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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic Monarchies ▸ Cleopatra VIIView Options:  |  |  |   

Ptolemaic Egypt, Cleopatra VII, 51 - 30 B.C.

One of the most famous women in history. Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.


Antioch, Roman Provincial Syria, Municipal Coinage, Fall 48 - Spring 47 B.C.

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The countermark is similar to a group of countermarks from Antioch, Chalkis, Laodicaea, Seleukia, and Damascus, all cities controlled by Cleopatra (except for Antioch, which nevertheless appears to have issued coins for Antony and Cleopatra). Richard McAlee notes, "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." Older references identified the head as Apollo.
RY84165. Bronze AE 23, McAlee 43; RPC I 4216; BMC Galatia p. 155, 35; SNG Cop -; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 11.436 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 48 - 47 B.C.; countermark: c. 36 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, countermark: head right (Cleopatra?) in an oval punch; reverse ANTIOXEΩN THΣ MHTPOΠOΛΩΣ, Zeus seated left holding Nike and scepter, date IΘ below; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C., Cleopatra Countermark

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When Aristobulus II was murdered by Pompey's party in Judaea (49 B.C.), his sons and daughters found protection with Ptolemaios (Ant. xiv. 7, § 4; B. J. i. 9, § 2). It may be that the national Jewish party at that time depended for support on the Itureans in Chalcis, and perhaps the following statement has reference to that fact: "On the 17th of Adar danger threatened the rest of the Soferim in the city of Chalcis, and it was salvation for Israel" (Meg. Ta'an. xii.).
CM85831. Bronze AE 19, Herman 7.c (same inscription var. & countermark); HGC 9 1441 (S) var. (inscription); BMC Galatia p. 279, 2 var. (same); Lindgren III 2130 var. (same), VF, centered on a tight flan; c/m: VF, weight 6.715 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, 85 - 40 B.C.; countermark: c. 36 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust of Cleopatra VII right in oval punch; reverse eagle flying right, NE monogram between wing and tail, ΠTOΛEMAIO / TETPAPXH / AXP (AX ligate) in three lines below; ex Sayles & Lavender; scarce; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


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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.
GP84093. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, VF, irregular flan with pre-strike casting sprue, weight 2.329 g, maximum diameter 14.2 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; $170.00 (€144.50)
 


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This type is the smallest denomination issued by the Ptolemaic Kingdom, and among the last coins struck. It has been re-attributed to Cleopatra VII by Matt Kreuzer. Three examples of this tiny coinage were found at the House of Dionysos, the Ptolemaic bronze coin mint discussed in Paphos II. One was found in room LXXXIII, along with sixty-two quarter obols. A second was found in Well 11, along with fifteen more quarter obols. The third was a single find, near a late Roman coin. The Romans last issued this denomination under Nero, when it was marked with an E for five drachmai.
GP85369. Bronze 1/8 obol, Svoronos 1246 (Ptolemy V), Paphos II 170, Weiser -, Noeske -, Hosking -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Cox Curium -, Bank of Cyprus -, Tziambazis -, F, dark green patina, earthen deposits, light scratches, weight 0.946 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse winged fulmen (thunderbolt); reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left, head left, wings closed; rare; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


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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.
GP85360. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, VF/aF, green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 1.627 g, maximum diameter 13.8 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, double cornucopia tied with ribbons; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
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.
GP84885. Bronze 1/8 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, aVF, green patina, some porosity, tiny edge crack, weight 1.484 g, maximum diameter 10.7 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; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


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

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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.
GP85467. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, VF, rough, weight 1.378 g, maximum diameter 13.3 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, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
GP86385. Bronze 1/8 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, buff earthen deposits, porosity, weight 1.592 g, maximum diameter 12.0 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, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
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.
GP84918. Bronze 1/8 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, weight 2.933 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 45o, Paphos mint, obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY − BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Click for a larger photo
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.
GP85252. Bronze 1/8 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, green patina, weight 0.979 g, maximum diameter 11.4 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; $90.00 (€76.50)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (1992 and supplement).
Cox, D. Coins from the Excavations at Curium, 1932-1953. ANSNNM 145. (New York, 1959).
Hazzard, R. Ptolemaic Coins: An Introduction for Collectors. (Toronto, 1995).
Hill, G. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Greek Coins of Cyprus. (London, 1904).
Kreuzer, M. The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII, Marc Antony and Augustus in Cyprus. (Springfield, MA, 2004).
Lindgren, H & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, 2007).
Michaelidou, L, ed. Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage, Coin Catalogue. (Nicosia, 1996).
Michaelidou, L. & E. Zapiti. Coins of Cyprus, From the Collection of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. (Nicosia, 2008).
Nicolaou, I. Paphos II. The Coins from the House of Dionysos. Department of Antiquities Cyprus. (Nicosia, 1990).
Noeske, H. Die Münzen der Ptolemäer. (Frankfurt, 2000).
Pitchfork, C. The Jon Hosking Collection of Ptolemaic Coins. Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney. (Sydney, 2000).
Polk, R. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, the Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt. (London, 1882).
Robinson, E.S.G. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, The Greek Coins of Cyrenaica. (London, 1927).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Svoronos, J. Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion. (Athens, 1904-08).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, XIII. Aegyptus, Part 1: Ptolemaei. (Milan, 1989).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (New Jersey, 1994).
Weiser, W. Katalog Ptolemäischer Bronzemünzen der Sammlung des Instituts für Altertumskunde, Universität Köln. (Opladen, 1995).

Catalog current as of Saturday, December 16, 2017.
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Cleopatra VII