After Alexander the Great's death, Egypt was administred by Ptolemy, one of his friends and generals. In 305 B.C. Ptolemy crowned himself king, establishing one of the most important and flourishing hellenistic monarchies. The culture was a complex mixture of egyptian and greek traditions, best represented by the famous city of Alexandria. As all other hellenistic kingdoms, Egypt suffered a slow decline in parallel with the mighty rising of Rome, and it's end witnessed the great story of Queen Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Marc Antony.
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
This coin is one of the largest Ptolemaic coins, and only the third example of this extremely raretype known to Forum. An extraordinary raised pin protrudes from near center, as seen in the photo right.
GP71872. Bronze octobol, Svoronos 1409 (Ptolemy VI, one specimen), apparently otherwise unpublished, aEF, double struck, weight 93.230 g, maximum diameter 46.5 mm, die axis 315o, Paphos mint, c. 215 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, lotus flower before, ΛI between legs; ex Pecunem, Gitbud & Naumann auction 19, lot 346 (misattributed); extremely rare; $3000.00 (€2610.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Lathyros, Reign as King of Cyprus, 101 - 88 B.C.
Ptolemy IX Lathyros ("grass pea") was king of Egypt three times, 116 B.C. to 110 B.C., 109 B.C. to 107 B.C. and 88 B.C. to 81 B.C., with intervening periods ruled by his brother, Ptolemy X Alexander. When this coin was struck Ptolemy IX ruled in Cyprus and Ptolemy X in Egypt.
Serifs are unique to just a few rare Ptolemaic coins from this time period. Perhaps all are the work of a single engraver. Serifs also appear on a very rare Kition tetradrachm of this ruler. They appear on the K behind the head of Arsinoe II on the latest of the octadrachms. The heavy-set portrait compares well to MFA 59.51, and not so well to images of Ptolemy I.
SH72904. Silver tetradrachm, apparently unpublished and unique!, VF, weight 13.234 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, as King of Cyprus, year 27, 91 - 90 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy IX right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on a thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, date LKZ (year 27) before, ΠA mint mark behind, all letters with serifs; $2500.00 (€2175.00)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros), 116 - 108 B.C.
The style of this undated drachm closely resembles the style of the referenced year 2 drachm and hemidrachm of Ptolemy IX.
SH90360. Silver drachm, apparently unpublished and unique! for style cf. Svoronos 1661 (Ptolemy IX, 115 B.C., drachm, ΠA, LB) and 1662 (hemidrachm, same), VF, light corrosion, scratches, weight 3.125 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 315o, c. 116 B.C.; obverse Diademed bust of Ptolemy I right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, no symbols; ex Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger, auction 296 (3 Feb 2014), lot 1975; $1200.00 (€1044.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, as Satrap in Egypt, 323 - 305 B.C.
Ptolemy Lagides was a Macedonian general who, after Alexander's death, became the Satrap of Egypt under the nominal kings Philip III Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV. By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to preempt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took stole the body of Alexander. Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Thus began the long series of wars between the Diadochi, Alexander's successors. In 305, Ptolemy took the titles king and pharaoh, founding the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Ptolemaic Dynasty.
GP72061. Bronze hemiobol, Svoronos 172 (as king); BMC Ptolemies p. 8, 62 (295 - 284, Cyprus); SNG Cop 36; SNG Milan 5; Malter 21; Weiser -; Noeske -, VF, crowded flan, red and brown patina, weight 4.503 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 310 - 305 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of deified Alexander the Great right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY (no title, upward on left), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open, apluster above helmet on left; ex Harlan Berk; scarce; $370.00 (€321.90)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Magas in Kyrene, c. 277 - 249 B.C.
Magas was the stepson of Ptolemy I, the son of Berenice I, and half-brother to Ptolemy II. In 276 B.C., he crowned himself King in Kyrene, married the daughter of Antiochos I and invaded Egypt with his Seleukid allies. The Seleukid army was defeated by Ptolemy II and Magas faced an internal revolt of Libyan nomads. Still, Kyrene remained independent as long as he lived.
GB65215. Bronze obol, Svoronos 324; Noeske 112; SNG Cop 431; SNG Milan 443; Malter 54; BMC Ptolemies p. 76, 14; Weiser -, VF, weight 7.158 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene mint, c. 277 - 261 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy right; reverse ΠTOΛEM BAΣIΛ MAΓ, horizontal winged thunderbolt, monogram above; rare; $280.00 (€243.60)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
Ptolemy IV's surname, Philopator, means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
SH59538. Bronze drachm, Svoronos 992; Weiser 60 (Ptolemy III, 247 - 243 B.C.); SNG Cop 205; SNG Milan 216, Noeske 147, Hosking 36, BMC Ptolemies p. 74, 71 (Ptolemy V), aVF, weight 73.463 g, maximum diameter 41.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ΣE monogram between eagle's legs; a massive 73 gram Ptolemaic bronze!; $260.00 (€226.20)
Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text.
SH54977. Silver quarter-ma'ah-obol, Meshorer TJC 32; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 21, 24; Hendin 1087, gF, weight 0.192 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem? mint, obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverseeagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $240.00 (€208.80)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros) or Ptolemy X Alexander, c. 114 - 80 B.C.
After Ptolemy VIII died in 116 B.C., Cleopatra III ruled with her mother Cleopatra II and son Ptolemy IX. In 110 B.C., she replaced Ptolemy IX as co-regent with her second son Ptolemy X. Ptolemy IX regained the throne in 109 but was again replaced in 107 B.C. In 101 B.C., Ptolemy X had his mother Cleopatra III murdered, and then ruled alone or with his niece and wife, Berenice III.
GP62519. Bronze AE 14, unpublished, cf. Svoronos 1696 (1 spec., 35mm), Cox Curium 119 (25mm), Weiser -, Hosking -, Noeske -, Malter -, VF, weight 2.053 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. 114 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEOΣ, eagle standing left, pesatos(?) with diadem and straps left; possibly unique; $240.00 (€208.80)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy Nios under Ptolemy II, 268 - 259 B.C.
Svoronos knew only the single BMC example. Very rare and missing from most collections.
Ptolemy Nios was the son of Lysimachos and Arsinoe II, as well as the step-son and co-ruler of Ptolemy II from 268 - 259 B.C. He was removed from his co-regency after he rebelled in 259 B.C., but remained as ruler of Telmessos in Lycia until after 240 B.C.
SH64051. Bronze dichalkon, Svoronos 792, pl. XXV, 22 (Ake-Ptolemais); BMC Ptolemies p. 65, 29 (Ptolemy IV, Ptolemais); Ashton Fethiye -; Weiser -; Noeske -; Hosking -, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 5.044 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Telmessos mint, c. 260 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, tripod left, ΠTO right; very rare; $240.00 (€208.80)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C.
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.
GP73037. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1871; Weiser 183; Noeske 380; SNG Cop 419; SNG Milan 428; BMC Ptolemies p. 123, 4 ; Hosking 166 (obol); Malter 284; SGCV II 7955, F, weight 16.645 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra right, with characteristic melon coif; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, cornucopia left, Π (80 drachms) right; $240.00 (€208.80)
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