The Cistophorus denomination
The cistophorus was a coin of ancient Pergamum. It was introduced sometime in the years 175–160 BC at that city to provide the Attalid kingdom with a substitute for Seleucid coins and the tetradrachms of Philetairos. It was also used by a number of other cities that were under Attalid control, including Alabanda and Kibyra.

It continued to be minted and circulated down to the time of Hadrian, long after the kingdom was bequeathed to Rome. It owes its name to a figure, on the obverse, of the sacred chest (cista) of Dionysus.

It was tariffed at four drachmas, but weighed only as much as three Attic drachmas (the most important weight standard of the time), 12.75 grams. In addition, the evidence of hoards suggests that it did not travel outside the area which Pergamum controlled. It is therefore suspected that it was overvalued in this area.
Cistophorus
(1) Pergamon
/Files/Images/Coinsite/CoinDB/Pergamon_cistophoric_tetra.jpg
An AR Cistophorus struck 76-67 BC in Pergamon
Obverse: snake emerging from cista mystica, all in ivy wreath

Reverse: coiled snakes, flanking ornamented bow-case, thyrsos right; MOΣ / (ΠYP) / (ΠEP)

Diameter: -
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 12.3 g
No notes for this coin
Kleiner, Hoard 44; Pinder 124 var. (monogram in wreath); SNG France 1748 var. (same)
(2) Tralleis
/Files/Images/Coinsite/CoinDB/789_Tralleis.jpg
An AR Cistophorus struck 133-126 BC in Tralleis
Obverse: cista mystica with snake, all in ivy wreath

Reverse: coiled snakes, flanking ornamented bow-case; Dionysos on the right, holding thyrsos and grapes; TPAΛ / ΠTOΛ

Diameter: -
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 12.8 g
No notes for this coin
SNG Cop 662-663var (Datum), BMC 332.44