BACIΛEΩC PHCKOΠOP, bust of King Theothorses wearing ribbon right, cross in front of the face, beaded circle / Laureate and draped bust of the Roman Emperor right, two large dots in front of the bust, HMФ below (for 548 BE = 251/252 AD), all within a beaded circle. 19mm, 7.90 grams. Mint of Pantikapaion. Anokhin 699.
Tiberius Julius Theothorses, also known as Thothorses or Fophors (fl. second half of 3rd century died 309) was a prince and Roman Client King of the Bosporan Kingdom. Theothorses was the second-born son to the Bosporan King Teiranes and his mother was an unnamed woman. He was of Greek and Roman ancestry. His elder brother was prince Sauromates IV, who co-ruled briefly with his father before his death in 276. In 278, during his father's reign, Theothorses was elevated by Teiranes to co-ruler. In 279, Teiranes died and Theothorses succeeded him as the sole ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom, reigning from 278 until his death around 308/309.
The Bosporan Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus, was an ancient state located in eastern Sarmatia and the Taman Peninsula, on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus (now known as the Strait of Kerch). It was named after the Bosphorus, also known as Istanbul Strait, a different strait that divides Asia from Europe. The Bosporan Kingdom was the longest surviving Roman client kingdom - it probably lasted until the later 4th century, when the kingdom was probably finally overrun by the Huns, who defeated the nearby Alans in 375/376 and moved rapidly westwards towards the Roman empire.
The client Kings of Bosporus minted a fascinating series of coins dated in the local era. The gold/silver/billon and copper staters showed the bust of the Roman Emperor on one side and the bust of the King of Bosporus on the other side.