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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, Samaria, c. 375 - 333 B.C.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Samaria,| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.||obol|
Meshorer-Qedar lists Athena on the obverse, but on the three specimens known to FORVM it is clear that Athena is on the reverse. The types copy contemporary Cypriot stater types from Kition (obverse) and Lapethus (reverse).
GS95808. Silver obol, Meshorer-Qedar 102, cf. Sofaer Collection 63 (hemiobol), HGC 10 -, VF, well centered, toned, struck with worn dies (as are all specimens of this type known to FORVM), weight 0.65 g, maximum diameter 8 mm, die axis 10o, Samaria (10 km NW of Nablus, West Bank) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse lion right atop and attacking a stag fallen right, (Aramaic 'šn', abbreviating Samarian) above; reverse head of Athena facing, wearing crested Attic helmet; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 11 (22 Feb 2020), lot 1128; ex Canaan Collection; only three sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades (and one of the three is this coin); very rare; $450.00 (€414.00)
 


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; $280.00 (€257.60)
 


Teos, Ionia, c. 540 - 478 B.C.

|Teos|, |Teos,| |Ionia,| |c.| |540| |-| |478| |B.C.||trihemitartemorion|
Teos was a flourishing seaport until about 540 B.C., when the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great invaded Lydia and Ionia. The town survived but most of the citizens fled to the newly founded colonies of Abdera and Phanagoria. Under the Roman Empire, the town was noted for its wine, a theater and its Temple of Dionysus. The site is now farmland.
GA95885. Silver trihemitartemorion, Balcer group LXXIV, 73 ff.; SNG Tübingen 3250; Rosen 603; SNG Cop supp. 339, VF, toned, tight flan, reverse die wear, weight 0.285 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 0o, Teos (near Sigacik, Turkey) mint, c. 540 - 478 B.C.; obverse griffin head right; reverse quadripartite incuse square, rough; $80.00 (€73.60)
 







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REFERENCES|

Ashton, R., et al. "The Pixodarus Hoard" in Coin Hoards IX (2002).
Babelon, E. Traité 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 cité phénicienne de Sidon à l'époque 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).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock. (Berlin, 1957-1967).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, (Helsinki, 1994-1999).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque 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).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).

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