Description:This 4th century BC coin was minted in Panticapaeum, a Greek city located on the present-day eastern shore of Crimea, which the Greeks called Taurica. The city was founded by Milesians in the 7th century BC and grew to be wealthy as a trade center and producer of grain, pottery and metalworking. Panticapaeum had a fortified acropolis and many monumental buildings, including temples to Apollo, Artemis, and Zeus. The city began minting silver coins in the 5th century BC and gold and bronze coins in the 4th century BC. During this period, the city became the residence of the dynasties of Thracian Kings of Bosporus. In 63 BC, the great Greek King Mithridates VI took his own life in Panticapaeum. He was the last great Hellenistic ruler, brought down only after repeated wars with the Roman Republic.
This bronze coin features Pan, who was the Greek mythological companion of the nymphs and was worshipped as the god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music. His name originates from the word paein, meaning "to pasture" and he has the hindquarters and horns of a goat. Pan enjoyed playing his Syrinx flute of seven pipes and is often in the company of Dionysus, the god of wine. When accidentally awakened from his noontime nap, Pan could give a great shout that would cause flocks to stampede and this “sudden fear” is the origin of the word "panic." The reverse of this coin shows the forepart of a bull, also known as Taurus, which was a symbol of Zeus, the king of the ancient Greek gods.