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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ MelqartView 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.


Tyre, Phoenicia, 108 - 107 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin

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Half Shekel - the currency of the Jerusalem Temple.
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied on Jews was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were not always used in everyday commerce, but were the only coins accepted by the temple. Many taxpayers required a currency exchange, so money changers set up in the Temple court. Jesus found this business and their shouting (advertising rates) offensive, so he threw over their tables.
JD79297. Silver shekel, Cohen DCA 921 (unreported date - no known specimens); HGC 10 358; Hendin 1619; BMC Phoenicia -; Baramki AUB -, F, toned, light corrosion, weight 6.011 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 108 - 107 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOYIEPAΣ KAIAΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date ΘI (year 19) over club and palm frond left, ZB (control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; extremely rare date; SOLD


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

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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, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΞE (year 165) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 12, 2018.
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Melqart