The article is devoted
to the study of Bosporus bronze coins with
the monogram on the reverse. The objects of the study were both
initially imprinted images and over-markings on the obverse. The appearance
on them of the busts and symbols of Gorgon, Isis, Zeus Amon,
and Serapis is not accidental. After all, before
the end of the release of bronze with the monogram they were not respected at the state level in the Bosporus state. This fact can be explained by the
desire of their issuer, apparently Polemon I, not
only to legitimize, but also to sanctify his power. To this end, he planted
in it the cults of unknown gods in the region, whom he considered his
patrons. The result was an outrage of the majority of the local residents.
Increasing of the social tension in the Bosporus
state led to decreasing of the zone of influence of its sovereign. As a
result, Polemon I began to feel a shortage of
funds, reflected not only in the chronic damage to the bronze coin, but also
in its counter-marking. On the coins, images of the gods revered in the Bosporus state were placed. However, this did not
reconcile Polemon I with his Northern
Black Sea subjects.
The Romans remained the
only support of his regime. For this reason, by the end of the reign of Polemon I, on his bronze, there appeared countermarks
glorifying G. Julius Caesar and Augustus. However, the authorities of the
Empire understood that the obvious antagonism between Polemon
I and his unwilling subjects could lead not only to the collapse of the
regime of this sovereign and to a systemic crisis in the Black
Sea region but also to the emergence of an anti-Roman center of
influence in the region. Moreover, the inhabitants of the Bosporus
sought only to restore the situation that had developed under Asander. They
also wanted to honor the gods of their fathers. Therefore, the Romans not
only distanced themselves from Polemon I, but also
found it possible soon after his death to find a common language with the Mithridatides. Thus, the failures of this sovereign
pushed the parties to work out a compromise that extended the existence of
the Bosporan kingdom for another five centuries.
words: Bosporus, history, numismatics, Polemon I, religion, economy, countermarks.