Featured The tale of Kyzikos and the mysterious missing coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Kyzikos or Cyzicus (I'll be referring to it as Kyzikos herein to avoid confusion and cause it's just so cool to type!), was a highly important coastal city of Mysia.

    (Kyzikos ancient ruins, ain't so ruined)

    Famous to us ancient coin collectors for their dynamic lion and boar obols for starters:artist:

    Mysia. Kyzikos
    480 BC. Obol AR 11mm., 0,71g. Forepart of boar left , E (retrograde) on shoulder, with tall mane and dotted truncation, dotted line on shoulder, to right, tunny upward / Head of roaring lion left with bristling mane, outstretched tongue, and dotted truncation, all within incuse square.
    Ex Silicua Subastas

    Lasting from the Greek dark ages to the medieval dark ages, approximately! The town was alleged to have been founded by Jason and his Argonauts

    (you might have heard of them and their voyage;))

    BEFORE the Trojan war (1300 BCEish)! And would not be abandoned until the eleventh century CE:wideyed:.
    It's height of importance must have come during the Peloponnesian war. It would alternately be ruled by Athens and Sparta throughout the war. Due to its location, Kyzikos was on the rise while Athens was diminishing towards the end of the long drawn out war. And then Alcibiades, if you're keeping track of Alcibiades shenanigans he's back with Athens

    (History's original rascal, Alcibiades)

    , through spectacular generalship, handed the Spartans a major naval defeat in 410 at the battle of Kyzikos:jimlad:!


    In 387 BCE it was handed over to the persians. Only to be taken back:punch: by my man:kiss:, Alexander the Great:woot:, some 50 years later.

    (Kyzikos would flourish during Hellenistic times)

    Kyzikos would later fall into Roman hands, be taken over by Arabs in 675 CE and would sadly fall to pieces, literally:sorry:, due to a series of earthquakes. The final death nail seemingly being the last notorious b.i.g. one in 1063 CE.
    And so ends the tail of a small town in Turkey that would be held by some of the most awesome powers, super powers and rulers of all of recorded history:(
    But no need to cry:rolleyes:. They left us some extraordinarily fun coins!

    Post script:
    But Ryro, you may whisper lovingly, what about the long lost mystery coino_O???
    Calm down, now. Your fearless narrator was just getting to that...
    As I had shared in @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix fun thread https://www.cointalk.com/threads/any-winners-at-savoca-80th-blue-auction.362719/
    I recieved my winnings from the "blue" auction yesterday... as well, they let me combine shipping with my single win from the week before's massive "special" auction. Where I nabbed an extremely rare 6mm teeny tiny Tetartemorion believed to be from the ancient city of this humble thread.
    I was geeked to the MAX :woot:.

    (Actual footage of me when the package arrived)

    I took the package to my office, after all the fun COVID sanitation, and ripped it open to behold my mini wonder:artist::snaphappy:. I poured it from its plastic baggy into my hands and...whoops!
    I dropped the tiny, less then a tenth of a gram coin into my offices 70s Shag carpet and lost it!:facepalm::eek:
    Can you image being that size and lost in this?
    2 hours of searching with magnifying glass:pompous: and flashlight later and... NOTHING. I lost it:drowning::meh:
    It is such a crummy feeling to know that you, who believe you are a guardian of the past, have lost your new (but slightly used) addition due to over excitement:banghead::(:depressed:.
    So, I did what any man would do, I called in the big guns; my wife. In 30 minutes of her, more methodical, searching and the coin was found:woot::happy:! NEVER underestimate the power of a loving little lady:)

    Mysia. Kyzikos (?) Uncertain. Tetartemorion (Circa 5th century BC).
    Obv: Crescents in triangular arrangement; pellet in one and between two. Shield (???;))
    Rev: Head of roaring lion left within incuse square.
    Condition: Good very fine.
    Weight: 0.09 g.
    Diameter: 6 mm.
    Ex: Savoca
    SNG Kayhan I -; SNG Keckman -; Klein -; asiaminorcoins.com Coin ID #13228.
    SNG Kayhan I -; SNG Keckman -; Klein -; Asia Minor Coins online -; cf. Gitbud & Naumann 34, lot 140 (for a similar obverse design); apparently unpublished.
    Extremely rare. Though uncertain, the lion is of very similar style to the lions featured on the fractional coinage from Kyzikos.

