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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

Persian Empire, Idumaea (Edomites in Judah), 4th Century B.C.

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Idumaea| |(Edomites| |in| |Judah),| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||1/4| |Shekel|NEW
The Kingdom of Edom, south of Moab and Judah, flourished between the 13th and 8th century B.C. It was conquered by King David and was destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th century B.C. After the loss of the kingdom, the Edomites were pushed westward towards southern Judah by nomadic tribes coming from the east, among them the Nabataeans, who established their own kingdom in what used to be Edom. The Edomites assisted Nebuchadnezzar in the sack of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. Recent excavations show that Edomite settlement in the Kingdom of Judah began even before that. Under the Persian Empire, southern Judah was formed into the Idumaea satrapy. Herod the Great was of Nabataean and Edomite descent; his ancestors converted to Judaism.

This type is imitative of Athens. After the image of Athena was completely worn, the die was intentionally recut to a blank dome.
Edom
JD98140. Silver 1/4 Shekel, GTvA 58 (most similar); Hendin 1025; HGC 10 617 (R1), gVF, struck with unusually sharp fresh dies for the type, attractive dark toning/patina, tight flan cutting off part of owl's head, weight 4.166 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 0o, Idumaean mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse dome-shaped blank; reverse owl standing right, head facing, olive spray and crescent upper left, AΘE (Athens) downward on right; rare; $580.00 SALE PRICE $522.00 ON RESERVE


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

|Persian| |Rule|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |332| |B.C.||hemiobol|NEW
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 4:7–8). 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.
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 (10 km NW of Nablus, 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; $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00
 


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; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00
 


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|
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.
JD97401. Silver obol, cf. Samaria Hoard pls. 45 - 50, 269 ff.; Gitler-Tal 4.4.IX.1O; SNG ANS 18; Sofaer Gaza pl. 103, 6, VF, dark tone, many cuts - perhaps on the flan before striking, weight 0.705 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, die axis 180o, 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 visible; ex Goldberg Coins; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00 ON RESERVE


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, 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; $100.00 SALE PRICE $80.00
 







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REFERENCES

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Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).

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