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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Persian Empire||View Options:  |  |  |   

The Persian Empire

The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire


Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), Satrap of Cilicia & Cappadocia, c. 384 - 362 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia

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Datames' enemies in Artaxerxes' court accused him, perhaps falsely, of intending to revolt against the Great King. Secretly warned, he then did, in fact, revolt, c. 370 B.C. The revolt appeared to be leading to a breakup of the entire western half of the empire into autonomous states. His own son's desertion to Artaxerxes was, however, the beginning of the end, which came when Datames was assassinated, c. 362 B.C.
GS91502. Silver stater, Moysey p. 42, 2d and pl. 2, 17; SNG Cop 275; cf. SNG BnF 276; SNG Levante 80; SNGvA 5935; SNG Berry 1297; Sunrise 50, aEF, much mint luster, light toning, attractive style, obverse die wear, reverse off center, weight 10.739 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 380 - 373 B.C.; obverse female head facing slightly left, wearing earring and necklace; reverse Aramaic legend on left: TRDMW (Tarkumuwa), bearded and helmeted male head (Ares?) left, wearing crested Athenian helmet; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


Persian Empire, Mazaeus, Satrap of Cilicia , c. 361 - 334 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia

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Artaxerxes III Ochus of Persia was the eleventh emperor of the Achaemenid Empire ruling from 358 to 338 B.C. and, after defeating Nectanebo II in 343 B.C., ruled as the first Pharaoh of the 31st dynasty of Egypt. His reign coincided with the reign of Philip II in Macedonia. Artaxerxes III was poisoned by the ambitious eunuch and chiliarch Bagoas. Bagoas also murdered most of Artaxerxes III's sons but put his youngest son, Arses, on the throne as a puppet emperor. This type was probably struck for Arses succession as Artaxerxes IV. Two years later Arses unsuccessfully attempted to poison Bagoas. Bagoas then poisoned Arses along with most of his family, and put Arses' cousin Darius III on the throne. To legitimize the conquests of Alexander the Great, Macedonian propaganda would accuse Darius III of playing a key role in the murder of Arses, who was thus identified as the last legitimate king of the Achaemenid royal house.
SH89697. Silver obol, Göktürk 35 (Myriandros), SNG BnF 429 (Myriandros), Newell Myriandros 16 4, Traité II 740, SNG Levante -, gVF, darker spots, some porosity, tight flan, weight 0.672 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 180o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 338 - 336 B.C.; obverse Persian king (Artaxerxes III?) in the guise of Baaltars, seated right on throne with back terminating in a griffin's head, with long beard, wearing tall pointed Pharaonic crown, lotus flower in right hand, lotus-tipped sceptre in left hand; reverse youthful male head (Artaxerxes IV?) left, beardless, with curly hair, wearing earring and a tall pointed Pharaonic crown; ex Beast Coins; rare; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodaros, c. 340 - 335 B.C.

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Pixodarus was the youngest of the three sons of Hecatomnus, all of whom successively ruled. To secure the friendship of Philip II, king of Macedonia, Pixodarus offered his eldest daughter in marriage to his Philip's son Arrhidaeus. Arrhidaeus' ambitious younger brother, Alexander (later Alexander the Great) offered himself instead. Pixodarus eagerly agreed but Philip put an end to the scheme. Pixodarus died, apparently a natural death, before Alexander landed in Asia in 334 B.C. and was succeeded by his Persian son-in-law Orontobates.
SH63582. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 597; SNGvA 2375; SNG Keckman 280; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Lockett 2913; BMC Caria p. 185, 5 ff.; Weber 6608; SGCV II 4966, aVF, porous, weight 6.541 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse ΠIΞΩ∆APOY, Zeus Labraundos standing right, labrys (double-headed axe) over shoulder in right, lotus-tipped scepter vertical in left; $240.00 (€211.20)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Artaxerxes II - Darius III, c. 375 - 340 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GA92206. Silver siglos, Carradice Type IV (late) C, 46 ff.; BMC Arabia 172 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1031; SGCV II 4683; Rosen 674; Klein 763; Carradice Price p. 77 and pl. 20, 387 ff., VF, toned, tight flan, porous, banker's mark, weight 5.425 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 375 - 340 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GA91528. Silver siglos, Carradice Type| IV (middle) B; Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 223; BMC Arabia p. 171, 172 ff., pl. XXVII, 7 ff.; Rosen 678; SGCV II 4683, gF, old collection toning, no banker's marks, typical tight flan, weight 5.403 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia, Archepolis, c. 459 - 412 B.C.

