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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>PersianEmpire PAGE 1/212»»»

The Persian Empire

The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire


Persian Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodaros, c. 340 - 335 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Pixodarus was the youngest of the three sons of Hecatomnus, all of whom successively ruled. To secure the friendship of Philip II, king of Macedonia, Pixodarus offered his eldest daughter in marriage to his Philip's son Arrhidaeus. Arrhidaeus' ambitious younger brother, Alexander (later Alexander the Great) offered himself instead. Pixodarus eagerly agreed but Philip put an end to the scheme. Pixodarus died, apparently a natural death, before Alexander landed in Asia in 334 B.C. and was succeeded by his Persian son-in-law Orontobates.
SH63582. Silver didrachm, SNGvA 2375, SNG Cop 597, SNG Keckman 280, SNG Kayhan 891, SNG Lockett 2913, SGCV II 4966, aVF, porous, weight 6.541 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mylasa mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse ΠIΞΩ∆APOY, Zeus Labraundos standing right, labrys (double-headed axe) over shoulder in right, lotus-tipped scepter vertical in left; $850.00 (€637.50)

Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), Satrap of Cilicia & Cappadocia, c. 384 - 360 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia
Click for a larger photo Datames' enemies in Artaxerxes' court accused him, perhaps falsely, of intending to revolt against the Great King. Secretly warned, he then did, in fact, revolt, c. 370 B.C. The revolt appeared to be leading to a breakup of the entire western half of the empire into autonomous states. His own son's desertion to Artaxerxes was, however, the beginning of the end, which came when Datames was assassinated, c. 362 B.C.
SH70110. Silver stater, Casabonne series 1; Moysey issue 4; SNG BnF 248; SNG Cop 264; BMC Lycaonia p. 165, 18; SNG Levante -; SNGvA -, aVF, spotty toning, faint porosity, weight 10.220 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 225o, Tarsos mint, obverse female head facing slightly left, wearing earring and necklace; reverse Aramaic legend: TRDMW (Datames) on left, bearded and helmeted male head (Ares?) right, wearing crested Athenian helmet, O/T monogram right; ex CNG auction 269, lot 146; $550.00 (€412.50)

Pergamon, Mysia, Mid 5th Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo After the Persian defeat, Gongylus of Eretria, the agent by whom the Spartan general Pausanias communicated with Xerxes of Persia, fled to Anatolia. Xerxes granted him the territory of Pergamon as a reward for his service. His descendants ruled over the city until at least 400 B.C.
SH68749. Silver diobol, Von Fritze pl. I, 1; Mørkholm Pergamene 1; SNGvA 1347; SNG BnF 1546; Winzer 7.1 (Eurysthenes, satrap of Pergamon), VF, centered, toned, small edge crack, weight 1.595 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon mint, earliest coinage of the city, mid 5th Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΠEPΓ, bearded head of satrap right, wearing Persian headdress, within incuse square; rare; $500.00 (€375.00)

Persian Empire, Satrapy of Cilicia, Pharnabazos, c. 379 - 374 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria. The Persian Empire initially allowed tributary native kings to govern. The last king of Cilicia was dethroned after he sided in a civil war with Cyrus the Younger, who was defeated by Artaxerxes II. Cilicia became an ordinary satrapy. In 377, Pharnabazos, the satrap of Cilicia, was made commander of a Persian attempt to retake Egypt, which had rebelled and had defeated two previous attempts to retake it. Pharnabazos hired Greek mercenaries under the Athenian general Iphicrates but a dispute with Iphicrates resulted in failure of the expedition.
SH65291. Silver stater, SNGvA 5922, SNG BnF 247, SNG Cop 266, SNG Levante -, VF, rough, edge cut, underweight, weight 9.545 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 90o, Tarsos mint, c. 378 - 373 B.C.; obverse female head facing slightly left, wearing pendant earring and necklace; reverse helmeted and bearded head right (Ares?), Aramaic inscription FRNBZW KLK (Pharnabazos Cilicia) on left; $360.00 (€270.00)

Persian Empire, Judaea (Yehudah), 375 - 333 B.C.
Click for a larger photo
Minted in Judaea while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
SH54928. Silver half-gerah, Hendin 1059, Meshorer TJC 16, Fine, weight 0.214 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, c. 350 B.C.; obverse diademed head to right; reverse Aramaic inscription: YHDH (Yehudah), falcon with wings spread, head right; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin); rare; $320.00 (€240.00)

