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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Ptolemaic Egypt||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt

After Alexander the Great's death, Egypt was administered by Ptolemy, one of his friends and generals. In 305 B.C. Ptolemy crowned himself king, establishing one of the most important and flourishing Hellenistic monarchies. The culture was a complex mixture of Egyptian and Greek traditions, best represented by the famous city of Alexandria. As all other Hellenistic kingdoms, Egypt suffered a slow decline in parallel with the mighty rising of Rome, and it's end witnessed the great story of Queen Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony.

Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus|, |dichalkon|
Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP89288. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, highlighting earthen deposits, bumps, marks, spots of corrosion, weight 1.457 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY - BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus|, |dichalkon|
Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP89308. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, porous, beveled obverse edge, weight 2.455 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY - BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |octobol|
Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy. He was the richest monarch of his age. Ptolemy had many brilliant mistresses, and his court, magnificent and dissolute, intellectual and artificial, has been compared with the Versailles of Louis XIV.
GP94439. Bronze octobol, Svoronos 446; Weiser 19; BMC Ptolemies p. 37, 158; SNG Cop 142; Noeske 64; Hosking 13; Malter 67, F, about one quadrant unstruck, weight 79.568 g, maximum diameter 45.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, E between legs; HUGE 79.568g, 46mm bronze! The largest of all Ptolemaic bronze coin types; scarce; $225.00 SALE |PRICE| $203.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus|, |dichalkon|
Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP91360. Bronze dichalkon, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, nice dark green patina with lighter highlighting, minor edge crack, weight 1.781 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY - BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), Second Reign, 145 - 116 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |(Physcon),| |Second| |Reign,| |145| |-| |116| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Ptolemy VIII and his older brother Ptolemy VI ruled jointly from 170 to 164 B.C. Porphyry notes, "The 36th year of [Ptolemy VI] Philometor was the 25th of [Ptolemy VIII] Euergetes II." The reverse die has a date that could be read as 11 years earlier. Instead, this is an issue for Ptolemy VIII, Year 25. This year was the same as Ptolemy VI, Year 36. Ptolemy VI died in July of 145 BC, and his Year 36 became Year 25 of Ptolemy VIII.
SL94004. Silver tetradrachm, Paphos I Alexandria pl. XVIII 10 (Ptolemy VIII), SNG Cop 323 (VI), Svoronos 1437 (VI), Noeske 228 (VI), SNG Cop -, Weiser -, NGC VF (Ptolemy VI) (4882205-012), Alexandria mint, Jul - Aug 145 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), smallish eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, LKE (year 25) left, ΠA right; ex Heritage auction 231941 (10 Oct 2019), lot 62121; $810.00 SALE |PRICE| $729.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes, 150 - 116 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes,| |150| |-| |116| |B.C.|, |AE| |15|
Alexander the Great received tribute from the cities of Kyrenaica after he took Egypt. Kyrenaica was annexed by Ptolemy I Soter. It briefly gained independence under Magas of Cyrene, stepson of Ptolemy I, but was reabsorbed into the Ptolemaic empire after his death. It was separated from the main kingdom by Ptolemy VIII and given to his son Ptolemy Apion, who, dying without heirs in 96 B.C., bequeathed it to the Roman Republic.
GP94071. Bronze AE 15, Svoronos 1655, Noeske 291, SNG Cop 658, SNG Milan 402, Malter 247, Weiser -, aF, green patina, corrosion, flan casting sprue remnants, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.162 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 150 - 116 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus Ammon right; reverse EYEPΓETOY ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left, wings open, grasping fulmen in talons; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50


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

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judaea| |(Yehudah),| |Ptolemaic| |Rule,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |quarter| |ma'ah|
Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text.
GS94086. Silver quarter ma'ah, Meshorer TJC 32; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 21, 24; Hendin 1087, VF, obverse off center, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 0.181 g, maximum diameter 6.7 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem(?) mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathyros), 2nd Reign, 88 - 80 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IX| |Soter| |II| |(Lathyros),| |2nd| |Reign,| |88| |-| |80| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros was the elder son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III. After his father died in 116 B.C., he ruled jointly with his mother Cleopatra III. His first reign ended in 110 B.C. when his mother replaced him with her favorite son, Alexander, who ruled as Ptolemy X. In 109 B.C., Ptolemy IX Soter successfully recovered the throne. In 107 B.C., however, his mother claimed that he had tried to kill her and Ptolemy X Alexander was again made king. Ptolemy IX ruled Cyprus. Ptolemy X Alexander had their mother, Cleopatra III, murdered in 101 B.C. Ptolemy IX Soter II Lathyros became king of Egypt again in 88 B.C., after Ptolemy X Alexander was killed in battle, until his death in 81 B.C.
GP88180. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1687 & pl. 57, 31 (6 spec.); SNG Cop 375; BMC Ptolemies p. 114, 79 & pl. xxviii, 8; Cohen DCA 64; Noeske -; Hosking -, SNG Milan -, gVF, toned, flow lines, full legend, high points of hair not fully struck, weight 13.793 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 88 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, LKΘ (year 29) left, ΠA right; from a New England collector; very rare; $320.00 SALE |PRICE| $288.00


