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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Hasmonean Dynasty||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Hasmonean Dynasty - Maccabees

The Maccabees were Jewish rebel warriors that took control of Judea, which at the time had been a part of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled Judea from 167 BCE to 37 BCE, as a fully independent kingdom from about 140 to 63 BCE. They reasserted the Jewish religion, partly by forced conversion, expanded the boundaries of Judea by conquest and reduced the influence of Hellenism and Hellenistic Judaism. Independent Hasmonean rule lasted until 63 BCE, when the Roman general Pompeus intervened in Hasmonean civil war, making it a client kingdom of Rome. The Hasmonean dynasty ended in 37 BCE when the Idumean Herod the Great became king of Israel, designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate, effectively transforming the Hasmonean Kingdom into the Herodian Kingdom - a client kingdom of Rome.

Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||AE| |20|
The single cornucopia and weight indicate this type was valued at half of Antigonus double cornucopia type. Even so, it is a large bronze compared with the usual Judaean prutah denomination.
JD97329. Bronze AE 20, Hendin 1163, Meshorer TJC 37, Sofaer Collection 427, SNG ANS 189, SNG Cop 65, HGC 10 647 (S), F, green patina, earthen deposits, uneven strike, reverse off center, porous, small edge split, pre-stike off-set casting seam and sprue remnants, weight 7.214 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew legend: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, single cornucopia tied with ribbons, grapes and grape vine hang; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus) within wreath and border of dots; scarce; $100.00 (92.00)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |B.C.||prutah|
This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Hyrcanus II's Hebrew name is not known and some scholars believe this type was struck under Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The period from Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C. to the begining of Mattatayah Antigonus reign in 40 B.C. would be a long gap without minting coinage. We also believe the dramatic difference in epigraphy indicates a break at the mint, supporting attribution to Jannaeus' successors.
JD97369. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), VF, dark patina with lighter highlighting deposits, a little off center on a tight flan, some minor pitting on the reverse, obverse edge beveled, edge split, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.160 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude barbaric, blundered Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (73.60)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Meshorer wrote of the inscriptions on this type, "The style of the script is distinctive. The letters are large and slight oblique, with sharp lines and edges; they tend toward systematization. The shapes are strong and clear...and contain few variants. The legend is mostly incomplete and contains many errors. Certain characters such as (B), (R), and (D) are almost indistinguishable." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHWN/TN (Yehonatan) [K]HN (Priest) / H (the) GD/WL (high) (HH)/BR (council) YH[WD]/M (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97372. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1144, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, dark patina with highlighting light deposits, off center, weight 2.060 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (73.60)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
"And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest." (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1)
JD97338. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1144, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, dark sea green patina, highlighting lighter green deposits, off center, reverse casting void flaw lower obverse, weight 1.830 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (73.60)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.C.; Overstruck on Alexander Jannaeus

|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |B.C.;| |Overstruck| |on| |Alexander| |Jannaeus||prutah|
The attribution was provided by our consignor. Neither the overtype nor the undertype is clear to us without undertaking a lengthy study. Our consignor is an expert in Judean coinage, so we are accepting his attribution. The price is low enough that anyone might buy this coin, but we hope the buyer is a specialist collector who will enjoy taking the time and effort to either confirm or refute our consignor's opinion. The Hendin 1159b type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Some scholars believe this type was struck by Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The type is often crude with illegible letters and incomplete inscriptions.
JD97357. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159b, Meshorer TJC type S, SNG ANS 164; overstruck on Hendin 1148, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., lily / anchor in diadem, F+, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, obscured by undertype effects, weight 3.142 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; from an Israeli collection; $60.00 (55.20)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97434. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, parts of legends unstruck, obverse slightly off center, obverse edge beveled, edge cracks, casting sprue remnant, weight 1.849 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $135.00 (124.20)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Meshorer wrote of the inscriptions on this type, "The letters are clear, large and straight, with few variants. On many coins the inscription, especially the final word, is incomplete. Even the specimens that depict incomplete inscriptions and orthographic errors reveal a good style and contain well-defined letters." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHW/NTN (Yehonatan) HK/N (Priest, should be KHN) H (high) LDG (high) / W (and) (HH)BR (council) H (the) / YHM (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97411. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1145, Meshorer TJC P, Meshorer AJC E, HGC 10 638, VF, nice dark green patina with highlighting lighter green deposits, a little off center, weight 1.772 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription within wreath: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $70.00 (64.40)


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||AE| |16|
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.
JD97438. Bronze AE 16, Houghton-Lorber II 2123, Hendin 1131, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, VF, green patina, porosity/corrosion, earthen encrustations, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.871 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, 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 (147.20)


Judean Kingdom, Anonymous Hasmonean, c. 140 - 37 B.C.

|Judean| |Kingdom|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Anonymous| |Hasmonean,| |c.| |140| |-| |37| |B.C.||tessera|
A Judaean coin expert informs us that there are nine known specimens of this type, one specimen of this type was discovered during excavations at Mt. Gerizim, and the second best known specimen of this type sold for $12,000 a few years ago.
JD97077. Lead tessera, Hendin 1157 (RRR), Meshore TJC -, Sofaer Collection -, HGC 10 -, SNG Cop -, F, scratches, bumps, earthen encrustation, tight flan, weight 2.024 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 225o, Samarian(?) mint, c. 140 - 37 B.C.; obverse double cornucopia, upright rod between, border of dots; reverse stylized palm tree between two blooming lily flowers, border of dots; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $2000.00 (1840.00)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97081. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina with highlighting lighter green deposits, reverse off center, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $125.00 (115.00)










DECENDANTS OF MATTATHIAS - THE MACCABEES



REFERENCES|

Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.org/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Palestine. (London, 1914).
Houghton, A. Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. ACNAC 4. (New York, 1983).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Syrian Coins, Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC. HGC 9. (Lancaster, PA, 2009).
Kaufman, J. Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins from the J. Ch Kaufman Collection. (Jerusalem, 1995).
Kindler, A. Coins of the Land of Israel. (Jerusalem, 1974).
Maltiel-Gerstenfeld, J. 260 Years of Ancient Jewish Coinage. (Tel Aviv, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
Reinach, S. Jewish Coins. (London, 1903).
Rogers, E. Handy Guide To Jewish Coins. (London, 1914).
Samuels, C., P. Rynearson & Y. Meshorer. The Numismatic Legacy of the Jews as depicted by a distinguished American Collection. (New York, 2000).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Spaer, A. & A. Houghton. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, January 27, 2021.
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