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IX. Phoenicia

Ancient coins from Phoenicia in the Forum Ancient Coins shop

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Betlyon, J.W. The Coinage and Mints of Phoenicia. The Pre-Alexandrine Period. Harvard Semitic Monographs, Vol. 26. (Chico, CA, 1982).
Baramki, D.C. The Coin Collection of the American University of Beirut Museum. (Beirut, 1974).
Burnett, A. & M. Amandry. Roman Provincial Coinage II: From Vespasian to Domitian (AD 69-96). (London, 1999).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Duyrat, F. Arados Hellnistique: tude historique et montaire. (Beirut, 2005).
Duyrat, F. "Les ateliers montaires de Phnicie du Nord l' poque hellnistique" in Les Monnayages Syriens.
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. Le monnayage de la cit phnicienne de Sidon l'poque perse (Ve-IVe s. av. J.-C.). (Paris, 2004).
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. The Coinage of the Phoenician City of Tyre in the Persian Period (5th-4th cent. BCE). (Leuven-Paris-Walpole, MA, 2009).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins. (Amphora, 2010).
Hersh, C. "Tyrus Rediviva Reconsidered" in AJN 10. (New York, 1998).
Hill, G.F. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Phoenicia. (London, 1910).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Hoover, Oliver D. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Meshorer, Y. "The Coins of Dora" in INJ 9 (1986).
Meshorer, Y. "One Hundred Ninety Years of Tyrian Shekels" in Studies Mildenberg (Wettern, 1984).
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Mdailles antiques grecques et romaines, supplement vol. 8: Rois de Syria. (Paris, 1837).
Mrkholm, O. Early Hellenistic Coinage. From the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (336-188 BC). (Cambridge, 1991).
Newell, E.T. Alexander Hoards II, Demanhur, 1905. ANSNNM 19. (New York, 1923).
Newell, E.T. The Dated Alexander Coinage of Sidon and Ake. (Oxford, 1916).
Newell, E.T. Seleucid Coins of Tyre: A Supplement. ANSNNM 73. (New York, 1936).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
Price, M.J. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Rogers, E. The Second and Third Seleucid Coinage at Tyre. ANSNNM 34. (New York, 1927).
Rouvier, J. "Numismatique des Villes de la Phnicie" in Journal International d'Archologie Numismatique. (Athens, 1900-1904).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Svoronos, J. Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion. (Athens, 1904-08).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 7: Cyprus to India. (New Jersey, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, Univ. of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II, Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
van Alfen, P.G. "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05).

Babelon, Les Perses Achmnides ... et Phonicie, (1893).


Aradus was built on an island off the northern coast of Phoenicia. Its coinage begins about the same time as that of Tyre and Sidon, towards the end of the fifth century B.C.; but unlike those cities Aradus made use of the Persic standard for its silver staters, probably on account of its proximity to and commerce with the island of Cyprus, where alone that standard was then in use.

The early coinage of Aradus may be arranged in the following classes :

Late fifth and early fourth centuries B.C.
מא (ex Arado'). Phoenician fish-god, holding dolphin in each hand.Galley with sea-horse beneath [Babelon, Perses Ach., Pl. XXII. 1, &c.]
AR 55 grs., AR 27 grs.
מא Half-figure of fish-god.Prow with dolphin beneath [Ibid., Pl. XXII. 7, &c.].
AR 11 grs.
First half of fourth century B.C.

Head of Melkart laureate, of archaic style. [Babelon, No. 878.]מא Galley on waves.
AR Attic Tetradrachm 257.12 grs.
Id. [Babelon, Pl. XXII. 12 f.]Id.
AR Persic Stater 165 grs., and divisions 54, and 14.5 grs.

Circ. B.C. 350-332.

FIG. 345.

Staters similar to those of preceding period, with regnal dates (10-17) or (numeral ?) letters (Fig. 345); this is possibly the coinage of the Gerostratus who sided with Alexander. Also bronze (size .55) with types, Fish-god, rev. Galley. Certain minute AR coins (2.3 grs. and under), obv. Bearded head, rev. Galley, Tortoise, Head of one of the Phoenician Pataekoi, etc., probably belong to both this period and the preceding.

Circ. B.C. 332-323.

Strato, son of Gerostratus.

Head of Melkart.
[Bouvier, Villes de Phonicie, No. 106.]
עב (Abdastart). Galley.
AR Obol 10 gr

Circ. B.C. 330-260.

On the Macedonian conquest Aradus abandoned its ancient standard of weight for the Attic, and struck gold staters and silver tetradrachms with Alexandrine types (Mller, Cl. II, III, and IV, Nos. 1360-79), distinguished by the monogram (B. M. Guide, Pl. XXVII. 3, 4). Some of these are dated by the era of the conquest of Phoenicia (B.C. 333/2). They probably ceased with the reign of Antiochus I (B.C. 281-261), on some of whose tetradrachms the same monogram occurs. Probably to the same period is to be assigned the Attic tetrobol with obv. Beardless laureate head, rev. מא Prow (Babelon, Perses Ach., Pl. XXIII. 2).

