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Pentagram on a Provincial of Pitane

Roman Collector

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This is a cool coin. I'm posting it now because there's not enough to say about it to warrant an installment of Faustina Friday. Don't laugh -- it may well be the finest known!

Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ 16.4 mm, 2.77 g, 6 h.
Mysia, Pitane, AD 147-161.
Obv: ΦΑV-ϹΤЄΙΝΑ ϹЄ•, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΠΙΤΑΝ-ΑΙⲰΝ, cornucopia; to left, pentagram.
Refs: RPC IV.2, 8132 (temp); Leypold, MÖNG 25 (1985), 87, no. 18.

In Greek times, the port city of Pitane in the southernmost portion of Mysia was one of the members of the Aeolian League; these were Temnos, Smyrna, Pitane, Neonteichos, Aegirusa, Notium, Cilla or Killa, Kyme, Gryneum, Larissa, Myrina, and Aegae. It was situated at the mouth of a river, known in ancient times as either the Canaius (Pliny the Elder) or Pitanes (Ptolemy), and had two harbors.

Map of Mysia from the Corpus Nummorum. Pitane is in southwest Mysia.

The symbol of the city was the pentagram, and it struck coins depicting a pentagram over the course of a few centuries. In the Roman era, the city struck semi-autonomous coins as well as coins depicting the Roman emperor and his family. Coin production appears to have been intermittent during the Roman era, and limited to coins depicting Augustus, Gaius and Lucius, Nero, Trajan, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Faustina the Younger, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Julia Aquileia Severa, and Severus Alexander.

I purchased the coin because it's of Faustina the Younger, but I also like the little pentagram on the reverse. Let's see your coins of Pitane!

Edited by Roman Collector
I have OCD
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Had never seen a provincial from Pitane. An interesting piece.

Here's my typical little Pitane type with the pentagram:


Pitane Mysia Ae; 4th-3rd Century BC

Ox: Bust of Zeus Ammon right

Rx: Pentagram; π–I–T–A–N around

Size : 10mm, 1.1gms

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Score! Big coingrats on that rarity Satan's a plenty. 

Here is a Pitane shield followed by the more common type:


MYSIA. Pitane. Pseudo-autonomous. Time of Domitian (81-96). Ae. Obv: ΘЄA PΩMH. Turreted head of Roma right. Rev: ΠITANAIΩN. Pentagram within shield. RPC II -; RPC Supp. II 956B var. (obv. legend); SNG von Aulock 1431; SNG Copenhagen 539. Condition: Very fine. Weight: 2.03 g. Diameter: 17 mm. Purchased from Savoca Feb 2022


MYSIA, Pitane


4th-3rd centuries BC. Æ 8mm (0.70 g). Head of Zeus Ammon right / [Π]-I-Σ-O-Σ, pentagram with pellet in center. SNG France 2253-5 var. (rev. legend); SNG Copenhagen 535 var. (same); BMC 4, note. VF, deep dark patina. Rare with this reverse legend.

Ex Zeus

"The vast majority of Pitane’s coinage of the “Zeus Ammon / pentagram” type features an ethnic on the reverse. This rare specimen probably carries the name of a magistrate."



Edited by Ryro
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43 minutes ago, Ryro said:

Here is a Pitane shield followed by the more common type:

The pentagram type you show has the lettering Π-I-Σ-O-Σ which is certainly scarcer than the issue with Π–I–T–A–N 

Edited by O-Towner
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18 minutes ago, O-Towner said:

The pentagram type you show has the lettering Π-I-Σ-O-Σ which is certainly scarcer than the issue with Π–I–T–A–N 

Good eye! I have updated with identifications.

Eye Up GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

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Here is a Seleucid issue from the "Pentalpha" Mint: 


Seleucid Kingdom  Æ 15  Demetrios II Nikator (146-138 B.C.)  (first reign)  'Pentalpha' Mint (Syria/Phoe.) Diademed head right / BAΣΙΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY ΘEOY right, ΪIΛAΔEΛΪOY [NIKATOPEΣ] left. Cornucopiae between, pentalpha inner left. SC 1937; HGC 9, 998.  (6.98 grams / 15 mm) eBay May 2020        Lot @ $3.75

 Yeah, I didn't know what a pentalpha was either...






From Ancient Greek πένταλφα (péntalpha), from πέντε (pente) and ἄλφα (alpha), five alphas. So called for its resemblance to five alphas superimposed at different rotations.


pentalpha (plural pentalphas)

  1. A pentagram.





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Nice coins!

Here are a couple from my collection:


Mysia, Pitane Æ 10mm

Circa 4th-3rd century BC
Obverse: Head of Zeus Ammon right.
Reverse: Π - I; Pentagram, pellet at center.
References: BMC 2-3 var.
10mm; 1.36g


Mysia, Pitane Æ 16mm

Circa 4th century BC
Obverse: Head of Zeus Ammon right.
Reverse: Pentagram.
References: SNG Copenhagen 530-531?; BMC 5?
16mm; 3.70g


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