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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Seleucid Kingdom||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of the Seleucid Kingdom

The Seleucid Kingdom, ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty, existed from 312 B.C. to 63 B.C. Seleucus I Nicator received Babylonia in the division of Alexander the Great's empire in 321 B.C. He expanded his domain, and at the height of its power, the Seleucid Empire included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what is now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. They were defeated by the Roman Republic and their Greek allies in 190 B.C. The subsequent Treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C. required costly war reparations and loss of territory west of the Taurus Mountains. The Parthians conquered much of the remaining empire in the mid-2nd century B.C. The Seleucid kings continued to rule a smaller state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 B.C. and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey in 63 B.C.

Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |III,| |c.| |96| |-| |87| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The inscription on the reverse of this coin translates, "King Demetrios, the god, father-loving, savior." He was nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Timely") by the Syrian Greeks but was called Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean priest king Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SL94920. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2450(2); HGC 9 1305; cf. BMC Seleucid p. 101, 1 (SE 217, same controls); SNG Spaer 2863 (SE 219, different controls), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5771210-005), weight 16.501 g, maximum diameter 30.10 mm, die axis 0o, Damaskos (Damascus, Syria) mint, 97 - 96 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, fringe of curly beard at jawline, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, two monograms (controls) outer left, date CIS (Seleucid Era year 216) in exergue, ∆H monogram (control) in exergue on right, laurel wreath border; from the Ray Nouri Collection, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $1000.00 (€920.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |III,| |c.| |96| |-| |87| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The inscription on the reverse of this coin translates, "King Demetrios, the god, father-loving, savior." He was nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Timely") by the Syrian Greeks but was called Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean priest king Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SL94921. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2450(3); Newell LSM 116a corr. (control ex. in error); Cohen DCA 303; HGC 9 1305; BMC Seleucid p. 101, 1 var. (different controls), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5771210-004, in error has date yr. 218, 95/4 BC), weight 16.852 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, die axis 0o, Damaskos (Damascus, Syria) mint, 96 - 95 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, fringe of curly beard at jawline, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, A over N (controls) outer left, date ΞIC (Seleucid Era year 217) in exergue, laurel wreath border; from the Ray Nouri Collection, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $1000.00 (€920.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $700.00 (€644.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
SH95962. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1782.2c; BMC Seleucid p. 52, 11 var. (outer left monogram); SNG Spaer 1424 var. (same); Newell SMA 142 (same); HGC 9 875a, gVF, fine Hellenistic style, old cabinet toning, edge split, weak area at neck/date, old scratches, weight 16.327 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 149 - 148 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander Balas right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY in two downward lines on the left, Zeus seated left on high back throne, himation over left shoulder and around hips and legs, Victory in extended right hand offering wreath, lotus topped scepter in left hand, Θ outer left, PA monogram inner left, date ∆ΞP (Seleucid Era year 164) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $450.00 (€414.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|NEW
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY95965. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1641(6)a; Newell SMA 118; BMC Seleucid p. 46, 12 and pl. XIV, 1; HGC 9 798, VF, centered, toned, light marks/scratches, weight 16.636 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 151 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right, clean shaven, long hair on neck, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ in two downward lines on left, ΠA monogram over ANT monogram outer left, AΞP (year 161) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $320.00 (€294.40) ON RESERVE


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
SL51937. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1711.5, HGC 9 709c (R2), SNG Spaer -, NGC XF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (5768432-007), weight 16.079 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 45o, Susa (Shush, Iran) mint, 162 - 150 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of youthful idealized Demetrios II right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆HMHTPIOY, Apollo seated left on omphalos, arrow in right, left resting on bow, monogram outer left, AN ligate in exergue; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $315.00 (€289.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|NEW
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY95964. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1637a; SNG Spaer 1257; Newell SMA 81; BMC Seleucid p. 47, 33 & pl. XIV, 2; HGC 9 796 (R1), aVF, toning, light corrosion/porosity, weight 15.785 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 155/4 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right with light beard, short hair, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, fully clothed, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by winged tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, monogram (control) outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $260.00 (€239.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus V Eupator, 164 - 162 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |V| |Eupator,| |164| |-| |162| |B.C.||tetradrachm|NEW
Antiochus V was just nine years old when crowned. The kingdom was ruled by his regent Lysias. In 163 or early 162 B.C., the Roman legate Gnaeus Octavius enforced the Treaty of Apamea by burning the Seleukid fleet and killing the army's war elephants (private citizens assassinated him for this outrage). Soon after, Ptolemaeus, the satrap of Commagene, declared independence. Only two years after becoming king, his uncle Demetrius escaped captivity, claimed the throne and had Antiochos V and his regent executed.
SH95968. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1575(1); Newell SMA 74; SNG Spaer 1243; Houghton CSE 136; BMC Seleucid p. 44, 3; HGC 9 752, VF, toned, excellent portrait, light marks, edge chip, areas of slightest corrosion, weight 15.537 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 164 - 162 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos V right, diadem ends fall straight behind, fillet border; reverse Zeus seated left, himation around hips and legs and over left arm, Victory in extended right hand crowning name, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, EYΠATOPOΣ (of a good father) in exergue, ∆I monogram outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $220.00 (€202.40)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|NEW
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY95966. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1638(1)c; Newell SMA 83; SNG Spaer 1256; BMC Seleucid p. 47, 32; HGC 9 795f, aVF, dark old cabinet toning, bumps and scratches, weight 16.262 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 155/4 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right, clean-shaven, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, fully clothed, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by winged tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, monogram outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|NEW
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY95967. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1641(6)a; Newell SMA 118; BMC Seleucid p. 46, 12 and pl. XIV, 1; HGC 9 798, VF, slightly off center on an oval flan, toning in recesses, light bumps and scratches, polished, weight 15.747 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 151 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right, clean shaven, long hair on neck, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY / ΣΩTHPOΣ in two downward lines on left, two monograms (controls) outer left, AΞP (year 161) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $200.00 (€184.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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