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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Persian Rule||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Persian Empire in Phoenicia, Palestine, Judaea, and Egypt

The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire

Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
The obverse was copied from a very rare Cilician obol (SNG Levante 201). The very interesting reverse appears to depict five coins with owl reverses, presumably Athenian tetradrachms. In "Coinage for Redeeming the Firstborn: An Ancient and Modern Jewish Ritual" in The Celator|, December 2002, pp. 14 - 22, Ronn Berrol discusses a possible connection to the pidyon haben (click the article title to read it online). The pidyon haben is a mitzvah through which a Jewish firstborn son is "redeemed" from predestination to serve as a priest by giving five silver coins to a Kohen.
GA96462. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 141, Sofaer Collection 185, HGC 10 418 (R2), VF, typical crude uneven weak strike, weight 0.604 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, middle Levantine' series, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse triform bearded male head, wearing round cap; reverse five discs each with owl standing right and head facing (Athenian coins?), piled up with one in center on top of four around in a cruciform arrangement; ex Leu Numismatik auction 12 (30 May 2020), lot 657; ex Canaan Collection; very rare; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $520.00


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
Meshorer-Qedar lists Athena on the obverse, but on the three specimens known to FORVM it is clear that Athena is on the reverse. The types copy contemporary Cypriot stater types from Kition (obverse) and Lapethus (reverse).
GS95808. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 102, cf. Sofaer Collection 63 (hemiobol), HGC 10 -, VF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies (as are all specimens of this type known to FORVM), weight 0.65 g, maximum diameter 8 mm, die axis 10o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse lion right atop and attacking a stag fallen right, (Aramaic 'n', abbreviating Samarian) above; reverse head of Athena facing, wearing crested Attic helmet; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1128; ex Canaan Collection; only three sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades (and one of the three is this coin); very rare; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th - 8th centuries B.C. The ruins are located in the Samaria mountains of Palestine, almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus. The Assyrians took the city and the northern kingdom in 722/721 B.C. The city did not recover until the Persian period, the mid 5th century. The tensions between the ruling Sanballat family and Jerusalem under the governorship of Nehemiah are documented in the Bible (Ezra 4:10, Neh 4:78). Samaria became Hellenistic in 332 B.C. Thousands of Macedonian soldiers were settled there following a revolt. The Judaean king John Hyrcanus destroyed the city in 108 B.C., but it was resettled under Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 B.C. Samaria was annexed to the Roman province of Syria.
GS95809. Silver obol, Sofaer 57; cf. Meshorer-Qedar 95 (similar, plated); HGC 10 -, VF, tone, die breaks, rough, weight 0.511 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 270o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse laureate male (Apollo?) head right, dot border; reverse female head left, wearing sphendone, Aramaic ('myrn' - Samarian) behind; ex Leu web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1126; from the Canaan Collection; very rare; $280.00 SALE |PRICE| $252.00


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia,| |Ba'Alshillem| |II,| |c.| |401| |-| |366| |B.C.||1/16| |shekel|
Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GS97049. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), gF, toned, tight flan, etched surfaces, weight 0.399 g, maximum diameter 8.6 mm, die axis 135o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia,| |Ba'Alshillem| |II,| |c.| |401| |-| |366| |B.C.||1/16| |shekel|
Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GS97050. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), F, toned, encrustations, etched, weight 0.588 g, maximum diameter 8.6 mm, die axis 270o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia,| |Ba'Alshillem| |II,| |c.| |401| |-| |366| |B.C.||1/16| |shekel|
Sidon, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial alliance with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at Sidon, before finally sailing for Rome (Acts 27:3, 4).
GS97051. Silver 1/16 shekel, Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), F, toned, porosity, tiny edge split, weight 0.713 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above; reverse King of Persia (to left) standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Persian Empire, Sidon, Phoenicia, Abdashtart I, c. 365 - 352 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia,| |Abdashtart| |I,| |c.| |365| |-| |352| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Cyrus the Great conquered Phoenicia in 539 BC. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre, Arwad, and Byblos. It is likely that much of the Phoenician population migrated to Carthage and other colonies following the Persian conquest. In 350 or 345 B.C. a rebellion in Sidon led by Tennes was crushed by Artaxerxes III.
GB96097. Bronze AE 16, Betlyon 29; SNG Cop 203; BMC Phoenicia p. 147, 46 - 51; Lindgren II 2320; HGC 10 248 (S), aF, off center, red earthen deposits, weight 4.507 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 365 - 352 B.C.; obverse pentekonter (fifty-oared war galley) left, two zigzag rows of waves below, linear border, no date; reverse Persian king and driver in slow biga left; scarce; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00











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