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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.

Aspendos, Pamphylia, 187 - 186 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Aspendos|, |Aspendos,| |Pamphylia,| |187| |-| |186| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||tetradrachm|
After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own envoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4,000 horses annually.

At the time this coin was struck, the territory of Aspendos was surrounded by the Attalid's Pergamene Kingdom but retained independence.
GS95975. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2907, Cohen DCA 312/26, Müller Alexander -, aVF, light toning, light scratches, weight 16.555 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 187 - 186 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, AΣ over K[ (year 26 Era of Aspendos) lower left, spear head left (control mark) in exergue, Seleukid countermark on right: anchor in a rectangular punch; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


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; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


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); $160.00 (€147.20)
 


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

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
This rare type is distinguished from the more common Antioch mint types by a different portrait style.
GY97103. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2464c; HGC 9 1320 (R1); SNG Spaer 2817; BMC Seleucid -, VF, well centered, tight flan as typical for the type, surface crackled with corrosion (perhaps indicating a water find), weight 15.016 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88 - 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, (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; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus III the Great, c. 223 - 187 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |III| |the| |Great,| |c.| |223| |-| |187| |B.C.||drachm|
At the age of eighteen, Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Much of Anatolia had been lost and the easternmost provinces had revolted and broken away. After some initial defeats, Antiochus took Judaea from Ptolemaic Egypt and then conquered Anatolia, earning him the epithet "the Great." In 192 B.C. Antiochus invaded Greece with a 10,000-man army, and was elected the commander in chief of the Aetolian League. In 191 B.C., however, the Romans routed him at Thermopylae, forcing him to withdraw to Anatolia. The Romans followed up by invading Anatolia and defeating him again. By the Treaty of Apamea 188 B.C., Antiochus abandoned all territory north and west of the Taurus, most of which the Roman Republic gave either to Rhodes or to the Attalid ruler Eumenes II, its allies. Many Greek cities were left free. As a consequence of this blow to the Seleucid power, the provinces which had recovered by Antiochus, reasserted their independence. Antiochus mounted a fresh eastern expedition. He died while pillaging a temple of Bel at Elymaïs, Persia, in 187 B.C.
GY95969. Silver drachm, Houghton-Lorber I 1235d, Newell ESM 647A, HGC 9 452h (R2), SNG Spaer -, BMC Seleucid -, VF, toned, centered on a tight flan, die wear, weight 3.967 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, series 4, 223 - 187 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, clean shaven, short hair, diadem ends fall straight; reverse Apollo seated left on omphalos, nude, examining arrow in right hand, resting left hand on compound bow grounded behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monogram upper inner left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus III the Great, c. 223 - 187 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |III| |the| |Great,| |c.| |223| |-| |187| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
At the age of eighteen, Antiochus III inherited a disorganized state. Much of Anatolia had been lost and the easternmost provinces had revolted and broken away. After some initial defeats, Antiochus took Judaea from Ptolemaic Egypt and then conquered Anatolia, earning him the epithet "the Great." In 192 B.C. Antiochus invaded Greece with a 10,000-man army, and was elected the commander in chief of the Aetolian League. In 191 B.C., however, the Romans routed him at Thermopylae, forcing him to withdraw to Anatolia. The Romans followed up by invading Anatolia and defeating him again. By the Treaty of Apamea 188 B.C., Antiochus abandoned all territory north and west of the Taurus, most of which the Roman Republic gave either to Rhodes or to the Attalid ruler Eumenes II, its allies. Many Greek cities were left free. As a consequence of this blow to the Seleucid power, the provinces which had recovered by Antiochus, reasserted their independence. Antiochus mounted a fresh eastern expedition. He died while pillaging a temple of Bel at Elymaïs, Persia, in 187 B.C.
GY95972. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 967 var. (one diadem end upward), Mektepini Hoard 636 var. (same), HGC 9 447g (R2), VF, light bumps/marks, slightest corrosion/porosity, weight 16.983 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Western Asia Minor, uncertain mint, c. 203 - 187 B.C.; obverse Antiochos' diademed head right, youthful, jutting nose, pursed lips, diadem ends straight down behind head; reverse Apollo seated left on omphalos, nude, examining arrow in right hand, resting left hand on bow grounded behind, bow ornamented with two sets of two disks, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monograms outer left and right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $400.00 (€368.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleucus I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleucus| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |280| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
GY95974. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber I 177; Newell ESM 314; BMC Seleucid p. 3, 33 - 34; HGC 9 18c (R1-R2), aVF, high relief head of Zeus, old cabinet toning, flow lines, porosity, light marks, minor edge flaw on reverse, weight 16.251 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Susa (Shush, Iran) mint, c. 295 - 280 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus right; reverse Athena driving biga of horned elephants, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on left, ΣEΛEYKOY in exergue, spearhead (control) above right, A(or E or M over Ω?, obscure, control) lower right before elephants; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $1600.00 (€1472.00)
 


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.
GY97097. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2463(3)j; Newell SMA 449; SNG Spaer 2808; BMC Seleucid p. 100, 4; HGC 9 1319, VF, toned, typical tight flan, obverse a little off center, light marks, weight 15.515 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 45o, 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, Φ over A outer left (control, off flan), monogram below throne, (frozen control) below throne, Σ (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); $190.00 (€174.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY95964. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1637a; SNG Spaer 1257; Newell SMA 81; BMC Seleucid p. 47, 33 & pl. XIV, 2; HGC 9 796 (R1), aVF, toning, light corrosion/porosity, weight 15.785 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 155/4 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right with light beard, short hair, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, fully clothed, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by winged tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, monogram (control) outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $260.00 (€239.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY95966. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1638(1)c; Newell SMA 83; SNG Spaer 1256; BMC Seleucid p. 47, 32; HGC 9 795f, aVF, dark old cabinet toning, bumps and scratches, weight 16.262 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 155/4 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right, clean-shaven, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, fully clothed, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by winged tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, monogram outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $200.00 (€184.00)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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