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

The Hasmonean Dynasty (Maccabees), 167 - 37 B.C.

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, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |103| |-| |76| |B.C.||lepton|
Unpopular, Jannaeus was pelted with citrons on Sukkot. Enraged, he killed some 6,000 citizens. A revolt erupted and rebels called on the Seleucid King Demetrius III for aid. Demetrius forced him into the mountains but then withdrew. Back in power, Jannaeus crucified 800 rebels forcing them to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses.
JD98781. Bronze lepton, Hendin 6183 (RR); BMC Palestine p. 199, 9; Meshorer TJC O; Sofaer 220; Meshorer AJC B; HGC 10 643; SNG ANS -, F, earthen deposits, remnant of a pre-strike casting sprue, weight 1.293 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew legend counterclockwise from upper left: (Yehonatan the King), palm branch upright; reverse lily; from an Israeli collection, first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; very rare; $1400.00 (1414.00)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Meshorer notes for this type, "letter shapes are bizarre and the lines of script are not evenly followed...While on most specimens, the inscription is complete, some time must be devoted to locating all of the characters." This "barbaric" inscription style is unique to this type.
JD110334. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6186, Meshorer TJC S, HGC 10 641, Choice VF, well centered bold strike, green patina, edge splits, sprue cuts, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.169 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse barbaric style Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; from an Israeli Collection; $150.00 (151.50)


Judean Kingdom, Judah Aristobulus I (Yehudah), 104 - 103 B.C.

|Judah| |Aristobulus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Judah| |Aristobulus| |I| |(Yehudah),| |104| |-| |103| |B.C.||prutah|NEW
The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, from right to left, as follows: YHWD/H (Judah) KHN (priest) GD/WL (high) W (and) (HH)BR (council) / H (the) YHWD/MY (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD111140. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6179, Meshorer TJC U, Meshorer AJC J, HGC 10 634, VF, choice obv., dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, rev. off center, reverse edge beveled, sprue cuts on edge, weight 1.979 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 103 B.C.; obverse Hebrew inscription, Yehudah the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $150.00 (151.50)


Judean Kingdom, Judah Aristobulus I (Yehudah), 104 - 103 B.C.

|Judah| |Aristobulus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Judah| |Aristobulus| |I| |(Yehudah),| |104| |-| |103| |B.C.||prutah|
The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty." The cornucopia symbolizes abundance and the prosperity of the nation.

See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD110314. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6179 (S), Meshorer TJC U, Meshorer AJC J, HGC 10 634, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. off center, weight 1.890 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 103 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehudah the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; $140.00 (141.40)


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

|John| |Hyrcanus| |I|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |I| |(Yehohanan),| |134| |-| |104| |B.C.||prutah|
On Hendin 6176 the letter he has the form in the first two lines, but after may take a crude simplified form like an arrow pointed upward . On this type, "Yohananan the High Priest" is usually followed only by a few additional apparently meaningless letters.
JD111102. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6176, Meshorer TJC E, Sofaer 82 - 113, HGC 10 627, SNG ANS -, BMC Palestine -, VF, bold strike, brown tone, off center, tiny edge crack, rev. edge beveled, weight 1.988 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonanan the High Priest..., surrounded by wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin) with his signed photo authenticity receipt; $140.00 (141.40)


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||eight| |prutot|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. After Antigonus bit off his ears to render him ineligible for High Priest, Hyrcanus II was sent to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.
JD98148. Bronze eight prutot, Meshorer TJC 36; Hendin 6197; Sofaer 418; BMC Palestine p. 212, 2; SNG ANS 183; SNG Cop 64; HGC 10 646 (S), aF, earthen deposits, weight 12.536 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, around and between the horns of a double cornucopia; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus), ivy wreath tied at the top with ribbons hanging down; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $135.00 (136.35)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
This type has been reattributed from Hyrcanus II to Alexander Jannaeus by Hendin and Shachar in "The Identity of YNTN on Hasmonean Overstruck Coins and the Chronology of the Alexander Jannaeus Types," Israel Numismatic Research 3, 2008: 87-94. It appears this type was overstruck on earlier coins of Alexander Jannaeus that had never been released from the mint. Most examples have strong undertype effects obscuring the inscription but this coin does not and the inscription is clear. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription, in classic style, on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YNTN (Yonatan) / H (the) KHNH (Priest) / GDL (high) W (and) (HH)B/ R (council) [H] (the, omitted) YHD (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD110335. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I, HGC 10 642, gF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, sprue cuts, reverse edge beveled, clear inscription, unusual because there is no indication of being overstruck, weight 2.329 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription in classic style: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath; reverse two cornucopias splayed outward, adorned with ribbons, pomegranate or poppy between the horns; from an Israeli collection; $130.00 (131.30)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor probably publicized the annexation of these areas. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Yaakov Meshorer
JD111361. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6189, Meshorer TJC K, Hendin 6189, Sofaer 221, Hendin 6189, Meshorer TJC K, Meshorer AJC C, HGC 10 637, VF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, off center, obverse edge beveled, weight 3.365 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, 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 Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (of King Alexander), upside-down anchor; $130.00 (131.30)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor probably publicized the annexation of these areas. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Yaakov Meshorer
JD111362. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6189, Meshorer TJC K, Hendin 6189, Sofaer 221, Hendin 6189, Meshorer TJC K, Meshorer AJC C, HGC 10 637, aVF, attractive dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, obv. off center, obv, edge beveled, weight 2.372 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, 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 Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (of King Alexander), upside-down anchor; $130.00 (131.30)


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||prutah|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. Antigonus bit off Hyrcanus II's ears to render him ineligible for High Priest and sent him to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.

On this type the inscription is almost always retrograde. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, in two retrograde lines, from left to right: MTT/(YH) (Mattatayah). On this coin the last two letter, the second line, is ligate (combined like a monogram). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97659. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 40a, Sofaer 444, HGC 10 649, Hendin 6199, SNG ANS 192 var. (same), BMC Palestine p. 219, 57 var. (same), F, highlighting earthen deposits, a little rough, reverse off center, weight 1.655 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse retrograde Paleo-Hebrew inscription in two lines: MTT/(YH) = Mattatayah (last two letters ligate), surrounded by wreath and border of dots; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, barley ear between horns, border of dots; from an Israeli collection; rare variant; $120.00 (121.20)




  






DECENDANTS OF MATTATHIAS - THE MACCABEES



REFERENCES

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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).
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Catalog current as of Sunday, March 26, 2023.
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