AE21. 6.25g, 21.4mm
MINTED: PAPHLAGONIA, Sinope. Struck under Mithradates VI, circa 85-65 BC
REF: HGC 7, 419
OBVERSE: Aegis with gorgoneion.
REVERSE: ΣINΩ-ΠHΣ, Nike advancing right, holding wreath and palm branch; monogram to right.
This coin type belongs to an organized series of several denominations issued by Mithradates at a number of cities under his control. By far, the most prolific of these mints was Amisos in Pontos.
Historical Notes:When transforming his backwater Anatolian kingdom into a significant regional power, Mithridates VI of Pontos actively sought to portray himself as a champion of Greek culture to the Greek cities he sought to influence. At the same time, he prominently advertised his dynasty's eastern roots as successors of the Persian Achaemenids in Asia Minor. Between 88 to 65 BC, he waged three wars against Rome, and at the height of his power was considered the most significant foreign threat faced by the Roman Republic.
The city-port of Sinope was founded as a Greek colony by Ionians from Miletos around the 7th century BC. Sinope was the birthplace of the famed Cynic philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who was banished from the city for fradulently debasing its currency when he was in charge of minting its coinage. Sinope maintained its independence until it was conquered in 183 BC by Pharnakes I of Pontos, who then made it the capital of his kingdom.
PAPHLAGONIA, Sinope . Mithradates VI, 120-63 BC . AE21 . Aegis / Nike
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