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Caught all the Bithynian Pokémon!


kirispupis

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While originally my goal was to collect all the Antigonid, Lagid, Seleukid, Ariarathid, Attalid, and Bithynian kings up to Roman times, those collections have mostly taken a back seat to the people and cities of the 4th-3rd centuries BCE.

Recently, though, I finally picked up the last remaining piece for my Bithynian collection. I've therefore acquired all of its Pokémon! The following are the kings in order

Zipoites (326-278 BCE)
Zipoites was the founder of the Bithynian kingdom and in 297 BCE he adoped the title of Basileus (king). He was a major player among the Diadochi and waged wars against Antigonos, Seleukos, and Lysimachos. Sadly, he issued no coins that we're aware of. That certainly seems odd given that he reigned for a very long time and those around him minted coins.

Nikomedes I (278-255 BCE)
Nikomedes is best known as the guy with the idiotic idea to bring the Gauls over. They would prove a major nuisance for the region for some time. He is the first to mint coins. His silver issues are rare and expensive, but I have two bronzes.

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Nikomedes I
279 - 255 BCE
AE 4.477g, 16.5mm, 0h
Rec Gen I-2 p.

 

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Kings of Bithynia. Nikomedes I
circa 280-250 BCE
AE Bronze, 23 mm, 8.75 g, 6 h
Diademed head of Nikomedes I to right.
Rev. BAΣIΛE - NIKOMH Horse prancing right; above, wreath; below foreleg, spearhead.
RG 7. SNG von Aulock 242

 

Ziailas (254-228 BCE)
When Nikomedes died, Ziailas - who was a son of Nikomedes from his first wife - was denied the throne by his second wife, Etazeta, who ruled as regent for her two young sons. Ziailas took refuge with Arsames I, then was aided by Galatians in reclaiming his kingdom. He was eventually killed by the Galatians.

Coins of Ziailas are the rarest of the Bithynian kings and do not come up for sale often. Only bronze issues are known.

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Kings of Bithynia. Ziailas, circa 250-230 BCE
AE 18 mm, 4.89 g, 1 h
Diademed head of Ziailas to right. Rev. BAΣIΛE[ΩΣ] / ZIAHΛA Tropy of arms. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage, 416. SNG von Aulock 243
Ex Obolos October 2020

 

Prusias I (228-182 BCE)
Prusias may have been the most powerful of the Bithynian kings. He married a daughter of Demetrios II of Macedon and gave refuge to Hannibal. He remained neutral with Rome's tangle with Antiochos III.

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KINGS OF BITHYNIA. Prusias I Chloros
circa 230-182 BCE
Tetrachalkon (Bronze, 28 mm, 10,27 g)
Laureate head of Apollo to left. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ
ΠΡΟΥΣΙΟΥ Helmeted and winged figure of Athena-Nike standing to left, crowning the king's name with her right hand and resting her left on a shield by her side; in field to left, monogram.
HGC 7, 615. RG 16. SNG von Aulock 6880

 

Prusias II (182-149 BCE)
Prusias II was honored with a monument at Delphi that still stands today. Prusias was murdered at the direction of his son, Nikomedes II, when he attempted to have him murdered to pave the way for the children of his second wife.

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Kings of Bithynia. Prusias II
AE Unit 20.5mm 6.41g 12h
c. 180-150 BCE
Laffaille430 var. - Cop.- - Aulock6886 var. - RG.26 - BMC.- - HGCS. 7/629
avers : Buste imberbe, juvénile et drapé de Dionysos (Bacchus) à droite, couronné de feuilles de vigne.
revers : Le Centaure Chiron à droite, la tête de face, jouant de la lyre, sa tunique flottant derrière.

 

Nikomedes II (149-127 BCE)
Nikomedes kept his kingdom strong by remaining a strong Roman ally. He introduced the Bithynian date system on coins.


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Kingdom of Bithynia, Nikomedes II Epiphanes
Dated BE 188 = 110/9 BCE
AR Tetradrachm 16.35g, 33mm, 12h.
Diademed head to right
Zeus Stephanophoros standing to left, holding wreath and sceptre; BAΣIΛEΩΣ to right, EΠIΦANOYΣ NIKOMHΔOY to left, eagle on thunderbolt over monogram above HΠP (date) to inner left.
RG 40 (date and monogram combination not listed); DCA 444; HGC 7, 642. 

 

Nikomedes III (127-94 BCE)
Until recently, this was the only Bithynian Pokémon I lacked. Nikomedes III spent a good deal of his reign tangling with Mithradates VI of Pontos.

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Kings of Bithynia. Nikomedeia. Nikomedes III Euergetes
Dated BE 172 = 126/5 BCE
AR Tetradrachm 36 mm, 15,94 g
Obv: Diademed head of Nikomedes III
Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ / EΠIΦANOΥΣ / NIKOMHΔOΥ Zeus Stephanophoros standing left; to inner left, eagle standing left on thunderbolt above monogram and BOP monogram
SNG von Aulock 6894

 

Nikomedes IV (94-74 BCE)
Nikomedes IV was initially booted from his kingdom by Mithradates VI, then reinstalled by Rome. He is rumoured to have had a tryst with a young Julius Caesar. On his death he bequeathed his kingdom to Rome.

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Kings of Bithynia. Nikomedeia. Nikomedes IV Philopator
Dated 92/91 BCE
Tetradrachm AR 34mm, 15,73g
diademed head right
rev., Zeus standing left with wreath and sceptre; dated year 206
Rec. Gen p. 232

 

Bithynian cities

In addition, several cities that were associated with Bithynia minted coins in the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. 

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Bithynia, Kalchedon
340-320 BCE, Silver Siglos
5.20g, 17mm
Bull standing left on grain ear. "KAΛX"
Mill scale incuse pattern.
SNG Cop 348

 

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Bithynia, Kios
AR Hemidrachm 2.57g, 13mm, 11h
Circa 345-315 BCE
Proxenos, magistrate
Laureate head of Apollo to right; [KIA] below chin / Prow of galley to left, ornamented with star; ΠPOΞ-ENOΣ above and below
RG 4; HGC 7, 554

 

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Nikaia, Bithynia
300-100 BCE
AE 12mm 1,8g
Obv: Head of Dionysos with crown of ivy
Rev: bull butting. NIKAIEΩN above. Monogram(s)(?) below, mostly off flan
Waddington: Nikaia 1 var

 

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BITHYNIA, Herakleia Pontika.
Dionysios, 337-305 BCE
AR Drachm 4.4 gm, 12h, 18mm
Obv: Head of young Dionysos, left. Rev: Naked Herakles erecting a trophy.
SNG.vAul.6936

 

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Bithynia, Tios
Circa 300 BCE
Æ 1.16g, 9mm, 6h
Laureate head of Zeus to left /
Eagle with closed wings standing to left; ΤΙΑ-ΝΟZ around.
Asia Minor Coins Online 13236; SNG Tübingen 2151; HGC 7, 605 var. (rev legend)

 

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Bithynia, Myrleia
4th-3rd centuries BCE
Æ 14.5mm, 4.91g, 7h
Helmeted head of Athena r. R/ Bull standing r.
head lowered and slightly facing; monogram below
HGC 7, –

Let's see your Bithynian Pokémon!

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A great collection, Kirispupis, well done.

A different Prusias I to yours.

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Kings of Bithynia.

 Prusias I Cholos, 228-183 BC.

Laureate head of Apollo right, with quiver over his shoulder /  BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠPOUΣIOY; Bow and quiver.

RG 17; SNG Copenhagen 628-9; SNG von Aulock 250.

4.59g, 17mm.

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