Circ. B.C. 259-171.

The era of Aradus, according to which all the subsequent coins of the city are dated, commences in B.C. 259. The coins fall into the following classes:

(i) Alexandrine gold staters, silver tetradrachms, and bronze. Monogram ΑΡ. Many of the tetradrachms (Mller, Cl. V) bear the symbol Palm-tree, and (α) Phoenician dates corresponding to B.C. 243-215 or (β) Greek dates, B.C. 202-171.
(ii) The contemporary smaller coinage consists of Attic tetrobols, half-drachms, diobols, and bronze, with Phoenician dates from B.C. 243, and the mono- gram ΑΡ.

Head of Zeus or Melkart.Prow with or without Athena as figure- head.
AR Tetrobol, Dr., or Diobol
Head of Tyche.Prow.
AR Dr.
Id.Prow with or without Athena as figure- head.
Id.Stern of ship.
Head of Zeus.Beak of ship.

Circ. B.C. 174-137 and later.
Head of Poseidon, crowned with marine plant. [Babelon, Pl. XXIII. 14.]ΑΡΑΔΙΩΝ Zeus standing; symbol, palm-tree; date=B.C. 174.
AR Attic Tetradrachm
Bee, and dates = B.C. 174-110.
[See Ephesus, p. 575.]
ΑΡΑΔΙΩΝ Stag and palm-tree.
AR Attic Dr.
Head of Zeus.Beak of ship.
Head of Tyche.Poseidon seated on prow.
Circ. B.C. 137-45.

FIG. 346.

Some time in the reign of Alexander Bala (B.C. 152-144) Aradus, which had been long at feud with its neighbor Marathus, succeeded in destroying that town, and probably obtained thenceforth a consider- able accession of wealth and power, for we find it, shortly after that event, in a position to send into the market vast quantities of dated tetradrachms, the series of which extends from B.C. 137 down to B.C. 45. The weight of these tetradrachms is Rhodian(?), being intermediate between the Attic and Tyrian standards. The drachms with Ephesian types (see above) continued to be issued until B.C. 110.

Head of Tyche, veiled and turreted (Fig. 346).ΑΡΑΔΙΩΝ Nike standing, holding apluster and palm; in field, Greek date and Phoenician and Greek letters.
AR Tetradrachm 239 grs.
Head of Zeus.Prow with Athena as figure-head (B.C. 130-110).
AR Tetrobol
size .6
Head of Tyche.Prow (B.C. 119-109).
AR Dr.
Head of Gorgon.Apluster (B.C. 111, 110).
Head of Astarte veiled.Humped bull (B.C. 96).
Id.Id. (B.C. 94-21).
Head of Tyche.Poseidon seated on prow.
Heads of Zeus and a goddess jugate.Prow with Athena as figure-head (B.C. 137-52).
Head of Zeus.Prow (B.C. 84-45).

Bronze coins with the head of M. Antonius were issued in B.C. 38/7 and 35/4.

Imperial, Tiberius to Gordian. Inscr., ΑΡΑΔΙΩΝ. Usual types Head of Astarte wearing stephane and veil, before which is the head of the Emperor, smaller in size than that of the goddess, rev. Running bull; Tyche seated on rudder; Vase between two sphinxes; Cypress-tree between lion and bull, each accompanied by legionary standard.

Also occasional quasi-autonomous coins, partly with the old types, to A.D. 116. A silver tetradrachm of Caracalla of the Antiochene class (symbol, crab and crescent) may have been issued at Aradus or Ascalon (Imhoof-Blumer, Gr. Mnzen, 786).


Berytus (Beyrout), a coast-town between Byblus and Sidon. It was a mint for AV, AR, and of Ptolemy II, III, and V (symbol, trident), and also for Seleucid AR and (Antiochus IV to Antiochus VIII). In the second century the coins hear a Phoenician inscription ללאדכא אש בכנען meaning'of Laodiceia which is in Canaan' (i. e. Phoenicia) (Rev. Arch., 1897, p. 302); also often the letters ΛΑ ΦΟΙ or ΒΗ ΦΟL Autonomous from second century; inscr. as above, or'of Berit' in Phoenician; later ΒΗΡΥΤΙWΝ. TypesHead of Tyche; Poseidon in car drawn by hippocamps; Astarte on prow, &c. Era begins B.C. 80. of Cleopatra VII (q.v.), in B.C. 31 (Svoronos, Νομ. Πτολ., 1886-9). Colonial (from circ. B.C. 15), Augustus to Salonina; also small bronze without Emperors' heads. Inscr., BER., C. B., COL. BER., COL. IVL. AVG. FEL. BER., COL. ANT. AVG. FEL. BER., &c. Other inscriptions: SEC(uritas) SAEC(uli); DECENNALES ANTONINI COS III. Typesusual colonial; Astarte; Temple of Astarte; Poseidon; Temple of Poseidon; Poseidon seizing Bero; Dionysos; Agora gateway with figure of'Marsyas'; the eight Kabiri; Eshmun-Asklepios with two serpents, &c. Under Cara- calla and Macrinus, silver'Antiochene' tetradrachms; symbol, trident and dolphin.


