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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Greek DominationView Options:  |  |  | 

Greek Domination of Judaea and Palestine

From Alexander the Great's conquest until Roman domination, the city states and small nations of the region, including Judaea, were at various times either ruled or dominated by the great Seleukid or Ptolemaic Kingdoms.Judea 160 to 143 BCE


Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text.
SH54977. Silver quarter-ma'ah-obol, Meshorer TJC 32; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 21, 24; Hendin 1087, gF, weight 0.192 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem(?) mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $215.00 (187.05)


Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text.
JD35537. Silver tetrobol, Meshorer TJC 32; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 21, 24; Hendin 1087, aVF, weight 0.157 g, maximum diameter 6.8 mm, die axis 90o, Jerusalem? mint, obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $170.00 (147.90)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

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Ptolemy III Euergetes promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9.
GP59593. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 965, SNG Cop 173, aVF, weight 35.130 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, chi-rho between eagle's legs; $115.00 (100.05)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.

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Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
GP42269. Bronze tetrobol, Svoronos 1148 (Kyrene); SNG Cop 207; Weiser 97 (Ptolemy V, 204 - 202 B.C.); Noeske 151; BMC Ptolemies p. 75, 75 (Ptolemy V), gVF, weight 40.378 g, maximum diameter 38.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 221 - 204 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, ΣE between eagle's legs; bargain priced big 40 gram bronze!; $105.00 (91.35)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus XII Dionysos, c. 88 - 84 B.C.

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Antiochus XII rule was challenged by the Nabataeans, the Judaeans and by the Seleucids' perpetual fratricidal wars. Philip I took briefly took Damascus. Antiochus perished in battle at the hands of the Nabataeans, after which Damascus, the long time Southern stronghold of Seleucid power freely gave itself over to the benevolent rule of King Aretas III of Nabataea.
GB58539. Bronze AE 21, Houghton Lorber II 2481, SNG Spaer 2881 - 2883, aVF, weight 6.288 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, c. 83 - 82 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Antiochos XII right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY ∆IONYΣOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ KAΛΛINIKOY, Zeus standing left Nike in right, scepter in left, monogram in exergue; $80.00 (69.60)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Ake Ptolemais, Galilee

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Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho, but was renamed Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.

Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes ("God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros ("Bearer of Victory"). But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play off of his title Epiphanes.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.


BB75513. Bronze serrated AE 14, Houghton-Lorber II 1479; BMC Seleucid p. 38, 41; SNG Spaer 1130 ff.; Houghton CSE 791 ff.; Babelon Rois 572 ff.; HGC 9 726; SGCV II 6994, weight 2.417 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, c. 173 - 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and radiate head of Antiochus right, A/B monogram (control mark) left, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTOXOY, veiled and draped goddess (Hera or Demeter) standing facing, long scepter or torch in right; $30.00 (26.10)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 165 or 164 B.C., Ake Ptolemais, Galilee

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Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho, but was renamed Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
BB75457. Bronze serrated AE 14, Houghton-Lorber II 1478(1), cf. SNG Spaer 1109 ff., aF, weight 2.173 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, Galilee, Ake-Ptolemais mint, 175 - c. 172 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, monogram behind, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Apollo, seated left on omphalos, naked, examining arrow in right hand, grounded bow in left, aplustre outer left, monogram in exergue; $28.00 (24.36)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Ake Ptolemais, Galilee

Click for a larger photo
Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho, but was renamed Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.

Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes ("God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros ("Bearer of Victory"). But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play off of his title Epiphanes.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.


BB75508. Bronze serrated AE 14, Houghton-Lorber II 1479; BMC Seleucid p. 38, 41; SNG Spaer 1130 ff.; Houghton CSE 791 ff.; Babelon Rois 572 ff.; HGC 9 726; SGCV II 6994, weight 2.599 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, c. 173 - 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and radiate head of Antiochus right, A/B monogram (control mark) left, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTOXOY, veiled and draped goddess (Hera or Demeter) standing facing, long scepter or torch in right; $25.00 (21.75)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 165 or 164 B.C., Ake Ptolemais, Galilee

Click for a larger photo
Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho, but was renamed Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
BB75465. Bronze serrated AE 14, Houghton-Lorber II 1478(1), cf. SNG Spaer 1109 ff., Fair, weight 2.942 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 175 - c. 172 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, monogram behind, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Apollo, seated left on omphalos, naked, examining arrow in right hand, grounded bow in left, aplustre outer left, monogram in exergue; $14.00 (12.18)







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Catalog current as of Saturday, August 29, 2015.
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Greek Domination of Judaea and Palestine