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Kingdom of Bosporus  Thothorses - King:  285-309 A.D.  Bronze Stater 19mm (7.85 grams) Struck year 595 of Bosporan era, 298/299 A.D..
Kingdom of Bosporus  Thothorses - King:  285-309 A.D.  Bronze Stater 19mm (7.85 grams) Struck year 595 of Bosporan era, 298/299 A.D..

Kingdom of Bosporus Thothorses - King: 285-309 A.D. Bronze Stater 19mm (7.85 grams) Struck year 595 of Bosporan era, 298/299 A.D.

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THOTHORSES 298AD Bosporus King & Roman Emperor stater Greek Ancient coin i53641

Authentic Ancient  Coin of:

Kingdom of Bosporus

Thothorses - King:  285-309 A.D.

Bronze Stater 19mm (7.85 grams) Struck year 595 of Bosporan era, 298/299 A.D.

Reference: MacDonald 646/1; Anokhin 743b

BACIΛЄC ΘΟΘWPCOY, His  diademed and draped bust right; three pellets before.

Laureate and draped bust of Roman emperor right; beneath ЄPΦ(595 =  298/299 A.D.); three pellets in field to left; in field to right, tamgha of Thothorses #2  (MacDonald p.118).


You are buying the exact item pictured,  provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of  Authenticity.


The Bosporan Kingdom (also known as the Kingdom of the Cimmerian  Bosporus) was an ancient state located in easternCrimea and the Taman Peninsula, on the shores of the Cimmerian  Bosporus (now known as the Strait of Kerch). It was named after the Bosphorus, also known as Istanbul Strait, a different strait that  divides Asia from Europe.

Map showing the early growth of the Bosporan Kingdom,  before its annexation by Mithridates VI of Pontus.

The Bosporan Kingdom was the longest surviving Roman client kingdom. It was a Roman province from 63 to 68, under Emperor Nero. The 1st and 2nd centuries BCE saw a period of renewed golden  age of the Bosporan state. At the end of the 2nd century, King Sauromates II inflicted a critical defeat on  the Scythians and included all the territories of  the Crimea in the structure of his state.


The prosperity of the Bosporan Kingdom was based on the export of wheat, fish  and slaves. The profit of the trade supported a  class whose conspicuous wealth is still visible from newly discovered  archaeological finds, excavated, often illegally, from numerous burial barrows  known as kurgans. The once-thriving cities of the  Bosporus left extensive architectural and sculptural remains, while the kurgans  continue to yield spectacular Greco-Sarmatian objects, the best examples of  which are now preserved in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. These include gold work, vases  imported from Athens, coarse terracottas, textile fragments  and specimens of carpentry andmarquetry.


Early Greek colonies

Panticapaeum and other ancient Greek colonies along the north coast  of the Black Sea

The whole area was dotted with Greek cities: in the west,Panticapaeum (Kerch)—the  most significant city in the region,Nymphaeum and Myrmekion; on the east Phanagoria (the second city of the region), Kepoi, Germonassa, Portus Sindicus and Gorgippia.

These Greek colonies were originally settled by Milesians in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE.  Phanagoria (c. 540 BCE) was a colony of Teos, and the foundation of Nymphaeum may have had a connection with Athens; at least it appears to have been a  member of the Delian League in the 5th century.


Geography  of the Bosporan Kingdom


See also: Roman Crimea

The Bosporan Kingdom was centred around the strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.


Kings of  Cimmerian Bosporan


See Also: List of kings of Cimmerian Bosporus

Archaeanactidae  dynasty


According to Roman historian Diodorus Siculus (xii. 31) the region was  governed between 480 and 438 BCE by a line of kings called the Archaeanactidae, probably a ruling family, usurped by a tyrant called Spartocus (438 – 431 BCE), who  was a Thracian.


Spartocid dynasty

Spartocus founded a dynasty which seems to have endured until c. 110 BCE,  known as the Spartocids. The Spartocids left many  inscriptions, indicating that the earliest members of the house ruled under the  titles of archons of the Greek cities and kings of  various minor native tribes, notably the Sindi (from central Crimea) and other branches  of the Maeotae. Surviving material (texts,  inscriptions and coins) do not supply enough information to reconstruct a  complete chronology of kings of the region.


