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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic MonarchiesView Options:  |  |  | 

Helenistic Monarchies

Antioch, Roman Provincial Syria, Autumn 48 - Autumn 47 B.C., Cleopatra Countermark

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From McAlee, The Coins of Roman Antioch, p. 74, note 25: "The coins of this year (Pompeian Era 19 = 48/7 BC) and of Year 3 of the Caesarean Era are frequently seen with a countermark on the obverse, which was previously described as "head of Apollo r." in an oval. As discussed in the text, it now seems likely that the countermark portrays Cleopatra, and was used to mark coins circulating in the Syro-Phoenician territories, which were given to her by Mark Antony."
RP84649. Bronze tetrachalkon, McAlee 43; RPC I 4216; BMC Galatia p. 155, 35; Cohen DCA 384; HGC 9 1366; SNG Cop -; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25, F, countermark: aVF, weight 11.895 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Autumn 48 - Autumn 47 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust of Cleopatra right in an incuse oval; reverse ANTIOXEΩN THΣ MHTPOΠOΛΩΣ, Zeus Nicephorus enthroned left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs, Nike offering wreath in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, fulmen (thunderbolt) above, cornucopia (control symbol) inner left, IΘ (Pompeian Era year 19) below, all within laurel wreath; $225.00 (200.25)


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI Eupator the Great, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Anonymous Coinage

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Mithradates VI Megas (the Great) was king of Pontus in northern Anatolia from about 119 to 63 B.C. He was of both Greek and Persian origin, claiming descent from both Alexander the Great and King Darius I of Persia. Mithradates is remembered as one of Rome's most formidable and successful enemies, who engaged three of the most prominent generals of the late Roman Republic in the so-called Mithridatic Wars: Sulla, Lucullus, and Pompey the Great. After Mithradates VI was at last defeated by Pompey and in danger of capture by Rome, he attempted suicide. The poison failed because he had taken daily doses to build immunity. He then made his bodyguard and friend, Bituitus, kill him by the sword.
GB84575. Bronze AE 26, cf. HGC 7 310 (S), SNG Stancomb 649, SNG BM 973, SNG Cop 232 (all SNG refs. with same countermarks, none with this monogram), gF, dark patina, thick heavy flan as usual for the type, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 19.920 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Amisos?) mint, c. 130 - 100 B.C.; obverse male head left in a satrapal leather bashlik cap; countermarks: helmet in round punch, gorgoneion in round punch, fulmen (thunderbolt) in a rectangular punch; reverse star of eight rays, bow facing inward, monogram between rays; scarce; $110.00 (97.90)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

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This type is easily recognized because the wreath differs from all others and even appears to be a different plant.
JD84805. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1135, Meshorer TJC type D, aF, off center, earthen deposits, weight 1.881 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription with wedge style script: Yehonanan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $20.00 (17.80)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Kyrene, c. 322 - 313 B.C.

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Silphium grew only in Kyrenaica and most coins of the region, including this one, depict it. The stalk was eaten as a vegetable. Parts of the plant were used to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. The fruit was considered both an aphrodisiac and a contraceptive, and was worth its weight in denarii. Unfortunately, we will never know if its medicinal properties were real or imagined because the plant became extinct in the first century A.D. It's said that Nero ate the last plant.
GB84582. Bronze AE 14, Asolati 9, Mller Afrique 84, BMC Cyrenaica 199, SGCV II 6342, F, weight 3.923 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kyrene mint, governor Ophellas, c. 322 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Karneios right, [AN∆P]; reverse silphium plant, K-Y flanking across field; rare; $125.00 (111.25)


Kings of Galatia, Deiotaros, c. 64 - 40 B.C.

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Deiotarus was chief of the Celtic Tolistobogii tribe in western Galatia and became King of Galatia. He was a faithful ally of Rome against Mithridates VI of Pontus, for which he was rewarded by Pompey. Caesar pardoned him for siding with Pompey in the civil war but he was deprived of some of his dominions. After Caesar's death, Mark Antony, for a large payment, publicly announced that, in accordance with instructions left by Caesar, Deiotarus was to resume possession of all the territory of which he had been deprived. When civil war broke out again, Deiotarus supported the anti-Caesarian party of Brutus and Cassius, but after the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C., he went over to the triumvirs. He retained his kingdom until his death at a very advanced age.
GB84653. Bronze AE 18, Arslan K1; RPC I p. 536, 2; SNGvA 6099; HGC 7 775 (R1); BMC Galatia -; SNG Cop -, gVF, glossy dark green patina, slightest porosity, weight 5.923 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 45o, Pessinus (Ballihisar, Turkey) mint, c. 63 - 58 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse eagle standing left on fulmen (thunderbolt), head right, wings slightly open, monogram (∆HIOTAP) left; rare; $200.00 (178.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY79685. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2006b, SNG Spaer 1771, Babelon 1009, Houghton CSE 248 ff. var. (control), SNG Cop 304 var. (same), HGC 9 143 (C-S), VF, nice portrait, green patina, obverse slightly off center, well-centered reverse, weight 8.067 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in ex, elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, ΣTA above right, palm frond (control symbol) right; scarce; $185.00 (164.65)


Indo-Greek Kingdom, Menander, c. 155 - 130 B.C.

