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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.

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; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
 


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 Nero’s. 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; $440.00 SALE |PRICE| $396.00
 


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; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


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, $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

|Roman| |Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Tyre,| |Phoenicia||dichalkon|
The Tyrians paid supreme adoration to Astarte. Josephus records by Hiram, King of Tyre, built a magnificent temple in honor of Ashtaroth (Astarte). This temple and images of the goddess both appear frequently on coins of the Roman colony. Cicero affirms that the goddess, was the Syrian Venus, who was said to have been married to Adonis (lib. iii. De Nat. Deor.).
RY94945. Bronze dichalkon, Rouvier 2522, Baramki AUB -, BMC Phoenicia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, aF, brown patina, well centered on a tight flan, rough, corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 15.740 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse COL TYRO METRO, portable distyle shrine with carrying bars seen in perspective from off front left corner, roof curving to the rear, open front with ornate columns, another smaller shrine within containing a cult statue (baetyl) of Astarte, murex shell below; from the Ray Nouri Collection, only two sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades (one near VF sold for $1100 plus fees); extremely rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy III Euergetes, 246 - 222 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.||diobol|
Lorber notes that although Svoronos attributed this type to Ptolemy II, the range of denominations for the issue corresponds with the Alexandrian Chi Rho series of Ptolemy III. She dates the type to the latter part of Euergetes' reign.
GP94532. Bronze diobol, Lorber CPE 467; Svoronos 707; Wolf GAE 754; Cox Curium 76; Hosking 24; BMC Ptolemies p. 53, 67; Noeske -; Weiser -, VF, well centered, light corrosion, light earthen deposits, central depressions, weight 19.683 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre (Lebanon) mint, 242/1 - 222 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus Ammon right, taenia with basileion above forehead; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing half left on fulmen, wings closed, head right, large club before; from The Ray Nouri Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, as Satrap, 323 - 305 B.C.

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Ptolemy| |I,| |as| |Satrap,| |323| |-| |305| |B.C.||obol|
Aradus minted coinage in the name of Alexander during his lifetime and shortly after. When Aradus gained autonomy in 259 B.C., the city again minted coinage in the name of Alexander. After the Ptolemaic victory over the Seleukid Kingdom at Raphia in 217 B.C. Aradus fell under the control of Egypt. In 214, Aradus ceased to issue Alexander coinage and struck regal Ptolemaic issues. In 202 B.C., as Ptolemaic power waned, Aradus returned to issuing coinage of Alexander. The last Alexander coinage of Aradus was struck in 166/165 B.C.
GS89324. Silver obol, unpublished in references but several known from auctions, CNG e-auction 201, lot 34 (same dies), VF, toned, earthen encrustation, porosity, weight 0.649 g, maximum diameter 9.0 mm, die axis 13.5o, Phoenicia, Aradus mint, c. 323 - 315 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, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style) eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, A/P monogram (control) left; from a New England collector; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Marathos, Phoenicia, 157 - 156 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Marathos,| |Phoenicia,| |157| |-| |156| |B.C.||AE| |22|
Marathos (Amrit) was the most northern coastal town in Phoenicia. In 259 B.C. Arados increased her autonomy and dominated a federation of nearby cities including Gabala, Karne, Marathos and Simyra. Thus began the era of Arados, to which the subsequent coins of Marathos are dated. The federation of cities was not completely independent. The Seleukids retained overlordship. This type was issued intermittently from era of Arados year 38 (222 - 221 B.C.) to year 108 (152 - 151 B.C.). Arados destroyed Marathos, c. 145 B.C., but later rebuilt it as a colony.
GF93780. Bronze AE 22, Duyrat Ateliers 134 - 138 var. (controls); SNG Cop 166 var. (same); BMC Phoenicia p. 121, 9 var. (same); Cohen DCA 830/103; HGC 10 193, VF, green patina, small earthen encrustations, weak strike reverse center, weight 8.841 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Marathos (near Tartus, Syria) mint, 157 - 156 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Astarte right; reverse Marathos standing left, aphlaston in right hand, left arm resting on column behind, Phoenician year 103 left, Phoenician ethnic (MRT) right, Phoenician control letters he over mem inner left and shin lower right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Arados, Phoenicia, c. 240 - 237 B.C.

|Phoenicia|, |Arados,| |Phoenicia,| |c.| |240| |-| |237| |B.C.||AE| |16|
In 259 B.C. Arados increased her autonomy and dominated a federation of nearby cities including Gabala, Karne, Marathos and Simyra. Thus began the era of Aradus, to which the subsequent coins of the city are dated. Arados was not completely independent, however, the Seleukids retained overlordship.
GB93618. Bronze AE 16, Duyrat 1374 - 1403; BMC Phoenicia p. 13, 88 - 90; Lindgren III 1334; HGC 10 86 (S); SNG Cop -, VF, nice glossy black patina with red earthen highlighting, obverse edge beveled, tiny edge split, weight 4.102 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 240 - 237 B.C.; obverse turreted bust of Tyche right; reverse prow of war galley left with figurehead of Athena Promachos fighting left, no date, (AP monogram) above; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 







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REFERENCES|

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