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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.

Tyre, Phoenicia, 75 - 74 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

|30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver|, |Tyre,| |Phoenicia,| |75| |-| |74| |B.C.,| |Judas'| |30| |Pieces| |of| |Silver||shekel|NEW
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.
SL110491. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 243, 143 (same controls); Rouvier 2038 (same); Cohen DCA 919/52 (R2); HGC 10 357; Baramki AUB -; SNG Cop -, NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (6558157-001), weight 13.515 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 45o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 75 - 74 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 left, right foot on war galley ram, transverse palm frond on far side, BN (year 52) over club left, A (control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; ex Jesus Vico auction 162 (12 Jul 2022), lot 52; NGC| Lookup; rare date; $2000.00 (2020.00) ON RESERVE


Phoenician, Bronze Trapezoid Cube Weight (Ayin - 21.595g), c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.

|Weights| |&| |Scales|, |Phoenician,| |Bronze| |Trapezoid| |Cube| |Weight| |(Ayin| |-| |21.595g),| |c.| |7th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
This weight is the usual shape for the type, an inverted truncated pyramid - a cube with the bottom slightly smaller than the top. The type dates from perhaps as early as the the 9th century B.C. to the end of the Persian period. They were undoubtedly used to weigh silver bullion for transactions. Kletter lists nine weights with circle marks, ranging from 2.55g to 80.67g. Some, like ours, were incised with straight lines or punches. Most were found at Akko.
AS111486. Phoenician, bronze trapezoid cube weight; cf. Hendin Weights 245 (21.63), Kletter 25 (21.17g), Hecht A 47 (20.03g), Choice, 21.595g (3 shekels?), 14.3x16.6x12.9mm, c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.; inverted truncated pyramid (a cube with the bottom slightly smaller than the top), incised circle (Phoenician ayin) on top created with a 8 short straight line cuts, ex Shick Coins (Max Shick, Israel, 2012); $800.00 (808.00)


Phoenician, Bronze Trapezoid Cube Weight (Het - 8.644g), c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.

|Weights| |&| |Scales|, |Phoenician,| |Bronze| |Trapezoid| |Cube| |Weight| |(Het| |-| |8.644g),| |c.| |7th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
This weight is the usual shape for the type, an inverted truncated pyramid - a cube with the bottom slightly smaller than the top. The type dates from perhaps as early as the the 9th century B.C. to the end of the Persian period. They were undoubtedly used to weigh silver bullion for transactions. They are a common find at Ashkelon in 7th century B.C. contexts, but not often available for sale.
AS111483. Phoenician, bronze cube weight, cf. Kletter 2000 p. 32, 15 - 16 (8.33 - 8.86g), Hendin Weights 248 - 251 (16.81 - 17.77g), Hecht A 53 (3.5g), Choice, 8.644g, 10.0x11.3x10.1mm, c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.; inverted truncated pyramid, incised (Phoenician het) on top, ex Shick Coins (Max Shick, Israel, 2012); $400.00 (404.00)


Phoenician, Bronze Trapezoid Cube Weight (Samekh - 22.768g), c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.

|Weights| |&| |Scales|, |Phoenician,| |Bronze| |Trapezoid| |Cube| |Weight| |(Samekh| |-| |22.768g),| |c.| |7th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
This weight is the usual shape for the type, an inverted truncated pyramid - a cube with the bottom slightly smaller than the top. The type dates from perhaps as early as the the 9th century B.C. to the end of the Persian period. They were undoubtedly used to weigh silver bullion for transactions. They are a common find at Ashkelon in 7th century B.C. contexts, but curiously not often available for sale.
AS111484. Phoenician, bronze cube weight, cf. Hendin Weights 242 (24.46g), Hecht A 49 - 52 (5.59 - 11.09g), Kletter 2000 8 - 10 (4.79g - 5.92g), Collectible, minor pitting, 22.768g (3 shekels?), 15.7x17.2x13.4mm, c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.; inverted truncated pyramid, incised (Phoenician samekh) on top, ex Shick Coins (Max Shick, Israel, 2012); $400.00 (404.00)


