Description:In Greek mythology, Zeus oversaw the universe and was the "Father of Gods and Men". He ruled the other Olympian Gods as both a father, as head of the family and as King. He was the God of sky and thunder and his symbols are the bull and oak, along with the eagle and thunderbolt, which are shown on the reverse of this coin. Known for his escapades, Zeus fathered many godly and heroic children including Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus and Hercules.
This bronze coin was minted in Dia, an ancient port city located on the Black Sea coast in the region of Bithynia, which is in present day northwest Turkey. Bithynia was an independent Greek Kingdom that was founded in the 4th century BC and over the centuries, it rose to great prosperity. However, in 120 BC, Mithridates VI ascended to the throne of the nearby Kingdom of Pontus and he began expanding his Kingdom around the Black Sea and into Greece and Asia Minor.
This territory included Bithynia and Roman client states which led to the the 1st Mithridatic War against Rome in 89 BC. The war lasted 5 years and ended in a Roman victory which forced Mithridates to abandon all his conquests and return to Pontus. However, the conflict would continue in two further wars and Mithridates, who is remembered as the last great Hellenistic ruler, would rule until 63 BC, when he was finally defeated by the Romans.