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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Phoenicia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Phoenicia

Phoenicia, from the Greek Phoinkē meaning either "land of palm trees" or "purple country," was located on the Mediterranean coastline of what is now Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Syria, and southwest Turkey, though some colonies later reached the Western Mediterranean and even the Atlantic Ocean, the most famous being Carthage. The enterprising, sea-based Phoenicians spread across the Mediterranean from 1500 to 300 B.C. Their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of ancient Greece, perhaps the most notable of which were Tyre, Sidon, Arados, Berytus and Carthage. Each city-state was politically independent and it is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality. In terms of archaeology, language, lifestyle, and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other Semitic Canaanites. The Phoenician alphabet is an ancestor of all modern alphabets. By their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to Anatolia, North Africa, and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, who in turn transmitted it to the Romans.

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Possible Lifetime Issue

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Possible| |Lifetime| |Issue||tetradrachm|
Ancient Arados, surrounded by massive walls on an island about 800 m long by 500 m wide, about 50 km north of Tripolis, was an important trading city with an artificial harbor on the east side toward the mainland. Its powerful navy and ships are mentioned in the monuments of Egypt and Assyria. The Biblical "Arvad" is noted as the forefather of the "Arvadites," a Canaanite people. Arados directly ruled some nearby cities on the mainland, such as Marat (Amrit today) nearly opposite the island, and held hegemony over the northern Phoenician cities from the mouth of the Orontes to the northern limits of Lebanon (similar to Sidon in the south). Under the Persians, Arwad was allowed to unite in a confederation with Sidon and Tyre, with a common council at Tripolis. In 332 B.C., Arados submitted to Alexander the Great without a struggle under her king Strato, who sent his navy to aid Alexander in the reduction of Tyre. The city received the favor of the Seleucid kings of Syria and enjoyed the right of asylum for political refugees. It is mentioned in a rescript from Rome about 138 B.C. in connection with other cities and rulers of the East, to show favor to the Jews. This was after Rome had begun to interfere in the affairs of Judea and Syria and indicates that Arwad was still of considerable importance at that time.Arados
SL99295. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3309, SNG Cop 796, Mller Alexander 796, HGC 3.1 943k (S), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, scratches (4285504-008), weight 17.26 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 75o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, lifetime or early posthumous, c. 328 - c. 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Atophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), (Arados monogram) under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $2500.00 SALE PRICE $2250.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $490.00 SALE PRICE $441.00 ON RESERVE


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
Romans refounded Tyre as a colony in 64 B.C., when Pompey annexed Phoenicia to the Roman Empire. Tyre flourished under the Rome and remained a Roman port city, even under the Byzantine Empire, until the 7th century when it was taken by Muslim conquest.
RP96396. Bronze dichalkon, BMC Phoenicia p. 289, 465 var. (murex shell on right); Rouvier -; Baramki AUB -; SNG Hunt -; SNG Cop -, F, rough dark green patina, earthen deposits, weight 16.345 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Oct 253 - Jun 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL TVRO METR, river-god (Adonis?) standing facing, head left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right hand dropping incense on flaming altar at her feet on left, long grounded reed vertical in left hand, murex shell on left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1971 Caesarea Maritima surface find; Coin Archives records only one specimen of the type at auction in the last two decades; extremely rare; $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Akko-Ptolemais,| |Phoenicia||AE| |27|
Akko was refounded as a Roman colony, colonia Ptolemais, probably in 53 or 54 A.D., the last year of Claudius' reign or the first year of Neros. Akko was one of hundreds of cities in the Roman provinces that minted civic coins. In the mid 3rd century cities stopped producing their own coins. The last city coins were struck under Gallienus, and Akko was among the very last cities to strike its own coins.
JD96394. Bronze AE 27, BMC Phoenicia p. 138, 50 var. (obv. leg.); Rosenberger 86 var. (same); Kadman Akko 256 var. (same, draped); Sofaer 293 ff. (draped, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, rough green patina, light earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 13.158 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIEN[VS AVG], laureate head right; reverse COL P-TOL, portable shrine containing a statue of Zeus Heliopolites, shrine consisting of a frame within two pillars supporting a architrave with hatched decoration, two carrying poles projecting from bottom, figure of deity within standing facing on rock or base, wearing short chiton, double axe in right hand, harpe(?) in left hand; an unpublished variant of a very rare type; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1977 surface find at Caesarea Maritima, Israel; $350.00 SALE PRICE $315.00


Tyre, Phoenicia, c. 364 - 360 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Phoenicia|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |364| |-| |360| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||dishekel|NEW
 
GS99384. Fouree silver plated dishekel, cf. Elayi-Elayi Tyre II.1.2.1.q, 701; Cohen Dated 910/30; HGC 10 321 (official, solid silver, Tyre mint, 364 - 363 B.C., rare), VF, some striking weakness, bronze visible in pits and cracks, weight 12.454 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 90o, unofficial criminal mint, c. 364 - 360 B.C.; obverse bearded Melqart riding hippocamp right, reigns in left hand, bow in right, hippocamp with curled wings, two waves and dolphin right below, cable border; reverse owl standing right, head facing, crook and flail behind, Phoenician date (year 30, 364 -363 B.C.) right, cable border; $250.00 (237.50) ON RESERVE


Lot of 4 Silver Fractions From Phoenicia, c. 425 - 300 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Lot| |of| |4| |Silver| |Fractions| |From| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |425| |-| |300| |B.C.||Lot|
 
GA97055. Silver Lot, 4 silver fractions, c. 0.6g - 0.8g, c. 9mm, $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.||pentadrachm|
Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy. He was the richest monarch of his age.
SH24850. Gold pentadrachm, Svoronos 636 (8 specimens); BMC Ptolemies p. 9, 74 and pl. II, 2 (same obv die, Ptolemy I), Choice aEF, weight 17.823 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, c. 270 - 267 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, date H and club left; superb strike, lustrous, beautiful!; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
de Saulcy, F. Numismatique de la Terre Sainte: description des monnaies autonomes et impriales de la Palestine et de l 'Arabie Ptre. (Paris, 1874).
Duyrat, F. Arados Hellnistique: tude historique et montaire. (Beirut, 2005).
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