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Kingdom of Bithynia, Prusias II Kynegos, 185 - 149 B.C.

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Prusias II, son of Prusias I, inherited his father's name but not his character. He first joined with Eumenes of Pergamon in war against Pontus, but later turned on Pergamon and invaded. He was defeated and Pergamon demanded heavy reparations. Prusias sent his son Nicomedes II to Rome to ask for aid in reducing the payments. When Nicomedes revolted, Prusias II was murdered in the temple of Zeus at Nikomedia.
GB91912. Bronze AE 21, SNG Cop 639; BMC Pontus p. 211, 9; Rec Gen I p. 226, 26; HGC 7 629; SGCV II 7266, F, corrosion, weight 5.443 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nikomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 180 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse centaur Chiron standing right, playing lyre, his animal skin cloak flying behind, monogram inner right under raised foreleg, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΠPOYΣIOY downward on left; $45.00 (€39.60)
 







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Catalog current as of Monday, October 21, 2019.
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Bithynia Coins