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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>HellenisticMonarchies>PtolemaicEgypt PAGE 1/11123»»»

Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt

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.


Lot of 81 Bronze Coins, Paphos, Cyprus, Time of Cleopatra VII, c. 35 B.C.
Click for a larger photo
LT38166. Bronze Lot, 20 Cleopatra hemiobol; Bank of Cyprus 69; Paphos II 469 ff.; Hosking 68; Cox Curium 128; Michaelidou 35; Svoronos -; Weiser -, SNG Cop -, Fair to Fine, Paphos mint, c. 35 BC; obverse laureate head of Zeus; reverse statue of Zeus Salaminos standing, holding stalks of grain, star above (part of this statue has been recovered); actual coins in the photograph, as is, no returns; $580.00 (€435.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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.
SH70924. Bronze drachm, Svoronos 1125; Noeske 140 ff.; SNG Cop 199; Weiser 49 (Ptolemy II, 253 - 249 B.C.); BMC Ptolemies p. 57, 106 ff. (Ptolemy III); Hosking -, VF, weight 70.894 g, maximum diameter 41.9 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, ∆I between eagle's legs; a massive 71 gram Ptolemaic bronze!; $450.00 (€337.50)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Magas in Kyrene, c. 277 - 249 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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; SNG Cop 431; Noeske 112 ff.; BMC Ptolemies p., VF, weight 7.158 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene mint, 277 - 249 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy right; reverse ΠTOΛEM BAΣIΛ MAΓ, horizontal winged thunderbolt, monogram above; rare; $400.00 (€300.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros) or Ptolemy X Alexander, c. 114 - 80 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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; $270.00 (€202.50)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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 (€195.00)

Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $240.00 (€180.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy Nios under Ptolemy II, 268 - 259 B.C.
Click for a larger photo 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 (€180.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), Second Reign, 145 - 116 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The third specimen known to Forum. SNG Cop 601 is described as year 34, but the plate coin is clearly dated year 35. The reverse die is different from that of the Svoronons and Paphos I plate coins.
GP67616. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1589 (only 1 spec.); Paphos I, pl. X, 113; SNG Cop - (corr.); BMC Ptolemies -; SNG Milan -; Weiser -; Hosking -; Noeske -, VF detail, lamination defects, weight 12.356 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Kition mint, 137 - 136 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, LΛ∆ (year 34) over star left, KI (mintmark) right; extremely rare; $220.00 (€165.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros), 116 - 110 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Svoronos and SNG Copenhagen attribute this type to Cyprus. That it is missing from so many collections, yet Buttrey records seven finds at Kyrene, clearly indicates it was struck in Kyrene.
GP67901. Bronze AE 15, Buttrey Cyrene 371 - 377, Svoronos 1717 (Ptolemy X, Paphos), SNG Cop 664 (Cyprus), Weiser -, Noeske -, Hosking -, BMC Ptolemies -, SNG Milan -, gVF, weight 2.719 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene mint, 116 - 110 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΣΩTHPOΣ BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings partially open; scarce; $200.00 (€150.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy V Epiphanes, 204 - 180 B.C.
Click for a larger photo For an attribution of this type to Ptolemy IX, see T. Faucher and M. Shahin, "Le Tresor de Gezeir (lac Mariout, Alexandrie)" in Revue Numismatique 2006, pp. 135-157.
GP68423. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1190 (Ptolemy IV, Cyprus, 219 B.C.); SNG Cop 533, Cohen Dated 35, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Noeske -, Hosking -, VF, well centered, nice dark green patina, weight 14.964 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 315o, uncertain Phoenician mint, 203 - 202 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia, PK monogram behind; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEOΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, Ω over Σ left, LΓ (regnal year 3) right; rare; $200.00 (€150.00)



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REFERENCES

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Hazzard, R.A. Ptolemaic Coins: An Introduction for Collectors. (Toronto, 1995).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G.F. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Greek Coins of Cyprus. (London, 1904).
Hill, G.F. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Phoenicia.. (London, 1910).
Kreuzer, M. The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII, Marc Antony and Augustus in Cyprus. (Springfield, MA, 2004).
Malter, Joel. The Coinage of Ancient Egypt, Auction II, February 23 and 24, 1978. (Encino, CA, 1978).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Michaelidou, L, ed. Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage, Coin Catalogue. (Nicosia, 1996).
Michaelidou, L. and E. Zapiti. Coins of Cyprus, From the Collection of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. (Nicosia, 2008).
Mildenberg, L. "Yehud: A Preliminary Study of the Provincial Coinage of Judaea" in Essays Thompson.
Mørkholm, O. Early Hellenistic Coinage. From the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (336-188 BC). (Cambridge, 1991).
Nicolaou, I. Paphos II. The Coins from the House of Dionysos. Department of Antiquities Cyprus. (Nicosia, 1990).
Noeske, H-C. Die Münzen der Ptolemäer. (Frankfurt, 2000).
Pitchfork, C. The Jon Hosking Collection of Ptolemaic Coins. Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney. (Sydney, 2000).
Polk, R.S. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, the Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt. (London, 1882).
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, July 23, 2014.
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Ptolemaic Egypt Greek Coins