Botrys, between Byblus and Tripolis. Quasi-autonomous (time of Augustus) and Imperial (Elagabalus to Severus Alexander). Inscription, ΒΟΤΡΥΗΝWΝ. Era (Actian) begins B.C. 31. TypesAstarte in temple; Grapes; Amphora.


Byblus (Gebal), a coast-town at the foot of Mount Lebanon, between Botrys and Berytus, famous as the scene of the myth of Adonis, who was here worshipped under the name of Thammuz. Isis also was fabled to have come to Byblus, where she sought and found the chest containing the corpse of Osiris slain by Typhon. The earliest coins of Byblus are autonomous silver pieces of the kings of Byblus, Elpaal, Azbaal, Ainelor Enylus, the contemporary of Alexander the Great, B.C. 333 (Arrian, ii. 20. 1) and Adramelek, B.C. 315 (?) (Six, Num. Chron., 1877, p. 182).

Phoenician Standard, circ. B.C. 400-315 (?).
Galley, with horse's head as figure- head, manned by three armed men; beneath, hippocamp.Vulture standing on an incuse ram.
AR Stater and Fourth; also smaller divisions varied. [De Luynes, Satrap., Pl. XVI. 46, 47.]
[Babelon, Perses Ach., Pl. XXVI. 12.]
Lion devouring a bull, of which the head is in relief and the body incuse. Inscr. in Phoenician letters לפעל מלך גבל (= Elpaal Melek Gebal).
AR Stater and divisions.
Id. [Babelon. Perses Ach., Pl. XXVI. 20, &c.]Lion devouring bull. Inscr. in Phoenician letters עזבעל מלך גבל (= Azbaal Melek Gebal); עינאל מלך גבל (= Ainel Melek Gebal); or גבלאדרמלך מלך (= Adramelek Melek Gebal).
AR 213 grs. and 13 grs.
Second and first centuries B.C.

The next coins of Byblus are bronze of the Seleucids from Antiochus IV to Antiochus VIII, rev. usually Phoenician god Kronos represented as a standing figure with six wings and a horned head-dress (cf. Rev. Num., 1856, p. 394, and Imhoof, Monn. gr., p. 442).

There are also autonomous bronze coins of the first century B.C.; inscr. in Phoenician letters   לגבל קדשת'of Gebal the holy'. Types Head of Tyche; Kronos; Isis Pharia; Crown of ΕΙCΙC; Isis-Astarte standing; Harpokrates; &c. (Imhoof MG, p. 442). Quasi-autonomous , dated by Actian Era. Imperial , Augustus to Severus Alexander. Inscr., ΒΥΒΛΙΩΝ, ΒΥΒΛΟΥ ΙЄΡΑC, etc. Usual typesTemple of Astarte, in which her statue standing with one foot on prow; Isis Pharia; Temple with court containing conical baetyl; etc.

Caesareia ad Libanum

Caesareia ad Libanum, at the north-west foot of Mount Lebanon. Imperial, Antoninus Pius and Aurelius. Inscr., ΚΑΙCΑΡЄΙΑC ΛIΒΑΝΟΥ or ΚΑΙCΑΡЄΩΝ ΤΩΝ ЄΝ ΤΩ ΛΙΒΑΝΩ, with Seleucid dates. ColonialElagabalus to Severus Alexander, COL. CAESAREA LIB.; sometimes also ITVR(aeae ?). TypesHalf-length simulacrum of Astarte in temple (as described by Macrobius, Sat., i. 21. 5); Astarte in Temple, crowned by standing figure, River-god at her feet. Dates according to the Seleucid era.

Carne (or Carnos)

Carne or Carnos. To this place, the mainland port of Aradus (Strabo, 753), coins have been attributed with Phoenician dates reckoned from the era of Aradus, B.C. 259, ranging from B.C. 226-137. Inscr., ΚΑΡ or קרן. Alexandrine AR tetradrachm; AR Attic tetrobols with Aradian types or cornucopia; with Aradian types, also Asklepios-Eshmun crowned by Nike; Cornucopias; etc.


Dora (Tantura), in the south of Phoenicia. Autonomous (first century B.C.) and Imperial, Vespasian to Antoninus Pius, with Greek dates computed from the Pompeian era, B.C. 64. Inscr., ΔWΡΙΤWΝ, ΔWΡ. ΙЄΡ. ΑCΥΛ. ΑΥΤΟΝ. ΝΑΥΑΡΧ[ιδοσ], ΔWΡΑ ΙЄΡΑ. TypesHead of Doros or Tyche, rev. Astarte standing holding vexillum.


Gebal. See Byblus.

