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Coin Detail
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ID:     782077
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:     11 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right, hair tousled and freely flowing
Reverse Description:     Stag grazing left; star-in-crescent and monogram to left, ΓΙΣ (year) and monogram to right, A (month) in exergue; all within Dionysiac wreath of ivy and fruit
Mint:     Pergamon
Primary Reference:     Callata├┐ P. 17-8, dies D5/R4
Reference2:     RG 16, pl. II, 15
Reference3:     SNG Cop -
Reference4:     Hunterian 3
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Special Comments:     Dated month 1 of 213 BE (October, 85 BC)
Grade:     Superb EF
Notes:     From the Semon 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.