Persian Empire, Arabia, Gaza, Samaria or Judaea, c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens
Click for a larger photo A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Middle East.
JD66401. Silver obol, cf. Hendin 1011, Meshorer TJC 4 ff., SNG ANS 15 ff., VF, toned, weight 0.576 g, maximum diameter 8.1 mm, die axis 270o, obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘE, owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, within incuse square; $200.00 (€150.00)

Persian Empire, Lycia, Uncertain Dynasts, c. 520 - 480 B.C.
Click for a larger photo In 546 B.C., Lycia was involuntary incorporated into the Persian Empire. The local population was decimated, and the area received an influx of Persians. Lycia fought for Persia in the Greco-Persian Wars. Intermittently free after the Greeks defeated the Achaemenid Empire, it briefly joined the Delian League, it seceded and became independent, was under the Persians again, revolted again, was conquered by Mausolus of Caria, returned to the Persians, and went under Macedonian hegemony at the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great.
GS65759. Silver diobol, cf. SNG Cop 1, SNGvA 4047 (trihemiobol), BMC Lycia 2 (forepart right), SNG Keckman 418 (stater), Rosen 684 (stater), Asyut Hoard 744 - 745 (staters), VF, weight 1.546 g, maximum diameter 9.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lycia mint, 525 - 480 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar left; reverse incuse square; rare; $135.00 (€101.25)

Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.
Click for a larger photo
Minted in Lydia, Anatolia while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
GA56988. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (middle) B, Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 217 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1033; SGCV II 4683, VF, weight 5.420 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, dagger in right, bow in left, quiver on right shoulder, crowned, waist indicated, pellets on sleeves; reverse irregular oblong punch; $130.00 (€97.50)

Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.
Click for a larger photo
Minted in Lydia, Anatolia while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. Click here to see a map of the Persian Empire about 500 B.C.
GA56981. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (middle) B, Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 217 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1033; SGCV II 4683, aVF, weight 5.468 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, dagger in right, bow in left, quiver on right shoulder, crowned, waist indicated, pellets on sleeves; reverse irregular oblong punch; $125.00 (€93.75)

Amisos, Pontos, 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo Amisos was settled c. 760 - 750 B.C. by people from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. Amisos came under the rule of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great's Macedonian Empire, and then the Kingdom of Pontus. The Romans took control in 47 B.C. and Amisos remained within the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome. In 1200, the city was captured by the Seljuks. Amisos today is Samsun, a city of about half a million people on the north coast of Turkey.
GS64394. Silver reduced siglos, SNG BM 1011; SNGvA 48 var (magistrate), F, weight 3.732 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 315o, Amisos mint, 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obverse bust of Hera left, wearing turreted stephane; reverse owl standing facing on shield, wings open, S-KO / ME-GA (magistrate) flanking below wings; $105.00 (€78.75)



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REFERENCES

Ashton, R., et al. "The Pixodarus Hoard" in Coin Hoards IX (2002).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Betlyon, J. W. The Coinage and Mints of Phoenicia. The Pre-Alexandrine Period. Harvard Semitic Monographs, Vol. 26. (Chico, CA, 1982).
Carradice, Ian. "The Dinar Hoard of Persian Sigloi" in Studies Price. (London, 1998).
Deutsch, R. & M. Heltzer. "Numismatic Evidence from the Persian Period from the Sharon Plain" Transeuphratene, Vol 13, 1997, pp. 17-20.
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. Le monnayage de la cité phénicienne de Sidon à l’époque perse (Ve-IVe s. av. J.-C.). (Paris, 2004).
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. The Coinage of the Phoenician City of Tyre in the Persian Period (5th-4th cent. BCE). (Leuven-Paris-Walpole, MA, 2009).
Hendin, David. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Mildenberg, L. "Yehud: A Preliminary Study of the Provincial Coinage of Judaea" in Essays Thompson (1979).
Meshorer, Y. & S. Qedar. The Coinage of Samaria in the 4th Century BCE. (Jerusalem, 1991).
Moysey, R.A. "The Silver Stater Issues of Pharnabazos and Datames from the Mint of Tarsus in Cilicia" in ANSMN 31 (1986).
Noe, Sydney P. Two Hoards of Persian Sigloi. ANSNNM 136. (New York, 1956).
Price, M.J. & N. Waggoner. Archaic Greek Silver Coinage, The "Asyut" Hoard. (London, 1975).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. (Berlin, 1957-1967).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, (Helsinki, 1994-1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (Zurich,1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Troxell, H.A. "Orontes, satrap of Mysia" in SNR 60. (1981).
Vismara, N. Monetazione Arcaica della Lycia. (Milan, 1989 -1996).
Waggoner, N. M. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen (ANS ACNAC 5). (New York, 1983).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).

Catalog current as of Sunday, April 20, 2014.
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Persian Empire