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

Ancient Coins of Cyprus

Lapethos, Cyprus, King Sidqmelek, c. 449 - 420 B.C.

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Excavation finds date Lapithos to as early as 3000 B.C. In the 4th century B.C., Lapithos was one of the nine kingdoms of Cyprus. During the Persian rule, Lapithos was settled by Phoenicians. After Peisistratos, king of Lapithos, along with Nicocreon of Salamis, and Stasanor of Curion helped Alexander the Great capture Tyre, Alexander declared Cyprus free. The last king of Lapethos, Praxippos, was subdued by Ptolemy I in 312 B.C. Under Roman rule, Lapethos had more than 10,000 inhabitants, produced copper, earthenware and produce, and was a port and a shipyard. Lapethos was given the name Lambousa ("shining") perhaps because of its beauty or perhaps because of its lighthouse. The apostles Paul, Barnabas, and Mark passed by Lapethos coming from Tarsus. According to Barnabas, during his second tour with Mark, they stayed outside the walls because they were denied access to the city. In late antiquity, Lapethos enjoyed great prosperity but was heavily damaged by Arab incursions. The population often had to flee and take refuge in the interior. After the Byzantine recovery of Cyprus from the Arabs in 965, Lapithos's refugees returned to rebuild, but chose to stay away from the sea, relocating it at the foot of mountain Pentadactylos.
GS87792. Silver stater, BMC Cyprus p. 30 f., 7-9, pl. VI, 6-8; Traité II p. 823, 1361-1363 and pl. CXXXVI; Bank of Cyprus p. 94 & pl. VII, 2; Tziambazis 48, F, struck with worn damaged dies, weight 10.789 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Lapethos (Lambousa, Cyprus) mint, c. 449 - 420 B.C.; obverse Phoenician legend: King of Lapethos, head of Athena left, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Phoenician legend: of Sidqmelek, head of Athena facing, wearing a double-crested helmet with bull’s horn and ears, all within an incuse square; very rare; $650.00 (€552.50)
 


Cyprus, Early 5th Century B.C.

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The obverse die was used to strike three different issues, with different reverses. This type is from the third issue, when the ankh was engraved over the ram, and the obverse die was heavily worn. The published type has no reverse symbol. This variant with an ankh left on the reverse is apparently unpublished; we know of two other examples, one received by Forum together with this coin, the other Leu Numismatik, web auction 6 (9 Dec 2018), lot 355 (the Ankh not described). Two additional unpublished varieties known from auctions both have an anchor on the reverse left and, one with only an ankh reverse right, and another with samekh over an ankh on the reverse right.
GS87794. Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou pl. VIII, 2; Asyut pl. XXXII, N; Troxell-Waggoner p. 35, 8-9; Tziambazis -; Traité -; 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 is superimposed on and above the ram's side and back; reverse laurel branch with two leaves and three fruits; ankh symbol on left; all in dotted square within incuse square; extremely rare; $600.00 (€510.00)
 


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

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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; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


Salamis, Cyprus, c. 322 - 310 B.C.

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Salamis was a maritime town on the east coast of Cyprus, at the end of a fertile plain between two mountains, near the River Pediaeus.
GB86883. Bronze AE 14, Bank of Cyprus 27; Tziambazis 130 (Evagoras II); BMC Cyprus p. 61, 74 (Evagoras II); SNG Cop -, VF, well centered and struck, dark patina, some pitting and corrosion, weight 2.555 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis mint, c. 322 - 310 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet, earring and necklace; reverse prow left, ΣAΛ upward on left; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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

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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; $155.00 (€131.75)
 


Salamis, Cyprus, c. 322 - 310 B.C.

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Salamis was a maritime town on the east coast of Cyprus, at the end of a fertile plain between two mountains, near the River Pediaeus.
GB85330. Bronze AE 13, Bank of Cyprus 27; Tziambazis 130 (Evagoras II); BMC Cyprus p. 61, 74 (Evagoras II); SNG Cop -, VF, rough, corrosion, weight 2.750 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis mint, c. 322 - 310 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet, earring and necklace; reverse prow left, ΣAΛ upward on left; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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

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This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived rule 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 and the Seleukid anchor countermark was likely applied at the mint immediately after it was struck.
GP88094. 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, dark patina, porous, scratches, central depressions, beveled edge, weight 11.938 g, maximum diameter 22.7 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; $130.00 (€110.50) ON RESERVE


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

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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; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Neopaphos, Cyprus, c. 31 - 30 B.C.

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A very rare variant, probably struck after Actium 30 B.C., where the statue holds a Roman patera instead of the Ptolemaic grain ears. Representations of this statue on Roman coins show the same distinctive pose, with a patera. The statue has been uncovered by archaeologists in Salamis.
GP85835. Bronze hemiobol, Bank of Cyprus 69 var.; Paphos II 469 var.; Hosking 68 var.; Cox Curium 128 var.; Michaelidou 35 var.; Svoronos -; Weiser -; SNG Cop -; RPC I -, F, edge crack, weight 1.509 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Neopaphos mint, c. 31 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse statue of Zeus Salaminios standing left, patera (instead of stalks of grain) in right, long scepter in left hand, star above; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; very rare variety; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Salamis, Cyprus, Evagoras I, 411 - 374 B.C.

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Evagoras claimed descent from Teucer, the son of Telamon and half-brother of Ajax. His family had long ruled Salamis. During his childhood Phoenicians took Salamis and he was exiled to Cilicia. He returned secretly in 410 with 50 followers and retook his throne. Expecting an eventual Persian attack, he cultivated the friendship of the Athenians. For a time, he also maintained friendly relations with Persia and secured the aid of Artaxerxes II for Athens against Sparta. He took part in the battle of Cnidus of 394 B.C. which he provided most of the resources for and in which the Spartan fleet was defeated thanks to his efforts, and for this service his statue was placed by the Athenians side by side with that of Conon in the Ceramicus. Relations with Persia deteriorated and from 391 they were at war. Aided by the Athens and Egypt, Evagoras extended his rule over the greater part of Cyprus, crossed over to Asia Minor, took several cities in Phoenicia (including Tyre), and persuaded the Cilicians to revolt. Under the peace of Antalcidas in 387, Athens abandoned him and recognized Persian lordship over Cyprus. The Persian generals Tiribazus and Orontes at invaded Cyprus in 385 B.C. Evagoras managed to cut off Persian resupplies and the starving troops rebelled. The war then turned in the Persian favor when Evagoras' fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Citium, and he was compelled to flee to Salamis. Here, although closely blockaded, Evagoras managed to hold his ground, and took advantage of a quarrel between the two Persian generals to conclude peace in 376. Evagoras was allowed to remain nominally king of Salamis, but in reality a vassal of Persia, to which he was to pay a yearly tribute. The chronology of the last part of his reign is uncertain. In 374 he was assassinated by a eunuch from motives of private revenge. He was succeeded by his son, Nicocles.
GA85955. Silver 1/12 siglos, Bank of Cyprus 9; BMC Cyprus p. 55, 44; cf. SNG Cop 42 (0.80, obol); Tziambazis 119 (0.27g, 1/48 siglos), VF, weight 0.383 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, Salamis mint, 411 - 374 B.C.; obverse young male head right, curly short hair, dot circle border; reverse smooth blank (as struck); rare; $120.00 (€102.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, December 9, 2018.
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Cyprus