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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ PhoeniciaView Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Phoenicia

Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

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Dido, the founder and first queen of Carthage, is primarily known from Virgil's Aeneid. Upon succeeding their father as king of Tyre, Dido's brother Pygmalion had her husband Sichaeus killed in a plot to seize his immense wealth. Dido, with a large group of friends and followers, escaped Tyre, carrying with them all of Sichaeus' treasure. As depicted on the reverse of this coin, Dido made a sacrifice at the temple of Melqart-Hercules before leaving. The reverse on some other Valerian types, we know of one example struck with this same obverse die, depict Dido in Carthage beginning construction.
RP75357. Bronze dichalkon, Unpublished in the many references examined by Forum, cf. SNG Righetti 2354 (radiate and cuirassed bust), Rouvier 2503 (same), VF, well centered, porous, flan adjustment marks, weight 11.064 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 180o, Tyre mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP CP LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL TVRO MET, Dido standing right, kalathos on head, extending both hands toward a distyle temple of Melqart-Hercules in perspective to upper right, club within the temple, flaming column altar at her feet, murex shell on right below temple; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; the best of the few examples of the type known to Forum; extremely rare; $720.00 SALE PRICE $648.00
 


Tyre, Phoenicia, 76 - 75 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin

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Half Shekel - the currency of the Jerusalem Temple
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied on Jews was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were not always used in everyday commerce, but were the only coins accepted by the temple. Many taxpayers required a currency exchange, so money changers set up in the Temple court. Jesus found this business and their shouting (advertising rates) offensive, so he threw over their tables.
JD79295. Silver half shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 251, 230 var. (A vice ∆); HGC 10 358; Cohen DCA 921 (S); Hendin 1619; Baramki AUB -, F, toned, well centered, weight 6.308 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre, Phoenicia mint, 76 - 75 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, AN (year 51) over club left, ∆ (control) right, Phoenician beth (control) between legs; $650.00 SALE PRICE $585.00 ON RESERVE


Mark Antony, Triumvir and Imperator, 42 - 31 B.C., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

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In 38 B.C. (or 37 B.C.), Mark Antony, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and Marcus Lepidus signed the Treaty of Tarentum, extending the Second Triumvirate until 33 B.C.
RP72123. Bronze AE 26, RPC I 4740; Seyrig Monnayage 19; Sofaer pl. 7, 118; Kadman 73; Rouvier 993; Rosenberger -, aF, rough, earthen encrustations, weight 10.071 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia mint, 39 - 38 B.C.; obverse bare head of Antony right, within laurel wreath; reverse Tyche standing left on prow of galley, head right, apluster and rudder in right hand, cornucopia and palm in left, L IA / KAI AΣY (year 11 of Caesarian Era) upper left, ΠTOΛE/MAEΩN / IEPAΣ in three horizontal lines on right; rare; $450.00 SALE PRICE $405.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C., Tyre, Phoenicia

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Minted in Tyre during a period of Seleukid control. The tetradrachm is the same denomination as the shekel for Tyre.
GY79683. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2109.5a, Newell Tyre 121, HGC9 1074, SNG Spaer 2027 var. (control monogram), SNG Cop 335 var. (same), aEF, light marks, uneven tone, weight 14.146 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 136 - 135 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Antiochus right; reverse ANTIOXOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on prow of galley, head left, wings closed, transverse palm frond on far side over right wing, A/PE over TYP monogram (Tyre) over club left, A/Σ monogram over ZOP (year 177, Z appears as I), monogram (control) between legs; ex Naville Numismatics auction 18 (1 Nov 2015), lot 66; $420.00 SALE PRICE $378.00
 


Persian Empire, Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 429 - 333 B.C.

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The coinage of Tyre circulated throughout the holy land.
GS70327. Silver 1/16 Shekel, Elayi-Elayi Tyre 1577; Betlyon 19; HGC 10 333 (R2); BMC Phoenicia p. 233, 43; Rouvier 1819; SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, struck with worn dies, weight 0.528 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, die axis 270o, Tyre mint, c. 429 - 333 B.C.; obverse hippocamp with curved wings left, over waves, dolphin right below, cable border; reverse owl standing left, head facing, crook and flail behind (Egyptian symbols of royalty), cable border; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


Orthosia, Phoenicia, c. 30 - 28 B.C.

