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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Persian Empire||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Persian Achaemenid Empire

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. It was founded by Cyrus the Great, who defeated the Medes, Lydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In addition to its size, the Achaemenid Empire is notable for its successful centralized, bureaucratic administration (through satraps under the King of Kings), for its multicultural policy, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, for the use of an official language across its territories, and for the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire had a significant influence on the development of humanity's culture and civilization to this day. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 B.C. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. Persian Empire

Judaea, Achaemenid Persian Yehud Province, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Judaea,| |Achaemenid| |Persian| |Yehud| |Province,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||gerah|
"The notable relationship between man and his god was that between supplicant and listener: the supplicant voices his prayer and entreaties to his god, and the god listens and tries to carry out his wishes. Thus the god's most important organ was his ear that heard the prayer..." -- Y. Meshorer in A Treasury of Jewish Coins.

"Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and answer me" (Psalms 86:1)

"for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord" (Numbers 11:18).
JD99503. Silver gerah, Hendin 6060 (RR), Menorah Coin Project YHD 13 (01/R1), Meshorer TJC 18, HGC 10 440, Bromberg -, Shoshana -, Sofaer -, VF, toned, off center, light marks and scratches, die wear, edge split, weight 0.295 g, maximum diameter 8.2 mm, Jerusalem (or nearby) mint, c. 350 - 332 B.C.; obverse ear (of God?); reverse falcon upward, head right, wings open, Aramaic (YHD) on right, read right to left (upward); very rare; $4900.00 SALE PRICE $4410.00


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||drachm|
Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th - 8th centuries B.C. 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 Samaria in 108 B.C., but it was resettled under Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 B.C., Samaria was annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Herod the Great fortified the city and renamed it Sebaste. The ruins are located in the Samaria mountains almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus.
JD99500. Silver drachm, Meshorer-Qedar 30; Samuels 6; Mildenberg Bes pl. 1, 5; Sofaer -; SNG ANS -; Hendin -; HGC 10 -, VF, centered, toned, edge split, a little rough, weight 2.565 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria (Sebastia, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 332 B.C.; obverse horned head of creature facing (griffin?) within square guilloche-pattern border; reverse winged and horned griffin recumbent right, Aramaic dalat (for Delayah?) above left, square guilloche-pattern border, all within an incuse square; extremely rare; $4750.00 SALE PRICE $4275.00


Judaea, Achaemenid Persian Yehud Province, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Judaea,| |Achaemenid| |Persian| |Yehud| |Province,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||half| |ma'ha| |(1/48| |shekel)|
Yehud, or Yehud Medinata (Aramaic for Province of Judah), was a province of the Persian Achaemenid Empire which corresponded to the previous Babylonian province of Yehud, which was formed after the fall of the kingdom of Judah to the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 597 B.C. The territory, which was ruled by mostly Jewish governors, was considerably smaller and held a far smaller population than the kingdom of Judah before the Babylonian conquest. Yehud existed until the area was incorporated into the empires of Alexander the Great and his successors.
JD99502. Silver half ma'ha (1/48 shekel), Hendin 6062 (RR), Menorah Coin Project YHD 15 (01/R1), Meshorer TJC -, Bromberg -, Shoshana -, Sofaer -, Spaer Coll. -, HGC 10 -, F, dark toning, off center, weight 0.339 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem (or nearby) mint, c. 350 - 332 B.C.; obverse incense bowl with flame and smoke; reverse falcon upward, head right, wings open, Aramaic (YHD) on right, read right to left (upward); Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; very rare; $3900.00 SALE PRICE $3510.00


Persian Empire, Samaria, c. 375 - 332 B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th - 8th centuries B.C. 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 Samaria in 108 B.C., but it was resettled under Alexander Jannaeus. In 63 B.C., Samaria was annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Herod the Great fortified the city and renamed it Sebaste. The ruins are located in the Samaria mountains almost 10 km to the northwest of Nablus.
JD97789. Silver hemiobol, Meshorer-Qedar 152, Sofaer -, Samaria Hoard -, Hendin -, SNG ANS -, HGC 10 -, aVF, dark toning in fields, scratches, obverse off center, weight 0.396 g, maximum diameter 7.5 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria (Sebastia, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 332 B.C.; obverse Phoenician galley left, with partially furled sails over zigzag waves; reverse head of Bes facing, within a shaped incuse; very rare; $320.00 SALE PRICE $288.00


Lesbos, 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|Lesbos|, |Lesbos,| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||1/3| |stater|
The specific satrap has not been confirmed.
SL95876. Billon 1/3 stater, BMC Lesbos 58, pl. XXXI, 3; SNG Cop -; Winzer -, NGC VG, Strike 4/5; Surface 2/5 (5872605-037), weight 3.90 g, maximum diameter 14 mm, die axis 225o, uncertain Lesbos mint, 5th - 4th century B.C.; obverse youthful male head (satrap?) left, wearing tight-fitting cap; reverse head of roaring lion left within incuse square; NGC| Lookup; extremely rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00


Persian Empire, Philistia (Gaza or Samaria), c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Philistia| |(Gaza| |or| |Samaria),| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.,| |Imitative| |of| |Athens||obol|
A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Holy Land. In the past these coins were all attributed to Gaza, however, recent hoard finds indicate a mint at Ashkelon probably also struck this type. It is likely that at least several small mints struck these imitative types.
JD97053. Silver obol, cf. Samaria Hoard pls. 45 - 50, SH269 ff.; Gitler-Tal 4.4.IX-X; SNG ANS 15 ff., aF, toned, squared flan (normal for the type), weight 0.738 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, die axis 90o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel bands, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, olive spray with one olive between two leaves and a crescent behind, AΘE downward on right, all in incuse square, no Aramaic inscription; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Persian Empire, Philistia (Gaza or Samaria), c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Philistia| |(Gaza| |or| |Samaria),| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.,| |Imitative| |of| |Athens||obol|NEW
A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Holy Land. In the past these coins were all attributed to Gaza, however, recent hoard finds indicate a mint at Ashkelon probably also struck this type. It is likely that at least several small mints struck these imitative types.
GS110013. Silver obol, cf. Samaria Hoard pls. 45 - 50, SH269 ff.; Gitler-Tal 4.4.IX.1O; SNG ANS 18; Sofaer Gaza pl. 103, 6, F, toned, off center, die wear, tight somewhat squared flan, ragged edge, weight 0.478 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, Gaza(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel bands, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, olive spray with one olive between two leaves and a crescent behind, AΘE downward on right, all in incuse square, no Aramaic inscription; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex Richard L. Horst Collection; $75.00 SALE PRICE $67.50







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REFERENCES

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Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
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