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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Phoenicia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Phoenicia

Phoenicia, from the Greek Phoinkē meaning either "land of palm trees" or "purple country," was located on the Mediterranean coastline of what is now Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Syria, and southwest Turkey, though some colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean and even the Atlantic Ocean, the most famous being Carthage. The enterprising, sea-based Phoenicians spread across the Mediterranean from 1500 to 300 B.C. Their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of ancient Greece, perhaps the most notable of which were Tyre, Sidon, Arados, Berytus and Carthage. Each city-state was politically independent and it is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality. In terms of archaeology, language, lifestyle, and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other Semitic Canaanites. The Phoenician alphabet is an ancestor of all modern alphabets. By their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to Anatolia, North Africa, and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, who in turn transmitted it to the Romans.

Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, c. 401 - 333 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |401| |-| |333| |B.C.||1/16| |shekel|NEW
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).
GA110565. Silver 1/16 shekel, 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, toned, weight 0.719 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 401 - 333 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter between them; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00


Tyre, Phoenicia, 104 - 105 A.D.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |104| |-| |105| |A.D.||AE| |12|NEW
Astarte, called "Ashtroth" in Scripture, was the favorite goddess of the Sidonians, Tyrians, Philistines, and Syro-Phoenicians generally. She was associated with the Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus Genetrix, being believed by the ancients to be the goddess of generation, as well as of beauty. Astarte was chiefly worshiped and appears on the coins of Berytus, Bostra, Sidon, and Tyre. Her image is of a young woman, wearing a tall headdress; and clothed in a tunic, high in the neck- sometimes, not reaching lower than the knees, or sometimes with a longer dress, but with one knee exposed, and one foot planted on a galley's prow.
RP110571. Bronze AE 12, RPC Online III 3883; Rouvier 2251; BMC Phoenicia p. 260, 305; SNG Cop 356; Baramki AUB 169, VF, black patina, reverse off center, porosity, light corrosion, weight 1.768 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 104 - 105 A.D.; obverse turreted and veiled head of Tyche right, palm frond behind; reverse Astarte standing left on galley left, turreted, wreath in right hand, transverse cruciform scepter in left, volute on prow, aphlaston at stern, ΛΣ (year 230) above galley left, (metropolis Tyre monogram) above galley right, Phoenician inscription "of Tyre" in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.||hemiobol|NEW
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
GY110319. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B469, Svoronos 709, SNG Cop 496, BMC Ptolemies p. 53, 70, Weiser 57, Hosking 27; SNG Milan 138; Noeske 96, VF, centered on a broad flan, edge cracks, earthen encrustation on edge, obverse edge beveled, central dimples, weight 6.254 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 330o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, c. 230 - 222 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, club left, no control letters; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius II Nikator, 146 - 138 and 129 - 125 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |II| |Nikator,| |146| |-| |138| |and| |129| |-| |125| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Demetrius II ruled for two periods, separated by years of captivity in Parthia. He gained the throne with the help of Egypt, but general Diodotus rebelled, took Antioch and made Antiochus VI Dionysus his puppet king. Demetrius then ruled part of the kingdom from Seleucia. In 38 B.C. he attacked the Parthians but was defeated and captured, ending his first reign. The Parthians released him in 129 B.C. when his brother, Antiochus VII Sidetes, marched against Parthia. They hoped the brothers would fight a civil war but the Parthians soon defeated Sidetes, and Demetrius returned to rule Syria. His second reign portraits show him wearing a Parthian styled beard. His second reign ended when he was defeated and killed by yet another usurper set up by Egypt, Alexander II Zabinas.
GY110121. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2195(3)b; Newell Tyre 167; SNG Spaer 2241; BMC Seleucids p. 76, 6; HGC 9 1122; Cohen DCA 230, VF, lamination defect and earthen encrustations on obv., light corrosion and marks, rev. slightly off center, weight 13.590 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 128 - 127 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped, beardless bust right; reverse ∆HMHTPIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on war galley ram, palm frond under wing, A/PE above (Tyre monogram) over club left, AVΣ monogram over EΠP (year 185) right, (control monogram) between eagles legs; $190.00 SALE PRICE $171.00 ON RESERVE