    Is it Kyzikos? Tough for me to say. With the only evidence cited being the lion, I'm not convinced.
    Is it a shield on the obverse? The design sure looks that way... though I have rose colored shield shaped glasses for those. Don't I?:happy::bookworm:

    Please share your coins of Kyzikos/Cyzicus, Mysia, the Peloponnesian war, lions, opinions or anything you feel adds to the fun:)
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  3. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Hi, what covid sanitation do you use on FedEx envelopes?
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  4. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Unlike Alcibiades, I like to keep my hands clean:
    I get my mail and go straight to the outside dump bin. I throw away everything not needed, packaging etc. Leave my items in the garage for 3 days, or get so excited and rush the inner packaging to be wiped down with Clorox wipes, hands wash, and coins to my office, wash my hands, again.
  5. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    As I understood from CDC it is very unlikely to catch the corona from mail and packages, but I get it, you can never be too careful with these things.
  6. Pishpash

    Pishpash Supporter! Supporter

    @TIF might link to her awful experience with a little monkey. Glad it all turned out well.
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  7. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

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  8. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Very instructive write up. A few I didn't post lately :
    Julian II
    Ric 103 Ex @Bing

    Ric 323 0DBE7A01-C99E-4F28-A54E-6835E42A4D16.jpeg
    Theodosius I
    Ric IX 14c
    Licinius II
    Ric VII 18
  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    My smallest coin isn't that small -- 10 mm. -- compared to others I've seen posted here. But it certainly looks small to me!

    Mysia, Kyzikos, AR Diobol, ca. 450-400 BCE. Obv. Forepart of boar left; to right, tunny upwards. Rev. Head of roaring lion left within incuse square. Seaby 3846 [Sear, David, Greek Coins and their Values, Vol. 2: Asia & Africa (Seaby 1979)]; Von Fritze II, Group II, No. 9 (p. 36) [Von Fritze, H., "Die Silberprägung von Kyzikos" in Nomisma IX (1914), at pp. 34 - 56]; BMC 15 Mysia 108-113 [Wroth, Warwick, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 15, Mysia (London, 1892) at pp. 34-35]; SNG BnF 361-366 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale, Vol. 5, Mysia (Paris 2001)]. 10 mm., 1.22 g., 6 h.

    Mysia, Kyzikos, Boar-Lion diobol, jpg version.jpg
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  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    And a few later coins from "Cyzicus":

    Aurelian, silvered AE Antoninianus, 274-75 AD, Cyzicus Mint. Obv. Radiate cuirassed bust right, IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG/ Rev. woman stdg. right presents wreath to Aurelian standing left, RESTITVTOR ORBIS. In exergue: A C (Officina 1). RIC V-1 368, Cohen 210, Sear RCV III 11592. 24.15 mm., 3.68 g.

    Aurelian antoninianus jpg version.jpg

    Galerius, AE Follis, 305-306 AD, Cyzicus Mint (4th Officina). Obv. Laureate head right, IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG/ Rev. Genius, wearing modius on head, nude, chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing left, holding cornucopiae in left hand and pouring libation from patera in right hand, GENIO POPV-LI ROMANI; mintmark K Δ [K = Cyzicus, Delta = 4th Officina] in exergue. RIC VI Cyzicus 21b & 25a (pp. 582, 584), Sear RCV IV 14546, Cohen 81. 27.8 mm., 9.65 g. 12 h. Ex. Giovanni Dattari Collection (before 1923); Ex. Jesus Vico 2018.

    Galerius Obv 1.jpg

    Galerius Rev. 1.jpg

    Galeria Valeria (wife of Galerius and daughter of Diocletian). AE Follis, 308-310 AD, Cyzicus Mint (4th Officina). Obv. Diademed and draped bust right, GAL VAL-ERIA AVG / Rev. Venus standing facing, head left, right hand holding up apple, left hand raising drapery over left shoulder, VENERI V-ICTRICI; Δ [Delta = 4th Officina] in left field; MKV [Cyzicus] in exergue. RIC VI Cyzicus 46 (p. 586), Sear RCV IV 14597. 24x26 mm., 5.7 g.

