PERGAMON bronze (2nd-1st century BC)


MYSIA, PERGAMON, minor, no date (2nd-1st century BC), Obverse: head of Athena R, Reverse: trophy, AΘHNAΣ NIKHΦOΡOY, bronze, 19-21mm, 7.58g, SG3960, F-VF

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Pergamon (Pergamum) was a city in western Anatolia. It is on a high hill, and was apparently founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC. It was conquered by Persia, then by Alexander. It became a major local player under the Attalid kings. Usually allied with Rome, it lost its independence in 129 BC after the Romans suppressed an uprising.

Mysia is the far northwestern salient of Anatolia. The cultural and political progression was paleolithic, neolithic, bronze age, Hittite, Phoenician, Greek, Persian, Macedonian, Seleukid, Roman, Byzantine, Mongol, Turkish.

We think that our culture grew out of the culture of Greece because it was in Greece (and in China) that people started thinking about how things could be different than they were in a world where everything was dangerous and might made right. They also established principles of artistic expression that we still use today. We see this approach to art in their coins.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.