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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Cyprus||View Options:  |  |  | 

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.

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy X Alexander, as King of Cyprus, 113 - 105 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom,| |Ptolemy| |X| |Alexander,| |as| |King| |of| |Cyprus,| |113| |-| |105| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|NEW
Mørkholm in "The last Ptolemaic silver coinage in Cyprus" in Chiron 13 (1983), dated the last coinage of Ptolemy X from Paphos to his year 9 (106 - 105 B.C.). Svoronos 1757 was not addressed, presumably because the only specimen then known was not illustrated and was found in Alexandria. Matt Kreuzer attributes this coin as Svoronos 1757, struck for Ptolemy X as King of Cyprus at Paphos. If he is correct, this confirms that Paphos, like Salamis (see Svoronos 1784) and Kition (Mørkholm Cyprus pl. 2.11,12), was under the control of Ptolemy X at least early in his Year 10 (105 - 104 B.C.). Kreuzer notes specifically that this is not Svoronos 1671, Year 10 of Ptolemy IX (108 - 107 B.C.) at Alexandria, which has a different style including a perky nose.
GP96458. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1757 (only 1 specimen known to Svoronos, and not in the plates), VF, areas of coppery corrosion and pitting, weight 12.840 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Paphos mint, c. late summer - autumn 105 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy X right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, LI (regnal year 10) left, ΠA right; extremely rare; $325.00 SALE |PRICE| $292.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII with Ptolemy XIII, 49 - 48 B.C., or with Ptolemy IV, 45 - 44 B.C.

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |with| |Ptolemy| |XIII,| |49| |-| |48| |B.C.,| |or| |with| |Ptolemy| |IV,| |45| |-| |44| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|NEW
This type was struck by Cleopatra VII with one of her brothers as co-ruler. Which brother is uncertain. If it was her brother Ptolemy XIII, the date would be 49/48 B.C. After Ptolemy XIII "accidentally" drowned in 48 B.C., Cleopatra married her even younger brother Ptolemy XIV. If this coin was issued in the name and with the regnal date of Ptolemy XIV as the male "senior" ruler, it would have been struck c. September 45 - June 44 B.C. Ptolemy XIV died in June 44 B.C., "allegedly" poisoned, soon after Cleopatra returned from Rome in the wake of Caesar's assassination. Cleopatra's next joint ruler was her son Ptolemy XV. From this point on the dates on coins seem to be for Cleopatra VII herself, though the legend remained Ptolemy King.
GP96455. Silver tetradrachm, Svoronos 1819; BMC Ptolemies p. 115, 6 (Ptolemy XIII, 78 - 77 B.C.); SNG Cop 400; SNG Milan 415 - 416; Hosking 136; Malter -, aVF, toned, porosity/light corrosion, marks, die wear, weight 11.556 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, obverse diademed head right, wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, date L∆ (year 4) over crown of Isis left, ΠA right; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00 ON RESERVE


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.; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Struck with Ptolemy VI Dies Captured on Cyprus

