1

2

Today is
Contact us via e-mail: inscriptor@creounity.com
► Press Shift + L to view this page in Russian



Idea, implementation and design by
Andrey Tretyakov (aka inscriptor)

Andrei Tretyakov, inscriptor, creounity

and Creative Force
2009.

Shortcut of the Creounity Time Machine
(English version) is:
creounity.com/tmconv

Acknowledgements

Friendly sites

The number of countries
whose coin collectors
use the web application
Creounity Time Machine:
196
(Google Analytics)

This SaaS is freeware.

Patent protected
(click to show/hide details).

Bithynian (Bosporan) Era

  • Direct conversion
  • Reverse conversion

1

alpha

2

beta

3

gamma

4

delta

5

epsilon

6

stigma

7

zeta

8

eta

9

theta

10

iota

20

kappa

30

lambda

40

mu

50

nu

60

xi

70

omicron

80

pi

90

koppa

100

rho

200

sigma

300

tau

400

upsilon

500

phi

600

chi

700

psi

800

omega

900

sampi

Clear all symbols

Backspace

Calculate

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
BC AD
Clear all symbols

Backspace

Calculate

  • Chronological system info
  • Images of coins

Date of publication: November 8th, 2015


Much more detailed description is available in Russian language. To open it, click here or simply press Shift + L on your keyboard.


Brief historical overview

The Bosporan Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus, was an ancient state located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus, the present-day Strait of Kerch.

According to historians, Bosporan Kingdom started to exist in about 480…438 BC, and ended up with becoming a part of the Byzantine Empire in the early 500th-s AD. Thus, the lifetime of Bosporan Kingdom was about 1,000 year in a row.


Bithynian (Bosporan) Era (B.E.) and date conversion formulæ

The era used on the coins of Bospor is called Bosporan Era, though more often it is referred to as the Bithynian Era. Bithynian Era's 1st year falls on the year 297 BC. Before we get into it, let's understand what Bithynia is and what had happened in 297 BC.

Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor (also known as Anatolia). In 297 BC the ruler of Bithynia named Zipoites assumed the title of king (basileus) after a huge win against Macedonian army.

Obviously the Bithynian Era had been used on the coins of the Kingdom of Bithynia itself (for example, during the rule of Nikomede II (king: 149127 BC), Nikomede III (king: 12794 BC), Nikomede IV (king: 9474 BC) etc).

So now let's get back to the Bosporan Kingdom.

Bithynian Era started to appear on the coins of the Bosporan Kingdom at the time of rule of Pharnaces II (of Pontus) (his years of rule: 9747 BC). Images of coins in this system were taken from the website bosporan-kingdom.com, and the earliest coin there with date specified in Bithynian Era (B.E.) was issued in 243 B.E. (55 BC), whereas the latest one in 639 B.E. (342 AD). Thus, the date range of those coins is about 397 years.

As you can see from the direct converter and the coin samples in the section Images of coins, characters of the ancient Greek alphabet are used on these coins. I'm saying ancient because several characters are not used in the nowadays Greek script (and alphabet, apparently); these ones are as follows: stigma (6), koppa (90) and sampi (900). Beneath is a small table with those characters.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ϛ Ζ Η Θ
alpha beta gamma delta epsilon stigma zeta eta theta
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π q
iota kappa lambda mu nu xi omicron pi koppa
100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Ϡ
rho sigma tau upsilon phi chi psi omega sampi

Every character has its numerical value, and in the date inscription characters go from the smaller ones to bigger ones (Greek is read left-to-right, unlike Hebrew writing system). As an example, 621 will be written as 1 + 20 + 600, i.e. ΑΚΧ.

Now it's time to mention the formulae used in the date conversion. First of all you should understand that the Bithynian Era started in the BC time and ended in AD time (and starting from 297 BC, which is year 1 B.E., it is always positive), but Year 0 (zero) in the Gregorian calendar didn't exist at all. Having said this, here's the formula for direct conversion (from Bithynian Era to the years of the Gregorian calendar) and reverse conversion (from BC or AD years to the Bithynian Era):

  • Year Greg.cal. = {Year B.E. − 298, for BC years; Year B.E. − 297, for AD years};
  • Year B.E. = {Year Greg. [BC] + 298, for BC years; Year Greg. [AD] + 297, for AD years}.

Some of the useful correlations between certain ancient coin denominations

Yes, that's true. Even on the ancient coins (well, on some certain types) you can see the their face value. And guess what those values are written using Greek letters (including ancient ones). There's one important difference between coin's date inscription and face value inscription using Green characters: in the case of face value inscription, characters go from the bigger positions to smaller ones (hundreds to tens and units).

You might ask, for coins below from Semis to Triple Sestertius what is the basic unit, multiples of which form this or that bigger coin denomination? The answer is, Uncia tiny coin in Roman Empire: 1114 mm in diameter with weigh about 0.81.2 grams. This definition of Uncia (tiny coin) not to be confused with the ounce (28.34 grams). Inscription SC on the coins stands for Senatu Consulto.

By the way, what's really interesting, uncia is a derivation from unus, i.e. one or unit. Check this link to get to know more on this.


Name of the coin denomination How it's written on the coins Bit-by-bit Resulting value
Semis (also see wiki) Ϛ = 6 6
Assarius ΙΒ = 10 + 2 12
Dupondius ΚΔ = 20 + 4 24
Sestertius ΜΗ = 40 + 8 48
Double Sestertius = 90 + 6 96
Triple Sestertius ΡΜΔ = 100 + 40 + 4 144
Double Denarius Β = 2 2

As Russia (at that time, Ancient Rus') adopted Greek script (obviously with certain modifications), letters there had also been using to denote numerals (years, in particular) till the end of the first quarter of the 18th century.


Jump to the picture #
Territory that issued this coin: Bithynia
Basileus of Bithynia: Nicomedes II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 168
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 130 BC
Territory that issued this coin: Bithynia
Basileus of Bithynia: Nicomedes IV
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 205
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 93 BC
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Pharnaces II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 243
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 55 BC
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 291
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 7 BC
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 359
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 62 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates I
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 393
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 96 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates I
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 398
Note: ligature Hq (98)
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 101 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates I
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 405
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 108 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Rhoemetalces
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 431
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 134 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Eupator
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 460
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 163 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 472
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 175 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 484
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 187 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 496
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 199 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Sauromates II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 500
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 203 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Rhescuporis III
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 517
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 220 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Rhescuporis IV
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 542
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 245 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Rhescuporis IV
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 560
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 263 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Theothorses
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 583
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 286 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Rhescuporis V
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 621
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 324 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Rhescuporis V
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 638
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 341 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bithynia
Basileus of Bithynia: Nicomedes IV
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 214
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 84 BC
Territory that issued this coin: Bithynia
Basileus of the Bosporan Kingdom: Nicomedes III
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 186
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 112 BC
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Special thanks: Sauromates II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 495
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 198 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Special thanks: Sauromates II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 505
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 208 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bosporan Kingdom
Special thanks: Cotys III
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 524
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 227 AD
Territory that issued this coin: Bithynia
Basileus of Bithynia: Nicomedes II
Year of the Bithynian (Bosporan) Era: 168
Year of the Gregorian calendar: 130 BC
Creounity © 2009     Terms and Conditions    How old is this site?    Get in touch with us   
4. ?
Applications

Contact

Contact us via:

Facebook ICQ Mail Vkontakte