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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 Silver stater, Apparently unpublished variant; cf.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; $420.00 SALE |PRICE| $378.00


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; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00


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


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; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


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; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


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|NEW
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.
GP95815. Bronze 1/4 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, aF, green patina, porous, edge splits, weight 1.061 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY - BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.00


Salamis, Cyprus, Evagoras II, c. 361 - 351 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Salamis,| |Cyprus,| |Evagoras| |II,| |c.| |361| |-| |351| |B.C.|, |AE| |12|
Evagoras II was a king of Salamis in Cyprus, and later a satrap for Achaemenid Persia in Phoenicia. He was possibly a son of his predecessor, Nicocles, and a grandson of Evagoras I. He was pro-Persian, for which he was deposed c. 351 B.C. by a popular revolt led by his nephew Pnytagoras, who succeeded him as king. Evagoras fled to the Persian court, where Artaxerxes III gave him rule of Sidon in Phoenicia, following the defeat of the rebellion of Tennes. His rule in Sidon was so bad that after three years, in 346 B.C., he was chased out of the city by the populace, who called upon a descendant of the ancient royal line, Abdashtart II, to replace him. Evagoras fled back to Cyprus, where he was arrested and executed.
GB89406. Bronze AE 12, Tziambazis 128, BMC Cyprus p. 60, 69; Bank of Cyprus -, aF, rough, obverse off center, weight 2.611 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 345o, Salamis mint, c. 361 - 351 B.C.; obverse lion walking left, ram's head left above; reverse horse standing left, star with eight rays above, ankh symbol before; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00




  



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REFERENCES|

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