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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 111, Lot: 180. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $11000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of BOSPOROS. Pharnakes II. Circa 63-46 BC. AV Stater (21.5mm, 8.23 g, 12h). Pantikapaion mint. Dated Bosporan Era 246 (52/1 BC). Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛE-ΩN MEΓAΛOY ΦAPNAKOY, Apollo seated left on lion-footed throne, holding branch in extended right hand, left arm resting on kithara; tripod to left; to right, ςMΣ (date) above monogram (only traces visible. Frolova & Ireland § 5, unlisted dies; G&K 9 var. (unlisted dies); MacDonald 185/2; Anokhin 1305; HGC 7, 198; DCA 446. Near EF, underlying luster, a few marks.

Ex Freeman & Sear inventory G4412 (May 2004).

Pharnakes was awarded the Bosporan Kingdom by Pompey, for the betrayal of his father Mithradates VI, King of Pontos. Little is known of his 16-year reign except for its ending. During the Civil War between Pompey and Julius Caesar, Pharnakes tried to recapture his father's former territories in Pontos. He won a victory over Caesar's general, Domitius Calvinus, and ordered Romans in the region castrated or put to the sword. In response, Caesar launched a rapid five day war against Pharnakes in 47 BC, culminating in the battle of Zela. Caesar emerged victorious, prompting him to report back to the Senate with the now famous dictum, "Veni, Vidi, Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered).