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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Cyprus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Cyprus

Hunter-gatherers were active on Cyprus from around 10,000 B.C. and settled village communities date from 8200 B.C. Water wells found in Cyprus are among the oldest in the world, about 10,000 years old. Mycenaean Greek traders started visiting Cyprus around 1400 B.C. A major wave of Greek settlement followed the collapse of Mycenaean Greece, from 1100 to 1050 B.C. The island's predominantly Greek character dates from this period. In Greek Mythology, Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis, and home to King Cinyras, Teucer and Pygmalion. Cyprus also had an early Phoenician presence. Kition was under Tyrian rule at the beginning of the 10th century B.C. Assyria ruled the island for a century from 708 B.C., before a brief spell under Egyptian rule and eventually Persian rule in 545 B.C. The Cypriots joined their fellow Greeks in the Ionian cities during the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire in 499 B.C. The revolt was suppressed, but Cyprus managed to maintain a high degree of autonomy and remained inclined towards the Greek world. Alexander the Great took Cyprus in 333 B.C. Following his death, Cyprus became part of Ptolemaic Egypt. It was during this period that the island was fully Hellenized.

Cyprus, Early 5th Century B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Cyprus,| |Early| |5th| |Century| |B.C.|, |stater|
The obverse die was used to strike three different issues, with different reverses. This type is from the third issue, when the obverse die was heavily worn and the ankh was engraved over the ram. The published specimens have no symbol or monogram on the reverse. There are other examples of this variant on Coin Archives.
GS87794. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou pl. VIII, 2; Asyut pl. XXXII, N; Troxell-Waggoner p. 35, 8-9; Tziambazis -; Trait -; BMC -, aVF/VF, struck with the worn obverse die (as are all coins from this issue), slightly off center, light bumps and marks, weight 10.662 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain Cypriot mint, early 5th century B.C.; obverse ram walking left, ankh symbol superimposed on and above the ram's side and back (the ankh symbol was recut on a heavily worn die); reverse laurel branch with two leaves and three fruits, monogram lower left, all in dotted square within incuse square; rare; $480.00 SALE |PRICE| $432.00


Lot of 5 Cypriot Bronzes, c. 309 - 294 B.C.

|Greek| |Bulk| |Lots|, |Lot| |of| |5| |Cypriot| |Bronzes,| |c.| |309| |-| |294| |B.C.|, |Lot|
1) Paphos, 10 Attic 1/16th obol (1.42g) c. 309 B.C., head of Aphrodite(?) left, wearing ornate headdress / lotus, BMC Cyprus 50 (as rose), Tziambazis 93, Symeonides 101a, rare denomination, VF.
2) Another, (0.83g) aF.
3) Similar, AE16, 1/4 obol (4.18g), BMC Cyprus 49. F, obverse off center. VF.
4) Salamis, AE15, helmeted head left. / prow left. F, rough.
5) Demetrios Poliorketes, AE12, Salamis mint, prow right, Newell 173, VF.
LT91347. Bronze Lot, 5 bronze coins, 10mm - 16mm, c. 309 - 294 B.C.; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cyprus, c. Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cyprus,| |c.| |Late| |2nd| |-| |Early| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|, |AE| |31|
 
GP89345. Bronze AE 31, Malter 275; cf. SNG Milan 519 (similar without palm); SNG Cop 674 (same), BMC Ptolemies -, Svoronos -, Paphos II -, RPC -, Noeske -;, aVF, uneven strike, earthen encrustation, scratches, areas of corrosion, beveled obverse edge, weight 11.502 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, uncertain mint, c. late 2nd - early 1st century B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), two eagles standing left on a thunderbolt, heads left, wings closed, palm branch before; from a New England collector; extremely rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 282 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |I| |Soter,| |305| |-| |282| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
In 305 B.C., Demetrius Poliorcetes besieged Salamis and defeated Ptolemy's navy off the coast. Demetrius offered lenient terms and Ptolemy's brother, Menelaus, surrendered the city. After this victory, Demetrius declared himself a King. Ptolemy also declared himself a King. This coin has the usual Ptolemaic hemiobol types, with the title BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) visible. It is overstruck over a bronze of Demetrios Poliorketes with helmeted head of Demetrios Poliorketes right obverse (under the reverse of our coin) and prow reverse (under our obverse). Ptolemy struck this coin at Salamis after he re-took Cyprus in 294 B.C. Both Ptolemy I and Demetrios died in 283 B.C. Demetrios died in captivity, imprisoned by Seleukos.
GP87139. Bronze hemiobol, SNG Cop 43 (X, also overstruck, perhaps with same undertype); Svoronos 163; BMC Ptolemies 8, 69; under-type: Newell 20; SRCV II 6775, VF, nice green patina, strong undertype effects, weight 4.094 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Salamis mint, c. 294 B.C.; obverse deified head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon, hair long; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left, head left, wings open, X or (AX monogram) over helmet in left field; extremely rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Physcon, Second Reign, 145 - 116 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |Physcon,| |Second| |Reign,| |145| |-| |116| |B.C.|, |AE| |28|
Similar to Svoronos 1424B, and presumably from the same period. This example is, however, overstruck on an older coin, has no visible symbol, and is lighter than normal for Sv 1424B. Perhaps it is an example of Sv 1424B with the double cornucopia on the reverse unstruck due to a filled die. However, the style seems a little different and overstruck examples of 1424B are unknown. Svoronos 1424B was struck at Alexandria. Matt Kreuzer believes this was struck on Cyprus. If this is a Cypriot issue, it is unpublished and possibly unique.
GP88095. Bronze AE 28, cf. Svoronos 1424B (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII, Alexandria); SNG Cop 308-310 (same), VF, well centered, dark patina, weak strike with flat areas, beveled obverse edge, central cavities, remains of pre-strike casting sprue, weight 17.222 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Cypriot(?) mint, c. 145 - 88 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus Ammon right with ram's horn, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), two eagles with closed wings standing left on two thunderbolts, no symbols; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
Ptolemy's first wife, Arsino I, a daughter of Lysimachus, was the mother of his legitimate children. After her repudiation he married his full sister Arsino II, the widow of Lysimachus, which brought him her Aegean possessions.
GP88283. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B441, Svoronos 842 (1 spec.), Malter 105, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, BMC Ptolemies -, Weiser -, Noeske -, Hosking -, F, dark patina, marks, scratches, beveled obverse edge, central cavities, weight 7.811 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, c. 246 - 222 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus right with horn of Ammon, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, lotus flower before; ex Ora Eads Collection; ex CNG Sale 41 (19 Mar 1997), lot 1035 (part of); rare; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Struck with Ptolemy VI Dies Captured on Cyprus

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.,| |Struck| |with| |Ptolemy| |VI| |Dies| |Captured| |on| |Cyprus|, |obol|
This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived invasion and occupation of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cyprus, c. 168 B.C. The dies were originally engraved for Ptolemy VI of Egypt. The letters EYΛ are the first letters of Eulaios, a regent during part of the minority of Ptolemy VI. The name of "Ptolemy" was effaced from the reverse die before the coin was struck.
GP89399. Bronze obol, Lorber Lotus Series p. 46, VI.3; Svoronos 1398 & pl. xlvii, 21-24 (Ptolemy VI with Eulaios); Weiser 152 (same); SNG Cop 294; Noeske , VF, well centered on a broad flan, small red earthen deposits, name of Ptolemy erased from die, porous, central depressions, obverse edge beveled, weight 12.413 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus mint, c. 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (ΠTOΛEMAIOY erased from die), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, legs heavily feathered, lotus left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rectangular punch; from a New England collector; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


Marion, Cyprus, Stasiakos II, c. 330 - 312 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Marion,| |Cyprus,| |Stasiakos| |II,| |c.| |330| |-| |312| |B.C.|, |AE| |20|
Stasiakos II, king of Marion, was deposed in 312 B.C. by Ptolemy I and the city of Marion was destroyed. This extremely rare type was apparently unpublished until 1998. Coin Archives lists only one sale of this type in the past two decades.
GB87141. Bronze AE 20, Destrooper 16; Bank of Cyprus 10; Symeonides 63 ff., cf. Tziambazis 57 (AE16, lion head facing), SNG Cop -, BMC Cyprus -, VF, rough, weight 7.634 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, Marion mint, c. 330 - 312 B.C.; obverse round shield ornamented with laurel wreath; reverse MAPIEYΣ (below), lion head left; extremely rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IX, 2nd reign, 88 - 80 B.C.; or Ptolemy XII, 1st reign, 80 - 58 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IX,| |2nd| |reign,| |88| |-| |80| |B.C.;| |or| |Ptolemy| |XII,| |1st| |reign,| |80| |-| |58| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
The Paphos II finds were excavated at the House of Dionysos in Paphos.
GP84889. Bronze hemiobol, Paphos II 383 - 385, otherwise unpublished, gVF, weight 1.996 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 88 - 58 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned bust of Zeus Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), single cornucopia bound with fillet; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus|, |1/4| |obol|
Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP93837. Bronze 1/4 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, aVF, black patina with blue spots and orange earthen deposits, irregular flan with pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.710 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), double cornucopia tied with royal diadem; from a New England collector; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00




  



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REFERENCES|

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