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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 116. Estimate CHF3750. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF3000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of CAPPADOCIA. Ariarathes IX Eusebes Philopator. 101-85. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.45 g 1), regnal year Β = 2 = 99/98 BC. Diademed head of Ariarathes IX to right, hair long Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΡΙΑΡΑΘΟΥ ΕΥΣΕΒΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ Athena standing left, holding Nike on her extended right hand and spear and shield with her left; in exergue, Β. De Callataÿ p. 201, 1968, 5 = O. Mørkholm “The Coinages of Ariarathes VIII and Ariarathes IX of Cappadocia,” Essays Robinson, p. 247, A 1-P 9 = Jameson 1634 (this coin cited). Simonetta 5 (Ariarathes V). SNG Copenhagen 136 (Ariarathes V). Attractively toned and with a fine, ‘Cappadocian’ portrait of the youthful king. Good very fine.

From the collection of R. Jameson.

There has been a great deal of controversy over the identification of the Ariarathes who struck this coin, but Mørkholm simply must be correct in seeing it as an early issue of Ariarathes IX. He had been placed on the throne of Cappadocia by his father, the mighty Mithridates VI of Pontus who had previously assassinated his own nephew, Ariarathes VII, a son of Ariarathes VI (he also disposed of another son of Ariarathes VI, the unimaginatively named Ariarathes VIII). This early portrait shows the young king with rather idealized features that are somewhat reminiscent of those of earlier Cappadocian kings. However, soon after these early tetradrachms were issued, drachms and, later, tetradrachms were struck bearing a portrait that was much closer in features to that of Mithridates VI, thus making their relationship perfectly clear to all beholders. Ariarathes IX was killed while serving as a commander of his father’s troops in northern Greece.