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Ancient Coins of Cyprus

Hunter-gatherers were active on Cyprus from around 10,000 B.C. and settled village communities date from 8200 B.C. Water wells found in Cyprus are among the oldest in the world, about 10,000 years old. Mycenaean Greek traders started visiting Cyprus around 1400 B.C. A major wave of Greek settlement followed the collapse of Mycenaean Greece, from 1100 to 1050 B.C. The island's predominantly Greek character dates from this period. In Greek Mythology, Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis, and home to King Cinyras, Teucer and Pygmalion. Cyprus also had an early Phoenician presence. Kition was under Tyrian rule at the beginning of the 10th century B.C. Assyria ruled the island for a century from 708 B.C., before a brief spell under Egyptian rule and eventually Persian rule in 545 B.C. The Cypriots joined their fellow Greeks in the Ionian cities during the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt against the Persian Empire in 499 B.C. The revolt was suppressed, but Cyprus managed to maintain a high degree of autonomy and remained inclined towards the Greek world. Alexander the Great took Cyprus in 333 B.C. Following his death, Cyprus became part of Ptolemaic Egypt. It was during this period that the island was fully Hellenized.

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Kition, Cyprus

|Cyprus|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Kition,| |Cyprus||unit|
The "arrow" on this coin is very unusual. The description of Price 3119 includes a KT monogram but followed by (?). The monogram is missing from all examples known to Forum. We suspect the KT monogram does not exist on any Alexander bronze from Kition.
GB95811. Bronze unit, cf. Tziambazis 6, Price 3119, Bank of Cyprus --, gVF, nice green patina with buff earthen highlighting, light marks, porosity, tight flan, weight 4.731 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 225o, Kition (Larnaca, Cyprus) mint, 336 - 323 B.C. (perhaps later); obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse club right above, AΛEΞAN∆POY across center, open-mouth quiver, arrow(?) and bow below; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy X Alexander I, 110 - 109 B.C. and 107 - 88 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |X| |Alexander| |I,| |110| |-| |109| |B.C.| |and| |107| |-| |88| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Alexander was the son of Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III. In 110 B.C., his mother deposed his brother Ptolemy IX and he became king with his mother as co-regent. In 109 B.C. Ptolemy IX took back the throne but in 107 B.C. Alexander again became king with his mother as co-regent. In 101 B.C. he had his mother killed, and then ruled either alone or with his niece and wife, Berenice III. When he died, Ptolemy IX regained the throne. When Ptolemy IX died, Ptolemy X's wife Berenice III took the throne for six months.
GP51737. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1685, pl. 57, 30 (Ptolemy X); SNG Cop 373 (Ptolemy X); Noeske -; BMC Ptolemies -; SNG Milan -; Paphos I -, Hosking -, VF, struck with a worn obverse die, weight 14.577 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 91 - 90 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, LK∆ (year 24) left, ΠA right; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


Lot of 5 Cypriot Bronzes, c. 309 - 294 B.C.

|Greek| |Bulk| |Lots|, |Lot| |of| |5| |Cypriot| |Bronzes,| |c.| |309| |-| |294| |B.C.||Lot|
1) Paphos, Æ10 Attic 1/16th obol (1.42g) c. 309 B.C., head of Aphrodite(?) left, wearing ornate headdress / lotus, BMC Cyprus 50 (as rose), Tziambazis 93, Symeonides 101a, rare denomination, VF.
2) Another, (0.83g) aF.
3) Similar, AE16, 1/4 obol (4.18g), BMC Cyprus 49. F, obverse off center. VF.
4) Salamis, AE15, helmeted head left. / prow left. F, rough.
5) Demetrios Poliorketes, AE12, Salamis mint, prow right, Newell 173, VF.
LT91347. Bronze Lot, 5 bronze coins, 10mm - 16mm, c. 309 - 294 B.C.; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IX - Ptolemy XII, 99 - 58 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IX| |-| |Ptolemy| |XII,| |99| |-| |58| |B.C.||dichalkon|
The Paphos II finds were excavated at the House of Dionysos in Paphos.
GB95763. Bronze dichalkon, Paphos II 383 - 385, otherwise unpublished, F, dark green patina with earthen highlighting, scratches, porosity, edge cracks, beveled obverse edge, sprue remnants, weight 2.044 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, 88 - 58 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned bust of Zeus Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), single cornucopia bound with fillet; ; rare; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus||1/4| |obol|
Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP97575. Bronze 1/4 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, earthen encrustations, mild porosity, obverse edge beveled, reverse legend not fully struck, weight 1.797 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY - BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt; Ptolemy IX, 2nd reign, 88 - 80 B.C.; or Ptolemy XII, 1st reign, 80 - 58 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt;| |Ptolemy| |IX,| |2nd| |reign,| |88| |-| |80| |B.C.;| |or| |Ptolemy| |XII,| |1st| |reign,| |80| |-| |58| |B.C.||hemiobol|
The Paphos II finds were excavated at the House of Dionysos in Paphos.
GP89190. Bronze hemiobol, Paphos II 383 - 385, otherwise unpublished, F, well centered, porous, earthen encrusted, obverse edge beveled, pre-strike casting sprue remnants, weight 2.170 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, 88 - 58 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned bust of Zeus Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), single cornucopia bound with fillet; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C., Paphos, Cyprus

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.,| |Paphos,| |Cyprus||1/4| |obol|
Kreuzer, in his book The Coinage System of Cleopatra VII and Augustus in Cyprus, assembles evidence dating this type to Cleopatra VII instead of the reign of Ptolemy IV used in older references.
GP97031. Bronze 1/4 obol, Kreuzer p. 44, first illustration; Svoronos 1160 (Ptolemy IV); SNG Cop 649; Weiser -, F, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porous, obverse off center, edge cracks, weight 1.141 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Cleopatra VII as Isis right, hair in melon-coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY - BAΣIΛEΩΣ, double cornucopia flanked by ribbons; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


A Catalogue of the Coins of Cyprus (560 B.C. to 1571 A.D.)

|Cyprus|, |A| |Catalogue| |of| |the| |Coins| |of| |Cyprus| |(560| |B.C.| |to| |1571| |A.D.)|
A compilation of a large variety of Cypriot coins dating back to the archaic and classical city-kingdoms and progressing through Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Frankish and Venetian periods.
BK22323. A Catalogue of the Coins of Cyprus, Roman (560 B.C. to 1571 A.D.) by Elias Tziambazis, 2002, paperback, 89 pages, new, shelf age and wear, cover marks; $26.00 SALE |PRICE| $23.40
 










REFERENCES|

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Destrooper-Georgiades, A. "Le débuts du monnayage en bronze à Chypre" in NC 168. (2008).
Destrooper-Georgiades, A. "Le monnayage de Paphos au IVe siècle, nouvelles perspectives" in XIII Congreso. (Madrid, 2005).
Destrooper-Georgiades, A. & A. Symeonides. "Classical Coin in the Symeonides Collection. The coin circulation in Marion during the 5th and 4th centuries" in RDAC 1998, pp. 111 - 136.
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