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Archeptolis was a satrap of Magnesia on the Maeander, Ionia for the Persian Achaemenid Empire, c. 459 to 412 B.C. He succeeded his father, the Athenian general Themistocles, and the rule of this father and son has been called "a Greek dynasty in the Persian Empire." Archeptolis is said to have married his half-sister Mnesiptolema (daughter of Themistocles from his second wife). Archeptolis had several sisters and three brothers. One brother, Cleophantus, was possibly the ruler of Lampsacus. Pausanias later wrote that the sons of Themistocles returned to Athens where they dedicated a painting of Themistocles in the Parthenon and erected a bronze statue to Artemis Leucophryene, the goddess of Magnesia, on the Acropolis. They may have returned from Ionia in old age, after 412 B.C., when the Persians took firm control of the Greek cities of Asia. They may have been expelled by the Achaemenid satrap Tissaphernes sometime between 412 and 399 B.C.
GS92802. Silver tetartemorion, apparently unpublished in this denomination but more than 20 specimens known from auctions, cf. Nollé-Wenninger 2A (trihemiobol), aVF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies, weight 0.208 g, maximum diameter 6.2 mm, die axis 45o, Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, c. 459 - 412 B.C.; obverse diademed and bearded male head right; reverse eagle flying left within linear square border within incuse square; rare; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.

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After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
GA92803. Silver siglos, Carradice type IIIb (early); Carradice NC 1998 pl. 7, 155 ff.; Rosen 673; SGCV II 4682; Winzer 1.11; Sunrise 25, aVF, reverse test cut, weight 5.491 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular rectangular punch; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

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Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GF91986. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), F, dark toning, tight flan, tiny edge splits, weight 0.953 g, maximum diameter 9.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left with oars, row of shields along bulwarks, two lines of waves below, Phoenician letter bet(?) above; reverse Great king advancing right reaches with left to grab lion, draws back a dagger in his right, Phoenician letter ayin in center, all in incuse square; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia, Archepolis, c. 459 - 412 B.C.

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Archeptolis was a satrap of Magnesia on the Maeander, Ionia for the Persian Achaemenid Empire, c. 459 to 412 B.C. He succeeded his father, the Athenian general Themistocles, and the rule of this father and son has been called "a Greek dynasty in the Persian Empire." Archeptolis is said to have married his half-sister Mnesiptolema (daughter of Themistocles from his second wife). Archeptolis had several sisters and three brothers. One brother, Cleophantus, was possibly the ruler of Lampsacus. Pausanias later wrote that the sons of Themistocles returned to Athens where they dedicated a painting of Themistocles in the Parthenon and erected a bronze statue to Artemis Leucophryene, the goddess of Magnesia, on the Acropolis. They may have returned from Ionia in old age, after 412 B.C., when the Persians took firm control of the Greek cities of Asia. They may have been expelled by the Achaemenid satrap Tissaphernes sometime between 412 and 399 B.C.
GA93007. Silver tetartemorion, apparently unpublished in this denomination but more than 20 specimens known from auctions, cf. Nollé-Wenninger 2A (trihemiobol), aVF, struck with worn/damaged dies, weight 0.219 g, maximum diameter 6.26 mm, die axis 270o, Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, c. 459 - 412 B.C.; obverse diademed and bearded male head right; reverse eagle flying right within linear square border within incuse square; rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

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This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire

MA93712. Silver siglos, Carradice Type| IV (middle) B; Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 223; BMC Arabia p. 171, 172 ff., pl. XXVII, 7 ff.; Rosen 678; SGCV II 4683, weight 4.530 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; $20.45 (€18.00)




  



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REFERENCES|

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Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
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Deutsch, R. & M. Heltzer. "Numismatic Evidence from the Persian Period from the Sharon Plain" Transeuphratene, Vol. 13, 1997, pp. 17-20.
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. Le monnayage de la cité phénicienne de Sidon à l'époque perse (Ve-IVe s. av. J.-C.). (Paris, 2004).
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. The Coinage of the Phoenician City of Tyre in the Persian Period (5th-4th cent. BCE). (Leuven-Paris-Walpole, MA, 2009).
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Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
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Moysey, R.A. "The Silver Stater Issues of Pharnabazos and Datames from the Mint of Tarsus in Cilicia" in ANSMN 31 (1986).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (Zurich,1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Troxell, H.A. "Orontes, satrap of Mysia" in SNR 60. (1981).
Vismara, N. Monetazione Arcaica della Lycia. (Milan, 1989 -1996).
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Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).

Catalog current as of Friday, September 20, 2019.
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Persian Empire