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Menander ruled eastern Baktria, including modern Punjab. He expanded his influence into India where he is mentioned in several sources such as Milindanpanha and Mahavamsa, and in an inscription on a reliquary. Tradition maintains he was a wise and powerful King and converted to Buddhism. This is evidenced by his later coin legends which translate to "follower of the Dharma".
WA79754. Silver drachm, SNG ANS 822, Mitchiner IGIS 215o, SNG Cop 293, Bopearachchi 13Q, Bopearachchi Smithsonian 98, HGC 12 191, SGCV II 7600, Choice VF, toned, toned, porous, minor edge cracks, weight 2.383 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Paropamisadai or Gandhara, uncertain mint, c. 155 - 130 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ MENAN∆POY, diademed and draped bust of King right; reverse Kharosthi legend: maharaja tratasa Menadrasa (of Great King Menander the Savior), Athena standing left, wearing crested helmet, shield on left arm, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, Kharosthi monogram left; $80.00 (71.20)


Indo-Greek Kingdom, Menander I Soter, c. 155 - 130 B.C.

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Menander is the most important Greek king who ruled in India and the only Greek king mentioned in Indian literature. Tradition maintains he was a wise and powerful King, who converted to Buddhism. This is further evidenced by his later coin legends which translate, "follower of the Dharma."
WA79645. Silver drachm, SNG ANS 879, Mitchiner IGIS 218c, Bopearachchi Smithsonian 124, Bopearachchi 16I, HGC 12 193, SNG Cop -, gVF, attractive style, toned, reverse off center, light marks, weight 2.451 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Paropamisadai or Gandhara, uncertain mint, c. 155 - 130 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ MENAN∆POY, draped bust right, wearing diadem and crested helmet ornamented with bull's horn and ear; reverse Kharosthi legend: Maharajasa Tratarasa Menadrasa (of Great King Menander the Savior), Athena Alkidemos standing left, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, shield on left arm, Kharosthi monogram right; $160.00 (142.40)


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

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Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
GS84619. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1781.3a, Cohen DCA 118, HGC 9 875a, EF, excellent Hellenistic style, lightly toned, slightly off center, some die wear, light marks, light deposits on obverse, weight 16.950 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch on the Orontes (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 146 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY, Zeus Nikephoros enthroned left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, Nike offering him wreath in his right hand, scepter in his left hand, cornucopia (control symbol) outer left, ΓΞP (Seleukid Era year 163) and monogram (control symbol) in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 386 (9 Nov 2016), lot 328; $540.00 (480.60)


Indo-Scythians, Kushanas Yuezhi in Hindu Kush and Gandhara, c. 55 - 45 B.C., Imitative of Hermaios

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Hermaios, the last Indo-Greek king, ruled in the Hindu-Kush region, from Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afganistan), c. 105 - 90 B.C. His prosperous rule ended when the Scythian Kushanas Yuezhi invaded from neighboring Bactria. With his defeat, the isolated area of Greek domination in the east, which had lasted three centuries since the invasion of Alexander the Great, came to an end. The new rulers widely copied Hermaios coinage for many decades, in an increasingly debased and barbarized form.
BB75430. Silver drachm, Senior Hermaios 39aD.2/2q, Bopearachchi series 19, Mitchiner IGIS III 420i, HGC 12 307 (R1), aF, toned, tight flan, marks, corrosion, weight 1.647 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, eastern Gandhara, uncertain mint, c. 55 - 45 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ (clockwise above), EPMAIOY (counterclockwise below), diademed and draped bust of Hermaios right, flowing diadem ties, dotted hair; reverse Kharosthi legend: Maharaajasa tratarasa Heramayasa (of Great King Hermaios the Savior), Zeus enthroned half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, legs apart, right hand raised in benediction, scepter in left hand, Kharosthi monogram left, Greek N(?) over Karosthi letter To(?) right of throne; rare; $21.00 (18.69)











Catalog current as of Monday, March 27, 2017.
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Helenistic