Featured The last king of Galatia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Historically the name of Galatia was derived from the Gauls who invaded central Asia Minor in the third century BC, and established an independent kingdom centered around the cities of Pessinus, Ancyra and Tavium. There were three Galatian tribes: Trocmii, Tectosages and Tolistobogii.


    The constitution of the Galatian state is described by Strabo: Eeach tribe was divided into cantons, governed by a Tetrarch with a judge under him, whose powers were unlimited except in cases of murder, which were tried before a council of 300 drawn from the twelve cantons and meeting at a holy place, twenty miles south-west of Ancyra.

    These Galatians were warriors, respected by Greeks and Romans and were often hired as mercenary soldiers. At the beginning of the Mithridatic Wars the Galatians had supported the Pontic King Mithridates VI against Rome. However, after defeat at the Battle of Chaeornea in 86 BC Mithridates began to suspect treachery even in his closest allies.
    The Galatian leaders were invited to a feast by one of Mithridates commanders, where they, along with their wives and children, were massacred:

    “First, he put to death the tetrarchs of Galatia with their wives and children, not only those who were united with him as friends, but those who were not his subjects – all except three who escaped” .(Appian, The Mithridatic Wars 46)

    The murder of the Galatian chieftains was proven to be a fatal error for Mithridates, and provoked backlash from the Galatians. One of the Galatian leaders, Deiotaros (the ‘Divine Bull’), raised an army from the country, expelled him and his garrisons, and drove them out of Galatia.

    The Roman general Lucullus had been on the verge of suspending the war with Mithridates because of a lack of supplies for his army. However, the Galatians were now willing to help Rome and Lucullus: “30,000 Galatians followed in his train, each carrying a bushel of grain upon his shoulders” (Plutarch Life of Lucullus 14).

    As reward Deiotaros was made king of Galatia in 64 BC by Pompey after the war and this is how the Kingdom of Galatia was created. Deiotaros ruled Galatia until his death in 40 BC.
    Amyntas was a secretary to King Deiotaros and served as a cavalry commander in the Roman army of Brutus and Cassius during the civil war.
    However, Amyntas switched sides just before the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC and joined Mark Antony against Brutus. After the war, he was made the King of Galatia by Antony.

    Kings of Galatia. Amyntas. AE Dichalkon. 39-25 BC.
    Draped bust of Artemis to right with bow and quiver over her shoulder.
    Reverse: ΒAΣIΛEΩΣ - AMYNTOY Stag standing right.
    Reference: HGC 7, 784. SNG Paris 2365-2370.
    3.86g; 18mm

    The above example shows Artemis portrayed with the features of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, apparently as a sign of deference to Antony and the Egyptian queen.

    During the war between Mark Antony and Octavian, Amyntas deserted Mark Antony and went to Octavian's side before the battle of Actium in 31 BC. For his loyalty to Octavian, Amyntas was allowed to rule his kingdom until his death in 25 BC. Afterwards, Octavian made his kingdom into the Roman province of Galatia.

    Kings of Galatia. Amyntas. AE Bronze. 39-25 BC.
    Head of bearded Herakles to right with club over his shoulder; behind E, C.
    Reverse: Lion walking to right with open jaws; B above, monogram of Amyntas in the exergue.
    Reference: SNG France 2378. RPC I 3505.

    Post your coins of the Galatian kings!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..neat coins & info! :)
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  4. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    KINGS of GALATIA. Amyntas. 39-25 BC. Æ (25mm, 13.67 gm, 10h). Obv: Head of Herakles r., club over shoulder, Є below (not mentioned in RPC). Rev: Lion walking right; B above, monogram(s) in ex. RPC I 3505 (var); SNG France 2377-82.
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  5. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Thanks, @Pavlos - an interesting and enjoyable write-up and coins. That Herakles portrait is wonderful. I had not heard the story of "Cleopatra VII" features in Artemis - here's a painting and a bust to compare:
    Public Domain: 1st Century AD, Posthumous portrait of Cleopatra VII from Herculaneum
    Image from : "Life and times of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt", Weigall, Arthur (1914), G.P. Putnam, NY

    Entertaining to note how that appears to have affected the price of the coin in this CNG sale. I paid <1/20th of the CNG hammer price for this coin- perhaps it was not all coins of this type?
    Amyntas Galatia.jpg
    King Amyntas of Galatia, 36-25 BC, AE, Uncertain mint in Galatia, Pisidia or Lykaonia
    Obv: Draped bust of Artemis right, with bow and quiver over shoulder.
    Rev: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ / AMYNTOY, stag standing right.
    Size: 5.40g, 18mm
    Ref: RPC I 3503

    On Dellius and Amyntas switching sides to Octavian and Amyntas taking 2000 Galatian cavalry with him: the book referenced above.
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  6. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Wow, @Pavlos ... thanks for the coins and nice write-up.

    Now you have me interested...
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  7. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I love the great stories associated with these kings, which you've ably presented. Here's my Deiotaros, with its tiny dotted border on the obverse:

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 5.56.20 PM.jpg
  8. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Fascinating read. I have always wondered when the Galatians stopped being viewed as invaders by the Greeks and local Anatolians.

    No Galatian coins, but how about a coin with the portrait of the King who contained the Celts in Galatia(thus making them Galatians)


    SELEUCID KINGDOM. Antiochus II Theos (261-246 BC). AR tetradrachm (32mm, 16.99gm, 12h). Phocaea. Diademed head of Antiochus I right, elderly to middle ages, with full hair and aquiline nose; dotted border / BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANT-IOXOY, Apollo seated left on omphalus, testing arrow in right hand, left hand on grounded bow to right behind; forepart of griffin left in upper, outer left field, A(PT) monogram in outer right field. SC 508. Extremely rare - no examples in sales archives. Pleasant medium gray old collection toning. Extreme high relief.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  9. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Thank you @ominus1!

    Nice coin, thank you for sharing.

    Nice coin and thank you for your input @Sulla80. On the CNG coin the characteristic nose of Cleopatra is visible, perhaps that is why it brought up so much. I am not sure if that is a specific issue that features Cleopatra or that it is on all coins of this type but it is just a bit less obvious on our coins.

    Thanks @Alegandron, I look forward seeing your first coin of a Galatian king!

    Very nice coin, I still want a nice coin of Deiotaros. I indeed also like the story behind all the kings, that makes coin collecting so cool!

    Great coin @Magnus Maximus, I always enjoy seeing it. Definitely a savior is the king on your coin, he slaughtered those poor Barbarians. I must wonder what those Gauls were thinking in their head when they saw those massive beasts they never saw in their life starting to chase them!
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  10. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here's my only Galatian coin, a tetradrachm of Alexander III. I don't have any attribution to a particular king, so if anyone has information on this, please let me know.

    Celts in Western Asia Minor AR Tetradrachm. In the name and types of Alexander III of Macedon. Galatia, 3rd-2nd centuries BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; in left field, lion skin draped over club. Price 4058. 15.99g, 23mm, 11h.

    Very Fine. Very Rare.

    D-Camera  Alexander III tetradrachm, Galatia, 3rd-2nd centuries BC,, 8-5-20.jpg
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