Laodiceia Phoeniciae

Laodiceia Phoeniciae. See Berytus.


Marathus (site Amrit). This important city was the most northern coast town of Phoenicia. It was continually at feud with its near neighbor Aradus, which appears to have succeeded in destroying it between B.C. 149 and 145, in the reign of Alexander Bala; it was subsequently revived (perhaps as an Aradian colony).

Its earliest coins are a silver drachm of the types of the Alexandrine AV Staters (Babelon, Perses Ach., Pl. XXVIII. 1) and tetradrachms with Alexandrine types (Mller, 1396; symbol, Palm-tree), dated in the thirtieth year of the era of Aradus (B.C. 259) = B.C. 229. Shortly after this the series of the Marathenian coins begins, and extends down to circ. B.C. 150. The silver coins have Greek legends and the bronze Phoenician, nearly all being dated in the usual Phoenician manner, e.g. ΙΙΙΝΝΝשת (= Shenath 73).

FIG. 347.
Head of the city, turreted (Fig. 347).ΜΑΡΑΘΗΝΩΝ Marathos holding ap- lustre and branch, seated on shields. In front, Phoenician date 33 (= B.C. 226).
AR Attic tetradr. 258 grs.
Head of Queen Berenice II (?), veiled.ΜΑΡΑΘΗΝΩΝ Marathos standing beside column, holding aplustre. Phoenician date 34 (= B.C. 225) and 73.
AR 36 grs.
Id.מרת Asklepios-Eshmun, with serpent staff. Dates 33 and 35.
Id.מרת Marathos standing. Dates 40- 108.
Id.Prow. Date 73.
Bust of Ptolemy VI as Hermes.מרת Marathos standing. Dates 80-91.
Bust of Tyche.Id. Dates 103-105.
Female bust, laureate.מרת Nike. Dates 85-90.
Head of Zeus.ΜΑΡΑ or no city-name. Double cor- nucopiae. Phoenician dates 120- 168, Greek dates 236-375.

For other types see Rouvier, Num. des Villes de la Phnicie.


Orthosia, between Aradus and Tripolis. Autonomous bronze of first century B.C., and quasi-autonomous. Inscr., ΟΡΘΩΣΙΕΩΝ; chief type Dionysos Pogon in car drawn by winged panthers. Era, Seleucid. Imperial, Nero to Severus Alexander. TypesDionysos (as on earlier coins); Temple of Astarte; etc.

Ptolemais - Ake - Acre

Ptolemais-Ace (Akka, St. Jean d'Acre). The coinage of this city begins with Alexander the Great; staters and tetradrachms with dates 6-40, i. e. by the era of Alexander in Phoenicia, from B.C. 328/7 to 294/3; also undated, during the period 332-328. On these coins the city is named Ace (עך). It was re-named Ptolemais by Ptolemy II. The Ptolemaic coinage begins in B.C. 261 (a few undated pieces may be earlier), and continues until the acquisition of the city by Antiochus III in B.C. 200. Seleucid coinage from Antiochus IV to Antiochus XII (circ. B.C. 175-84); interrupted by a coin struck by Ptolemy VI in B.C. 148, during the struggle between Alexander Bala and Demetrius. The mint-mark is usually a monogram of ΠΤ or ΠΤΟ; we also find ΑΝΤΙΟΧΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΔΙ from Antiochus IV (who therefore founded a colony there named after himself) to the first century B.C. The other names survived, however; עך and ΠΤΟ are found on contemporary coins. From circa B.C. 44 the coins read ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑ(Ι)ΕΩΝ, sometimes also ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ or ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ, and are dated by the Caesarean era (B.C. 48). Coins struck probably about B.C. 4 read ΑΚΗ, usually also ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ, variously abbreviated. Under Claudius the title is ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΕΝ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΔΙ. Types through- out the autonomous periodTriptolemos (?) with sceptre and ears of corn; Zeus; Tyche standing on rudder, holding aplustre; Perseus; &c. Claudius made it a colony between A.D. 52 and 54, with the title Colonia Claudia Felix Ptolemais. Colonial coinage from Nero to Gallienus. Inscr., usually COL. PTOL.; other titles CL(audia) FELIX, and under Nero also STAB(ilis?) GER(manica). Era, Caesarean. Types Emperor DIVOS CLAVD(ius) ploughing the sulcus primigenius, with standards of four legions, the III (Gallica), VI (Ferrata), X (Fretensis), and XII (Fulminata). River-god Belos, alone or at feet of Tyche, or with another figure (Mountain-god ?). View of the port of Ace. View of the acropolis. Aphrodite of'Medici' type. Neptune with trident and dolphin, boar, and standard (emblems of Tenth legion). Rape of Persephone. Temple of Artemis, surrounded by zodiac. Types relating to Serapis, Isis, and Harpokrates. Bust of a fire-deity (?) with torch and peculiar head-dress. Deity in Egyptian shrine, holding double-axe, sometimes with bucrania at his feet. Two Nemeses holding serpent-staves. Perseus holding head of Medusa. Tree between two altars with serpents. Model of human foot (cf. Alexandreia in Egypt and Aegeae in Cilicia). The thunderbolt, harpa, and caduceus are common symbols in the field of all the later coins.


