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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.

Arados, Phoenicia, 206 - 126 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Arados,| |Phoenicia,| |206| |-| |126| |B.C.|, |dichalkon|
Ancient Arados, surrounded by massive walls on an island about 800 m long by 500 m wide, about 50 km north of Tripolis, was an important trading city with an artificial harbor on the east side toward the mainland. Its powerful navy and ships are mentioned in the monuments of Egypt and Assyria. The Biblical "Arvad" is noted as the forefather of the "Arvadites," a Canaanite people. Arados directly ruled some nearby cities on the mainland, such as Marat (Amrit today) nearly opposite the island, and held hegemony over the northern Phoenician cities from the mouth of the Orontes to the northern limits of Lebanon (similar to Sidon in the south). Under the Persians, Arwad was allowed to unite in a confederation with Sidon and Tyre, with a common council at Tripolis. In 332 B.C., Arados submitted to Alexander the Great without a struggle under her king Strato, who sent his navy to aid Alexander in the reduction of Tyre. The city received the favor of the Seleucid kings of Syria and enjoyed the right of asylum for political refugees. It is mentioned in a rescript from Rome about 138 B.C. in connection with other cities and rulers of the East, to show favor to the Jews. This was after Rome had begun to interfere in the affairs of Judea and Syria and indicates that Arwad was still of considerable importance at that time.Arados

GB95291. Bronze dichalkon, Duyrat 1769 ff., DCA 767, HGC 10 88, F, corrosion, weight 3.629 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Arados mint, 206 - 126 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse triple pointed war galley ram left, Phoenician date (obscure) below; $9.66 (8.89)


Jerusalem or Tyre, 18 - 19 A.D., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver, Lifetime of Christ

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre,| |18| |-| |19| |A.D.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver,| |Lifetime| |of| |Christ|, |shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL96054. Silver shekel, RPC Online I 4657 (8 spec.); BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 199; Rouvier 2103; Cohen DCA 920; HGC 10 357, NGC Ch XF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (5769683-005), weight 12.58 g, maximum diameter 25 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, lifetime of Christ, 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart (Herakles) right, Nemean Lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, wings closed, right talon on ship's ram, transverse palm frond on far side, Phoenician letter bet between legs, PM∆ (year 144) and club left, KP over monogram right; NGC| Lookup; $3300.00 SALE |PRICE| $2970.00


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


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Possibly a lifetime issue! Alexander allowed local princes in the East to continue to rule, if they submitted to him without a struggle. He also reaffirmed the rights of coinage they had as dynasts under Persia. Newell interpreted the monogram on this type as A∆PA, for King Adramelek, whose name appeared on preceding autonomous coinage of the city. - Newell, Demanhur pp. 123 - 125.
GS94467. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3426, Mller Alexander 1375, Demanhur 3587 - 3623, SNG Munchen 744, SNG Cop 805, VF, porosity, weight 16.670 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Byblos (Jbail, Lebanon) mint, c. 330 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Atophoros enthroned left, bare to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, (AP monogram) left, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 36 - 37 A.D.

|The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin|, |The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin,| |Tyre| |KP| |Type| |Half| |Shekel,| |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre| |Mint,| |36| |-| |37| |A.D.|, |half| |shekel|
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

SH94461. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4695, Prieur 1465, BMC Phoenicia -, aVF, attractive style, toned, bumps and marks, die wear, closed edge crack, weight 6.244 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 36 - 37 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞB (year 162) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; ex Forum (2010), ex Temple Tax Hoard; $870.00 SALE |PRICE| $775.00


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime Issue

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Lifetime| |Issue|, |tetradrachm|
Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian army to create an empire covering most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. His reign begins the Hellenistic Age, a time when civilization flourished. He was regarded as a god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-two.
GS94444. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3485, Newell Dated 24 (obv. die XII), Cohen DCA 874 (R3), Demanhur 3739, Prokesch-Osten I 34, Newell Reattribution 145, Newell Sidon 24, EF, high relief, grainy porous surfaces, obverse a little off center, reverse double struck, small edge splits, weight 16.544 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, struck under Menes, 326 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Atophoros seated left on throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, Phoenician letter het (year 8) in left field, ΣI under throne; only one specimen recorded on Coin Archives; very rare date; $850.00 SALE |PRICE| $680.00


