Description:This ancient coin features the first hero of ancient Greek Mythology Perseus, wearing a Phrygian helmet. The legendary exploits of Perseus defeating various monsters was a basis for the founding myths of the 12 Olympian Gods. Perseus is most famous for killing the gorgon Medusa, whose glance would turn persons to stone. Pegasus, the winged divine horse (shown on the reverse drinking from a spring), was born and sprang from the blood of Medusa's neck as Perseus was beheading her. Perseus later saved the beautiful Andromeda, who was chained to a rock, from an approaching sea monster sent by Poseidon. The great Greek hero slayed the monster and then claimed Andromeda in marriage.
This coin was minted in the city of Amisus in the ancient Greek Kingdom of Pontus. Amisus was founded in the 6th century BC, along the Black Sea Coast in present day Turkey. It was re-settled by the Athenians a century later and became a flourishing city on a major trade route. In 120 BC, Mithridates VI ascended to the throne and he began expanding his Kingdom around the Black Sea and into Greece and Asia Minor. This territory included Roman client states and led to 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.