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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Hasmonean Dynasty| ▸ |Alexander Jannaeus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.

Aristobulus' was succeeded by his eldest brother, Alexander Jannæus, who was freed from prison, together with his two brothers, by Aristobulus' widow, Queen Salome Alexandra - "And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest." (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1). To expend his territory, Jannaeus, immediately attacked Ake-Ptolemais, which called Ptolemy of Cyprus to its aid. When it looked as though Jannaeus would be crushed, Cleopatra III of Egypt intervened, driving out her son-and-rival Ptolemy and reluctantly leaving Jannaeus with both Judaea and Ptolemais. Other conquests brought Jannaeus into conflict with Obadas I of Nabataea who soundly defeated him in 90 B.C. Jannaeus became the first High Priest to also hold the title of king, which met with disapproval of many religious Jews. Severely unpopular, he was pelted with citrons (etrog) on the Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and according to Josephus, "being enraged at this, he killed some 6,000." A full scale revolt erupted and rebels called for the aid of the Seleucid King Demetrius II of Damascus in 88 B.C. Demetrius met Jannaeus with an army of 3,000 horse and 14,000 - 40,000 foot soldiers, forcing him into the mountains. At Demetrus' withdrawal, however, Jannaeus gathered reinforcements and re-established his authority, crucifying 800 rebels who were forced to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses (Josepus, Ant. XIII:380). After the Nabataean king Aretas gained control of Damascus, he used his new power base to inflict a final attack on Jannaeus, forcing the concession of a number of Hellenized towns before Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C.

Judean Kingdom, Anonymous Hasmonean, c. 140 - 37 B.C.

|Judean| |Kingdom|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Anonymous| |Hasmonean,| |c.| |140| |-| |37| |B.C.||tessera|
A Judaean coin expert informs us that there are nine known specimens of this type, one specimen of this type was discovered during excavations at Mt. Gerizim, and the second best known specimen of this type sold for $12,000 a few years ago.
JD97077. Lead tessera, Hendin 1157 (RRR), Meshore TJC -, Sofaer Collection -, HGC 10 -, SNG Cop -, F, scratches, bumps, earthen encrustation, tight flan, weight 2.024 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 225o, Samarian(?) mint, c. 140 - 37 B.C.; obverse double cornucopia, upright rod between, border of dots; reverse stylized palm tree between two blooming lily flowers, border of dots; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $2000.00 (€1840.00)
 


|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97434. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, parts of legends unstruck, obverse slightly off center, obverse edge beveled, edge cracks, casting sprue remnant, weight 1.849 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $135.00 (€124.20)
 


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97081. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina with highlighting lighter green deposits, reverse off center, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
"And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest." (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1)
JD97338. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1144, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, dark sea green patina, highlighting lighter green deposits, off center, reverse casting void flaw lower obverse, weight 1.830 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |B.C.||prutah|
This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Hyrcanus II's Hebrew name is not known and some scholars believe this type was struck under Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The period from Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C. to the begining of Mattatayah Antigonus reign in 40 B.C. would be a long gap without minting coinage. We also believe the dramatic difference in epigraphy indicates a break at the mint, supporting attribution to Jannaeus' successors.
JD97369. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), VF, dark patina with lighter highlighting deposits, a little off center on a tight flan, some minor pitting on the reverse, obverse edge beveled, edge split, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.160 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude barbaric, blundered Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Meshorer wrote of the inscriptions on this type, "The style of the script is distinctive. The letters are large and slight oblique, with sharp lines and edges; they tend toward systematization. The shapes are strong and clear...and contain few variants. The legend is mostly incomplete and contains many errors. Certain characters such as (B), (R), and (D) are almost indistinguishable." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHWN/TN (Yehonatan) [K]HN (Priest) / H (the) GD/WL (high) (HH)/BR (council) YH[WD]/M (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97372. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1144, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, dark patina with highlighting light deposits, off center, weight 2.060 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Meshorer wrote of the inscriptions on this type, "The letters are clear, large and straight, with few variants. On many coins the inscription, especially the final word, is incomplete. Even the specimens that depict incomplete inscriptions and orthographic errors reveal a good style and contain well-defined letters." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHW/NTN (Yehonatan) HK/N (Priest, should be KHN) H (high) LDG (high) / W (and) (HH)BR (council) H (the) / YHM (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97411. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1145, Meshorer TJC P, Meshorer AJC E, HGC 10 638, VF, nice dark green patina with highlighting lighter green deposits, a little off center, weight 1.772 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription within wreath: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $70.00 (€64.40)
 







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