Since coin-stalking TIF turned out to be a major bust, I figured coin-stalking Steve would be easier. What I didn't realize was that I was going to have to stand in line behind all the other Steve coin-stalkers. Nevertheless, with abit of luck and patience I managed to snag this Pontos Amisos Perseus/Medusa without too much competition. Granted, it's a few miles away from some of the truly excellent examples that have been shown here on Coin Talk, but it has pretty much everything I was looking for in this type and I'm very pleased with it. Best of all, I'm now officially a member of the Headless Medusa Club! Who's next? PONTOS, Amisos Time of Mithridates VI Eupator Circa 85 - 65 BC AE28 (19.3g, 28mm) SNG V Ash 109, SNG Stancomb 683 var. (right monogram). O: Head of Athena Parthenos right, wearing a helmet decorated with Pegasus springing right. R: AMISOY, Perseus standing facing, holding harpa and head of Medusa, Medusa's body at his feet gushing blood, monograms in left and right field. A little research reveals that this isn't just a coin with a pretty reverse; it very likely served a political purpose as well. CNG in some of their description notes for this issue suggest that "in the context of the period which this coin is from, Perseus and Medusa could be representations of Mithradates VI and Rome, respectively." Between 88 BC and 65 BC, Mithridates waged three wars against Rome, and at the height of his power was considered the most significant foreign threat faced by the Republic. When he began to transform his backwater Anatolian kingdom into a significant regional power, Mithridates sought to portray himself as a champion of Greek culture to the Greek cities that he was gradually bringing into his sphere of influence while also maintaining his dynasty's eastern roots as successors of the Persian Achaemenids in Asia Minor. As Greek tradition held that the legendary hero Perseus was the ancestor of both Heracles (and by extension Alexander the Great) as well as the rulers of Achaemenid Persia, his adoption into the royal cult of the Mithridatids served the purpose of this propaganda well. Unfortunately for Mithridates, his fairytale did not have a happy ending, for this particular Gorgon had three rather able generals doing her fighting - Lucius Cornelius Sulla (the proto-Julius Caesar), Lucius Licinius Lucullus ("Xerxes in a toga", according to Pompey the Great) and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus ("the Great", according to himself). After his final defeat in the Third Mithridatic War, Mithridates fled across the Black Sea to a citadel in Pantikapaion. There, betrayed by his sons and with his enemies closing in on him, he committed suicide. Coins of this type were issued in a number of cities in the Kingdom of Pontos, but most common by far are those from Amisos, which seems to have been the most active of all the Pontic mints during this period. Second in order of frequency but much scarcer are those struck in Sinope. In Pontic coin hoards that have been studied, bronze issues from Amisos are 7 times more common than those from Sinope. Even rarer cities that struck this type include Amastris, Cabeira, Comana, and Chabacta.