Bosporan Phiale (top view), 4th century BCE

Satyrus (431 – 387 BCE), successor to Spartocus,  established his rule over the whole region, adding Nymphaeum to his kingdom and besieging Theodosia, which was wealthy because, unlike  other cities in the region, it had a port which was free of ice throughout the  year, allowing it to trade grain with the rest of the Greek world, even in  winter. Satyrus' son Leucon (387 – 347 BCE) would eventually take  the city. He was succeeded jointly by his two sons, Spartocus II, and Paerisades;  Spartocus died in 342, allowing Paerisades to reign alone until 310. After  Paerisades' death, a civil war between his sons Satyrus and Eumelus was fought.  Satyrus defeated his younger brother Eumelus at the Battle of the River Thatis in 310 BCE but was  then killed in battle, giving Eumelus the throne.


Eumelus' successor was Spartocus III (303 – 283 BCE) and after him Paerisades  II. Succeeding princes repeated the family names, so it is impossible to assign  them a definite order. The last of them, however, Paerisades V, unable to make  headway against increasingly violent attacks from nomadic tribes in the area,  called in the help of Diophantus, general of KingMithridates VI of Pontus, leaving him his  kingdom. Paerisades was killed by a Scythian named Saumacus who led a rebellion  against him.


The house of Spartocus was well known as a line of enlightened and wise  princes; although Greek opinion could not deny that they were, strictly  speaking, tyrants, they are always described as dynasts.  They maintained close relations with Athens, their best customer for the Bosporan  grain exports: Leucon I of Bosporus created privileges for Athenian ships at  Bosporan ports. The Attic orators make numerous references to this. In return  the Athenians granted Leucon Athenian citizenship and made decrees in honour of  him and his sons.


Mithridates VI

The northern Black sea shores of the Pontic Kingdom (actual Crimea  and Kerch peninsula) shown as part of the empire ofMithridates VI of Pontus.

After his defeat by Roman General Pompey in 63 BCE, KingMithridates VI of Pontus fled with a small army  from Colchis(modern Georgia) over the Caucasus  Mountains to Crimea and made plans to raise yet another army  to take on the Romans. His eldest living son, Machares, regent of Cimmerian Bosporus, was  unwilling to aid his father, so Mithridates had Machares killed, acquiring the  throne for himself. Mithridates then ordered the conscriptions and preparations  for war. In 63 BCE, Pharnaces, the youngest son of Mithridates, led  a rebellion against his father, joined by Roman exiles in the core of  Mithridates's Pontic army. Mithridates VI withdrew to the citadel inPanticapaeum, where he committed suicide.  Pompey buried Mithridates VI in the rock-cut tombs of his ancestors in Amasia, the capital of the Kingdom of Pontus.


Roman client kingdom

The stele of Staphhilos from the Panticapaeum, depicting a soldier  with the traditional Bosporan long hair and beard.

After the death of Mithridates VI (63 BCE), Pharnaces II (63  – 47 BCE)  supplicated to Pompey, and then tried to regain his dominion during Julius Caesar's Civil War, but was defeated byCaesar at Zela and was later killed by his former  governor and son-in-law Asander.


Before the death of Pharnaces II, Asander had married Pharnaces II’s daughter Dynamis. Asander and Dynamis were the ruling  monarchs until Caesar commanded a paternal uncle of Dynamis,Mithridates II to declare war on the Bosporan  Kingdom and claimed the kingship for himself. Asander and Dynamis were defeated  by Caesar’s ally and went into political exile. However, after Caesar’s death in  44 BCE, the Bosporan Kingdom was restored to Asander and Dynamis by Caesar’s  great nephew and heir Octavian. Asander ruled as an archon and later  as king until his death in 17 BCE. After the death of Asander, Dynamis was  compelled to marry a Roman usurper called Scribonius, but the Romans under Agrippa intervened and established Polemon I of Pontus (16 – 8 BCE) in his place.  Polemon married Dynamis in 16 BCE and she died in 14 BCE. Polemon ruled as king  until his death in 8 BCE. After the death of Polemon, Aspurgus, the son of Dynamis and Asander,  succeeded Polemon.


