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

The Hasmonean Dynasty (Maccabees), 167 - 37 B.C.

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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Unpopular, Jannaeus was pelted with citrons on Sukkot. Enraged, he killed some 6,000 citizens. A revolt erupted and rebels called on the Seleucid King Demetrius III for aid. Demetrius forced him into the mountains but then withdrew. Back in power, Jannaeus crucified 800 rebels forcing them to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses.
JD113602. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6181, Meshorer TJC P, Meshorer AJC E, Sofaer 274 ff., HGC 10 638, F, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, weight 1.833 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse classical style Paleo-Hebrew inscription within wreath: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $80.00 (75.20)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Unpopular, Jannaeus was pelted with citrons on Sukkot. Enraged, he killed some 6,000 citizens. A revolt erupted and rebels called on the Seleucid King Demetrius III for aid. Demetrius forced him into the mountains but then withdrew. Back in power, Jannaeus crucified 800 rebels forcing them to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses.
JD113343. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6180, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, Sofaer 314 ff., HGC 10 639, aVF, irregular shape, edge splits, rev. edge beveled, weight 0.904 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse block style Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; ex CNG e-auction 520 (20 Jul 2022), lot 174; $80.00 (75.20)


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

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||eight| |prutot|
This large bronze type was meant to impress the population and improve support for Antigonus against his rival Herod the Great. Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. After Antigonus bit off his ears to render him ineligible for High Priest, Hyrcanus II was sent to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.
JD113388. Bronze eight prutot, Meshorer TJC 36, Hendin 6197, SNG Cop 64, SNG ANS 185, HGC 10 646 (S), aF, brown tone, off center, weight 12.329 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, around and between the horns of a double cornucopia; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus), ivy wreath tied at the top with ribbons hanging down; scarce; $65.00 (61.10)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid kingdom marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD113051. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6177, Meshorer TJC F, Meshorer AJC K, Sofaer 124 ff., HGC 10 631, VF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, rev. off center, weight 2.299 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonanan the High Priest and Head of the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $110.00 (103.40)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, from right to left, as follows: YHW(HH)N/N (Yehohanan) H (the) KHN (Priest) H (the) / GDL (high) H (the) (HH)BR (council) / H (the) YHD/YM (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD113048. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6172, Meshorer TJC B, Meshorer AJC N, Sofaer 30 ff., HGC 10 626, Choice aVF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, complete inscription with some letters obscure, scratches, rev. edge beveled, sprue cuts, weight 2.449 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonanan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $130.00 (122.20)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
This type is easily recognized because the wreath differs from all others and even appears to be a different plant. The script is "wedge style" with nun a simple vertical line.
JD111408. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6174, Meshorer TJC D, Meshorer AJC P, Sofaer 68 ff., HGC 10 628, VF, near full inscription but a bit carelessly engraved, light earthen deposits, mild porosity, obv. edge beveled, rev. off center, weight 2.235 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription with wedge style script: Yehonanan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $110.00 (103.40)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
The classical style Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, from right to left, as follows: YHW(HH)N[N] (Yehohanan, second nun missing) / H (the) KHN (Priest) H (the) G/DL (high) H (the) (HH)BR (council) H (the) / YDH[Y]M (Jews, dalet and he reversed, second yod missing, mem blundered). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD111412. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6172, Meshorer TJC B, Meshorer AJC N, HGC 10 625, VF, well centered on a broad flan, light earthen deposits, rev. edge beveled, sprue remnant, weight 3.020 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehohanan the High Priest and Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $140.00 (131.60)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid kingdom marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD111423. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6175a, Meshorer TJC G, Sofaer 114, HGC 10 631, VF, crude inscription, ragged edge, rev. edge beveled, sprue remnants, weight 2.556 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse crude blundered Paleo-Hebrew inscription surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $130.00 (122.20)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
On Hendin 6176 the letter he has the form in the first two lines, but after may take a crude simplified form like an arrow pointed upward . On this type, "Yohananan the High Priest" is usually followed only by a few additional apparently meaningless letters.
JD111424. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6176, Meshorer TJC E, Sofaer 82 - 113, HGC 10 627, SNG ANS -, BMC Palestine -, gVF, partially filled dies (incomplete letters, third line unstruck), light earthen deposits, off center, weight 2.575 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonanan the High Priest..., surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $90.00 (84.60)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
Hendin's Guide to Biblical Coins did not assign this very rare "classical style" Rosh variant a Hendin number until the sixth edition, printed in 2021. Meshorer's A Treasury of Jewish Coins includes it as part of type I, along with Rosh types with a wedge style Paleo-Hebrew inscription.
JD97670. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC I62 (similar style), Hendin 6169 (RR), Sofaer 165, HGC 10 628, VF, most legend on flan, dark patina with highlighting red earthen fill, some light corrosion, obv. edge beveled, weight 1.966 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription with blundered careless classical style: Yehonanan the High Priest and Head (Rosh) of the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns, A lower right (not visible); rare; $140.00 (131.60)










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, 6th Edition. (Amphora, 2021).
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).

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