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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Seleucid Kingdom||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of the Seleucid Kingdom

The Seleucid Kingdom, ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid dynasty, existed from 312 B.C. to 63 B.C. Seleucus I Nicator received Babylonia in the division of Alexander the Great's empire in 321 B.C. He expanded his domain, and at the height of its power, the Seleucid Empire included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what is now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan. They were defeated by the Roman Republic and their Greek allies in 190 B.C. The subsequent Treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C. required costly war reparations and loss of territory west of the Taurus Mountains. The Parthians conquered much of the remaining empire in the mid-2nd century B.C. The Seleucid kings continued to rule a smaller state from Syria until the invasion by Armenian king Tigranes the Great in 83 B.C. and their ultimate overthrow by the Roman general Pompey in 63 B.C.

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |II| |Theos,| |261| |-| |246| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Antiochus II Theos was the son of Antiochus I and Princess Stratonice, the daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. He inherited a state of war with Egypt and while he was thus occupied, his satraps in Parthia and Bactria declared independence. To make peace with Egypt and to seal the treaty, Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodice I, exiled her to Ephesus, and married Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus later left Berenice and their infant son Antiochus, to live again with Laodice. Laodice poisoned him, had Berenice and her infant son murdered, and proclaimed her son Seleucus II as king.
GY99608. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 592, Newell ESM 196, HGC 9 268 (R2), VF, dark green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 3.964 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Tigris (south of Baghdad, Iraq) mint, c. 250 - 246 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped bust of Athena slightly left, wearing triple crested helmet; reverse Apollo seated right on omphalos, holding kithara on lap with right hand, tall tripod lebes behind on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monograms (controls) outer left and outer right; ex CNG e-auction 513 (6 Apr 2022), lot 178; this coin is the only specimen of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $200.00 (202.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus XII Dionysos, c. 88 - 84 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |XII| |Dionysos,| |c.| |88| |-| |84| |B.C.||AE| |20|NEW
Antiochus XII was immediately challenged by the Nabataeans whose territories had grown during the Seleucids' perpetual fratricidal wars. While Antiochus was campaigning against the Nabataeans, these wars continued - Philip I took Damascus. Antiochus was forced to return to Damascus and evict his brother. Returning to the Nabataean front again, Antiochus, this time, had to overcome the resistance of Alexander Jannaeus en route. He soon perished in battle at the hands of the Nabataeans, leaving Damascus without a ruler. Damascus, the longtime Southern stronghold of Seleucid power freely gave itself over to the benevolent rule of King Aretas III of Nabataea.
GY110777. Bronze AE 20, Houghton-Lorber 2477b, Newell LSM 138, SNG Spaer 2907 var. (monogram), SNG Fitz 5824 var. (monogram), Houghton 870 CSE var. (monogram), VF, well centered, brown-burgundy patina, earthen encrustations, light corrosion, flan casting offset, edge cracks, weight 4.396 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus (Syria) mint, c. 87 - 85 B.C.; obverse diademed and bearded head of Antiochos XII right; reverse Apollo standing slightly left, head left, laurel branch upright in right hand, resting left elbow on tripod, BACIΛEΩC / ANTIOXOY / EΠIΦANOYC in three downward lines right, ΦIΛOΠATOPOC / KAΛΛINIKOY in two downward lines left; monogram outer left; $130.00 (131.30)


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Hendin lists four varieties of this type AΠP (year 181) below (Hendin 6165), AΠP (year 181) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 6165a), BΠP (year 182) below (Hendin 6165b), and BΠP (year 182) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 6165c). Houghton and Lorber list a variety without a date (Houghton-Lorber 2123), but the date is probably just off flan, as on this example.
JD98719. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123, Hendin 6165, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, aVF, green patina, light earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.550 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP or BΠP (Greek: year 181 or 182 of the Seleucid Era) below; $120.00 (121.20)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VII| |Euergetes| |Sidetes,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||AE| |12|NEW
David Hendin identifies the mint city as Jerusalem. Some numismatists have attributed this type to Askalon. Houghton and Lorber attribute it to an uncertain mint in southern Koile-Syria.
GY111516. Bronze AE 12, Houghton-Lorber II 2122, SNG Spaer 2095, Houghton CSE 819, Hendin 6166 (Jerusalem mint), HGC 9 1111, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, rev. off center, weight 1.108 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 45o, southern Koile-Syria (?, uncertain) mint, 138 - 137 B.C.; obverse crested Boeotian helmet with cheek guards; reverse ANTIOXOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, aphlaston; this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM, ex Zuzim Inc. (Isadore Goldstein, Brooklyn, NY); $120.00 (121.20)