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A similar type was struck at Orthosia for Cleopatra with her bust on the obverse. After Antony and Cleopatra were defeated, under the rule of Augustus, her bust was replaced by Tyche. RPC lists this type dated with years 36, 40 and 41. No date is visible on this coin. The date may simply be worn or perhaps it is an early issue struck with an undated die. The reverse style is so close to that of the coins struck under Cleopatra that the die may have been recycled from her last issue with her regnal year erased.
SH73047. Bronze AE 20, cf. SNG Cop 175 (also no date visible), RPC I 4504 (year 36 = 29 - 28 B.C.), Rouvier 869 (same), F, weight 8.937 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Orthosia mint, rule of Augustus, c. 30 - 28 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche right; reverse Baal of Orthosia in chariot pulled by to griffins to right, crescent above his head, OPΘΩCIEΩN in exergue, undated(?); extremely rare; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00
 


Orthosia, Phoenicia, 41 - 40 B.C.

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Orthosia (near modern Arida, Lebanon) was located south of the Eleutheros River (the modern Kabir) in the far north of Phoenicia. It was a refounded by one of the Diadochi but which one is uncertain because the city changed hands frequently. The name Orthosia was derived from an epithet of Artemis and she was the principal divinity of the town.
GB73950. Bronze AE 24, HGC 10 209 (S, this date noted); RPC I - (this date noted p. 644); BMC Phoenicia p. 126, 1 (date obscure); SNG Cop 175 (no visible date); Rouvier -, VF, green patina, light encrustations and marks, edge chip, weight 6.820 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Orthoseia mint, 41 - 40 B.C.; obverse turreted head of Tyche right; reverse Baal of Orthosia standing on two winged lion-griffins, L∆K (year 24 of the Pompeian Era) horizontal on left, OPΘΩΣIEΩN in exergue; while others with this date are known to exist, we could not find another example; this date very rare; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV, 221 - 204 B.C.

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This rare countermark is also found on Weiser 117, 118 and 114; all bronzes from Tyre. Perhaps the countermark was applied under Seleukid hegemony, when Ptolemy V lost Judea, Philistia, and Phoenicia to Antiochos III after the battle of Panium in 198 B.C.
GP72051. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1130; Noeske 95 (Ptolemy II); BMC Ptolemies p. 53, 65 (Ptolemy III); Hosking 56; Malter 156; Weiser 48 (Ptolemy II); SNG Cop -, F, some corrosion on the reverse, weight 29.982 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, club before, ∆I between legs; countermark: ivy leaf in irregular shaped punch; rare countermark; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00
 


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Berytos, Phoenicia

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Named for the daughter of Augustus, Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus was founded in 14 B.C. with veterans of the 5th and 8th legions. Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II built sumptuous monuments and sponsored gladiatorial combats at Berytos. After the siege of Jerusalem, Titus gave gladiatorial games at Berytos, in which the combatants were Jews.
RP55005. Bronze AE 25, RPC II 2045; Rouvier 513; BMC Phoenicia p. 63, 80; Lindgren-Kovacs 2257, F, green patina, scratches, reverse off center, weight 13.564 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Berytos (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, obverse IMP T CAESAR AVG F, bare head left; reverse COL IVL AVG, priest with yoke of two oxen right, plowing the pomerium (sacred boundary), founding the new colony; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
 


Zemar (Simyra), Phoenicia, c. 2nd Century B.C.

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Zemar (Simyra) was a Phoenician city and a major trade center in Syria.
GB57308. Bronze AE 18, Lindgren III 1633 (unattributed, perhaps otherwise unpublished), cf. Lindgren I A2138A (Damascus), VF, weight 5.281 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia mint, c. 2nd century B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus right; reverse turreted bust of Tyche right, Z behind, all within wreath; very rare; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, July 23, 2016.
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Phoenicia