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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Seleucid Kingdom||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of the Seleucid Kingdom

The Seleucid Kingdom, ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty, existed from 312 B.C. to 63 B.C. Seleucus I Nicator received Babylonia in the division of Alexander the Great's empire in 321 B.C. He expanded his domain, and at the height of its power, the Seleucid Empire included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what is now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. They were defeated by the Roman Republic and their Greek allies in 190 B.C. The subsequent Treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C. required costly war reparations and loss of territory west of the Taurus Mountains. The Parthians conquered much of the remaining empire in the mid-2nd century B.C. The Seleucid kings continued to rule a smaller state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 B.C. and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey in 63 B.C.

Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Hendin lists four varieties of this type AΠP (year 181) below (Hendin 1131), AΠP (year 181) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131a), BΠP (year 182) below (Hendin 1131b), and BΠP (year 182) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131c). Houghton and Lorber list a variety without a date (Houghton-Lorber 2123), but the date is probably just off flan, as on this example.
JD98719. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123, Hendin 1131, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, aVF, green patina, light earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.550 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP or BΠP (Greek: year 181 or 182 of the Seleucid Era) below; $160.00 (€131.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes ("God Manifest") and after his defeat of Egypt, Nikephoros ("Bearer of Victory"). But his often eccentric behavior, capricious actions and even insanity led some of his contemporaries to call him Epimanes ("The Mad One"), a word play off of his title Epiphanes.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.

GY98213. Bronze AE 16, Houghton-Lorber II 1407j, SNG Spaer 963, Babelon Rois 428, HGC 9 684 (R1), VF, off center on an oval flan, attractive green patina with red earthen highlighting, edge crack, some light corrosion, weight 2.658 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 175 - c. 172 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed bust of Laodike IV right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, elephant head left, tripod on right, ΘEK (control mark) in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Hendin lists four varieties of this type AΠP (year 181) below (Hendin 1131), AΠP (year 181) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131a), BΠP (year 182) below (Hendin 1131b), and BΠP (year 182) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131c). Houghton and Lorber list a variety without a date (Houghton-Lorber 2123), but the date is probably just off flan.
JD98143. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(2), Hendin 1131, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30 - 31, VF, tight flan, obverse off center, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.830 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 131 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP (Greek: year 181 of the Seleucid Era) below; from an Israeli collection; $110.00 (€90.20)
 


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Hendin lists four varieties of this type AΠP (year 181) below (Hendin 1131), AΠP (year 181) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131a), BΠP (year 182) below (Hendin 1131b), and BΠP (year 182) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131c). Houghton and Lorber list a variety without a date (Houghton-Lorber 2123).
JD97430. Bronze prutah, cf. Houghton-Lorber II 2123, Hendin 1131, SGCV II 7101, Meshorer TJC p. 30, HGC 9 1103, aF, porous, earthen deposits, reverse off center, weight 3.261 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP or BΠP (Greek: year 181 or 182 of the Seleucid Era) below; from an Israeli collection; $50.00 (€41.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Struck with Ptolemy VI Dies Captured on Cyprus

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.,| |Struck| |with| |Ptolemy| |VI| |Dies| |Captured| |on| |Cyprus||obol|
This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived invasion and occupation of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cyprus, c. 168 B.C. The dies were originally engraved for Ptolemy VI of Egypt. The letters EYΛ are the first letters of Eulaios, a regent during part of the minority of Ptolemy VI. The name of "Ptolemy" was effaced from the reverse die before the coin was struck.
RY98615. Bronze obol, Lorber Lotus Series p. 46, VI.3; Svoronos 1398 & pl. xlvii, 21-24 (Ptolemy VI with Eulaios); Weiser 152 (same); SNG Cop 294; Noeske -, VF, green patina, well centered, porous, light scratches, central dimples, obverse edge beveled, weight 10.688 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 325o, Cyprus mint, c. 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (ΠTOΛEMAIOY erased from die), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, legs heavily feathered, lotus left, EYΛ between legs; $100.00 (€82.00)
 


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.
GY98123. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2195(3)a; Newell Tyre 165; SNG Spaer 2239; DCA 230; HGC 9 1122; BMC Seleucids p. 76, 6 var. (control), EF, nicely toned, excellent portrait, bold strike, light bumps and scratches, a little off center, weight 13.648 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 45o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 128 - 127 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust right; reverse ∆HMHTPIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on ship's ram, palm frond under wing, A/PE above (Tyre monogram) over club left, AVΣ monogram over EΠP (year 185) right, ZB monogram (control) between eagles legs; $700.00 (€574.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Sardes, Lydia

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleukos| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Sardes,| |Lydia||AE| |14|
The Indian humped bull type, along with his well-known anchor symbol, was used only by Nikator. The Indian humped bull on the reverse recalls when Nikator, with only his bare-hands, stopped a similar bull that had broken free while Alexander the Great was sacrificing it at the altar. Seleucus captured Sardes from Lysimachus in 282 B.C. This type has been attributed to Sardes based on find locations.
GY97882. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber I 6(2)b, Newell WSM 1628, HGC 9 107a (S), SNG Spaer 69 var. (monogram behind bull), SNG Cop 45 var. (same), aVF, green patina, slight porosity, tight flan, weight 2.293 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 282 - 281 B.C.; obverse winged head of Medusa right; reverse humped bull butting right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) above, ΣEΛEYKOY in exergue, monogram between hind legs; from a Norwegian collection; scarce; $80.00 (€65.60)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
There are many control symbol variations for Philip I tetradrachms, some are identified as lifetime issues, some as posthumous, and some as imitatives, including posthumous imitatives struck by the Romans. None of the published variations list this ∆I monogram exergue control symbol, without any other symbols outer left or inner left. Houghton-Lorber II 2464 is most similar, with this type of portrait and no controls left, but only N, Π and T exergue controls are listed. Also, this coin was part of a Leu auction lot that included other specimens of Houghton-Lorber II 2464 all in very similar condition, indicating the coins may have been found together.
GY97102. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished control monogram; Houghton-Lorber II 2464 var. (control); SNG Spaer 2817 var. (control); HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, aVF, field cracks, weight 15.244 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, below throne, ∆I monogram (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); unpublished control variant of a rare type; $220.00 (€180.40)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97099. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2464(c); SNG Spaer 2817; HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, VF, tight flan typical of the type, obverse off center, corrosion, weight 14.726 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠOY in two lines downward on right EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY in two lines downward on left, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, T (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); rare; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97101. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber II 2463; HGC 9 1319, VF, tight flan as typical for the type, surface a bit rough from corrosion, obverse off center, weight 15.389 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠOY in two lines downward on right EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY in two lines downward on left, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, monogram below throne, uncertain controls off flan, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); $140.00 (€114.80)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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