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.,| |Struck| |with| |Ptolemy| |VI| |Dies| |Captured| |on| |Cyprus|, |obol|
This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived invasion and occupation of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cyprus, c. 168 B.C. The dies were originally engraved for Ptolemy VI of Egypt. The letters EYΛ are the first letters of Eulaios, a regent during part of the minority of Ptolemy VI. The name of "Ptolemy" was effaced from the reverse die before the coin was struck.
GP89399. Bronze obol, Lorber Lotus Series p. 46, VI.3; Svoronos 1398 & pl. xlvii, 21-24 (Ptolemy VI with Eulaios); Weiser 152 (same); SNG Cop 294; Noeske -, VF, well centered on a broad flan, small red earthen deposits, name of Ptolemy erased from die, porous, central depressions, obverse edge beveled, weight 12.413 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus mint, c. 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (ΠTOΛEMAIOY erased from die), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, legs heavily feathered, lotus left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rectangular punch; from a New England collector; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Physcon, Second Reign, 145 - 116 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |Physcon,| |Second| |Reign,| |145| |-| |116| |B.C.|, |AE| |28|
Similar to Svoronos 1424B, and presumably from the same period. This example is, however, overstruck on an older coin, has no visible symbol, and is lighter than normal for Sv 1424B. Perhaps it is an example of Sv 1424B with the double cornucopia on the reverse unstruck due to a filled die. However, the style seems a little different and overstruck examples of 1424B are unknown. Svoronos 1424B was struck at Alexandria. Matt Kreuzer believes this was struck on Cyprus. If this is a Cypriot issue, it is unpublished and possibly unique.
GP88095. Bronze AE 28, cf. Svoronos 1424B (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII, Alexandria); SNG Cop 308-310 (same), VF, well centered, dark patina, weak strike with flat areas, beveled obverse edge, central cavities, remains of pre-strike casting sprue, weight 17.222 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Cypriot(?) mint, c. 145 - 88 B.C.; obverse head of Zeus Ammon right with ram's horn, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), two eagles with closed wings standing left on two thunderbolts, no symbols; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Marion, Cyprus, Stasiakos II, c. 330 - 312 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Marion,| |Cyprus,| |Stasiakos| |II,| |c.| |330| |-| |312| |B.C.|, |AE| |20|
Stasiakos II, king of Marion, was deposed in 312 B.C. by Ptolemy I and the city of Marion was destroyed. This extremely rare type was apparently unpublished until 1998. Coin Archives lists only one sale of this type in the past two decades.
GB87141. Bronze AE 20, Destrooper 16; Bank of Cyprus 10; Symeonides 63 ff., cf. Tziambazis 57 (AE16, lion head facing), SNG Cop -, BMC Cyprus -, VF, rough, weight 7.634 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, Marion mint, c. 330 - 312 B.C.; obverse round shield ornamented with laurel wreath; reverse MAPIEYΣ (below), lion head left; extremely rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 145 B.C., Reverse Brockage

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |VI| |Philometor,| |180| |-| |145| |B.C.,| |Reverse| |Brockage|, |quarter| |obol|
A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.
GP85469. Bronze quarter obol, Svoronos 1408, Weiser -, SNG Cop -, Noeske -, Hosking -, SNG Milan -, Malter -, Tziambazis -, VF, reverse brockage, edge cracks, weight 1.793 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, Cyprus, uncertain mint, c. 176 - 170 B.C.; obverse incuse of reverse (normal obverse is diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right); reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on fulmen (thunderbolt), wings closed, lotus in left field; scarce error; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


Salamis, Cyprus, Evagoras II, c. 361 - 351 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Salamis,| |Cyprus,| |Evagoras| |II,| |c.| |361| |-| |351| |B.C.|, |AE| |12|
Evagoras II was a king of Salamis in Cyprus, and later a satrap for Achaemenid Persia in Phoenicia. He was possibly a son of his predecessor, Nicocles, and a grandson of Evagoras I. He was pro-Persian, for which he was deposed c. 351 B.C. by a popular revolt led by his nephew Pnytagoras, who succeeded him as king. Evagoras fled to the Persian court, where Artaxerxes III gave him rule of Sidon in Phoenicia, following the defeat of the rebellion of Tennes. His rule in Sidon was so bad that after three years, in 346 B.C., he was chased out of the city by the populace, who called upon a descendant of the ancient royal line, Abdashtart II, to replace him. Evagoras fled back to Cyprus, where he was arrested and executed.
GB89406. Bronze AE 12, Tziambazis 128, BMC Cyprus p. 60, 69; Bank of Cyprus -, aF, rough, obverse off center, weight 2.611 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 345o, Salamis mint, c. 361 - 351 B.C.; obverse lion walking left, ram's head left above; reverse horse standing left, star with eight rays above, ankh symbol before; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


Paphos, Cyprus, Timocharis or Nicolcles, c. 350 - 320 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Paphos,| |Cyprus,| |Timocharis| |or| |Nicolcles,| |c.| |350| |-| |320| |B.C.|, |AE| |14|
Destrooper-Georgiades speculates, that the type of the rose may mark a change of reign in the royal house of Paphos or a monetary reform. She also notes, they are often corroded and their study presents many difficulties of classification and dating because, like most bronzes struck in Cyprus at that time they are anepigraphic or bear only one syllabic character whose meaning is not always obvious and because none was found in a dated stratigraphic layer, not even the 12 or so found in the systematic excavations of Kourion and of Paphos.
GB88980. Bronze AE 14, cf. Zapiti-Michaelidou 22; Destrooper-Georgiades Nouvelles 13; Tzambazis 92; BMC Cyprus p. 45; 49, gF, crowded flan, corrosion, weight 2.193 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Paphos mint, c. 350 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Aphrodite left, wearing ornamented stephanos; reverse rose, tendril left; very rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 







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REFERENCES|

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