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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 72, Lot: 692. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 June 2006. 
Sold For $16000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of BOSPOROS. Asander. As archon, circa 47-43 BC. AV Stater (8.23 g, 12h). Dated RY 1 (circa 47/6 BC). Bare head right / Nike standing on prow of galley left, holding wreath and palm; ET A (date) across upper field, monogram to inner left. Nawotka 1a var. (control marks); MacDonald 189/2 (same dies as illustration); RPC I 1842; SNG BM Black Sea 961 (same dies). Near EF, scattered minor flan flaws and light marks. Very rare.

After defeating Pharnakes II in 47 BC, Asander hoped that Caesar would recognize him as king of Bosporos. Instead, in 46 BC Caesar appointed Mithradates of Pergamon, the illegitimate son of Mithradates VI Eupator and a personal friend. Asander, however, subsequently defeated and killed Mithradates. To support his claim to the throne, Asander married Dynamis, the daughter of Pharnakes II, but for the first four years of his reign, he claimed the title ‘archon’ only, rather than that of ‘basileus.’ The reason for this may be that as Rome had formally recognized the archon Pharnakes II as king, Asander was hoping they would do the same on his behalf – a hope confirmed by Octavian in 43 BC. Consequently, all of Asander’s regnal dates are reckoned from his first year as archon (circa 47/6 BC).