Sidon. To this great maritime city, the ancient metropolis of Phoenicia, belongs the most important coinage of this part of the world down to the time of Alexander the Great. It begins about the end of the fifth century, is of the Phoenician standard, and is to be divided into the following classes. A cable border characterizes the larger coins in Classes II-IV :

CLASS I. Uncertain King (Eshmun'azar ?). End of fifth century B.C.

FIG. 348.

Galley with square-sail furled (Fig. 348).Incuse square. King of Persia in chariot, driven by charioteer; in field, fore- part of wild goat, incuse.
AR 2 shekels, 422.5 grs.
Id.Incuse square. King shooting; in field, heads of goat and Hes, incuse.
AR shekel, 109.1 grs.
Id.Incuse square. King running, shooting.
AR 1/16 shekel, 12.8 grs.
Id.Head of Bes.
AR 1/32 shekel, 4.8 grs.
Id., but sail triangular.Incuse circle. King shooting.
AR shekel, 98 grs.

Class II. Uncertain king. Circ. B.C. 400-384.

FIG. 349.
Galley before fortified wall of a city. In exergue, two lions (Fig. 349).Incuse circle. King in chariot, driven at full speed by charioteer; beneath, wild-goat, incuse.
AR 2 shekels, 436 grs.
Id.Incuse square. King slaying lion with sword.
AR shekel, 108.7 grs.

These usually bear Aramaic letters, such as עב, בע, בם, the meaning of which is not certain. To the same class belong 1/16 and 1/64 shekels, rev. type, King running, shooting; and 1/32 shekels, rev. type, King half-kneel- ing, holding bow and spear. See Rouvier in Journ. Int., 1902, p. 102 f.

CLASS III. Uncertain King (Bod'ashtart ?). Circ. B.C. 384-370.
(With letter ב on obverse or reverse).

Galley with rowers, at sea.Incuse circle. King in chariot, driven slowly by charioteer; behind him, an attendant in Egyptian royal costume. On one specimen the date 14.
AR 2 shekels, 441.4 grs.
Id.Id. (without attendant).
Id.King slaying lion.
AR 1/16 shekel
Id.King kneeling, shooting.
AR 1/32 shekel

The Egyptian king following the car of the Great King probably symbolizes the nominal subjection of Egypt to Persia after the death of Hakor in B.C. 383.

CLASS IV. Strato I (Abd'ashtart). Circ. B.C. 370-358.

FIG. 350.

To this celebrated Phil-Athenian ruler (Hicks, Gk. Hist. Inscr., iii) the following coins are to be attributed :

Galley with rowers, at sea. Dates 1 13 (Fig. 350).עב King in chariot, with Egyptian attendant, as in preceding reign.
AR 2 shekels, 397 grs.
Id.Id. (without attendant).
AR shekel, 98 grs.
shekel, 49.4 grs.
Id. (without dates) ב.ע King slaying lion.
AR 1/16 shekel, 23.9 grs.
Id. (without dates).King in chariot, driven by charioteer.
Id. (with dates 3-10).King half-kneeling with spear and bow.
Head of a king (Strato I ?).Galley. Dates 11, 12.

In the reign of Strato I the weight of the double-shekel is reduced considerably, probably indicating a fall in the value of gold from 13-1/3: 1 to 12: 1. The maximum weight of the reduced double-shekel during the ensuing period is 405.9 grs. The attribution of the above bronze coins to this reign is conjectural. There appears to be an interval of a few years between the issues of this king and those of the next.
CLASS V. Tennes. Circ. B.C. 354-348.

Galley with rowers, at sea. Dates 1-4.תע King in chariot, as in preceding reign, but with attendant in Asiatic dress.
AR 2 shekels, 399 grs.
Id. (without dates).תע King slaying lion.
AR 1/16 shekel

Tennes was reigning at the time of the revolt of B.C. 351, and after his betrayal of Sidon was put to death by Artaxerxes, circ. B.C. 348.

CLASS VI. Euagoras II of Salamis. Circ. B.C. 345-342.

Euagoras II, after the end of the Cypriote revolt, received a ηγεμονια (Diod. xvi. 46) from the Great King, which Babelon (Ml. Num., i. p. 305) identifies with the governorship of Sidon. To him he has attributed double-shekels and 1/16 shekels, with types similar to those of Tennes, but with the letters ע ע on the reverse; the double-shekels have a star in the field of the obverse. Regnal dates 1-4.

CLASS VII. Strato II. Circ. B.C. 342-333.

To this king, who was deposed by Alexander the Great, are to be attributed double-shekels and half-shekels of the types of Classes V and VI, with dates 1 to 10 or 11, and letters עב. Perhaps also some 1/16 shekels similar to those of Class IV.

