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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. It was founded by Cyrus the Great, who defeated the Medes, Lydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In addition to its size, the Achaemenid Empire is notable for its successful centralized, bureaucratic administration (through satraps under the King of Kings), for its multicultural policy, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, for the use of an official language across its territories, and for the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire had a significant influence on the development of humanity's culture and civilization to this day. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 B.C. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon.
Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, King Ba'lshallim II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.
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).SH96814. Silver double shekel, Elayi-Elayi Sidon 627 (D36/R48); Betlyon p. 9, 18 & pl. 2, 4; BMC Phoenicia p. 143, 17; Sunrise Collection 125; HGC 10 236 (C), gF, oval flan, porosity, obverse off center, weight 28.155 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 45o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 401 - 366 B.C.; obverse war galley rowing left, small figure figurehead in bow (off flan), row of round shields along bulwarks, standard and rudder at stern, Phoenician letter beth above, two lines of zig-zag waves below, cable border; reverse Emperor of Persia with charioteer in a biga left, bearded king wears kidaris and kandys and raises right hand, charioteer leans forward holding reigns, horses waking, king of Sidon walks behind in Egyptian crown and garb carrying a cultic scepter and votive vase, double exergue line, cable border, all in shallow round incuse; ex Superior Stamp and Coin (Beverly Hills, CA, 1990's); scarce; $1080.00 (€993.60)
Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.
Meshorer-Qedar lists Athena on the obverse, but on the three specimens known to FORVM it is clear that Athena is on the reverse. The types copy contemporary Cypriot stater types from Kition (obverse) and Lapethus (reverse).GS95808. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 102, cf. Sofaer Collection 63 (hemiobol), HGC 10 -, VF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies (as are all specimens of this type known to FORVM), weight 0.65 g, maximum diameter 8 mm, die axis 10o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse lion right atop and attacking a stag fallen right, (Aramaic 'šn', abbreviating Samarian) above; reverse head of Athena facing, wearing crested Attic helmet; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1128; ex Canaan Collection; only three sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades (and one of the three is this coin); very rare; $450.00 (€414.00)
Lesbos, 5th - 4th Century B.C.
The specific satrap has not been confirmed.SL95876. Billon 1/3 stater, BMC Lesbos 58, pl. XXXI, 3; SNG Cop -; Winzer -, NGC VG, Strike 4/5; Surface 2/5 (5872605-037), weight 3.90 g, maximum diameter 14 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain Lesbos mint, 5th - 4th Century B.C.; obverse youthful male head (satrap?) left, wearing tight-fitting cap; reverse head of roaring lion left within incuse square; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $280.00 (€257.60)
Teos, Ionia, c. 540 - 478 B.C.
Teos was a flourishing seaport until about 540 B.C., when the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great invaded Lydia and Ionia. The town survived but most of the citizens fled to the newly founded colonies of Abdera and Phanagoria. Under the Roman Empire, the town was noted for its wine, a theater and its Temple of Dionysus. The site is now farmland. GA95885. Silver trihemitartemorion, Balcer group LXXIV, 73 ff.; SNG Tübingen 3250; Rosen 603; SNG Cop supp. 339, VF, toned, tight flan, reverse die wear, weight 0.285 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 0o, Teos (near Sigacik, Turkey) mint, c. 540 - 478 B.C.; obverse griffin head right; reverse quadripartite incuse square, rough; $90.00 (€82.80)
Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Abdashtart I, c. 365 - 352 B.C.
Cyrus the Great conquered Phoenicia in 539 BC. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre, Arwad, and Byblos. It is likely that much of the Phoenician population migrated to Carthage and other colonies following the Persian conquest. In 350 or 345 B.C. a rebellion in Sidon led by Tennes was crushed by Artaxerxes III.GB96097. Bronze AE 16, Betlyon 29; SNG Cop 203; BMC Phoenicia p. 147, 46 - 51; Lindgren II 2320; HGC 10 248 (S), aF, off center, red earthen deposits, weight 4.507 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 365 - 352 B.C.; obverse pentekonter (fifty-oared war galley) left, two zigzag rows of waves below, linear border, no date; reverse Persian king and driver in slow biga left; scarce; $70.00 (€64.40)
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