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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Greek Domination||View Options:  |  |  |   

Greek Domination of Judaea and Palestine

From Alexander the Great's conquest until Roman domination, the city states and small nations of the region, including Judaea, were at various times either ruled or dominated by either the Seleukid Empire or Ptolemaic Kingdom.

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

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.|, |stater|
Struck at Akko, Israel!
SH33206. Gold stater, Price 3261 - 3264, VF, weight 8.498 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, c. 322 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin, hair in ringlets; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left, Phoenician numeral lower right (off-flan); SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |stater|
Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
SH33208. Gold stater, Price 178 - 180 (various letters in outer fields), VF, weight 8.509 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 315o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with snake; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, ship's mast in left, ΛY in left field; mint luster in recesses; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
This coin and a single gold octadrachm (Troxell, ANSMN 28, p. 52, 36) are the only Ptolemy III coins struck at Ake-Ptolemais in year six known to Forum. On both coins it appears the reverse die was re-engraved from a year five die, with traces of the partially effaced E (year 5) under the C (year 6). DNW sale A14 (10 Apr 2013), lot 627 is a year five tetradrachm that shares the same obverse die. It seems very few coins were struck at Ake-Ptolemais in year six, perhaps only a few trial strikes.
GP87336. Silver tetradrachm, apparently unpublished, cf. Svoronos 1038 (year 5, only 1 spec.), EF, excellent portrait, light bumps and marks, tight flan, weight 14.126 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 29 Aug 242 - 28 Aug 241 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ (Ptolemy Savoir), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, (Ptolemais monogram) over (control) before, C (year 6) engraved over E (year 5) above Θ (control) in right field; perhaps unique!; SOLD


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |III,| |c.| |96| |-| |87| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Demetrius III Eucaerus ("the Timely") was nicknamed Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean Priest King Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SH28097. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2451(5), SNG Spaer 2862 var. (date); Houghton II 799 var. (date); Newell LSM 127 var. (monogram), VF, scratch on reverse, a little rough, weight 15.769 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, 91 - 90 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, curly beard, diadem ends fall straight behind, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆HMHTPIOY ΘEOY ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, N over ∆ (controls) outer left, date BKΣ (year 222 of the Seleucid Era) in exergue, laurel wreath border; very rare; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
SH26926. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1001, SNG Cop 167, gVF, weight 14.144 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenician mint, obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, cornucopia left; nice style, high relief dies; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy I as Satrap, 323 - 305 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |I| |as| |Satrap,| |323| |-| |305| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Found in Israel. Overstruck on an earlier Alexander, with the undertype visible on the obverse at 180 degrees at center, and piece of dotted scepter visible below A on reverse. Struck on a weight standard of c. 15.7 g, or 22 obols, at the time of the invasion of Cyprus by Demetrios Poliorketes. Most of the tetradrachms of this weight standard are probably from Salamis, the last city to fall to the Besieger. Some are overstruck on earlier attic-weight Alexanders, reduced in weight. Most have a helmet symbol, perhaps a connection to the army. A few have an aphlaston, a stern ornament, that may symbolize the Ptolemaic Navy. Rare examples have other symbols, including the bee, which may symbolize Ephesos. Other rare symbols include the cornucopia and the dolphin. The symbol on this coin is similar to those attributed to Tyre by Price, from 305 to 290 B.C. Charles Hersh gives similar dates in his article on the Demetrios Poliorketes coinage of Tyre, "Tyrus Devicta Revisted." Sidon struck a unique tetradrachm (now in the ANS collection) of this style and Attic Weight, dated year 22 = 312/1 BC. This unpublished issue, if it is from Tyre, would show brief Ptolemaic control of a portion of the city.
SH21440. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos -, SNG Cop -, BMC -, Noeske -, Mørkholm -, SNG Delepierre -, Hunterian -, apparently unpublished, VF, weight 12.994 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre? mint, c. 306 - 305 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right, wearing elephant-head headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Athena advancing right, eagle and monogram in circle before; overstruck, toned, grainy; extremely rare; SOLD


Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judaea| |(Yehudah),| |Ptolemaic| |Rule,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |quarter| |ma'ah|
Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy and making him the richest monarch of his age. His 112 ships comprised the most powerful fleet that had ever existed. His splendid court compares with the Versailles of Louis XIV. An enthusiast for Hellenic culture, he also adopted Egyptian religious concepts bolstering his image as a pharaoh. At the Library at Alexandria, Jewish texts were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. He defeated the Seleucids in the first Syrian War, gaining control of western Cilicia, southern Lycia, Caunus, Halicarnassus, Myndus, Cnidus, probably Miletus, all of Phoenicia, and even part of Syria.
GS94060. Silver quarter ma'ah, Hendin 1081; Meshorer TJC 33; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 22, 26; Gitler-Lorber II, group 6, pl. 1, 10, aF, obverse off flan, weight 0.162 g, maximum diameter 5.7 mm, c. 283 - 270 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of either Ptolemy I right; reverse head of Berenike I right, Hebrew inscription downward on right: YHD; very rare; ON LAYAWAY


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C., Ake Ptolemais, Galilee

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.,| |Ake| |Ptolemais,| |Galilee|, |tetradrachm|
Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. They were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. Many of the oldest Biblical verses in the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text. Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho but was renamed name Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.
GP84049. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 770 var., SNG Cop 469 var., Cohen DCA 19 var., this variety with changed control letter (indicating month?) unpublished, VF, banker's marks, small edge crack, weight 14.203 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 256 - 255 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy, I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, ΠT monogram over ME monogram left, date Λ (year 30) over Θ (control letter) right; the Θ engraved over an effaced letter M; rare variant; SOLD


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy. He was the richest monarch of his age.
SH13349. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 658, SGCV II 7773 var, Choice gVF, weight 13.575 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, 256 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, (Tyre monogram) over club left, date Λ (year 30) and AB monogram right, Θ between eagle's legs; superb expressive portrait, excellent centering and strke, beautifully toned with touches of iridescent blue; ex Freeman and Sear; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Antigonos| |I| |Monophthalmos,| |Strategos| |of| |Asia,| |320| |-| |306| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Alexander|, |tetradrachm|
After the battle of Issos, Alexander determined to seize the Phoenician coast and eliminate the threat of the Phoenician warships which had served Persia. He asked King Azemilkos of Tyre to allow him to enter the city to sacrifice to the god Melqart. After Azemilkos refused to make this act of submission, in January 332 B.C., Alexander besieged Tyre. The city was taken, after great violence, in September.

The name of the king of Tyre whose regnal year dates this coin is unknown. The king and his city were under the hegemony of Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed"), the Macedonian strategos (general and governor) of Asia. Antigonus declared himself king in 306 B.C. and died at the battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C.
SH53628. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3297, Newell Dated Ake 46, Cohen DCA 773, HGC 10 3, Müller Alexander -, VF, weight 17.044 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 308 - 307 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Phoenician date left: lll lll-= over lll (year 39 [of King Azemilkos]); SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Babelon, E. Les Rois de Syrie, d'Arménie, et de Commagène, Catlogue de monnaies grecques de la Bibliothèque Nacionale. (Paris, 1890).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Cox, D. Coins from the Excavations at Curium, 1932?1953. NNM 145. (New York, 1959).
Gardner, P. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, The Seleucid Kings of Syria. (London, 1878).
Gitler, H. & C. Lorber. "A New Chronology for the Ptolemaic Coins of Judah" in AJN 18 (2006).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hoover, O. Coins of the Seleucid Empire From the Collection of Arthur Houghton Part II. (New York, 2007).
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).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Lorber, C. Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire. (New York, 2018).
Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Mildenberg, L. "Yehud: A Preliminary Study of the Provincial Coinage of Judaea" in Essays Thompson. (Wetteren, 1979).
Newell, E. Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus. ANSNNM 84 (1939).
Newell, E. The Dated Alexander Coinage of Sidon and Ake. (Oxford, 1916).
Newell, E. The Seleucid Mint of Antioch. (New York, 1918).
Noeske, H. Die Münzen der Ptolemäer. (Frankfurt, 2000).
Polk, R. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, the Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt. (London, 1882).
Price, M. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Spaer, A. & A. Houghton. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).
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, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, part 1: Ptolemaei. (Milan, 1989).
Svoronos, J. Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion. (Athens, 1904-08).
Weiser, W. Katalog Ptolemäischer Bronzemünzen der Sammlung des Instituts für Altertumskunde, Universität Köln. (Opladen, 1995).

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