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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     808440
Type:     Greek
Region:     PONTUS KINGS
Issuer:     Mithradates VI
Date Ruled:     120-63 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     October, 85 BC
Diameter:     35 mm
Weight:     16.79 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right
Reverse Legend:     ΒΑΣΙΛΣΩΣ ΜΙΘΡΑΔΑΤΟΥ ΣΥΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ
Reverse Description:     Stag grazing left; star in crescent and monogram to left, year and monogram to right, month in exergue; all within Dionysiac wreath of ivy and fruit
Mint:     Pergamon
Primary Reference:     Callata├┐ P. 17-8 (D5/R4)
Reference2:     RG 16, pl. II, 15 (same obv. die)
Reference3:     Hunterian 3 (same dies)
Reference4:     SNG Cop -
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Source:     http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=119143
Special Comments:     Dated month 1 of 213 BE (October, 85 BC)
Grade:     Superb EF
Notes:     Ex Simon Lipcer Collection. Mithradates is the Hellenistic monarch par excellence, his career driven by megalomaniacal ambitions leading to murderous assaults upon family and followers and disastrous foreign adventures against superior forces. His idealized portraiture attempts to mimic the gods with its bold staring gaze and unruly, free-flowing hair, but at its most extreme is a personification of hysteria in its Dionysiac sense. The wreath of ivy on the reverse reinforces Mithradates' link with the god as well as making a connection with the cistaphoric coinage that circulated in the area. The stag probably represents the civic center of Ephesos and the mintmark is of Pergamon, all part of the new Pontic kingdom, symbolized by the star and crescent. His empire collapsed before the armies of Sulla and Lucullus, and Mithradates ended his own life an exile in the far region of the Crimea, pursued to the end by vengeful Romans and family.