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

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

Aristobulus' was succeeded by his eldest brother, Alexander Jannus, who was freed from prison, together with his two brothers, by Aristobulus' widow, Queen Salome Alexandra - "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). To expend his territory, Jannaeus, immediately attacked Ake-Ptolemais, which called Ptolemy of Cyprus to its aid. When it looked as though Jannaeus would be crushed, Cleopatra III of Egypt intervened, driving out her son-and-rival Ptolemy and reluctantly leaving Jannaeus with both Judaea and Ptolemais. Other conquests brought Jannaeus into conflict with Obadas I of Nabataea who soundly defeated him in 90 B.C. Jannaeus became the first High Priest to also hold the title of king, which met with disapproval of many religious Jews. Severely unpopular, he was pelted with citrons (etrog) on the Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and according to Josephus, "being enraged at this, he killed some 6,000." A full scale revolt erupted and rebels called for the aid of the Seleucid King Demetrius II of Damascus in 88 B.C. Demetrius met Jannaeus with an army of 3,000 horse and 14,000 - 40,000 foot soldiers, forcing him into the mountains. At Demetrus' withdrawal, however, Jannaeus gathered reinforcements and re-established his authority, crucifying 800 rebels who were forced to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses (Josepus, Ant. XIII:380). After the Nabataean king Aretas gained control of Damascus, he used his new power base to inflict a final attack on Jannaeus, forcing the concession of a number of Hellenized towns before Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C.

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; $1440.00 SALE PRICE $1296.00


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 6193 (RR), Meshore TJC -, Sofaer -, 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; $1350.00 SALE PRICE $1215.00


Pair of Widow's Mites of Mark 12-41

|Widow's| |Mites|, |Pair| |of| |Widow's| |Mites| |of| |Mark| |12-41||prutah|
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, 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."
JD99342. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6189, Hendin 6189, Meshorer TJC K, Meshorer AJC C, HGC 10 637, Meshorer TJC K1 ff., VF, uneven and off center strikes, light marks, light corrosion, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, 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, dot border; from a private collector in New Jersey, the actual coins in the photographs; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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." On this coin the inscription is nearly complete. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHWN/TN (Yehonatan) [K]HN (Priest) / G/DWL (high) W (and) (HH) (council) Y/HWD/M (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD99439. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6180, Meshorer TJC Q, Meshorer AJC F, HGC 10 639, VF, near complete inscription, a little off center, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 1.984 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; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||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.
JD97426. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185b, Meshorer TJC T1, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), VF, both undertype and overtype off center, dark patina, highlighting light earthen deposits, weight 1.589 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over lily; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over anchor; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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 letters are clear, large and straight, with few variants. On many coins the inscription, especially the final word, is incomplete. Even the specimens that depict incomplete inscriptions and orthographic errors reveal a good style and contain well-defined letters." The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YHW/NTN (Yehonatan) HK/N (Priest, should be KHN) H (high) LDG (high) / W (and) (HH)BR (council) H (the) / YHM (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97675. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6181, Meshorer TJC P, Meshorer AJC E, HGC 10 638, gF, brown tone with highlighting turquoise and buff deposits, crude inscription, weight 2.025 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 90o, Jerusalem mint, 104 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription within wreath: Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||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.
JD97681. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185b, Meshorer TJC T1, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 2.688 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over lily; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over anchor; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||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.
JD97682. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck and off center, weight 2.042 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||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.
JD97684. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), gF, overstruck, highlighting earthen deposits (desert patina), remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.958 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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

|Alexander| |Jannaeus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |Jannaeus| |(Yehonatan),| |104| |-| |76| |B.C.,| |Overstrike||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.
JD97686. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6185a, Meshorer TJC T, Meshorer AJC I; undertype Hendin 1148 (Jannaeus, lily/anchor), aVF, overstruck, light earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.597 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath, struck over anchor; reverse double cornucopia with pomegranate between horns, struck over lily; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  



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REFERENCES

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Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.com/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 6th Edition. (Amphora, 2021).
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Kaufman, J. Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins from the J. Ch Kaufman Collection. (Jerusalem, 1995).
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Maltiel-Gerstenfeld, J. 260 Years of Ancient Jewish Coinage. (Tel Aviv, 1982).
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SYMBOLS ON THE COINS OF ALEXANDER JANNAEUS (YEHONATAN)

Anchor: The anchor was adopted from the Seleucids, who used it to symbolize their naval strength. Anchors are depicted upside down, as they would be seen hung on the side of a boat ready for use. Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor on these coins probably publicized the annexation of these areas.

Cornucopia: 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.

Diadem: The diadem symbolizes royalty.

Lily: 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.

Lulav: Lulav is a ripe, green, closed frond of the date palm tree. It is one of the Four Species used in the daily prayer services during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The other species are the hadass (myrtle), aravah (willow), and etrog (citron). Each type of plant represents different parts of your body because it shows that you worship God with all of your body. To qualify for use as one of the Four Species, the lulav must be ramrod straight, with whole leaves that lay closely together, and not be bent or broken at the top. The term Lulav also refers to the lulav in combination with two of the other species that are bound together to perform the mitzvah of waving the lulav.

Pomegranate: The pomegranate was one of the seven celebrated products of Palestine and among the fruits brought to the temple as offerings of the first-fruits. Two hundred pomegranates decorated each of the two columns in the temple and were an integral part of the sacred vestment of the High Priest, as bells and pomegranates were suspended from his mantle.

Star: The star symbolizes heaven.


Catalog current as of Thursday, May 26, 2022.
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