Pergamon, Cistophoric Tetradrachm after 133 BC

Obv: Cista mystica containing serpent, all within ivy wreath. Rev: Bow case between serpents "PRY" (in Greek) and above "MOS" (in Greek) with Asklepian staff. Metal: Silver 12.2 Grams, 29 mm diameter. Condition: EF.

Kingdom of Pergamon

Near the West coast of present day Turkey. Pergamon, in the province of Mysia, was an insignificant city under the Persian empire. After Alexander the Great died, his bodyguard "Lysimachus" was given Thace and north western Asia. After the battle of Ipsus "Lysimachus" secured Alexander's treasury worth over 25,000 talents. Pergamon was located in a natural fortress and "Lysimachus" strengthened the city and deposited his Asian treasure (9000 talents) in the city along with a military guard under his loyal follower "Philetaerus". "Lysimachus" died in 281 BC and Pergamon officially fell under Seulcid control. "Philetaerus" played the part of a faithful governor, but all the time he used the money to strengthen the city's defenses and founded the Attalid dynasty of the kingdom of "Pergamon". The kingdom successfully withstood attempts by Seulicid rulers to regain control. In 190 BC, Pergamon assisted the Romans to defeat Antiochus III of Syria. At this time, Rome had no territorial desires in Asia and they gave all the territories to Pergamon. Pergamon prospered and soon ranked as one of the major Greek cultural centers. Pergamon's library ranked second only to the library of Alexandria. But, to Rome's surprize the Pergamon King Attalus III (138 - 133 BC) gave the kingdom to Rome upon his death in 133 BC. During the confusion a certain "Aristonicus" seized the throne and changed his name to "Eumenes III". This forced the Romans to intervene and they seized the kingdom and made it the capital of the Roman province of Asia.