Arados, Phoenicia, Unknown King "S", c. 348 - 339 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Arados,| |Phoenicia,| |Unknown| |King| |"S",| |c.| |348| |-| |339| |B.C.|, |stater|
Early coins of Arados have the Aramaic letters mem aleph (read from right to left) above the galley, abbreviating Melech Arad (meaning King of Arados), sometimes followed by the king's initial, and sometimes by the Phoenician regnal year date.
GS94263. Silver stater, cf. BMC Phoenicia p. 10, 59; Betlyon 26, pl. 7, 6; Rouvier III p. 132, 9; SNG Cop 23; HGC 10 34 (R1), VF, attractive toning, centered on a tight flan, highest points not fully struck, die wear, weight 9.767 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 270o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 348 - 339 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Ba'al Arwad right; reverse galley right, figure of Pataikos right on prow, row of shields on bulwark, Phoenician letters mem aleph samen (Melech Arad S - King of Arados S) from right to left above, three waves below; ex Gorny & Mosch online auction 267 (17 Oct 2019), lot 3298; ex Shlomo Moussaieff Collection (London, 1948 - 1980s); $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00


Marathos, Phoenicia, 222 - 151 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Marathos,| |Phoenicia,| |222| |-| |151| |B.C.|, |AE| |23|
Marathos was the most northern coastal town in Phoenicia. In 259 B.C. Arados increased her autonomy and dominated a federation of nearby cities including Gabala, Karne, Marathos and Simyra. Thus began the era of Arados, to which the subsequent coins of Marathos are dated. The federation of cities was not completely independent. The Seleukids retained overlordship. This type was issued intermittently from era of Arados year 38 (222 - 221 B.C.) to year 108 (152 - 151 B.C.). Arados destroyed Marathos, c. 145 B.C., but later rebuilt it as a colony.
GY89298. Bronze AE 23, BMC Phoenicia p. 120, 3 ff. (various dates); Cohen DCA 830; HGC 10 193, F, well centered, porosity, encrustations, weight 7.214 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Marathos (near Tartus, Syria) mint, 222 - 151 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Astarte (possibly Berenike II) right; reverse Marathos standing left, aphlaston in right hand, left arm resting on column behind, uncertain Phoenician date left, Phoenician ethnic (MRT) right, Phoenician control letters lower left and right; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
The First Syrian War broke out in 276, when Ptolemy II invaded Syria, seizing Damascus. Antiochus defeated the invasion and in 274 married his daughter to Ptolemys half brother Magas, governor of Cyrenaica. Supported by Antiochus, Magas declared himself independent and invaded Egypt. Aided by a mutiny of Ptolemys Gallic mercenaries he nearly reached Alexandria. Magas was forced to retreat when, encouraged by Arisnoe, Libya invaded Cyrenaica. In 274, Ptolemy went on the offensive and captured much of the Cilician coast. Antiochus was forced to admit defeat. Egypt gained western Cilicia, southern Lycia, Caunus, Halicarnassus, Myndus, Cnidus, probably Miletus, all of Phoenicia (including Tyre), and the Marsyas valley in Syria, but not Damascus.
GP89316. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B322, Svoronos 635 (1 spec.), SNG Cop 479, Cox Curium 75, aF, dark patina, weight 4.251 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, Tyre mint, c. 274 - 271 B.C.; obverse diademed, horned head of deified Alexander the Great right, long flowing hair; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings slightly open, Z over vertical club handle up in left field; from a New England collector; rare; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Antigonos| |I| |Monophthalmos,| |Strategos| |of| |Asia,| |320| |-| |306| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Alexander|, |tetradrachm|
Azemilkos ('zmlk) was the King of Tyre when, in 332 B.C., Alexander had already peacefully taken Byblos and Sidon. Tyre sent envoys to Alexander agreeing to do his bidding. He declared that he wished to enter the city to sacrifice to Melqart. Azemilkos was with the Persian fleet at the time, and the Tyrians, unsure who would win the war, responded that they would obey any other command but that neither Persians nor Macedonians could enter the city. When Alexander captured the city, Azemilkos and other notables, including envoys from Carthage, had taken refuge in the temple of Melqart. Alexander spared their lives. In 331 B.C., Alexander sent his somatophylakes (bodyguard) Menes of Pella to govern Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia, entrusting him at the same time with 3000 talents.
SH91738. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3292, Newell Dated Ake 41 (obv. die XXXIV), Cohen DCA 737, HGC 10 3, Mller Alexander -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Saroglos -,, VF, well centered, tight flan, toned, weight 16.957 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 270o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, struck under Menes, 309 - 308 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Zeus Atophoros seated left on throne without back, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Phoenician date left: lll lll-= (year 36 of King Azemilkos); $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00




  






REFERENCES|

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