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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Hasmonean Dynasty||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Hasmonean Dynasty - Maccabees

The Maccabees were Jewish rebel warriors that took control of Judea, which at the time had been a part of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled Judea from 167 BCE to 37 BCE, as a fully independent kingdom from about 140 to 63 BCE. They reasserted the Jewish religion, partly by forced conversion, expanded the boundaries of Judea by conquest and reduced the influence of Hellenism and Hellenistic Judaism. Independent Hasmonean rule lasted until 63 BCE, when the Roman general Pompeus intervened in Hasmonean civil war, making it a client kingdom of Rome. The Hasmonean dynasty ended in 37 BCE when the Idumean Herod the Great became king of Israel, designated "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate, effectively transforming the Hasmonean Kingdom into the Herodian Kingdom - a client kingdom of Rome.

Judean Kingdom, Anonymous Hasmonean, c. 140 - 37 B.C.

|Judean| |Kingdom|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Anonymous| |Hasmonean,| |c.| |140| |-| |37| |B.C.||tessera|
A Judaean coin expert informs us that there are nine known specimens of this type, one specimen of this type was discovered during excavations at Mt. Gerizim, and the second best known specimen of this type sold for $12,000 a few years ago.
JD97077. Lead tessera, Hendin 1157 (RRR), Meshore TJC -, Sofaer Collection -, HGC 10 -, SNG Cop -, F, scratches, bumps, earthen encrustation, tight flan, weight 2.024 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 225o, Samarian(?) mint, c. 140 - 37 B.C.; obverse double cornucopia, upright rod between, border of dots; reverse stylized palm tree between two blooming lily flowers, border of dots; zero sales of this type listed on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $2000.00 (1840.00)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Obverse Brockage

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Obverse| |Brockage||prutah|NEW
A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.

JD94909. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1150b, Meshorer TJC K11, Sofaer Collection 229, F, obverse brockage, crackled green patina, small edge crack, weight 1.868 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays and central pellet surrounded by diadem, Paleo-Hebrew inscription "Yehonatan the king" between rays; reverse incuse of obverse; from the Ray Nouri Collection; very rare; $160.00 (147.20)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|NEW
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 kingdom marched on Jerusalem. Antiochus VII and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, from right to left, as follows: YHHW(HH)/NN (Yehohanan, error HH should be just H) H (the) KHN (Priest) / GDL (high) [W] (and) H (the) (HH)B/R (council) H (the) YHW/DM (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97673. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1141, Meshorer TJC F, Meshorer AJC K, VF, earthen fill, off center reverse, weight 2.368 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonanan the High Priest and Head of the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $150.00 (138.00)


Legionary Token Coinage, Caesarea Maritima, Samaria, c. 70 - 150 A.D., Imitative of Hasmonean Prutah

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Legionary| |Token| |Coinage,| |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Samaria,| |c.| |70| |-| |150| |A.D.,| |Imitative| |of| |Hasmonean| |Prutah||minima|NEW
The minima of Caesarea copy the bronze coins of Tyre, Sidon, Alexandria, the Herodian kings, the procurators, the First Jewish War, and the Roman Empire. Minimas are also found in other areas of what was Roman Palaestina and Syria, especially around the sites of the legionary encampments. They probably served as a token currency in the camps and their associated settlements. In his 1895, Account of Palmyra and Zenobia, W. Write wrote, "The sands of Palmyra are full of little copper coins. After strong winds the people of Palmyra gather them by the handful." Hamburger noted that although these minima are common, on most the types are obliterated and only about one in ten is well preserved.
JD97361. Bronze minima, apparently unpublished; Hamburger -, Meshorer TJC -, VF, dark patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, off center, tiny edge split, weight 1.580 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 45o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 70 - 150 A.D.; obverse crude imitation of a paleo-Hebrew inscription (no actual letters) within wreath; reverse double cornucopia, pomegranate between horns, dot border; from an Israeli collection; perhaps unique(?); $140.00 (128.80)


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||AE| |16|
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, as on this example.
JD97438. Bronze AE 16, Houghton-Lorber II 2123, Hendin 1131, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, VF, green patina, porosity/corrosion, earthen encrustations, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.871 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, 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; $140.00 (128.80)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C., Widow's Mite

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Widow's| |Mite||prutah|NEW
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. A poor widow came and put in two lepta coins, which amount to a quadrans. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow put more into the treasury than all the others. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41-44)
JD94910. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1150, Meshorer TJC K, Meshorer AJC C, aVF, as-found blue-green patina and deposits, reverse off center, weight 1.758 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse star of eight rays and central pellet surrounded by diadem, Paleo-Hebrew inscription "Yehonatan the king" between rays; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (of King Alexander), upside-down anchor; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $130.00 (119.60)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
"And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest." (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1)
JD97338. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1144, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, dark sea green patina, highlighting lighter green deposits, off center, reverse casting void flaw lower obverse, weight 1.830 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (73.60)


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 104 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Meshorer wrote of the inscriptions on this type, "The style of the script is distinctive. The letters are large and slight oblique, with sharp lines and edges; they tend toward systematization. The shapes are strong and clear...and contain few variants. The legend is mostly incomplete and contains many errors. Certain characters such as (B), (R), and (D) are almost indistinguishable." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHWN/TN (Yehonatan) [K]HN (Priest) / H (the) GD/WL (high) (HH)/BR (council) YH[WD]/M (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97372. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1144, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, dark patina with highlighting light deposits, off center, weight 2.060 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $80.00 (73.60)










DECENDANTS OF MATTATHIAS - THE MACCABEES



REFERENCES|

Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.org/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Palestine. (London, 1914).
Houghton, A. Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. ACNAC 4. (New York, 1983).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Syrian Coins, Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC. HGC 9. (Lancaster, PA, 2009).
Kaufman, J. Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins from the J. Ch Kaufman Collection. (Jerusalem, 1995).
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Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
Reinach, S. Jewish Coins. (London, 1903).
Rogers, E. Handy Guide To Jewish Coins. (London, 1914).
Samuels, C., P. Rynearson & Y. Meshorer. The Numismatic Legacy of the Jews as depicted by a distinguished American Collection. (New York, 2000).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Spaer, A. & A. Houghton. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).

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