Phoenician, Bronze Trapezoid Cube Weight (Het - 8.959g), c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.

|Weights| |&| |Scales|, |Phoenician,| |Bronze| |Trapezoid| |Cube| |Weight| |(Het| |-| |8.959g),| |c.| |7th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|NEW
If the markings on these weights indicate a value, we don't understand. Based on the weight of 8.959g, one might assume this is one shekel weight. Hendin lists four weights with the Phoenician het and all are about twice this weight and all are identified as 2 shekels weights. Kletter lists weights marked with the Phoenician het ranging from 0.95g to 16g.
AS111485. Phoenician, bronze trapezoid cube weight; Kletter 2000 16 (8.86g), Hendin Weights 248 - 251 (16.81 - 17.77g), Hecht A 53 (3.50g), Choice, earthen encrustations, 8.959g, 11.9x12.6x9.2mm, c. 7th - 4th Century B.C.; inverted truncated pyramid, incised (Phoenician het) on top, ex Shick Coins (Max Shick, Israel, 2012); $400.00 (404.00)


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; $320.00 (323.20)


Philistia, Samaria, and Phoenicia, c. 400 - 333 B.C., 6 Silver Fractions

|Phoenicia|, |Philistia,| |Samaria,| |and| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |400| |-| |333| |B.C.,| |6| |Silver| |Fractions||Lot|
The following list was provided by the consignor and has not been verified by FORVM:
1) Philistia (Palestine), AR obol, imitating Athens, c. 400-333 B.C., head of Athena to right wearing crested helmet decorated with three olive leaves and palmette / Owl standing to right, head facing, olive spray to left, AΘE to right, all within shallow incuse square, 0.61g.
2) Tyre, AR 1/16th shekel, 0.49g, owl left / hippocamp left.
3) Sidon, AR 1/16th shekel, 0.66g, king fighting lion / galley.
4) Alexander III, AR obol, 0.45g.
5) Samaria, AR hemiobol, 0.35g, head right / facing gorgon head, rare.
6) Arados, Phoenicia, AR obol, 0.50g.
LT99716. Silver Lot, 6 Phoenician fractions, 6.6 - 9.3 mm, from Philistia, Samaria, Tyre, Sidon, and Arados, unattributed, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photographs, as-is, no returns, 6 coins; $270.00 (272.70)


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IV| |Philopator,| |221| |-| |204| |B.C.||dichalkon|NEW
Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
GP110808. Bronze dichalkon, Lorber CPE B550, Svoronos -, BMC Ptolemies -; Weiser -; SNG Cop -, Noeske -, SNG Milan -, Malter -, aVF, dark green patina, scratches, beveled obv. edge, central cavities, weight 3.114 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 221 - 204 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, club left, ΣE monogram between legs; only one sale (misattributed) of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $200.00 (202.00)


Ake Ptolemais, Galilee, c. 111 - 110 B.C.

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Ake| |Ptolemais,| |Galilee,| |c.| |111| |-| |110| |B.C.||AE| |15|NEW
Ptolemais was a maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally Accho, but was renamed Ptolemais under the rule of Ptolemy Soter.

The kithara (cithara) was an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The lyre was a simpler folk-instrument with two strings and tortoise shell body. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. A symbol of Apollo, who was credited with inventing it, the Kithara's origins were likely Asiatic. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean "guitar."
GY111139. Bronze AE 15, cf. Kadman Akko 51; HGC 10 23 (R1), Seyrig Ptolmas 4, VF, near centered, porosity, obv. edge beveled, edge cracks, date obscure but only BΣ published, weight 2.405 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, c. 111 - 110 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse kithara (lyre), ANTIOXEΩN downward on right, TΩN / EN ΠTOΛEMAI∆I in two downward lines on left, BΣ ([year] 202 [Seleukid era]) outer left; rare; $140.00 (141.40)


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, Phoenician silver fractions, c. 0.6g - 0.8g, c. 9mm, 4 coins, $120.00 (121.20)




  



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REFERENCES

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