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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 begining 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.
JD97369. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), VF, dark patina with lighter highlighting deposits, a little off center on a tight flan, some minor pitting on the reverse, obverse edge beveled, edge split, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.160 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude barbaric, blundered Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (73.60)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.C.; Overstruck on Alexander Jannaeus

|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |B.C.;| |Overstruck| |on| |Alexander| |Jannaeus||prutah|
The attribution was provided by our consignor. Neither the overtype nor the undertype is clear to us without undertaking a lengthy study. Our consignor is an expert in Judean coinage, so we are accepting his attribution. The price is low enough that anyone might buy this coin, but we hope the buyer is a specialist collector who will enjoy taking the time and effort to either confirm or refute our consignor's opinion. The Hendin 1159b 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. Some scholars believe this type was struck by Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The type is often crude with illegible letters and incomplete inscriptions.
JD97357. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159b, Meshorer TJC type S, SNG ANS 164; overstruck on Hendin 1148, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., lily / anchor in diadem, F+, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, obscured by undertype effects, weight 3.142 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; from an Israeli collection; $60.00 (55.20)


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 begining 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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REFERENCES|

Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.org/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
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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).
Reinach, S. Jewish Coins. (London, 1903).
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).

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