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Area: Cimmerian Bosporos: Pantikapaion (Panticapaeum)
Period: Circa 4th/3rd century BC.
Denomination: AE21
Obverse: Head of Pan right.
Reverse: Forepart of griffin left; below, sturgeon left. "ΠAN"
Reference: MacDonald 69; HGC 7, 113; GCV 1700
Weight: 7.0 gms
Diameter: 20.9 mm

Cimmerian Bosporos: Pantikapaion

The Bosporan Kingdom, was an ancient state located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus (Azov Sea), the present-day Strait of Kerch. (It was not named after the more famous Bosphorus beside Istanbul at the other end 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.

Panticapaeum (Greek: Pantikapaion) was an ancient Greek city on the eastern shore of Crimea, which the Greeks called Taurica. The city was built on Mount Mithridat, a hill on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus. It was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century BC. The ruins of the site are now located in the modern city Kerch.

According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus the region was governed between 480 and 438 BC by a line of kings called the Archaeanactidae, but usurped by a tyrant called Spartocus (438 – 431 BC), who was a Thracian. Spartocus founded a dynasty which seems to have endured until c. 110 BC.

After his defeat by Roman General Pompey in 63 BC, King Mithridates 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 BC, 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 in Panticapaeum.

In about 70 BC an earthquake caused heavy damage to the Panticapaeum. The city was destroyed by the Huns in approximately 370 AD. Later the area came under the control of the Byzantine Empire which built a new town at the site, which became known as Bosphorus in the Middle Ages.

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