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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, Satrapy of Lydia (Uncertain City in Caria), c. 515 - 475 B.C.
Click for a larger photo A lion head or forepart was a popular type, and most popular in Caria, but none of the published examples are similar enough to indicate a close relationship to this coin or provide a clue to its origin more specific than Caria, c. early 5th century. There is significant wear on the dies, so apparently many examples of this type were struck, but this is the only example we know to exist today.
GS71615. Silver stater, Unpublished; SNG Kayhan -, cf. 930 ('Mylasa?' probably unrelated); SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG München -; Rosen -; Dewing -; Asyut -, VF, weight 10.848 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, Carian mint, c. 515 - 475 B.C.; obverse lion's head right with gaping jaws, protruding tongue, foreleg below; reverse quadripartite incuse square, divided diagonally by one thick and one thin band; ex Numismatik Lanz München, auction 144 (24 Nov 2008), lot 255; unique?; $1500.00 (€1305.00)

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.
SH90963. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 597; SNGvA 2375; SNG Keckman 280; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Lockett 2913; BMC Caria p. 185, 5 ff.; Weber 6608; SGCV II 4966, gVF, some nicks or flan flaws, some pitting, toned, weight 7.000 g, maximum diameter 20.1 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; $970.00 (€843.90)

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, SNG Cop 597; SNGvA 2375; SNG Keckman 280; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Lockett 2913; BMC Caria p. 185, 5 ff.; Weber 6608; 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; $680.00 (€591.60)

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; $390.00 (€339.30)

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 (€174.00)

Persian Empire, Lydia, Darius I, Sep 522 - Oct 486 B.C.
Click for a larger photo
Darius I the Great ruled the Persian Empire at its peak. He is mentioned in the Biblical books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah. He continued to allow the Jewish people to return to Israel and provided money for the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem, which was completed in his sixth year. Darius invaded Greece to subjugate it and to punish Athens and Eretria for aiding the Ionian Revolt. He subjugated Thrace and forced Macedon to become a client kingdom, but his campaign ended at Marathon, where he was famously defeated by a smaller Greek army.Greco-Persian Wars
GA73153. Silver 1/6 siglos, Carradice type II; Winzer 1.8, this denomination is otherwise unpublished in refs; cf. Klein 756 (1/4 siglos); SNG Kayhan 1027 (1/3 siglos), F, rough, weight 0.764 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, Lydia, Sardis mint, c. 510 - 486 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse rectangular incuse; extremely rare; $200.00 (€174.00)

Persian Empire, Idumaea (Edomites in Judah), 4th Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo
The Edomite Kingdom, south of Moab and Judah, was conquered by King David. The Edomites had their revenge when they assisted Nebuchadnezzar in the sack of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. They were later driven from their land by the Nabataeans and moved into southern Judah, which under the Persian Empire was formed into the Idumaea satrapy. Herod the Great was of Nabataean and Edomite descent; his ancestors converted to Judaism.

This type is imitative of Athens. After the image of Athena was completely worn, the die was intentionally recut to a blank dome.
Edom

JD73559. Silver 1/4 Shekel, GTvA 34 - 39 (prominent dome-shaped motif); Hendin 1025; HGC 10 616 (R2), aVF, struck with worn dies as always for this type, weight 3.763 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, Idumaean mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse dome-like blank; reverse AQE, owl standing right, head facing, olive spray left; very rare; $185.00 (€160.95)

Persian Empire, Artaxerxes II - Darius III, c. 375 - 340 B.C., Lydia, Anatolia
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.
GA73152. Silver 1/4 siglos, Carradice type IV (late) C; Klein 764; SNG Kayhan 1041; Sunrise 37; cf. Rosen 679; (early - middle, A/B); BMC Arabia p. 167, 143 (middle B), F, weight 1.327 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, c. 375 - 340 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, dagger in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned, quiver on shoulder; reverse square punch; very rare; $150.00 (€130.50)

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 (€117.45)

Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Abdashtart I, c. 365 - 352 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Cyrus the Great conquered Phoenicia in 539 BC. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre, Arwad, and Byblos. It is likely that much of the Phoenician population migrated to Carthage and other colonies following the Persian conquest. In 350 or 345 B.C. a rebellion in Sidon led by Tennes was crushed by Artaxerxes III.
GB73089. Bronze AE 17, Betlyon 29; SNG Cop 203; BMC Phoenicia p. 147, 46 - 51; Lindgren II 2320; HGC 10 248 (S), F, obverse 1/4 off center, reverse die break at 6:00, weight 5.917 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 315o, Sidon mint, c. 365 - 352 B.C.; obverse pentekonter (fifty-oared war galley) left, two zigzag rows of waves below, linear border, no date; reverse Persian king and driver in slow biga left; scarce; $125.00 (€108.75)



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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 Wednesday, April 01, 2015.
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Persian Empire