CLASS VIII. Mazaeus. Circ. B.C. 343-335.

The inscription מז or מזדי (the letters show Aramaizing forms) on the coins of this class shows that they were issued by Mazaeus, presumably as commander-in-chief in Phoenicia; they seem to have been struck contemporaneously with the coins of the Sidonian kings, and at the same mint. They bear dates 16-21 and 1-4, representing regnal years of Artaxerxes III (died B.C. 337) and of Dareius III respectively. They are double-shekels and 1/16 shekels of the usual types.

Circ. B.C. 333-202.

The coinage of Sidon with Alexandrine types falls into the following classes (the mint-mark is usually ΣΙ; classes A to C, E, and F are inscribed ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ):

(A) Undated gold (symbol, palm-branch) and silver (Mller, 1397- 1399).
(B) Gold and silver, with Phoenician alphabetical dates (ז to כ = 7 to 11. Mller, 1407-1409, &c.; probably from B.C. 327/6 to 323/2).
(C) Gold and silver with Greek alphabetical dates: (Κ to Ω = 10 to 24, = B.C. 324/3 to 310/9 (Rouvier, 1172, 1173, 1184, 1189- 1194, 1196).
(D) Tetradrachms with name of Philip III, and dates Ν, Ο, Π = B.C. 321/0, 319/18, 318/17.
(E) Silver with the letters Α to Δ combined with Μ (Rouvier, 1185-1187).
(F) Gold staters, with symbol, star, and monograms (Rouvier, 1174-1178).
(G) Gold and silver (of Mller's Class V) with the inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ.

Partly contemporary with, but for the most part subsequent to, this Alexandrine coinage is the coinage of the Ptolemies, from Ptolemy II's twenty-fifth year (B.C. 261) to Ptolemy V.

Circ. B.C. 202-111.

In B.C. 202 Sidon was lost by Ptolemy V to Antiochus III, and a Seleucid coinage of bronze probably began at once at this mint; although, however, the mint-name is only found from Antiochus IV to Antiochus IX. The regal issues include AR both on the Attic and on the Phoenician standard. To this time also belongs a scanty autonomous coinage of bronze, with typesHead of Tyche; Rudder; Aplustre; Europa on bull (cf. Lucian, de dea Syr., 6: και το νομισμα, τω Σιδωνιοι χρεονται, την Ευρωην εφεζομενην εχει τω ταυρω τω Διι); &c. On some of these coins occurs a Phoenician inscription. (or ככב) אפא כת צר לצדנם אם כמב meaning'belonging to [the city of] the Sidonians, the metropolis of Cambe (i. e. Carthage), of Hippo, of Citium, of Tyre'. More usual is the shorter inscription לצדנם, or ΣΙΔΩΝΙΩΝ.

B.C. 111 to Imperial Times.

In B.C. 111 the autonomous era of Sidon begins, and, with it, a long series of dated silver and bronze coins of which the following are the chief varieties. (The inscriptions are as in the previous period, and also ΣΙΔΩΝΟΣ, ΣΙΔΩΝΙΩΝ or ΣΙΔΩΝΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ, ΣΙΔΩΝΟΣ ΘΕΑΣ, ΣΙΔΩΝΟΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ, and on the quasi-autonomous coins of the Flavian period ΣΙΔΩΝΟΣ ΘΕΑΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΝΑΥΑΡΧΙΔΟΣ)

SILVER. Phoenician Standard.

FIG. 351.
Head of City, turreted and veiled. (Fig. 351.)Eagle on prow of galley, palm over shoulder.
AR Tetradrachm 223.8 grs.
AR Didrachm 108.3 grs.

The types of the bronze coins are:Head of Tyche; Head of Zeus; Heads of Zeus and Tyche jugate; War-galley; Eagle; Astarte on galley or prow; Car containing baetyl of Astarte; Europa on bull; Nike on prow; Head of young Dionysos; Dionysos standing; Dionysiac cista; Temple between two isolated columns; &c. The quasi-autonomous coinage ceases in A.D. 118/119.

Imperial, Augustus to Hadrian. Inscr., ΣΙΔΩΝΟΣ, usually with the addition of ΙΕΡΑΣ, ΘΕΑΣ, or ΝΑΥΑΡΧΙΔΟΣ. TypesEuropa on bull; Car of Astarte; Kadmos on prow.

Provincial billon tetradrachms of Antiochene types under Caracalla; mint-mark, Europa on bull, or Car of Astarte.

