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

The Persian 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.Persian Empire

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; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00


Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodaros, c. 340 - 335 B.C.

|Persian| |Caria|, |Achaemenid| |Empire,| |Carian| |Satrapy,| |Pixodaros,| |c.| |340| |-| |335| |B.C.|, |didrachm|
Pixodarus was the youngest of the three sons of Hecatomnus, all of whom successively ruled. To secure the friendship of Philip II, king of Macedonia, Pixodarus offered his eldest daughter in marriage to his Philip's son Arrhidaeus. Arrhidaeus' ambitious younger brother, Alexander (later Alexander the Great) offered himself instead. Pixodarus eagerly agreed but Philip put an end to the scheme. Pixodarus died, apparently a natural death, before Alexander landed in Asia in 334 B.C. and was succeeded by his Persian son-in-law Orontobates.
SH63582. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 597; SNGvA 2375; SNG Keckman 280; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Lockett 2913; BMC Caria p. 185, 5 ff.; Weber 6608; SGCV II 4966, aVF, porous, weight 6.541 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse ΠIΞΩ∆APOY, Zeus Labraundos standing right, labrys (double-headed axe) over shoulder in right, lotus-tipped scepter vertical in left; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Cilicia, Persian Rule, 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Persian| |Rule,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |obol|
Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria.
SH95333. Silver obol, SNG BnF 482, SNG Levante 232, Gktrk -, Troxell-Kagan -, gVF, dark tone, tight oval flan, some porosity, tiny edge split, weight 0.702 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse crowned and bearded head (of Persian Great King?) right; reverse forepart of Pegasos right; very rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

|Persian| |Lydia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Darius| |II| |-| |Artaxerxes| |II,| |c.| |420| |-| |375| |B.C.|, |1/4| |siglos|
This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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
GS94117. Silver 1/4 siglos, Carradice type IV; BMC Arabia p. 167, 143, pl. XXVI, 27; Rosen 679, F, toned, porous, round flan, weight 1.176 g, maximum diameter 8.5 mm, probably Sardis (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse square incuse; very rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Achaemenid Empire, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, Ionia, Archepolis, c. 459 - 412 B.C.

|Magnesia| |ad| |Meandrum|, |Achaemenid| |Empire,| |Magnesia| |ad| |Maeandrum,| |Ionia,| |Archepolis,| |c.| |459| |-| |412| |B.C.|, |tetartemorion|
Archeptolis was a satrap of Magnesia on the Maeander, Ionia for the Achaemenid Empire, c. 459 to 412 B.C. He succeeded his father, the Athenian general Themistocles, and the rule of this father and son has been called "a Greek dynasty in the Persian Empire." Archeptolis is said to have married his half-sister Mnesiptolema (daughter of Themistocles from his second wife). Archeptolis had several sisters and three brothers. One brother, Cleophantus, was possibly the ruler of Lampsacus. Pausanias later wrote that the sons of Themistocles returned to Athens where they dedicated a painting of Themistocles in the Parthenon and erected a bronze statue to Artemis Leucophryene, the goddess of Magnesia, on the Acropolis. They may have returned from Ionia in old age, after 412 B.C., when the Persians took firm control of the Greek cities of Asia. They may have been expelled by the Achaemenid satrap Tissaphernes sometime between 412 and 399 B.C.
GS92802. Silver tetartemorion, apparently unpublished in this denomination but more than 20 specimens known from auctions, cf. Noll-Wenninger 2A (trihemiobol), aVF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies, weight 0.208 g, maximum diameter 6.2 mm, die axis 45o, Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, c. 459 - 412 B.C.; obverse diademed and bearded male head right; reverse eagle flying left within linear square border within incuse square; rare; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.

|Sardes|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Xerxes| |I| |-| |Darius| |II,| |c.| |485| |-| |420| |B.C.|, |siglos|
After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
GA88198. Silver siglos, Carradice type IIIb (early), pl. XII, 16 ff.; Rosen 673; SGCV II 4682; Carradice NC 1998 pl. 7, 155 ff.; Carradice Price p. 67 and pl. 17, 1 ff., F, toned, scratches, porosity, weight 5.065 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, bearded, crowned; reverse irregular oblong punch; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


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


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).
GB95285. Silver 1/16 shekel, Meshorer-Qedar 199; Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), aF/VF, toned, edge test cuts, weight 0.551 g, maximum diameter 9.50 mm, die axis 180o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above, waves below; reverse King of Persia to left, standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; ex Polymath Numismatics (Merrill, WI); $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


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).
RB95286. Silver 1/16 shekel, Meshorer-Qedar 199; Elayi 2004 851 ff.; HGC 10 240; Betlyon 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); BMC Phoenicia p 146, 36 (same); SNG Cop 197 ff. (same), aF, toned, scratches, weight 0.764 g, maximum diameter 9.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; obverse war galley left, waves below; reverse King of Persia to left, standing right, slaying erect lion to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; ex Polymath Numismatics (Merrill, WI); $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

|Persian| |Lydia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Darius| |II| |-| |Artaxerxes| |II,| |c.| |420| |-| |375| |B.C.|, |siglos|
This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. 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

GA88199. Silver siglos, Carradice Type| IV (middle) B; Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 223; BMC Arabia p. 171, 172 ff., pl. XXVII, 7 ff.; Rosen 678; SGCV II 4683, aF, toned, porous, banker's marks, weight 5.217 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, bearded, crowned, dagger in right hand, bow in left hand; reverse irregular oblong punch; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.00







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REFERENCES|

Ashton, R., et al. "The Pixodarus Hoard" in Coin Hoards IX (2002).
Babelon, E. Trait des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Betlyon, J.W. The Coinage and Mints of Phoenicia. The Pre-Alexandrine Period. Harvard Semitic Monographs, Vol. 26. (Chico, CA, 1982).
Carradice, I. "The Dinar Hoard of Persian Sigloi" in Studies Price. (London, 1998).
Deutsch, R. & M. Heltzer. "Numismatic Evidence from the Persian Period from the Sharon Plain" Transeuphratene, Vol. 13, 1997, pp. 17-20.
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. Le monnayage de la cit phnicienne de Sidon l'poque perse (Ve-IVe s. av. J.-C.). (Paris, 2004).
Elayi, J. & A.G. Elayi. The Coinage of the Phoenician City of Tyre in the Persian Period (5th-4th cent. BCE). (Leuven-Paris-Walpole, MA, 2009).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
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 (1979).
Meshorer, Y. & S. Qedar. The Coinage of Samaria in the 4th Century BCE. (Jerusalem, 1991).
Moysey, R.A. "The Silver Stater Issues of Pharnabazos and Datames from the Mint of Tarsus in Cilicia" in ANSMN 31 (1986).
Noe, S.P. Two Hoards of Persian Sigloi. ANSNNM 136. (New York, 1956).
Price, M.J. & N. Waggoner. Archaic Greek Silver Coinage, The "Asyut" Hoard. (London, 1975).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Mdailles, Bibliothque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (Zurich,1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Troxell, H.A. "Orontes, satrap of Mysia" in SNR 60. (1981).
Vismara, N. Monetazione Arcaica della Lycia. (Milan, 1989 -1996).
Waggoner, N. M. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen (ANS ACNAC 5). (New York, 1983).
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