    Galeria Valeria jpg version.jpg
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  11. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 390-341/0 BC. AR Tetradrachm (14.30 gm, 1h, 23mm) Obv: Head of Kore Soteira left, wearing single-pendant earring, hair in sphendone covered with a veil, two grain ears in hair; ΣΩTEIPA above (weak, but present in full). Rev: Head of lion left, mouth open with tongue protruding; below, tunny left; KY-ZI around, hydria behind. Pixodarus Type 2, Group C; von Fritze II 23, pl. V, 32; SNG France 400-1; SNG von Aulock 7339; SNG Copenhagen 53; SNG Fitzwilliam 4151; Kraay & Hirmer 719.
    Curtisimo, Theodosius, TIF and 9 others like this.
  12. Alegandron

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

    Great write up, and very cool coin, @Ryro . I have a bunch of dinky coins, an they are purdy cool... under a magnifying glass.

    My wife always gets upset with me cuz I can't find things. What she does not understand, all you have to do is fail in a menial job, they THEY will step in, being grumpy, and do it for you! :D :D :D

    LOL, naw, I don't do that. Just sometimes, I feel like I should when they get grumpy. :D

    (this one is a MONSTER compared to some of my collection of dinkies)


    Mysia Kyzikos AR Hemiobol 480-450 BCE 0.4g Boar-Lion retrograde K Sear 3850

    Mysia Kyzikos AE12 1.2g 400-3rd C BCE Kore Soteira - Tripod crown Tunny SNG France 430 BMC 141-30
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  13. Alegandron

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

    Here are some LION TETS

    ASIA MINOR Uncertain mint AR Tetartemorion Lion - Incuse 5mm 0.13g

    Ionia Miletos AR Tetartemorion 5.6mm 0.21g Roaring Lion Hd - Bird Klein 430 SNG Kay 941
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  14. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Great write up and cool coin!
    I was actually thinking of writing something on Kyzikos/Cyzicus .. I have somehow purchased 4 coins from there in 2020 alone...

    Mysia, Kyzikos. Circa 510-475 BC. AR Obol (0.79 gm, 13mm). Obv.: Forepart of boar l.; behind, tunny. Rev.: Head of lion l. in incuse square

    I will just link to the other 3 .. from my recent thread on the 1st Tetrarchy:

    I do wonder:
    -What would be the earliest and latest coin minted at Kyzikos/Cyzicus?
    -What cities would claim a longer minting history? I am sure its not the record holder but it is very impressive.
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  15. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..o wow!..kool koin and write up Ryro...my Hostilian comes from that neck of the wood..(bottom right in the 'family foto', Apollo with lyre leaning on column reverse) Trajan Decius family 001.JPG Trajan Decius family 002.JPG
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  16. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Thanks for keeping me honest with those lovely LRBs.
    I have a couple from C town:
    Constantine I Commemorative Series Æ Nummus. Struck under Constantine I. Cyzicus, AD 332-3. CONSTANTINOPOLIS, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, holding reversed spear / Victory standing left on prow, holding spear and resting on shield; •SMKA in exergue. RIC 107.
    CONSTANTINE I THE GREAT (306-337). Commemorative series. Follis. Kyzikos.
    Obv: VRBS ROMA.
    Helmeted and cuirassed bust of Roma left.
    Rev: SMKE.
    She-wolf standing left, suckling the twins Romulus and Remus; two stars above.
    RIC 91.
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  17. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    I lookeded at your coin and thought, "what a striking boar!" Then I look at the lion!
    NICE big LIL guy:wideyed:
    So small, maybe I shoulda said...
  18. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Now that lion is off the chain:rolleyes:
    That type is something I need in my life, hard Kore;)
    I'd be lion ifn I said I couldn't Mysia that coin in my collection:hilarious:
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  19. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    Your first coin is from Nicomedia and I think that the second is Heraclea.
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  20. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Thanks Victor.

    This is why once I'm done reshooting my coins, I need to go back and check my identifications on my LRBs (I started collecting mainly with scrubby LRBs).
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  21. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I trust we will see it soon.
    This one is 7mm 0.24gand a bit triangular. The coin was purchased when the SteveX6 collection first became available. I like the little tunny and reticulated surfaces. These are harder to find than the massive obols and hemiobols.
    This one is well spread to 7mm and 0.2g
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