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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Melqart||View Options:  |  |  | 

Melqart

Melqart (Phoenician: lit. Melek-qart, "King of the City") was the tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre. Melqart was often titled Ba'l Sur, "Lord of Tyre," and considered to be the ancestor of the Tyrian royal family. In Greek, by interpretatio graeca he was identified with Heracles and referred to as the Tyrian Herakles. As Tyrian trade and colonization expanded, Melqart became venerated in Phoenician and Punic cultures from Lebanon to Spain. The first occurrence of the name is in a 9th-century B.C. stela inscription found in 1939 north of Aleppo in today northern Syria, the "Ben-Hadad" inscription, erected by the son of the king of Aram, "for his lord Melqart, which he vowed to him and he heard his voice." Melqart is likely to have been the particular Ba'al found in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible, specifically in 1 Kings 16.31?10.26) whose worship was prominently introduced to Israel by King Ahab and largely eradicated by King Jehu.

The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 18 - 69 A.D.

|The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin|, |The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin,| |Tyre| |KP| |Type| |Half| |Shekel,| |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre| |Mint,| |18| |-| |69| |A.D.||half| |shekel|
Half Shekel - the currency of the Jerusalem Temple. Under Rome, the silver coinage of Tyre was debased. Some experts believe that, to provide coins with the silver purity required for the temple tax, Herod the Great received permission from Augustus to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. The shekels that date from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69 A.D.) have cruder style and fabric, and the letters KP or KAP (for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar) to the right of the eagle. Wherever they were struck, these later shekels seem to have been struck specifically for the Temple tax. Typical of some shekels struck after 40 A.D., this specimen has a blundered legend and obscure date, due at least in part to extremely worn and perhaps repeatedly re-engraved dies.
JD99227. Silver half shekel, cf. HGC 10 358; Cohen DCA 922; RPC I 4686 ff., Prieur 1442 ff.; BMC Phoenicia p. 252, 235 ff.; Rouvier 2104 ff., VF, debased style, dark toning, light marks, irregular flan shape, edge split, weight 6.943 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, c. 40 - 69 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, head left, wings closed, right talon on war galley ram, palm frond transverse right behind, obscure year over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; $600.00 SALE PRICE $540.00


Tyre, Phoenicia, 111 - 110 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |111| |-| |110| |B.C.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|
Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL86641. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 237, 85; Cohen DCA 919-18 (C); Baramki AUB -, NGC Ch AU*, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4280576-003), weight 14.20 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 109 - 108 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, head left, wings closed, right talon on war galley ram, palm frond transverse right behind, date HI (year 18) over club and palm frond left, ZB right, Phoenician letter beth between legs; NGC| Lookup; SOLD


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Second Punic War, c. 213 - 211 B.C.

|Carthage|, |Carthage,| |Zeugitana,| |North| |Africa,| |Second| |Punic| |War,| |c.| |213| |-| |211| |B.C.||half| |shekel|
Examples in the Enna hoard and other Sicilian hoards indicate that this coin was struck in Carthage for use in the Sicilian campaign of 213 - 210 BC. Experts disagree on the identity of the portrait; many identifying it as the god Melqart, others as Hannibal or his father.
SH13769. Silver half shekel, SNG Cop 383, Choice EF, weight 3.329 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, obverse laureate male head left (Hannibal or Melqart), dot border; reverse African elephant walking left on exergual line, Punic letter in exergue, linear border; toned; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 302 - 301 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |302| |-| |301| |B.C.||didrachm|
This era by which this type was dated is presumably that of Alexander the Great, starting with his conquest of the city in 332 B.C.
SH26477. Silver didrachm, BMC Phoenicia p. 232, 36, VF, weight 8.378 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, c. 302 - 301 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves and dolphin below; reverse owl standing right, head facing, crook and flail behind, date (year 30) in right field; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 332 - 306 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |332| |-| |306| |B.C.||didrachm|
 
SH16906. Silver didrachm, BMC Phoenicia p. 231, 29; SNG Cop 307 var. (year), gVF+, weight 8.500 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, c. 330 - 329 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp with curled wing to right, waves and dolphin below; reverse owl standing right, head facing; crook and flail behind; date II (year 2) and Phoenician letter tsade in right fields; superb detail, obverse slighty off-center, on reverse lower 1/5 unstruck; SOLD


The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 39 - 40 A.D.

|The| |Temple| |Tax| |Hoard|, |The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin,| |Tyre| |KP| |Type| |Half| |Shekel,| |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre| |Mint,| |39| |-| |40| |A.D.||half| |shekel|
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.

JD40469. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4697, Prieur 1467, BMC Phoenicia -, F, dark toning, weight 6.203 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 39 - 40 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, head left, wings closed, right talon on war galley ram, palm frond transverse right behind, PΞE (year 165) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; SOLD







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