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Coin Detail
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ID:     762446
Type:     Greek
Region:     PONTUS KINGS
Issuer:     Mithradates VI
Date Ruled:     120-63 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     May 75 BC
Diameter:     33 mm
Weight:     16.79 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right, hair touseled and freely flowing
Reverse Description:     Stag grazing left; star-in-crescent and monogram to left, BKS (year) and monogram to right, H (month) in exergue; all within Dionysiac wreath of ivy and fruit
Mint:     Pergamon
Primary Reference:     De Callata├┐ P. 19 (D29/R4 - this coin listed as specimen a)
Reference2:     RG P. 19
Reference3:     SNG Cop -
Reference4:     BMC 40; SNG VA -
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Near EF
Notes:     Ex Kastner VI (26 November 1974), lot 63. 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.