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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.

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.|
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 2000 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 SALE PRICE $720.00


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.|
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 SALE PRICE $360.00


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.|
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 SALE PRICE $360.00


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.|
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); $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00


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; $280.00 SALE PRICE $252.00


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 SALE PRICE $243.00


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|
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, ΣΕ monogram between legs; only one sale (misattributed) of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE PRICE $180.00


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

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Ake| |Ptolemais,| |Galilee,| |c.| |111| |-| |110| |B.C.||AE| |15|
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 ΠTOΛEMAIΔI in two downward lines on left, BΣ ([year] 202 [Seleukid era]) outer left; rare; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


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, Phoenician silver fractions, c. 0.6g - 0.8g, c. 9mm, 4 coins, $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |III| |Euergetes,| |246| |-| |222| |B.C.||hemiobol|
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. He promoted the translation of Jewish scriptures into Greek as the Septuagint. Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, his eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response, he invaded Syria, occupied Antioch, and even reached Babylon. This war, the Third Syrian War, is cryptically alluded to in Daniel XI 7-9. The Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during his reign.
GP111185. Bronze hemiobol, Lorber CPE B469, Svoronos 709, SNG Cop 496, BMC Ptolemies p. 53, 70, Weiser 57, Hosking 27; SNG Milan 138; Noeske 96, aVF, centered on a broad flan, edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, central dimples, weight 5.730 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, c. 230 - 222 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on fulmen (thunderbolt), wings closed, club left, no control letters; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00




  



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REFERENCES

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