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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Hasmonean Dynasty| ▸ |Salome Alexandra||View Options:  |  |  | 

Salome Alexandra (Shlomtzion), Queen Regent, 76 - 67 B.C.

On Aristobulus' death, Shalom Alexandra, his wife, liberated his brother Alexander Jannaeus, who had been held in prison. She married Alexander shortly after his accession. On his deathbed Alexander entrusted the government, not to his sons, but to his wife. "Alexander bequeathed the kingdom to his wife Alexandra, being convinced that the Jews would bow to her authority as they would to no other, because by her utter lack of his brutality and by her opposition to his crimes, she had won the affections of the populace." (Josephus, BJ. I:107) Shalom Alexandra was the only Jewish regnant queen and the last ruler of ancient Judaea to die as the ruler of an independent kingdom. Although she ruled, Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), the oldest son of Alexander Jannaeus and Shalom Alexandra, was made high priest and regarded as his father's heir. Hyrcanus II was made king upon her death in 67 B.C.

No coins were issued in her name, but they may have been issued during her reign as regent queen inscribed only "Council of the Jews" or in the name of her son Hyrcanus II (Yonatan).

Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |B.C.||prutah|
This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Hyrcanus II's Hebrew name is not known and some scholars believe this type was struck under Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The period from Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C. to the beginning of Mattatayah Antigonus reign in 40 B.C. would be a long gap without minting coinage. We also believe the dramatic difference in epigraphy indicates a break at the mint, supporting attribution to Jannaeus' successors.
JD55377. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), VF, weight 2.327 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 225o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription within wreath: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin); SOLD



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Kaufman, J. Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins from the J. Ch Kaufman Collection. (Jerusalem, 1995).
Kindler, A. Coins of the Land of Israel. (Jerusalem, 1974).
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Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
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Rogers, E. Handy Guide To Jewish Coins. (London, 1914).
Samuels, C., P. Rynearson & Y. Meshorer. The Numismatic Legacy of the Jews as depicted by a distinguished American Collection. (New York, 2000).
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, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).


Cornucopia: The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty." The cornucopia symbolizes abundance and the prosperity of the nation.

Pomegranate: The pomegranate was one of the seven celebrated products of Palestine and among the fruits brought to the temple as offerings of the first-fruits. Two hundred pomegranates decorated each of the two columns in the temple and were an integral part of the sacred vestment of the High Priest, as bells and pomegranates were suspended from his mantle.

Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
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