Colonial, Elagabalus to Severus Alexander. Inscr., COL. AVR. PIA METROP. SIDON, &c. Typesthe usual colonial types; Europa on bull; Zeus seated; Amaltheia with infant Zeus and Goat; Astarte with Nike and small 'Marsyas' of the forum; Astarte and 'Marsyas' on a galley, with another galley alongside; Astarte riding on lion; Car containing baetyl of Astarte, sometimes within zodiacal ring; Dionysos alone or with Apollo; Demeter in serpent-car, or with serpent-torch, or with Isis (?); Asklepios sacrificing; the Argo (inscr. ARGO or ΑΡΓΟΝΑΥΤ.) with the Dioskuri on board; DIDO enthroned; Kadmos and Phoenix (CAD. POE.) confronted; Hero (Kadmos or Phoenix) attacking lion; Modius (representing Imperial donation of corn; inscr., AETERNVM BENEFICIVM); Gateway of the forum; etc. Agonistic inscr., IER(a) PERI(odica) OECV(menica) ISEL(astica) or CERT(amina) SEC(ra) PER. OECVME. ISELA, etc.


Tripolis, a joint settlement, whence its name, from Sidon, Tyre, and Aradus, established before the time of Alexander the Great. The city was situated on the coast between Aradus and Byblus. It was a mint of Ptolemy V (B.C. 205-180; Svoronos, Νομ. Πτολ., No. 1296) and of the Seleucidae from Antiochus IV (175-164) to Antiochus X (B.C. 94-83). The earliest autonomous coin is bronze, of B.C. 188 (obv. Veiled female head, rev. Caps of Dioskuri and Phoenician letters). The dominant types throughout are connected with the Dioskuri. In B.C. 112/111, as at Sidon, an era of autonomy is adopted, the following tetradrachms, which begin in that year, being dated first by the Seleucid, then by the new era for thirty-two years.

SILVER. Phoenician Standard.

Busts of the Dioskuri surmounted by stars.ΤΡΙΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΥΤΟΝΟΜΟV. Tyche of City standing, holding tiller and cornucopia; the whole in wreath.
AR Tetradrachm 233 grs.

Also bronze with Nemesis, Tyche, etc. Other eras used are the Pompeian (B.C. 64) and the Actian (B.C. 31); also regnal years of Cleopatra,Augustus, &c.; but the Seleucid era prevails generally. In addition to the autonomous bronze, a coin of B.C. 64/63 (obv. Head of king, rev. Dioskuri) has been attributed to the tyrant Dionysius, whom Pompeius put to death in that year; there are also coins of M. Antonius and Fulvia (B.C. 42/41) and Cleopatra VII (B.C. 30-29).

Quasi-autonomous (to A.D. 69) and Imperial (to Severus Alexander). Inscr., ΤΡΙΠΟΛ(Є)ΙΤΩΝ; under Elagabalus also ΝΑΥΑΡΧΙ(δος) and ΝΕΩΚ(ορου). TypesBusts or figures of Dioskuri; Astarte with one foot on prow, alone, in temple, or with Dioskuri; Temple and Great Altar of Zeus Hagios (ΔΙΟC ΑΓΙΟΥ); Figures of ΗΛΙΟC and CЄΛΗΝΗ; Galley (Argo ?); etc. Under Caracalla, billon tetradrachms of the Antiochene class; mint-mark, Caps of Dioskuri.


Tyre (Sur), reputed a colony of Sidon, and its rival in wealth and splendor. It appears to have begun to coin silver tetradrachms and small coins in the latter half of the fifth century B.C.

Phoenician Standard, circ. B.C. 450-400.

Dolphin swimming above waves; beneath, murex; illegible inscription.Incuse square, within which Owl accompanied by crook and flail, Egyptian symbols of royalty.
AR Tetradr. 215 grs.
Id.; no inscription.Similar type.
AR Drachm and Obol.
Dolphin, with or without murex.
AR Obol.

Circ. B.C. 400-332.

FIG. 352.

Melkart holding bow and riding over the waves upon a sea-horse; beneath waves, a dolphin.Owl with crook and flail; Phoenician letters or dates sometimes in the field (Fig. 352).
AR Tetradr. 215 grs. and Drachm.
Sea-horse and dolphin.Similar type.
AR Obol.

Circ. B.C. 332-275.

The coinage with regal types was continued after the fall of Tyre, but probably not during Alexander's lifetime. The standard changes to Attic; the denominations are the didrachm and a minute coin of 8.5 grains. The only coins with Alexander's types in this period are bronze, one of which is dated 26 (= B.C. 307/6, according to the era of Alexander in Phoenicia). The silver with regal types bears Phoenician letters and dates from 1 to 37, according to an era which is uncertain (perhaps the Seleucid). These coins were probably struck by rulers placed on the throne by the Diadochi.

Circ. B.C. 267-126.

The first Ptolemaic coinage begins about B.C. 267, and is of gold or silver marked with the monogram ΤΥ combined with the club of Melkart. It continues down to the reign of Ptolemy V. To this period also belongs an Alexandrine tetradrachm of Mller's fifth class (Mller, No. 1423). The Ptolemaic coinage is succeeded from B.C. 201/200 by a Seleucid coinage of silver and bronze, the city having passed at that date into the hands of Antiochus III. The silver is either Attic (types Seleucid Apollo on omphalos; Athena standing; Zeus seated) or Phoenician (typeEagle on prow), and is marked with the monogram of ΤΥΡ, usually combined with a club. From Antiochus IV onwards the bronze coins bear the mint-name ΤΥΡΙΩΝ or ΤΥΡΟΥ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ, also לצר, or לצר אם צדנם (belonging to Tyre, metropolis of the Sidonians'). This Seleucid coinage ends in B.C. 126/125.

