In antiquity, Amaseia was a fortified city high on the cliffs above the river. It has a long history as a wealthy provincial capital, producing kings and princes, artists, scientists, poets and thinkers, from the kings of Pontus, through Strabo the geographer, to many generations of the Ottoman imperial dynasty. With its Ottoman-period wooden houses and the tombs of the Pontus kings carved into the cliffs overhead, Amasya is attractive to visitors. In recent years, there has been much investment in tourism, and therefore more foreign and Turkish tourists have visited the city. Archaeological research shows that Amasya was first settled by the Hittites. An independent Pontic kingdom with its capital at Amaseia was established by the Persian Mithridatic dynasty at the end of the 4th century BC, in the wake of Alexander's conquests.
In the 1st century BC, it briefly contested Rome's hegemony in Anatolia. Amaseia was captured by a force led by Roman Lucullus in 70 BC from Armenia and was quickly made a free city and administrative center of his new province of Bithynia and Pontus by Pompey. By this time, Amaseia was a thriving city, the home of thinkers, writers and poets. Around 2 or 3 BC, it was incorporated into the Roman province of Galatia, in the district of Pontus Galaticus. Around the year 112, the emperor Trajan designated it a part of the province of Cappadocia. Later in the 2nd century it gained the titles 'metropolis' and 'first city'.
In 1075, ending 700 years of Byzantine rule, Amasya was conquered by the Turkmen Danishmend emirs. It served as their capital until the annexation of the Danishmendid dominions by the Seljuk ruler Kilij Arslan II. During the 13th century the city passed under the control of the Mongol Ilkhanate, and was ruled by Mongol governors, except for a brief rule by Taj ad-Din Altintash, son of the last Seljuk sultan, Mesud II. Under the Seljuks and the Ilkhan, the city became a centre of Islamic culture. In 1341, the emir Habiloghlu occupied the city, before it came under the rule of the Eretnid emirate. Hadji Shadgeldi Pasha took Amasya from the Eretnids under Ali Bey, and successfully fended off the claims of Kadi Burhan al-Din, who had supplanted the Eretnids. Shadgeldi was succeeded by his son Ahmed, who managed to retain his autonomy for a while, with Ottoman assistance; but in 1391/92, the mounting pressure forced him to cede the city to the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I, who installed his son, the future Mehmed I, as its governor.
After the disastrous Battle of Ankara in 1402, Mehmed I fled to Amasya, which (along with nearby Tokat) became his main residence and stronghold during the Ottoman Interregnum. As a result, the city enjoyed a special status under the Ottomans. A number of Ottoman princes were sent to the province of Amasya (the Rûm Eyalet) as governors in their youth. Already distinguished a cultural centre under the Seljuks, Amasya now "became one of the main seats of learning in Anatolia".
Modern location: Amasya, Turkey
Reverse: Reverse inscription ΑΔΡ ΑΜΑϹ ΝƐΩΚ Κ ΜΗΤ Κ ΠΡΩ ΠοΝΤ ƐΤ (?) Reverse design: Emperors (Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus) standing, facing each other, clasping hands, each wearing toga and holding scroll
Die Orientation: 12 H
Weight: 21.34 g