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762743. Sold For $15000

MYSIA, Kyzikos. Circa 500-450 BC. EL Stater (20mm, 16.23 g). Panther standing left on tunny, raising right forepaw / Quadripartite incuse square, granulated. Von Fritze I 86; Greenwell 106; cf. SNG France 220 (third stater); SNG Copenhagen -; BMC -; SNG von Aulock -; Boston MFA -. EF, light cleaning marks.

The celebrated electrum coinage of Kyzikos began in the second half of the sixth century, but is at its most varied and interesting during the classical period. These staters were regarded as gold coins and circulated throughout a large area along with the gold darics of Persian Empire. On all of the coins of Kyzikos, large or small, was engraved the tunny-fish (qunnoV), which constituted an important part of the Kyzikene economy. The long awaited corpus initiated by the late Friedrich Bodenstedt is now being continued by Maria Kaiser-Raiss. In the meantime we must rely on the synthesis of material put together by von Fritze in 1914. More controversially, Yuri Pokras ("A New Iconography for the Electric Coins of Kyzikos," The Celator [November 2000], pp.18-26) has tried to argue that Athens invested Kyzikos with the status of subsidiary mint, and that the presence of specific types parallels each city-state’s inclusion into an alliance with Athens.

The orator Aristotelis, in the second century BC, stated the following in his speech regarding the people of Kyzikos: “It is enough for one just to glance at the location and the nature of this city to immediately understand that the name ‘blissful’ given to it by God was factual, so convenient is its land and its sea. As it is built in front of Asia Minor and since its dominion extends from the Black Sea to the Hellespont, Kyzikos joins the two seas together or rather all the seas that man navigates. Thus, ships continuously pass by or arrive at the harbor or depart from the harbor. Justly it should be called ‘blissful’ just as is Corinth because, as it is built in the mid part of the seas, it joins, as if it was the center of the world, all men who sail the Mediterranean from Gibraltar to Kolchis at the far side of the Black Sea.”