AE17. 3.66g, 17.2mm
MINTED: MYSIA, Pergamum, circa 1st century AD
REF: RPC 2375
OBVERSE: ΘEAN ΡΩ-MHN, turreted bust of Roma right; lituus to right.
REVERSE: ΘEON CΥN-KΛHTON, draped bust of the Senate right.
Very Fine. Dark blackish green patina with brassy highlights. Well-struck and in fine style.
Pergamon (or Pergamum) was one of the great cities of antiquity, reaching its apogee when it was the capital of the Attalid Kingdom of Pergamon between 282-133 BC. The Attalid kings were loyal allies of the Romans, and during the reigns of Eumenes II (197-159 BC) and Attalus II (160-138 BC), the kingdom reached its greatest territorial extent. The city was one of the richest in the western world, with its wealth matched only by its cultural importance. Pergamon swelled in size during this period, with craftsmen, artists and scholars being invited to turn Pergamon into a second Athens. The Library of Pergamon became almost as famous as the great Library of Alexandria in Egypt, and Pergamon was also renowned for its Asklepieion, a large sanctuary dedicated to healing and the god Asklepios.
When the last Attalid king Attalus III died without an heir in 133 BC, he bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic. The Romans incorporated its territories into the Province of Asia, with Pergamon given the status as a free city and the capital of the province. During the Mithridatic Wars (88-63 BC), it served as a base for Mithradates VI in his campaign against the Romans, but by the time of the Roman Empire, Pergamon had regained its favoured status, and in the 1st century AD, it was regarded the most important city in the province.
Augustus instituted the province's first neocorate (Imperial cult temple) at Pergamon, and Trajan gave the city its second neocorate in AD 113/4. It was also raised to the rank of a metropolis by Emperor Hadrian in AD 123, giving it a status higher than that of its regional rivals, the cities of Ephesus and Smyrna. In the mid 2nd century AD, Pergamon had a population of over 200,000, but soon thereafter, it began a slow decline in its fortunes and significance.
PSEUDO-AUTONOMOUS . MYSIA, Pergamum . 1st century AD . AE17 . Roma/Senate
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