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

Ancient Coins of Phoenicia

Phoenicia, from the Greek Phoiníkē 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.

The Temple Tax Coin, Tyre KP Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 36 - 37 A.D.

|The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin|, |The| |Temple| |Tax| |Coin,| |Tyre| |KP| |Type| |Half| |Shekel,| |Jerusalem| |or| |Tyre| |Mint,| |36| |-| |37| |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.

SH94461. Silver half shekel, RPC I 4695, Prieur 1465, BMC Phoenicia -, aVF, attractive style, toned, bumps and marks, die wear, closed edge crack, weight 6.244 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 36 - 37 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, PΞB (year 162) over club left, KP over monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; ex Forum (2010), ex Temple Tax Hoard; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00
 


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

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Lifetime| |Issue|, |tetradrachm|
Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian army to create an empire covering most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. His reign begins the Hellenistic Age, a time when civilization flourished. He was regarded as a god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-two.
GS94444. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3485, Newell Dated 24 (obv. die XII), Cohen DCA 874 (R3), Demanhur 3739, Prokesch-Osten I 34, Newell Reattribution 145, Newell Sidon 24, EF, high relief, grainy porous surfaces, obverse a little off center, reverse double struck, small edge splits, weight 16.544 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, struck under Menes, 326 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, Phoenician letter het (year 8) in left field, ΣI under throne; only one specimen recorded on Coin Archives; very rare date; $850.00 SALE |PRICE| $680.00
 


Arados, Phoenicia, Unknown King "S", c. 348 - 339 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Arados,| |Phoenicia,| |Unknown| |King| |"S",| |c.| |348| |-| |339| |B.C.|, |stater|
Early coins of Arados have the Aramaic letters mem aleph (read from right to left) above the galley, abbreviating Melech Arad (meaning King of Arados), sometimes followed by the king's initial, and sometimes by the Phoenician regnal year date.
GS94263. Silver stater, cf. BMC Phoenicia p. 10, 59; Betlyon 26, pl. 7, 6; Rouvier III p. 132, 9; SNG Cop 23; HGC 10 34 (R1), VF, attractive toning, centered on a tight flan, highest points not fully struck, die wear, weight 9.767 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 270o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 348 - 339 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Ba'al Arwad right; reverse galley right, figure of Pataikos right on prow, row of shields on bulwark, Phoenician letters mem aleph samen (Melech Arad S - King of Arados S) from right to left above, three waves below; ex Gorny & Mosch online auction 267 (17 Oct 2019), lot 3298; ex Shlomo Moussaieff Collection (London, 1948 - 1980s); $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Demetrios I Poliorketes, 306 - 286 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Demetrios| |I| |Poliorketes,| |306| |-| |286| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Struck by Demetrius I Poliorketes (The Besieger). Demetrius I, the son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, was given the title king by his father in 306 B.C. after he defeated Ptolemy I at the Battle of Salamis. In 294 he seized the throne of Macedonia by murdering Alexander V. The combined forces of Pyrrhus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, forced him out of Macedonia in 288. Abandoned by his troops on the field of battle he surrendered to Seleucus in 286 and died in captivity in 283 B.C.
GS91299. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3546, Newell Tyrus 16, Hersh Tyrus 1, Müller Alexander -, VF, struck with sculptural high-relief dies, flow lines, obv. off center, tight flan, light marks, mild porosity, die wear, die break rev. 5:00, tiny edge splits, weight 16.831 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, c. 301 - 286 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, monogram in circle left, monogram in circle under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Antigonos| |I| |Monophthalmos,| |Strategos| |of| |Asia,| |320| |-| |306| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Alexander|, |tetradrachm|
Azemilkos ('zmlk) was the King of Tyre when, in 332 B.C., Alexander had already peacefully taken Byblos and Sidon. Tyre sent envoys to Alexander agreeing to do his bidding. He declared that he wished to enter the city to sacrifice to Melqart. Azemilkos was with the Persian fleet at the time, and the Tyrians, unsure who would win the war, responded that they would obey any other command but that neither Persians nor Macedonians could enter the city. When Alexander captured the city, Azemilkos and other notables, including envoys from Carthage, had taken refuge in the temple of Melqart. Alexander spared their lives. In 331 B.C., Alexander sent his somatophylakes (bodyguard) Menes of Pella to govern Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia, entrusting him at the same time with 3000 talents.
SH91738. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3292, Newell Dated Ake 41 (obv. die XXXIV), Cohen DCA 737, HGC 10 3, Müller Alexander -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Saroglos -,, VF, well centered, tight flan, toned, weight 16.957 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 270o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, struck under Menes, 309 - 308 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Phoenician date left: lll lll-= (year 36 of King Azemilkos); $310.00 SALE |PRICE| $279.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Demetrius I Poliorketes, 306 - 286 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Poliorketes,| |306| |-| |286| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Demetrius I Poliorketes (The Besieger), son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, was given the title king by his father in 306 B.C. after he defeated Ptolemy I at the Battle of Salamis. In 294 he seized the throne of Macedonia by murdering Alexander V. The combined forces of Pyrrhus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, forced him out of Macedonia in 288. Abandoned by his troops on the field of battle he surrendered to Seleucus in 286 and died in captivity in 283 B.C.
SL87623. Silver tetradrachm, Newell 30, pl. III, 13 (XXXIV/69); Newell Tyrus 32, pl. III, 7 (same dies); Hersh Tyrus 43a; HGC 3 1011; SNG Alpha Bank -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (2490378-002), weight 16.877 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, c. 306 - 295 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, club left in a circle on left, AP monogram under throne, ∆HMITPIOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) below; NGC| Lookup; rare; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