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


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cyprus, c. Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cyprus,| |c.| |Late| |2nd| |-| |Early| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|, |AE| |31|
 
GP89345. Bronze AE 31, Malter 275; cf. SNG Milan 519 (similar without palm); SNG Cop 674 (same), BMC Ptolemies -, Svoronos -, Paphos II -, RPC -, Noeske -;, aVF, uneven strike, earthen encrustation, scratches, areas of corrosion, beveled obverse edge, weight 11.502 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, uncertain mint, c. late 2nd - early 1st century B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), two eagles standing left on a thunderbolt, heads left, wings closed, palm branch before; from a New England collector; extremely rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00




  






REFERENCES|

Brett, A. "Dated coins of Ptolemy V, 204 - 180 B.C." in ANSMN 2 (1947), pp. 1 - 11.
Brooks, E. "The overstruck coinage of Ptolemy I" in ANSMN 6 (1954), pp. 69 - 84.
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Cox, D. Coins from the Excavations at Curium, 1932-1953. ANSNNM 145. (New York, 1959).
Faucher, T., A. Meadows & C. Lorber. Egyptian Hoards I, The Ptolemies. (Le Claire, France, 2017).
Hill, G. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Greek Coins of Cyprus. (London, 1904).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Phoenicia. (London, 1910).
Jenkins, G. "An early Ptolemaic hard from Phacous" in ANSMN 9 (1960), pp. 17 - 37.
Kreuzer, M. The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII, Marc Antony and Augustus in Cyprus. (Springfield, MA, 2004).
Lorber, C. Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire. (New York, 2018).
Macdonald, G. Catalog of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. (Glasgow, 1905). Malter, J. The Coinage of Ancient Egypt, Auction II, February 23 and 24, 1978. (Encino, CA, 1978).
Michaelidou, L, ed. Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage, Coin Catalogue. (Nicosia, 1996).
Michaelidou, L. & E. Zapiti. Coins of Cyprus, From the Collection of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. (Nicosia, 2008).
Mildenberg, L. "Yehud: A Preliminary Study of the Provincial Coinage of Judaea" in Essays Thompson.
Mrkholm, O. "Cyprus Hoard, 1982" in NC 147 (1987), pp. 156 - 158.
Mrkholm, O. Early Hellenistic Coinage. From the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (336-188 BC). (Cambridge, 1991).
Mrkholm, O. "Ptolemaic coins and chronology: The dated silver coinage of Alexandria" in ANSMN 20 (1975), pp. 7-24.
Mrkholm, O. "The Ptolemaic 'coins of an uncertain era'" in Nordisk Numismatisk Arskrift 1975 - 1976, pp. 23 - 58.
Mrkholm, O. "The last Ptolemaic silver coinage in Cyprus" in Chiron 13 (1983), pp. 69-79.
Nicolaou, I. Paphos II. The Coins from the House of Dionysos. Department of Antiquities Cyprus. (Nicosia, 1990).
Noeske, H-C. Die Mnzen der Ptolemer. (Frankfurt, 2000).
Pitchfork, C. The Jon Hosking Collection of Ptolemaic Coins. Nicholson Museum, University of Sydney. (Sydney, 2000).
Poole, R. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, the Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt. (London, 1882).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Robinson, E. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, The Greek Coins of Cyrenaica. (London, 1927).
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, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (New Jersey, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano XIII, Civiche Coltrane Numismatiche, Aegyptus, Part 1: Ptolemaei. (Milan, 1989).
Weiser, W. Katalog Ptolemischer Bronzemnzen der Sammlung des Instituts fr Altertumskunde, Universitt Kln. (Opladen, 1995).
Visona, P. "A Hoard of Ptolemaic Bronze Coins in the the J. Paul Getty Museum" in J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 6 - 7 (1978 - 1979), pp. 153 - 162.
Wolf, D. The PtolemAE Project - http://ptolemybronze.com/
Wolf, D. & C. Lorber. "Syracusan Imitations of the Bronze Diobols of Ptolemy II Philadelphus" (19 March 2009).
Wolf, D. & C. Lorber. "The 'Galatian Shield without [monogram]' Series of Ptolemaic Bronze Coins" in NC 171 (2011).
Zervos, O. "The early tetradrachms of Ptolemy I" in ANSMN 13 (1967), pp. 1 - 16.

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