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid king marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Probably as a conciliatory gesture to the Jews, the lily (a symbol of Jerusalem) replaced the head of the Seleukid king. Later, John Hyrcanus would be the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD98776. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6165b, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(3), SNG Spaer 2140, Houghton CSE 833, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, aVF, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. double struck, inscription/date weak, scratches, tiny edge crack, obv. edge beveled, weight 2.760 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 131 - 130 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, BΠP (Greek: year 182 of Seleukid Era) below; from an Israeli collection; $100.00 (101.00)


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Hendin lists four varieties of this type AΠP (year 181) below (Hendin 1131), AΠP (year 181) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131a), BΠP (year 182) below (Hendin 1131b), and BΠP (year 182) beside the anchor on left (Hendin 1131c). Houghton and Lorber list a variety without a date (Houghton-Lorber 2123), but the date is probably just off flan.
JD98777. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(2), Hendin 6165, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30 - 31, aVF, well centered, dark green patina with lighter green highlighting, tiny edge cracks, porosity, obv. edge beveled, weight 1.562 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 131 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP (Greek: year 181 of the Seleucid Era) below; from an Israeli collection; $100.00 (101.00)


Kings of Thrace, Adaios, c. 255 - 245 B.C.

|Kingdoms| |of| |Thrace|, |Kings| |of| |Thrace,| |Adaios,| |c.| |255| |-| |245| |B.C.||AE| |22|
Adaios probably served as a Seleukid strategos (military governor) of Thrace under the King Antiochos II Theos. Antiochos II took Thracian territory from Ptolemy II Philopator, c. 255 - 253 B.C., during the Second Syrian War. After Antiochos II and Ptolemy II made peace. Adaios continued to rule southern Thrace, making Kypsela his capital. Adaios was executed at Kypsela by Ptolemy III Euergetes after Ptolemy advanced into southern Thrace, c. 246 - 241 B.D., during the Third Syrian War.

This type was the largest of three bronze denominations Adaios issued. References list the lower monogram only as Σ, but on better specimens the AΣ monogram is clear.
GB110080. Bronze AE 22, SNG Tb 971; SNG Cop 1179; SNG BM 324; HGC 3.2 1763 (S); Peter p. 237; AMNG III-2 p. 147, 17 var. (monograms), VF, nice green patina, monograms and inscription not fully struck, weight 8.717 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 315o, Kypsela (near Ipsala, Turkey) mint, c. 255 - 245 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse tripod lebes, HP over AΣ monograms downward on left, A∆AIOY downward on right; scarce; $100.00 (101.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus II Theos, 261 - 246 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |II| |Theos,| |261| |-| |246| |B.C.||AE| |19|
Before Alexander's conquest, Ecbatana was a summer residence for the Persian kings. Later it was a capital of the Parthian Empire.
GB110472. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber I 522(2); Newell WSM 1391; BMC Seleucid p. 15, 15; HGC 9 253, gVF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, attractive style, scratches, weight 3.733 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, 261 - 246 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, with curly hair failing down neck; reverse tripod lebes, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, anchor flukes right below, Σ low outer left, ∆I low outer right; $100.00 (101.00)


Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., For the Seleukid King Antiochus VII

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judaean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.,| |For| |the| |Seleukid| |King| |Antiochus| |VII||prutah|
Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. Soon after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid king marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Probably as a conciliatory gesture to the Jews, the lily (a symbol of Jerusalem) replaced the head of the Seleukid king. Later, John Hyrcanus would be the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.
JD98143. Bronze prutah, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(2), Hendin 6165, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30 - 31, VF, tight flan, obverse off center, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.830 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 132 - 131 B.C.; obverse lily on stem with two leaves, dot border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY (Greek: of King Antiochus, Benefactor), anchor, upside down, AΠP (Greek: year 181 of the Seleucid Era) below; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 (90.90)


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander II Zabinas, 128 - 122 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |II| |Zabinas,| |128| |-| |122| |B.C.||AE| |21|
Zabinas claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII, but may have been the son of an Egyptian merchant. He was used as a pawn by the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon). Zabinas managed to defeat Demetrius II and thereafter ruled parts of Syria, but soon ran out of Egyptian support and was defeated by Demetrius' son Antiochus VIII Grypus. As a last resort, Zabinas plundered the temples of Antioch. He is said to have joked about melting down a statuette of the goddess of victory, Nike, which was held in the hand of a Zeus statue, saying "Zeus has given me Victory." Enraged by his impiety, the Antiochenes expelled Zabinas, who was captured and executed soon after. "Zabinas" is a derogatory name meaning "the bought one," implying he was Ptolemy's slave.
GY98887. Bronze AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2237(1)f, Babelon Rois 1309, SNG Spaer 2343, HGC 9 1164 (C-S), aVF, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, weight 8.254 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 125 - 122 B.C.; obverse radiate and diademed head of Zabinas right, one diadem end flying up behind, the other falling forward over shoulder; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, double cornucopia bound with fillet, A over star in inner left, Π in inner right; $90.00 (90.90)




  



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REFERENCES

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