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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)


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| |15|
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.
JD97079. Bronze AE 15, Hendin 1131b, Houghton-Lorber II 2123(3), SNG Spaer 2140, Houghton CSE 833, SGCV II 7101, HGC 9 1103, Meshorer TJC p. 30, aVF, green patina with highlighting light earthen deposits, obverse off center, small edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.159 g, maximum diameter 15.3 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; $160.00 (147.20)


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||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; $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|
The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on Hendin 1137 is normally in a "wedge" style. This inscription is not wedge style, but is instead a more careless script style with some blundered letters. Nun Judean_nun_3 (N) appears as a vertical line Judean_nun_7. Res Judean_rosh_3 (R) usually has an open top Judean_rosh_1. The inscription includes Rosh Judean_shin_1Judean_alef_5Judean_rosh_3 (Rosh) meaning head. The inscription reads, from right to left, as follows: YHW/(HH)NN (Yehohanan) H (the) KHN (Priest) H (the) / GDL (high) R'(SH) (head) / (HH)BR (council) H (the) YH/DHYM (Jews). See Reading |Judean |Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97065. Bronze prutah, cf. Meshorer TJC I 59 ff., Meshorer AJC Sc, Hendin 1137 var. (careless blundered inscription vice neat wedge style), HGC 10 629, VF, well centered, near complete inscription, careless style, some letters blundered, centering dot on reverse (also found on some similar coins in refs.), weight 2.255 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 134 - 104 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription with wedge style script: Yehonanan the High Priest and Head of the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $140.00 (128.80)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97081. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina with highlighting lighter green deposits, reverse off center, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $140.00 (128.80)


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.||prutah|
The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary. See Symbols| on Judean| Coins| in NumisWiki.
JD97434. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148; Meshorer TJC N; Meshorer AJC A; Sofaer Collection 214; BMC Palestine p. 198, 1; HGC 10 636, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, parts of legends unstruck, obverse slightly off center, obverse edge beveled, edge cracks, casting sprue remnant, weight 1.849 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, c. 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yehonatan the King, half opened lily flower; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor with two cross bars within diadem; scarce; $135.00 (124.20)


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

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||AE| |20|NEW
The single cornucopia and weight indicate this type was valued at half of Antigonus double cornucopia type. Even so, it is a large bronze compared with the usual Judaean prutah denomination.
JD97329. Bronze AE 20, Hendin 1163, Meshorer TJC 37, Sofaer Collection 427, SNG ANS 189, SNG Cop 65, HGC 10 647 (S), F, green patina, earthen deposits, uneven strike, reverse off center, porous, small edge split, pre-stike off-set casting seam and sprue remnants, weight 7.214 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew legend: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, single cornucopia tied with ribbons, grapes and grape vine hang; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus) within wreath and border of dots; scarce; $100.00 (92.00)


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; $90.00 (82.80)


Judean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.C.

|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |B.C.||prutah|
This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Hyrcanus II's Hebrew name is not known and some scholars believe this type was struck under Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The period from Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C. to the begining of Mattatayah Antigonus reign in 40 B.C. would be a long gap without minting coinage. We also believe the dramatic difference in epigraphy indicates a break at the mint, supporting attribution to Jannaeus' successors.
JD97369. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), VF, dark patina with lighter highlighting deposits, a little off center on a tight flan, some minor pitting on the reverse, obverse edge beveled, edge split, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.160 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude barbaric, blundered Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; $90.00 (82.80)


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; $90.00 (82.80)




  






DECENDANTS OF MATTATHIAS - THE MACCABEES



REFERENCES|

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Reinach, S. Jewish Coins. (London, 1903).
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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).
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Spaer, A. & A. Houghton. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).

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