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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, Mazaios, Satrap of Cilicia, 361 - 334 B.C., Tarsos, Cilicia

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Mazaios was the Persian satrap of Cilicia beginning about 361 B.C. and in about 345 B.C. he was also made satrap of Transeuphratesia (which included Syria and Judaea). In 331 B.C., Mazaios was defeated by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela, after which he fled to Babylon. Later that year Mazaios surrendered Babylon, the capital of the Persian Empire, to Alexander. For surrendering without a fight, Alexander appointed Mazaios governor of Babylon. He died in 328 B.C.
SH91799. Silver stater, cf. SNG BnF 433 (eagle tipped scepter?, Aramaic letter mem under throne), SNG Levante 186 var. (T below throne), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Delepierre -, VF, a little off center, die wear, weight 10.686 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 361 - 334 B.C.; obverse Baal of Tarsos enthroned left, lotus tipped scepter in right hand, thymiaterion (incense burner) left, BLTRZ (=Baaltarz) in Aramaic behind, A(?) below throne; reverse lion advancing left, MZDY (=Mazdai) in Aramaic above; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


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)
 


Tarsos, Cilicia, c. 389 - 375 B.C.

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Excavation of the mound of Gözlükule reveals that the prehistorical development of Tarsus reaches back to the Neolithic Period and continues unbroken through Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages. The settlement was located at the crossing of several important trade routes, linking Anatolia to Syria and beyond. Because the ruins are covered by the modern city, archaeology has barely touched the ancient city.
GS91745. Silver obol, SNG BnF 239, SNG Levante 65, Casabonne Type K2, Ziegler 606, VF, centered on a tight flan, light toning, light marks, mild die wear, weight 0.512 g, maximum diameter 8.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 389 - 375 B.C.; obverse woman seated left casting astragaloi; reverse youthful male head right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73 (6 Jan 2019), lot 229; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Persian Empire, Satrapy of Cilicia, 4th Century B.C.

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In antiquity, Cilicia (also spelled Kilikia) was a southern coastal region of Anatolia, extending inland north from the Mediterranean coast, east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria. The Persian Empire initially allowed tributary native kings to govern. The last king of Cilicia was dethroned after he sided in a civil war with Cyrus the Younger, who was defeated by Artaxerxes II. Cilicia became an ordinary satrapy.Persian Empire
GS91742. Silver obol, Winzer 18.1 (Mazaios); Babelon Peres p. XLVII, fig. 12; SNG BnF -; SNG Levante -, aEF, toning, light scratches, light corrosion, weight 0.630 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse head of female facing slightly left, wearing stephane and earrings; reverse head of Satrap left, wearing bashlyk; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


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 Empire, Tarsos, Cilicia, Time of Satraps Datames or Pharnabazos, c. 380 - 361 B.C.

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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.
SH91744. Silver obol, cf. SNG BnF 303, SNG Levante 89 (monogram behind Ares), Göktürk 21 (dolphins flanking female), SNG Cop 273, Choice VF, well centered, dark toning, attractive style, earthen encrustations, weight 0.533 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 270o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, c. 380 - 361 B.C.; obverse female head (nymph?) facing slightly left, wearing earring and necklace; reverse bearded and helmeted male head (Ares?) left, wearing crested Attic style helmet, ear flaps raised, Aramaic HLK (Cilicia) upper left; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
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Persian Empire