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

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VII| |Euergetes| |Sidetes,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
After his brother Demetrius was captured by the Parthians, Antiochus VII was made king. He married Demetrius' wife Cleopatra Thea. He defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus, the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulcher and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II. His brother Demetrius II had by then been released, but the Seleucid realm was now restricted to Syria. Antiochus VII was the last Seleucid king of any stature.
GY110248. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2109(5)a; Houghton CSE 759; SNG Spaer 2021; Newell Tyre 121; BMC Seleucid p. 70, 7; HGC 9 1074; Cohen DCA 198, aVF, dark toning, bumps and marks, weight 12.703 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 136 - 135 B.C.; obverse Antiochos VII diademed head right; reverse ANTIOXOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on prow, palm branch behind, A/PE monogram above (Tyre monogram) over club left, AvΣ monogram over ZOP (year 177, Z appears as I) right, (control monogram) between legs; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


Philistia, Samaria, and Phoenicia, c. 400 - 333 B.C., 6 Silver Fractions

|Phoenicia|, |Philistia,| |Samaria,| |and| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |400| |-| |333| |B.C.,| |6| |Silver| |Fractions||Lot|
The following list was provided by the consignor and has not been verified by FORVM:
1) Philistia (Palestine), AR obol, imitating Athens, c. 400-333 B.C., head of Athena to right wearing crested helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette / Owl standing to right, head facing, olive spray to left, AΘE to right, all within shallow incuse square, 0.61g.
2) Tyre, AR 1/16th shekel, 0.49g, owl left / hippocamp left.
3) Sidon, AR 1/16th shekel, 0.66g, king fighting lion / galley.
4) Alexander III, AR obol, 0.45g.
5) Samaria, AR hemiobol, 0.35g, head right / facing gorgon head, rare.
6) Arados, Phoenicia, AR obol, 0.50g.
LT99716. Silver Lot, 6 Phoenician fractions, 6.6 - 9.3 mm, from Philistia, Samaria, Tyre, Sidon, and Arados, unattributed, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photographs, as-is, no returns, 6 coins; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $320.00 SALE PRICE $288.00


Lot of 4 Silver Fractions From Phoenicia, c. 425 - 300 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Lot| |of| |4| |Silver| |Fractions| |From| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |425| |-| |300| |B.C.||Lot|
 
GA97055. Silver Lot, Phoenician silver fractions, c. 0.6g - 0.8g, c. 9mm, 4 coins, $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Akko-Ptolemais,| |Phoenicia||AE| |27|
Akko was refounded as a Roman colony, colonia Ptolemais, probably in 53 or 54 A.D., the last year of Claudius' reign or the first year of Neros. Akko was one of hundreds of cities in the Roman provinces that minted civic coins. In the mid 3rd century cities stopped producing their own coins. The last city coins were struck under Gallienus, and Akko was among the very last cities to strike its own coins.
JD96394. Bronze AE 27, BMC Phoenicia p. 138, 50 var. (obv. leg.); Rosenberger 86 var. (same); Kadman Akko 256 var. (same, draped); Sofaer 293 ff. (draped, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, rough green patina, light earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 13.158 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIEN[VS AVG], laureate head right; reverse COL P-TOL, portable shrine containing a statue of Zeus Heliopolites, shrine consisting of a frame within two pillars supporting a architrave with hatched decoration, two carrying poles projecting from bottom, figure of deity within standing facing on rock or base, wearing short chiton, double axe in right hand, harpe(?) in left hand; an unpublished variant of a very rare type; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1977 surface find at Caesarea Maritima, Israel; $310.00 SALE PRICE $279.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.||pentadrachm|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy. He was the richest monarch of his age.
SH24850. Gold pentadrachm, Svoronos 636 (8 specimens); BMC Ptolemies p. 9, 74 and pl. II, 2 (same obv die, Ptolemy I), Choice aEF, weight 17.823 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, c. 270 - 267 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, date H and club left; superb strike, lustrous, beautiful!; rare; SOLD










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