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

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Possibly a lifetime issue! Alexander allowed local princes in the East to continue to rule, if they submitted to him without a struggle. He also reaffirmed the rights of coinage they had as dynasts under Persia. Newell interpreted the monogram on this type as A∆PA, for King Adramelek, whose name appeared on preceding autonomous coinage of the city. - Newell, Demanhur pp. 123 - 125.
GS94467. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3426, Müller Alexander 1375, Demanhur 3587 - 3623, SNG Munchen 744, SNG Cop 805, VF, porosity, weight 16.670 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Byblos (Jbail, Lebanon) mint, c. 330 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, bare to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, (AP monogram) left, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter as Satrap, 323 - 305 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Ptolemy| |I| |Soter| |as| |Satrap,| |323| |-| |305| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Alexander|, |tetradrachm|
Azemilkos ('zmlk) was the King of Tyre when, in 332 B.C., Alexander had already peacefully taken Byblos and Sidon. Tyre sent envoys to Alexander agreeing to do his bidding. He declared that he wished to enter the city to sacrifice to Melqart. Azemilkos was with the Persian fleet at the time, and the Tyrians, unsure who would win the war, responded that they would obey any other command but that neither Persians nor Macedonians could enter the city. When Alexander captured the city, Azemilkos and other notables, including envoys from Carthage, had taken refuge in the temple of Melqart. Alexander spared their lives. In 331 B.C., Alexander sent his somatophylakes (bodyguard) Menes of Pella to govern Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia, entrusting him at the same time with 3000 talents.
GS94137. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3281, Newell Dated 34, HGC 10 3, Cohen DCA 737, Müller Alexander -, F, toned, scratches, porosity, obverse a little off center, weight 16.862 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, c. 319 - 318 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Phoenician date left: l-= (year 31 of King Azemilkos); $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Azemilkos ('zmlk) was the King of Tyre when, in 332 B.C., Alexander had already peacefully taken Byblos and Sidon. Tyre sent envoys to Alexander agreeing to do his bidding. He declared that he wished to enter the city to sacrifice to Melqart. Azemilkos was with the Persian fleet at the time, and the Tyrians, unsure who would win the war, responded that they would obey any other command but that neither Persians nor Macedonians could enter the city. When Alexander captured the city, Azemilkos and other notables, including envoys from Carthage, had taken refuge in the temple of Melqart. Alexander spared their lives. In 331 B.C., Alexander sent his somatophylakes (bodyguard) Menes of Pella to govern Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia, entrusting him at the same time with 3000 talents.
GS94464. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3272, Newell Dated Ake 29, Demanhur 3963, Cohen DCA 737, HGC 10 3, Müller Alexander -, VF, tight flan, grainy rough corrosion, weight 16.229 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 90o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, struck under Laomedon, 322 - 321 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Zeus seated left on throne without back, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Phoenician date left: over ll lll lll= (year 38 of King Azemilkos), aleph under throne; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


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

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Lifetime| |Issue|, |tetradrachm|
Lifetime issue. Azemilkos ('zmlk) was the King of Tyre when, in 332 B.C., Alexander had already peacefully taken Byblos and Sidon. Tyre sent envoys to Alexander agreeing to do his bidding. He declared that he wished to enter the city to sacrifice to Melqart. Azemilkos was with the Persian fleet at the time, and the Tyrians, unsure who would win the war, responded that they would obey any other command but that neither Persians nor Macedonians could enter the city. When Alexander captured the city, Azemilkos and other notables, including envoys from Carthage, had taken refuge in the temple of Melqart. Alexander spared their lives. In 331 B.C., Alexander sent his somatophylakes (bodyguard) Menes of Pella to govern Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia, entrusting him at the same time with 3000 talents.
GS94465. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3252 (R2), Newell Dated 14, SNG Cop 808, Cohen DCA 736, Müller Alexander -, SNG Saroglos -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, porous from light corrosion, weight 16.405 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 225o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, struck under Menes of Pella, 329 - 328 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right foot forward (archaic lifetime style), feet on footstool, Phoenician date left: over l= (year 21 of King Azemilkos); rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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