The Bosporan Kingdom of Aspurgus was a client state of theRoman Empire, protected by Roman garrisons.  Aspurgus (8 BCE – 38 CE) founded a dynasty of kings which endured with a couple  of interruptions until 341 CE. Aspurgus adopted the Imperial Roman names  "Tiberius Julius" when he receivedRoman citizenship and enjoyed the patronage of  the first twoRoman Emperors, Augustus and Tiberius. All of the following kings adopted  these two Roman names followed by a third name, of Thracian (Kotys, Rhescuporis or Rhoemetalces)  or local origin (such as Sauromates, Eupator, Ininthimeus, Pharsanzes, Synges,  Terianes, Theothorses or Rhadamsades).

Ruins of Panticapaeum, modernKerch, the capital of the Bosporan  Kingdom.

The Roman client kings of the dynasty had descended from KingMithridates VI of Pontus and his first wife, his sister Laodice, through Aspurgus. The kings  adopted a new calendar (the "Pontic Era") introduced by Mithridates VI, starting  with 297 BCE to date their coins. Bosporan kings struck coinage throughout its  period as a client state, which included goldstaters bearing portraits of both the Roman  emperor and Bosporan king. Like the Roman, Bosporan coinage became increasingly  debased during the 3rd century. The coinage makes their lineages fairly clear to  historians, though scarcely any events from their reigns are recorded.


The Bosporan Kingdom covered the eastern half of Crimea and the Taman  peninsula, and extended along the east coast of theMaeotian marshes to Tanais at the mouth of the Don in the north-east, a great market for trade  with the interior. Throughout the period there was perpetual war with the native  tribes ofScythians and Sarmatians, and in this the Bosporan Kingdom  was supported by its Roman suzerains, who lent the assistance of garrisons and  fleets.


In 62 CE for reasons unknown, Roman emperor Nero deposed the Bosporan king Cotys I.[4]  It is possible that Nero wanted to minimise the power of local client rulers and  wanted the Bosporans to be subsumed into the Roman empire. The Bosporan Kingdom  was incorporated as part of the Roman province of Moesia Inferior from 63 to 68. In 68, the new  Roman emperor Galba restored the Bosporan Kingdom toRhescuporis I, the son of Cotys I.


The balance of power amongst local tribes was severely disturbed by westward migration in the 3rd–4th centuries. In  the 250s CE, the Goths and Borani were able to seize Bosporan shipping and  even raid the shores of Anatolia.[5]


With the coins of the last king Rhescuporis VI in 341, constructing a  chronology becomes very difficult. The kingdom was probably finally overrun by  the Huns, who defeated the nearby Alans in 375/376 and moved rapidly westwards  towards the Roman empire.


Byzantine period


A few centuries after the Hunnic invasion, the Bosporan cities enjoyed a  revival, under Byzantine and Bulgarian protection. Phanagoria  was the capital of Old Great Bulgaria. From time to time Byzantine officers  built fortresses and exercised authority at Bosporus, which constituted an archbishopric.


They also held Ta Matarcha on the eastern side of the strait, a town which in  the 10th and 11th centuries became the seat of theKievan Rus principality of Tmutarakan, which in turn gave way to Tatar domination.


Following the Diaspora, and aided by the Khazars, Judaismemerged in the region, and Jewish  communities developed in some of the cities of the region (especially Tanais). The Jewish or Thracian influence on  the region may have inspired the foundation of a cult to the "Most High God," a  distinct regional cult which emerged in the 1st century CE, which professed  monotheism without being distinctively Jewish or Christian.


Coinage of  the Bosporan Kingdom

Bronze coin of Sauromates II, c. 172–211 CE

Although considered somewhat exotic prior to the demise of the Soviet Union  in the early 1990s, Bosporan coins are now well known on the international coin  markets, hinting at the quantities produced. Several large series were produced  by Bosporan cities from the 5th century BCE, particularly inPanticapaeum. Gold staters of Panticapaeum  bearing Pan's head and a griffin are especially  remarkable for their weight and fine workmanship.

There are coins with the names of the later Spartocids and a complete series  of dated solidi issued by the later orAchaemenian dynasty. In them may be noticed the  swift degeneration of the gold solidus through silver and potin to bronze.


See also

Cimmerian Bosporus

Kingdom of Pontus

Roman Crimea

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