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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, Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 145 B.C.

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Ptolemy VI became king in 180 B.C. at the age of about 6 and ruled jointly with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her death in 176 BC. From 170 to 164 B.C., Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy, his sister-queen and his younger brother Ptolemy VIII Physcon. In 170 BC, the Seleukid King Antiochus IV invaded and was even crowned king in 168, but abandoned his claim on the orders from Rome. In 164 Ptolemy VI was driven out by his brother. He went to Rome and received support from Cato, and was restored the following year. In 152 BC, he briefly ruled jointly with his son, Ptolemy Eupator, but his son probably died that same year. In 145 B.C. he died of battle wounds received against Alexander Balas of Syria. Ptolemy VI ruled uneasily, cruelly suppressing frequent rebellions.
GP89281. Bronze quarter obol, Svoronos 1408, Weiser -, SNG Cop -, Noeske -, Hosking -, SNG Milan -, Malter -, Tziambazis -, F, reverse legend unstruck (missing from dies?), obverse edge beveled, tiny edge split, weight 2.488 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, uncertain mint, c. 176 - 170 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle with wings closed standing half left atop fulmen, lotus flower in left field; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


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

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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; $400.00 (€352.00)
 


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

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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 Ptolemy’s half brother Magas, governor of Cyrenaica. Supported by Antiochus, Magas declared himself independent and invaded Egypt. Aided by a mutiny of Ptolemy’s 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 (€44.00)
 


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

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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 (€158.40)
 


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

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Huge 71.416 g, 46.8 mm bronze! The largest of all Ptolemaic bronze coin types.
GP92402. Bronze octobol, Lorber CPE B365; Svoronos 446; Weiser 19; BMC Ptolemies p. 37, 158; SNG Cop 142; Noeske 64; Hosking 13; Malter 67, gVF, well centered on a broad flan, partial red encrustation/patina, light double strike on reverse, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 71.416 g, maximum diameter 46.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, E between legs; from a New England Collector; scarce; $630.00 (€554.40)
 


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

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Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy and making him the richest monarch of his age. His 112 ships comprised the most powerful fleet that had ever existed. His splendid court compares with the Versailles of Louis XIV. An enthusiast for Hellenic culture, he also adopted Egyptian religious concepts bolstering his image as a pharaoh. At the Library at Alexandria, Jewish texts were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. He defeated the Seleucids in the first Syrian War, gaining control of western Cilicia, southern Lycia, Caunus, Halicarnassus, Myndus, Cnidus, probably Miletus, all of Phoenicia, and even part of Syria.
GP93009. Bronze diobol, Lorber CPE 174; Svoronos 576 (23 spec.); Weiser 10; Noeske 60; BMC Ptolemies p. 25, 15; SNG Milan 61; Weber 8248, Cox Curium 62; SNG Blackburn 1160, aVF, well centered, black patina, spots of corrosion, some patina chipping, weight 14.323 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 274 - 261 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle with open wings standing left on thunderbolt, ΣΩ monogram over shield in left field, o between eagle's legs; from Jimi Berlin; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy V Epiphanes, 205 or 204 - 180 B.C.

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The name of Ptolemy V Epiphanes appears on the Rosetta stone. He married Cleopatra I, the daughter of the Seleukid king Antiochos III, and was the father of Ptolemy VI, VII, and Cleopatra II. Ptolemy V lost Judea, Philistia, and Phoenicia to Antiochos III after the battle of Panium in 198 B.C. (Dan 11:13-16).
GP93399. Bronze tetrobol, Svoronos 1235; Weiser 131; SNG Cop 248; BMC Ptolemies p. 94, 72; Malter 185; Macdonald Hunter III p. 384, 7; Weber p. 857, 8274; McClean p. 431, 9830, VF, scratches, tiny edge central depressions, obverse edge beveled, weight 16.787 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 197 - 183 B.C.; obverse head of Isis right, hair in long curls, wreathed in grain; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VI Philometor and Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), c. 170 - 164 B.C.

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In 170 B.C., Antiochus IV invaded and made Ptolemy VI his puppet. In reply, the people made his younger brother Ptolemy VIII Physcon king. After Antiochus left on orders from Rome, the brothers agreed to share rule, along with their sister. In 164, Physcon usurped sole rule. Ptolemy VI received support from Rome and in 163 the brothers agreed to a partition with Physcon ruling Cyrenaica.
GP93401. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1426; SNG Cop 311; Noeske 216; Weiser 143; BMC Ptolemies p. 106, 31; Hosking 83; SNG Milan 347; Weber 8285, VF, spots of corrosion, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.753 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 170 - 164 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus Ammon; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), two eagles standing left, side-by-side, on thunderbolt, heads left, wings closed, double cornucopia left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


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

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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.
GP93402. Bronze hemidrachm, Lorber CPE B936; Svoronos 965; SNG Cop 173; Weiser 72; BMC Ptolemies p. 55, 89; SNG Milan 166; SNG Blackburn 1165; Noeske 120; Hosking 31; Weber 8259, Choice EF, attractive style, well centered, mottled burgundy, red, brown and olive patina, ares of light corrosion, central depressions,, weight 30.905 g, maximum diameter 35.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 246 - 222 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, chi-rho monogram between eagle's legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $700.00 (€616.00)
 


Ptolemaic Kyrenaica, Ptolemy III Euergetes - Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II, 246 - 116 B.C.

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The fabric and style of this type varies considerably, indicating the type was likely struck over a long period.
GP93409. Bronze obol, Lorber CPE B487; Svoronos 871; Weiser 103; SNG Cop 443; BMC Cyrenaica p. 83, 44; SNG Milan 449, F, toned brass, dark fields, bumps and marks, central depressions, weight 7.712 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 245 - 140 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I Soter right, wearing aegis, central impression; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), head of Libya right, wearing tainia and necklace, hair in formal curls down neck, double cornucopia below chin, central impression; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 (€61.60)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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Ptolemaic Egypt