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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Persian Empire||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Persian Achaemenid Empire

The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history, extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It was founded by Cyrus the Great, who defeated the Medes, Lydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In addition to its size, the Achaemenid Empire is notable for its successful centralized, bureaucratic administration (through satraps under the King of Kings), for its multicultural policy, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, for the use of an official language across its territories, and for the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire had a significant influence on the development of humanity's culture and civilization to this day. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 B.C. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. Persian Empire

Persian Empire, Tarsos, Cilicia, Satrap Tiribazos, 386 - 380 B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Tarsos,| |Cilicia,| |Satrap| |Tiribazos,| |386| |-| |380| |B.C.|, |obol|
Excavation of the mound of Gözlükule reveals that the prehistorical development of Tarsus reaches back to the Neolithic Period and continues unbroken through Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages. The settlement was located at the crossing of several important trade routes, linking Anatolia to Syria and beyond. Because the ruins are covered by the modern city, archaeology has barely touched the ancient city.
GS95771. Silver obol, SNG Levante 67, Göktürk 19 - 20, SNG BnF -, aF/F, toned, lamination defects, weight 0.645 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 135o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, satrap Tiribazos, c. 386 - 380 B.C.; obverse Baal of Tarsos seated right, horn(?) in left hand, eagle in right hand, monogram lower left; reverse Baaltars(?) standing right, nude, short lotus tipped scepter in right hand, eagle in left hand, Aramaic TRZ (Tarsos) behind; $8.90 (€8.19)


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

|Persian| |Lydia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Darius| |II| |-| |Artaxerxes| |II,| |c.| |420| |-| |375| |B.C.|, |siglos|
This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GA88199. Silver siglos, Carradice Type| IV (middle) B; Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 223; BMC Arabia p. 171, 172 ff., pl. XXVII, 7 ff.; Rosen 678; SGCV II 4683, aF, toned, porous, banker's marks, weight 5.217 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.00
 


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia,| |Ba'Alshillem| |II,| |c.| |401| |-| |366| |B.C.|, |1/16| |shekel|
Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GB95285. Silver 1/16 shekel, Meshorer-Qedar 199; Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), aF/VF, toned, edge test cuts, weight 0.551 g, maximum diameter 9.50 mm, die axis 180o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above, waves below; reverse King of Persia to left, standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; ex Polymath Numismatics (Merrill, WI); $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


Salamis, Cyprus, Evagoras II, c. 361 - 351 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Salamis,| |Cyprus,| |Evagoras| |II,| |c.| |361| |-| |351| |B.C.|, |AE| |12|
Evagoras II was a king of Salamis in Cyprus, and later a satrap for Achaemenid Persia in Phoenicia. He was possibly a son of his predecessor, Nicocles, and a grandson of Evagoras I. He was pro-Persian, for which he was deposed c. 351 B.C. by a popular revolt led by his nephew Pnytagoras, who succeeded him as king. Evagoras fled to the Persian court, where Artaxerxes III gave him rule of Sidon in Phoenicia, following the defeat of the rebellion of Tennes. His rule in Sidon was so bad that after three years, in 346 B.C., he was chased out of the city by the populace, who called upon a descendant of the ancient royal line, Abdashtart II, to replace him. Evagoras fled back to Cyprus, where he was arrested and executed.
GB89406. Bronze AE 12, Tziambazis 128, BMC Cyprus p. 60, 69; Bank of Cyprus -, aF, rough, obverse off center, weight 2.611 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 345o, Salamis mint, c. 361 - 351 B.C.; obverse lion walking left, ram's head left above; reverse horse standing left, star with eight rays above, ankh symbol before; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


Lesbos, 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|Lesbos|, |Lesbos,| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |1/3| |stater|
The specific satrap has not been confirmed.
SL95876. Billon 1/3 stater, BMC Lesbos 58, pl. XXXI, 3; SNG Cop -; Winzer -, NGC VG, Strike 4/5; Surface 2/5 (5872605-037), weight 3.90 g, maximum diameter 14 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain Lesbos mint, 5th - 4th Century B.C.; obverse youthful male head (satrap?) left, wearing tight-fitting cap; reverse head of roaring lion left within incuse square; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00
 










REFERENCES|

Ashton, R., et al. "The Pixodarus Hoard" in Coin Hoards IX (2002).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
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Deutsch, R. & M. Heltzer. "Numismatic Evidence from the Persian Period from the Sharon Plain" Transeuphratene, Vol. 13, 1997, pp. 17-20.
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. Le monnayage de la cité phénicienne de Sidon ŕ l'époque 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).
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Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
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Meshorer, Y. & S. Qedar. The Coinage of Samaria in the 4th Century BCE. (Jerusalem, 1991).
Moysey, R.A. "The Silver Stater Issues of Pharnabazos and Datames from the Mint of Tarsus in Cilicia" in ANSMN 31 (1986).
Noe, S.P. Two Hoards of Persian Sigloi. ANSNNM 136. (New York, 1956).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, (Helsinki, 1994-1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (Zurich,1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
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