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

Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.

Aristobulus' was succeeded by his eldest brother, Alexander Jannĉus, who was freed from prison, together with his two brothers, by Aristobulus' widow, Queen Salome Alexandra - "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). To expend his territory, Jannaeus, immediately attacked Ake-Ptolemais, which called Ptolemy of Cyprus to its aid. When it looked as though Jannaeus would be crushed, Cleopatra III of Egypt intervened, driving out her son-and-rival Ptolemy and reluctantly leaving Jannaeus with both Judaea and Ptolemais. Other conquests brought Jannaeus into conflict with Obadas I of Nabataea who soundly defeated him in 90 B.C. Jannaeus became the first High Priest to also hold the title of king, which met with disapproval of many religious Jews. Severely unpopular, he was pelted with citrons (etrog) on the Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and according to Josephus, "being enraged at this, he killed some 6,000." A full scale revolt erupted and rebels called for the aid of the Seleucid King Demetrius II of Damascus in 88 B.C. Demetrius met Jannaeus with an army of 3,000 horse and 14,000 - 40,000 foot soldiers, forcing him into the mountains. At Demetrus' withdrawal, however, Jannaeus gathered reinforcements and re-established his authority, crucifying 800 rebels who were forced to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses (Josepus, Ant. XIII:380). After the Nabataean king Aretas gained control of Damascus, he used his new power base to inflict a final attack on Jannaeus, forcing the concession of a number of Hellenized towns before Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C.

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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|NEW
The prutah was equal in value to 1/2 a Roman quadrans. -- Talmud Jerus., Kedushin 58d, written c. 200 A.D.
JD97685. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1145, Meshorer TJC P, Meshorer AJC E, HGC 10 638, VF, highlighting earthen deposits, irregular shape, reverse edge beveled, obv. a little off center, weight 1.958 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 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; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
 


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.
JD98147. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, F, earthen encrustation, light corrosion, obverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.410 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 90o, 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; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
 


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97683. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1149a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck, highlighting earthen deposits (desert patina), reverse edge beveled, weight 2.230 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97684. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1149a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), gF, overstruck, highlighting earthen deposits (desert patina), remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.958 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97686. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1149a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck, light earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.597 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 


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.
JD97687. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, aF, rough, scratches, weight 1.327 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 45o, 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; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00
 


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor probably publicized the annexation of these areas. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Yaakov Meshorer
JD97688. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1150, Meshorer TJC K, Meshorer AJC C, HGC 10 637, F, double struck, earthen deposits, scrapes, weight 2.153 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays and central pellet, surrounded by diadem, Paleo-Hebrew inscription "Yehonatan the king" between rays; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (of King Alexander), upside-down anchor; from an Israeli collection; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00
 


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97682. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1149a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck and off center, weight 2.042 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint.
JD97426. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1149b, Meshorer TJC T1, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), VF, both undertype and overtype off center, dark patina, highlighting light earthen deposits, weight 1.589 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over lily; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over anchor; from an Israeli collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 


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.
JD97678. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, aVF, green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, off center strike, weight 1.891 g, maximum diameter 14.6 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; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
 




  






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.com/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Palestine. (London, 1914).
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).
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).

SYMBOLS ON THE COINS OF ALEXANDER JANNAEUS (YEHONATAN)

Anchor: The anchor was adopted from the Seleucids, who used it to symbolize their naval strength. Anchors are depicted upside down, as they would be seen hung on the side of a boat ready for use. Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor on these coins probably publicized the annexation of these areas.

Cornucopia: The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty." The cornucopia symbolizes abundance and the prosperity of the nation.

Diadem: The diadem symbolizes royalty.

Lily: 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.

Lulav: Lulav is a ripe, green, closed frond of the date palm tree. It is one of the Four Species used in the daily prayer services during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The other species are the hadass (myrtle), aravah (willow), and etrog (citron). Each type of plant represents different parts of your body because it shows that you worship God with all of your body. To qualify for use as one of the Four Species, the lulav must be ramrod straight, with whole leaves that lay closely together, and not be bent or broken at the top. The term Lulav also refers to the lulav in combination with two of the other species that are bound together to perform the mitzvah of waving the lulav.

Pomegranate: The pomegranate was one of the seven celebrated products of Palestine and among the fruits brought to the temple as offerings of the first-fruits. Two hundred pomegranates decorated each of the two columns in the temple and were an integral part of the sacred vestment of the High Priest, as bells and pomegranates were suspended from his mantle.

Star: The star symbolizes heaven.


Catalog current as of Monday, November 29, 2021.
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