Phrygia, Prymnessus. Autonomous issue. mid 3rd century AD

Phrygia, Prymnessus. Autonomous issue. mid 3rd century AD


AE22, 6.79g (22mm, 6h). MIΔAC BACIΛЄVC, draped bust of King Midas right, wearing Phrygian cap / Justitia standing left, holding scales and grain ears.

Pedigree: Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 349 (22 April 2015), lot 281.

References: Von Aulock, Phrygiens 955/962 (obv./rev.; same dies); SNG Copenhagen 663 (same dies).

Grade: Some minor cuts on surfaces, otherwise a very nice example from an interesting type with the legendary King Midas. EF for issue (gk1295)

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Midas, the mytho-historical king of Phrygia and Lydia, was granted the so-called "Golden Touch" by Dionysus because the king wished for unending wealth as a reward for his guest-friendship to Silenus. Everything Midas touched turned to gold, including food. Starving and pleading for relief, the king was instructed to bathe in the waters of the river Pactolus. The water removed Midas’ “gift” and turned the sand of the river-bed into grains of gold. It was the naturally-occurring ore of the Pactolus that became the source of the metal used in the first archaic electrum coinages of Asia Minor.