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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Persian EmpireView Options:  |  |  | 

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.

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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; $870.00 (€756.90)
 


Persian Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodaros, c. 340 - 335 B.C.

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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, Artaxerxes II - Darius III, c. 375 - 340 B.C., Lydia, Anatolia

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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
GS72013. Silver 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), VF, nice late style, toned, weight 5.431 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 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 irregular roughly rectangular punch; very rare; $280.00 (€243.60)
 


Persian Empire, Arabia, Gaza, Samaria or Judaea, c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

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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, Anatolia, Artaxerxes I - Darius II, c. 455 - 420 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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

SH75209. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (early) A; SNG Kayhan 1037 (also irregular flan); Carradice Price p. 71 and pl. 19, 146 ff.; Rosen 678; SGCV II 4683, F, fantastic face of the king!, banker's mark, toned, weight 5.073 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 455 - 420 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, dagger in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned, shapeless body completely lacking a waist; reverse irregular oblong punch; $200.00 (€174.00)
 


Persian Empire, Idumaea (Edomites in Judah), 4th Century B.C.

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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; $165.00 (€143.55)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 BC.

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After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
GS72025. Silver siglos, Carradice type IIIb (early), pl. XII, 16 ff.; Rosen 673; SGCV II 4682; Carradice NC 1998 pl. 7, 155 ff.; Carradice Price p. 67 and pl. 17, 1 ff., VF, dark toning, weight 5.264 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 485 - 420 BC.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, spear in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular oblong punch; $150.00 (€130.50)
 


Persian Empire, Lycia, Uncertain Dynasts, c. 520 - 480 B.C.

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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, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Artaxerxes I, c. 485 - 420 B.C.

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The Noe Sigloi Hoard I, 255 coins, appeared on the New York market in the summer of 1950. It was hinted, without any supporting evidence that they came by way of Smyrna. The presence of a single Croesus half-stater points to a find in Asia Minor. Noe Sigloi Hoard I, 139 - 255 were all struck with this reverse die.
GA75199. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IIIb (early); Noe Sigloi group VII (1st state of rev F), p. 11, and pl. X, 197 (same dies, nearly the same die wear), VF, grainy, weight 5.411 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, spear in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular oblong punch; $135.00 (€117.45)
 


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Abdashtart I, c. 365 - 352 B.C.

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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)
 


Caria, Uncertain Satrap, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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GS70805. Silver tetartemorion, Troxell Carians 4, SNG Keckman 862, Klein 503, cf. SNG Kayhan 990 (no inscription), SNG Turkey VIII -, SNG Cop -, F, toned, weight 0.430 g, maximum diameter 8.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, obverse head and neck of a lion left, head turned slightly facing; reverse head and neck of a bull left, head turned facing, Karian inscription (resembles MV-H-Φ, clockwise from above), all within a round incuse; rare; $120.00 (€104.40)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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
GA74428. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (middle) B, Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 217 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1033; SGCV II 4683, VF, reverse banker's mark, weight 5.510 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; 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; $100.00 (€87.00)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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
GS73932. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (middle) B, Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 217 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1033; SGCV II 4683, VF, reverse banker's mark, weight 5.586 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 BC.; 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; $100.00 (€87.00)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Artaxerxes I - Artaxerxes II, c. 450 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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
GA73933. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IIIb (late), pl. XIV, 36 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1029; Rosen 671 - 672; SGCV II 4682; Klein 761; Carradice Price p. 69 and pl. 18, 79 ff., VF, die wear, weight 5.541 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 450 - 375 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, spear in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned, stylistic drapery with broad semi-circular sweep of folds; banker's mark; reverse rectangular punch; $100.00 (€87.00)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 BC.

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After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
GA75898. Silver siglos, Carradice type IIIb (early), pl. XII, 16 ff.; Rosen 673; SGCV II 4682; Carradice NC 1998 pl. 7, 155 ff.; Carradice Price p. 67 and pl. 17, 1 ff., F, many banker's marks, weight 5.509 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, spear in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular oblong punch; $100.00 (€87.00)
 


Persian Empire, Gebal-Byblos, Phoenicia, King Azba'al, c. 400 - 376 B.C.

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Byblos produced papyrus and our word bible was derived from the name of this city. In the Persian period, 538 ? 332 B.C., Byblos was one of four Persian vassal kingdoms in Phoenicia; the other three were Sidon, Tyre, and Arwad.
GS73436. Silver 1/16 shekel, Betlyon 15; BMC Phoenicia p. 95, 6 - 7; HGC 10 134 (S), SNG Cop -, VF, dark tone, weight 0.740 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, Byblos mint, c. 400 - 376 B.C.; obverse galley left with lion head prow ornament, two hoplites onboard, hippocamp left below, Phoenician letters AZ (Azba'al) above tail; reverse Phoenician legend: AZBAL MLK GBL (Azba'al King of Gebal), lion bringing down a bull; scarce; $90.00 (€78.30)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia in Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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

GA75895. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (middle) B, Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 217 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1033; SGCV II 4683, aF, banker's marks, weight 5.490 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 BC.; 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; $90.00 (€78.30)
 


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

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This type was minted in Samaria while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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
JD35912. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 161, Hendin -, F, weight 0.798 g, maximum diameter 8.9 mm, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse diademed bearded male head right; reverse facing lion scalp; $65.00 (€56.55)
 


Persian Empire, Satraps of Mysia, Orontas, c. 357 - 352 B.C.

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GB57341. Bronze AE 9, Troxell Orontes -, BMC Mysia -, SNG Cop -, SNG BnF -, et al.; cf. CNG auction 247, lot 120 (very similar AE 9, but with head right, also unpublished), F, weight 0.524 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, die axis 270o, Adramyteum mint, c. 357 - 352 B.C.; obverse ADPA, head left; reverse forepart of Pegasos right, OPON below; apparently unpublished; $45.00 (€39.15)
 


Persian Empire, Carian Dynasts, Satrap Hekatomnos, 391 - 377 B.C.

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Hecatomnus was a native of Mylasa, which he made his capital and the seat of his government. His coins depict Zeus Labrandenos from the celebrated temple of that name near Mylasa. The Persian emperor appointed Hecatomnus to command naval forces in the war against Evagoras of Cyprus, but he not only took no part in support of the Emperor, but secretly supplied Evagoras with money for mercenaries. The disorganized Persian monarchy took no action against Hecatomnus and he continued to rule Caria until his death. He left three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus and Pixodarus - all of whom - in their turn, succeeded him in the sovereignty.
GB90815. Bronze AE 9, BMC Ionia, p. 187, 42 var (head left); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Tübingen -, Klein -, aVF, weight 0.457 g, maximum diameter 8.18 mm, Miletos mint, 391 - 377 B.C.; obverse lion forepart left, head turned back right, open jaws; reverse incuse square containing ornamented star; ex Frascatius Coins (2010); very rare; $40.00 (€34.80)
 







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REFERENCES

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Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
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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, D. 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).
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Catalog current as of Saturday, September 05, 2015.
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Persian Empire