Thace Mithradates VI 88 – 86 BC Gold stater mint Kallatis 

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Product Description

Obv: Head of Alexander the Great right

Rev: Athena enthroned left, HP under arm

Metal: Gold 8.3 grams, 21 mm diameter

Condition: uncirculated from hoard

Purchase code: 240

Note: This coin is from a controversial hoard because some coins of Brutus may have been found in the hoard. Coins of Brutus would indicate that the coins may have been struck by Brutus during his revolt to pay his Greek mercenary troops in the coinage style that the local mercenaries were familiar with.

History of Mithradates VI 120 – 63 BC

Mithradates VI came to the throne of Thace at the age of 11 upon the death of his father Mithradates V in 120 BC. While his mother was regent, several attempts were made on Mithradates VI life and he fled to the hills. In these remote areas he developed into a very self-reliant man and is said to have learned to speak over 25 languages and dealt with the many tribes in his realm in their own languages. Mithradates VI returned to the capital (Sinope) and regained the country in a coup. Mithradates VI was a ruthless ruler and lived like an eastern potentate. It is said he ordered the slaughter of 500 women in his harem. He assembled an army said to number 125,000 men, thousands of horses and chairiots and a fleet of 400 ships. From his remote bases in Thace near the Black sea he led a revolt against Roman rule. The first revolt was 88 – 86 BC. He struck coins of the style of Alexander the Great trying to get the Greek city states to remember the great Hellenistic period and support his revolt. The revolt was initially very successful and large numbers of Roman settlers in Greece were massacred. However, on the whole the Greeks were no happier under the previous Macedonian rule than under the current Roman rule and fearing Roman retribution they did not support Mithradates. The Romans regrouped and the general Sula defeated Mithradates who retreated back to Thace, only to rise and fall again in the second revolt in 81 BC. The third revolt occurred in 74 BC, when Mithradates tried to claim the kingdom of Bithynia that had been bequeathed to Rome. He and his brother-in-law Tigranes of Armenia were totally defeated by Pompey. Mithradates fled to prepare for another war, but his troops led by his son Pharnaces revolted and Mithradates VI committed suicide. He had ruled for 57 years of which 25 years were at war with Rome. Pharnaces sent Mithradates head to Pompey who out of respect had it interred with regal honors in the family tomb in Sinope. Cicero proclaimed Mithradates VI the greatest king since Alexander the Great and the most formidable opponent that Rome had ever encontered.

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