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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Greek Domination||View Options:  |  |  | 

Greek Domination of Judaea and Palestine

From Alexander the Great's conquest until Roman domination, the city states and small nations of the region, including Judaea, were at various times either ruled or dominated by either the Seleukid Empire or Ptolemaic Kingdom.

Judah (Yehud), Macedonian Rule, Hezekiah, 332 - 302 B.C.

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judah| |(Yehud),| |Macedonian| |Rule,| |Hezekiah,| |332| |-| |302| |B.C.||half| |ma'ha| |(1/48| |shekel)|
This type was at first struck with a Chimera head right on the obverse. The die was increasingly worn until the Chimera head became an egg-shaped lump. On this coin the obverse is so weakly struck that the obverse appears to be blank with the "egg" barely visible.
JD111395. Silver half ma'ha (1/48 shekel), Menorah Coin Project YHD 31 dies O1/R1; Hendin 6075c (RR); Meshorer TJC 27a; HGC 10 448 (R2), aF, tight flan, toned, scratches, weight 0.285 g, maximum diameter 7.17 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, c. 306 - 305 B.C.; obverse egg-shape (very weak); reverse Aramaic inscription: YHWDH, duck standing right, head turned back left; very rare; $320.00 SALE PRICE $288.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.||hemichalkon|
The villain of Hanukkah. Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes (God Manifest). His subjects made a pun on his name, calling him Epimanes (madman). In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
GY111126. Bronze hemichalkon, Houghton-Lorber II 1489(2)f; Le Rider Suse pl. lxxiv, 12 - 14; HGC 9 638a (S), aVF, dark patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, tight flan, obv. off center, weight 3.466 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Samarian(?) mint, c. 168 - 164 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos IV right, A over X behind head; reverse Goddess seated left on high-backed throne, Nike in right hand, bird standing left at feet, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, Λ (control) under throne; scarce; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VII| |Euergetes| |Sidetes,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||AE| |12|
David Hendin identifies the mint city as Jerusalem. Some numismatists have attributed this type to Askalon. Houghton and Lorber attribute it to an uncertain mint in southern Koile-Syria.
GY111516. Bronze AE 12, Houghton-Lorber II 2122, SNG Spaer 2095, Houghton CSE 819, Hendin 6166 (Jerusalem mint), HGC 9 1111, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, rev. off center, weight 1.108 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 45o, southern Koile-Syria (?, uncertain) mint, 138 - 137 B.C.; obverse crested Boeotian helmet with cheek guards; reverse ANTIOXOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, aphlaston; this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM, ex Zuzim Inc. (Isadore Goldstein, Brooklyn, NY); $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Hendin lists four varieties of this type AΠP (year 181) below (Hendin 6165), AΠP (year 181) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 6165a), BΠP (year 182) below (Hendin 6165b), and BΠP (year 182) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 6165c). Houghton and Lorber list a variety without a date (Houghton-Lorber 2123), but the date is probably just off flan, as on this example.
JD98719. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123, Hendin 6165, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, aVF, green patina, light earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.550 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP or BΠP (Greek: year 181 or 182 of the Seleucid Era) below; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judaea| |(Yehudah),| |Ptolemaic| |Rule,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.||1/4| |drachm|
This is apparently only the second known specimen of this type. All the references given describe the same coin and the plates share photos of a single specimen from the S. Moussaeiff Collection. This coin was struck with the same obverse die but it appears to be from a different reverse die. See the Moussaeiff Collection coin here.
JD99501. Silver 1/4 drachm, Hendin 6088 (RRR); Lorber CPE 710; Gitler-Lorber II Group 7, 15; Deutsch Unrecorded 4; Meshorer TJC -; Mildenberg Yehud -, gVF, toned, deposits, obv. off center, edge splits, weight 0.876 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, probably 272 - 261/0 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic, Aramaic (YHDH) on left, read right to left (upward); ex CNG auction 117 (19-20 May 2001), lot 328 (listed in error as the much smaller and less rare quarter ma'ah); $17000.00 SALE PRICE $15300.00


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid king marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Probably as a conciliatory gesture to the Jews, the lily (a symbol of Jerusalem) replaced the head of the Seleukid king. Later, John Hyrcanus would be the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD98143. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(2), Hendin 6165, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30 - 31, VF, tight flan, obverse off center, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.830 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 131 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP (Greek: year 181 of the Seleucid Era) below; from an Israeli collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Judah, Macedonian or Ptolemaic Rule, Satrap Hezekiah, c. 333 - 301 B.C.

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judah,| |Macedonian| |or| |Ptolemaic| |Rule,| |Satrap| |Hezekiah,| |c.| |333| |-| |301| |B.C.|
Josephus identifies Hezekiah as the High Priest of the Jews who offered friendship to Ptolemy I after his conquest of Palestine. Josephus mentions Hezekiah was sixty years old at the time of Ptolemy. Mildenberg identifies the head right on the obverse of this type as Ptolemy I.
SL89836. Silver Hendin 6065; Meshorer TJC 25; Meshore AJC I 12; Mildenberg Yehud p. 189 & pl. 22, 23; HGC 10 452 (R1 - R2), NGC NGC XF, strike 2/5, surface 3/5 (4283488-002), weight 0.189 g, maximum diameter 7.2 mm, die axis 90o, Jerusalem(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse male head (Ptolemy I?) right; reverse forepart of winged and horned lynx left; Aramaic inscription lower right: YHZQYH (Hezekiah); NGC certified with photo certificate of authenticity, not in a plastic holder - NGC| Lookup; rare; SOLD










REFERENCES

Babelon, E. Les Rois de Syrie, d'Armnie, et de Commagne, Catlogue de monnaies grecques de la Bibliothque Nacionale. (Paris, 1890).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Cox, D. Coins from the Excavations at Curium, 1932 - 1953. ANSNNM 145. (New York, 1959).
Deutsch, R. "Five Unrecorded 'Yehud' Silver Coins" in INR 13 (1994 - 1999), pp. 25 - 26 & pl. 3.
Gardner, P. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, The Seleucid Kings of Syria. (London, 1878).
Gitler, H. & C. Lorber. "A New Chronology for the Ptolemaic Coins of Judah" in AJN 18 (2006).
Gitler, H. & D. Master. "Cleopatra at Ascalon: Recent Finds from the Leon Levy Expedition" in INR 5 (2010), pp. 67 - 98.
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hoover, O. Coins of the Seleucid Empire From the Collection of Arthur Houghton Part II. (New York, 2007).
Hoover, O. 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).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Syrian Coins, Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC. HGC 9. (Lancaster, PA, 2009).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Lorber, C. Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire. (New York, 2018).
Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
Mildenberg, L. "Yehud: A Preliminary Study of the Provincial Coinage of Judaea" in Essays Thompson. (Wetteren, 1979).
Newell, E. Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus. ANSNNM 84 (1939).
Newell, E. The Dated Alexander Coinage of Sidon and Ake. (Oxford, 1916).
Newell, E. The Seleucid Mint of Antioch. (New York, 1918).
Noeske, H. Die Mnzen der Ptolemer. (Frankfurt, 2000).
Polk, R. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, the Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt. (London, 1882).
Price, M. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Spaer, A. & A. Houghton. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, part 1: Ptolemaei. (Milan, 1989).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Svoronos, J. Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion. (Athens, 1904-08).
Weiser, W. Katalog Ptolemischer Bronzemnzen der Sammlung des Instituts fr Altertumskunde, Universitt Kln. (Opladen, 1995).

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