Phoenician Standard, circ. B.C. 126/125 to A.D. 195/6.

The second era of the autonomy of Tyre began B.C. 126, and from this time down to the reign of Vespasian we possess a plentiful series of Tyrian tetradrachms and didrachms and a single specimen of the gold octadrachm (now in the Berlin Museum), struck in B.C. 103 under the influence of Ptolemy X.

FIG. 353.

Head of the city turreted and veiled.
[Zeit. f. N., vi. 4.]
ΤΥΡΟΥ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ Double cornucopia. Year 23.
AV Octadrachm 437.4 grs.
Head of Melkart-Herakles, laureate. (Fig. 353).ΤΥΡΟΥ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ Eagle on beak of ship. In field, dates and symbol, a club.
AR 224 grs.
AR 112 grs.

The silver coinage ceased in A.D. 56/7. In part contemporary with it are dated autonomous and quasi-autonomous bronze coins, extending down to A.D. 195/6. Inscr. as in Seleucid period; also from A.D. 93/94 ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΕWC. Mint usually indicated by monogram of ΤΥΡ. Types connected with Melkart; also Eagle; Palm-tree; Galley; &c. Imperial silver or billon of the Antiochene class from Nero to Macrinus have been attributed to Tyre; but the attribution is not certain except in the case of the coins with rev. type Head of Melkart, or with the murex-shell symbol. For a full list see Dieudonn, Mlanges Num. (1909), pp. 339 ff. Colonial, Sept. Severus to Gallienus. Inscr. COLONI. SEP. TVRVS (or TVRO) METROP. or SEP. TVRO. METROP. COL. PENIC; from Severus Alexander onwards SEP. is omitted. During part of the reigns of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander Tyre was deprived of its rights as colony and metropolis, the coins reading TVRIORVM. לצר occurs on a coin of Elagabalus. Typesthe usual colonial types; also Bull, the symbol of the third legion (LEG. III. GAL.); Astarte, crowned by Victory, with'Marsyas' of the Forum (this symbol is superseded, during the period of disgrace, by a palm-tree); Sacrifice to Astarte by four Cities; Melkart-Herakles; Hermes-Thoth with papyrus-roll and ibis; Harpokrates; the Ambrosial Rocks (ΑΜΒΡΟCΙЄ ΠЄΤΡЄ or ΠΑΙΤΡЄ) on which Tyre was founded, with sacred olive-tree between them (in exergue, sometimes, hound discovering the purple- shell); Baetyl encircled by serpent; Dido (ΔΙΔΩΝ or ΔЄΙΔΩΝ) building Carthage; Kadmos starting on a voyage, fighting serpent, joining hands with Harmonia, founding Thebes (ΘΗΒЄ), or giving the alphabet to the Greeks (ЄΛΛΗΝЄC, ΚΑΔΜΟC); Zeus as bull approaching ЄVΡWΠΗ; Diomede carrying Palladium; WΚЄΑΝΟC reclining, wearing crab's claws on his head; Temple of the Phoenician Koinon (COENV PHOENICES = Κοινον Φοινικης); Two athletes carrying table with two crowns. FestivalsACTIA (H)ERACLIA; ΗΡΑΚΛΙΑ ΟΛVΜΠΙΑ; ΑΚΤ. ΗΡΑ.; ΑΚΤ. ΚΟΜ.; &c. Dates on a few coins of Gallienus reckoned from foundation of colony, circ. A.D. 201.


Circ. B.C. 450.

King, wearing kidaris and kandys, stabbing lion. [MacDonald, Hunter Cat., iii. p. 273, Pl. lxxvii. 17.]בענא (Baana) Cow suckling calf; dotted incuse square.
166.5 grs.
Melkart holding up lion by tail and striking at it with club.Similar, but monogram instead of inscription. [Babelon, Perses Ach., No. 318, Pl. VIII. 1.].
170.9 grs.
Cow suckling calf.
[MacDonald, op. cit., Pl. lxxvii. 15.]
Melkart (as on obverse of preceding); incuse square.
164.2 grs.

Fourth century B.C.

Sea-god, with bearded head, body terminating in fish-tail; in r. trident, in l. wreath.אז (Az?) Lion at bay on rocky ground. [Babelon, loc. cit., No. 320, Pl. VIII. 3].
162.5 grs.

Of these, the first three are placed here in accordance with the general opinion; but their fabric suggests that they were issued by some Phoenician ruler in Cyprus. The fourth is Phoenician, but the suggested attributions (Ascalon, Azotus) are very doubtful.




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