Bithynia. Kios (as Prusias ad Mare). Orsobaris Musa, daughter of Mithradates VI Eupator, Ae 22. Extremely Rare.
Bithynia. Kios (as Prusias ad Mare). Orsobaris Musa, daughter of Mithradates VI Eupator, circa mid to late 1st century BC. Tetrachalkon Ae 22 mm. 6.6 gm. circa 30-22 BC (?). Obv: BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ – OPΣOBAPIOΣ / MOYΣHΣ, Diademed head of Orsobaris Musa to left. Rev: ΠPOYΣIEΩN TΩN / ΠPOΣ ΘAΛAΣΣHI, Bearded head of Herakles to left. Rec 26, RN 1887, 354, RPC I 2020.8 ( this coin ). 8 specimens cited. Extremely rare and historical. Ex Leu.
Appian reports that Orsobaris Musa was a daughter of Mithradates VI of Pontos. Brought to Rome in 61 BC with a number of other descendants of the Pontic king, to be presented in Pompey’s great triumph (App. Mithr. 117), we know that Orsobaris married Lykomedes of Comana, an unsuccessful contender for the Bithynian throne in 74 BC and priest-king of the temple-state of Comana in 47-30 BC. This coin was struck in the Bithynian city of Prusias ad Mare, presenting her name as ‘Queen Orsobaris Musa’, with another issue struck in the same mint for ‘Orodaltis, daughter of Lykomedes’ (RPC 2021). It appears that Orodaltis was the daughter of Lykomedes and Orsobaris and that she lived in the city of Prusias ad Mare somewhen in the late 1st century BC (possibly before, or until, the administrative reforms of Agrippa in Asia Minor in 22 BC). It is possible that Orsobaris received the city of Prusias ad Mare as a principality from Augustus after the death of her husband in 30 BC, and the coins in her and her daughter’s name are part of a single issue, produced at some point in the years thereafter.
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