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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; $630.00 SALE PRICE $567.00
 


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; $540.00 SALE PRICE $486.00
 


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; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius I the Great, Sep 522 - Oct 486 B.C.

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Darius I the Great was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. He ruled at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, part of the Balkans (Thrace-Macedonia and Paeonia), most of the Black Sea coast, parts of the North Caucasus, Central Asia as far as the Indus Valley, Egypt, eastern Libya and coastal Sudan. Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern them. He made Aramaic the official language of the empire, established standard weights and measures, and built roads and construction projects throughout the empire. His invasion of Greece ended when he was defeated at Marathon by a smaller Greek army. He was a supporter of the Jews, mentioned in the Biblical books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah.Persian Empire

GA77387. 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, grainy and porous, weight 0.804 g, maximum diameter 8.26 mm, probably Sardis (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 510 - Oct 486 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse rectangular incuse; extremely rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


Kalchedon, Bithynia, c. 340 - 320 B.C.

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The position of Chalcedon, on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, was not as favorable as that of Byzantion on the opposite side. The Persian Megabazus (Herod. iv. 144) said the founders of Chalcedon must have been blind, for Chalcedon was settled seventeen years before Byzantium; and the settlers, we must suppose, had the choice of the two places.
GS75218. Silver half siglos, SNG BM Black Sea 118; SNGvA 484; SNG Stancomb 14; BMC Pontus p. 124, 8; HGC 7 518, gVF, off center, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 2.430 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, Kalchedon mint, c. 340 - 320 B.C.; obverse KAΛX, bull standing left on ear of grain; reverse quadripartite incuse square of mill-sail pattern, stippled texture within incuse areas; ; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00
 


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; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00
 


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; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00
 


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; $27.51 (€24.48) ON RESERVE


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

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Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GA77819. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; Hoover 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), Fair/Fine, toned, weight 0.780 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, Phoenicia, Sidon mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin (O) between them; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren Collection; $28.00 SALE PRICE $25.20 ON RESERVE


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Evagoras II, c. 346 - 342 B.C.

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In 351 B.C., Sidon revolted against Artaxerxes. The siege went badly for Sidon. King Tennes, fled the city with most of the able-bodied warriors. The inhabitants, 40,000 people of all ages, sealed themselves in the city, set fire to the buildings, and perished in the flames. The city never completely recovered. The Cypriote, Euagoras II, likely ruled Sidon after the destruction.
GA77820. Silver 1/16 Shekel, Elayi 2004 1734 ff., Betlyon 41 (Abd'ashart II), BMC Phoenicia 68, SGCV II 5948, HGC 10 259 (R1), Fair/Fine, weight 0.444 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, Phoenicia, Sidon mint, c. 346 - 342 B.C.; obverse Sidonian war galley left, with oars, row of shields along bulwarks, two lines of waves below, uncertain date above; reverse Great king (on left) confronting lion (on right), reaching with left hand to grab lion's mane, drawing back a dagger in his right hand, Phoenician letters ayin over ayin (OO) in center, all in incuse square; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren Collection; $16.00 (€14.24) ON RESERVE







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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, I. "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, 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).
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, May 29, 2016.
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Persian Empire