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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Ptolemaic Egypt||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt

After Alexander the Great's death, Egypt was administered by Ptolemy, one of his friends and generals. In 305 B.C., Ptolemy crowned himself king, establishing one of the most important and flourishing Hellenistic monarchies. Ptolemaic rule lasted for 275 years, until 30 B.C. The culture was a complex mixture of Egyptian and Greek traditions, best represented by the famous city of Alexandria. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, while queens regnant were all called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Greek| |Domination|, |Judaea| |(Yehudah),| |Ptolemaic| |Rule,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.||1/4| |drachm|
This is apparently only the second known specimen of this type. All the references given describe the same coin and the plates share photos of a single specimen from the S. Moussaeiff Collection. This coin was struck with the same obverse die but it appears to be from a different reverse die. See the Moussaeiff Collection coin here.
JD99501. Silver 1/4 drachm, Hendin 6088 (RRR); Lorber CPE 710; Gitler-Lorber II Group 7, 15; Deutsch Unrecorded 4; Meshorer TJC -; Mildenberg Yehud -, gVF, toned, deposits, obv. off center, edge splits, weight 0.876 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, probably 272 - 261/0 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic, Aramaic (YHDH) on left, read right to left (upward); ex CNG auction 117 (19-20 May 2001), lot 328 (listed as a quarter ma'ah in error); $21000.00 SALE PRICE $18900.00


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|
This XP monogram was later used for Christ.

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.
GP99077. Bronze diobol, Lorber CPE B397, Svoronos 966 (25 spec.); SNG Cop 176; Weiser 73; BMC Alexandria p. 55 89; Noeske 123; Hosking -, Choice F, well centered, central dimples, weight 21.502 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 246 - 222 B.C.; obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, filleted cornucopia left, chi-rho monogram between eagle's legs; from a Las Vegas dealer; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy IX - Ptolemy XII, 99 - 58 B.C.

|Cyprus|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |IX| |-| |Ptolemy| |XII,| |99| |-| |58| |B.C.||dichalkon|
The Paphos II finds were excavated at the House of Dionysos in Paphos.
GB95763. Bronze dichalkon, Paphos II 383 - 385, otherwise unpublished, F, dark green patina with earthen highlighting, scratches, porosity, edge cracks, beveled obverse edge, sprue remnants, weight 2.044 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus, Paphos mint, 88 - 58 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned bust of Zeus Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), single cornucopia bound with fillet; ; rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IV| |Epiphanes,| |175| |-| |164| |B.C.||AE| |36|
From the extraordinary "Egyptianizing" coinage of Antiochus IV, celebrating his triumph over the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt by using a reverse type strongly associated with the Lagid dynasty, an eagle perched on a thunderbolt.

The villain of Hanukkah. Antiochos IV assumed divine epithets, which no other Hellenistic king had done, such as Theos Epiphanes (God Manifest). His subjects made a pun on his name, calling him Epimanes (madman). In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
GY98882. Bronze AE 36, Houghton-Lorber II 1413; SNG Spaer 979; Newell SMA 59; BMC Seleucid p. 38, 42; Houghton CSE 118; Svoronos 1416; HGC 9 643 (S-R1), aF, rough, central cavities, obverse edge beveled, weight 32.540 g, maximum diameter 35.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, autumn 169 - autumn 168 B.C.; obverse laureate and diademed head of Serapis right, taenia diadem with Osiris cap at peak; reverse eagle standing right on thunderbolt, wings closed, head right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOY EΠIΦANOYΣ in two downward lines on the left; big 36mm bronze!; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Kaunos, Caria, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or Later 2nd Century)

|Kaunos|, |Kaunos,| |Caria,| |c.| |197| |-| |191| |B.C.| |(or| |Later| |2nd| |Century)||AE| |16|
On the Rosetta Stone, "The Memphis Decree" announces Ptolemy V's rule and ascension to godhood, and describes him as "like Horus." In "A Statue of a Hellenistic King," Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 33 (1913), C. Edgar attributes a statue very similar to the reverse figure to Ptolemy V: "[The statue] stands with right foot drawn back, the toes alone resting on the ground...His head is held erect and his gaze is turned slightly to his right. His shoulders are drawn up a little...[the upper part] unnaturally short in proportion to the lower part of the trunk...[The missing right] forearm was clear of the body. The [missing] left hand was raised and probably rested on a spear." We believe this type is from the among the last issues of Kaunos under Ptolemaic rule, struck after the 13 year old Ptolemy V came of age in 197/6 B.C., perhaps to commemorate his accession, and before he sold the city to the Rhodians for 200 talents of silver in 191 B.C.
GB87087. Bronze AE 16, SNGvA 8103; Lindgren III 425; Imhoof-Blumer KM I, p. 138, 1; BMC Caria -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG Munchen -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, a little porous/rough, tiny edge crack, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos (Dalyan, Turkey) mint, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or later 2nd century); obverse diademed and horned head of Alexander the Great right; reverse youth (Ptolemy V as Horus?) advancing right, nude, long lotus-tipped scepter transverse in left hand, right arm and index finger extended, snake before him coiled around scepter, K-AY (Kaunos) divided high across field, ΣΩ-TAΣ (magistrate) divided across center; very rare; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00







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REFERENCES

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