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

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

Hyrcanus II was high priest during the rule of his mother, Salome Alexandra, 76 - 67 B.C. and was made king upon her death. Within a year he was deposed by his younger brother, Aristobulus II. Hyrcanus appealed to Nabataea and then to Rome for assistance. Pompey the Great took Jerusalem, inflicting heavy casualties (and entering, thus defiling, the Holy of Holies), and restored Hyrcanus. Hyrcanus was, however, denied the title of King and was a puppet of Rome. He was captured by the Parthians in 40 B.C. and was executed by Herod ten years later.

The coins struck in Hyrcanus' name may have been struck while his mother regent queen and he was high priest, 76 - 67 B.C., during his short reign as king and high priest, 76 B.C., or during his rule as ethnarch and high priest, 63 - 40 B.C. Types struck inscribed only Council of the Jews may have been struck during these periods or during the rule of his brother Aristobulus II.

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)


|John| |Hyrcanus| |II|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |John| |Hyrcanus| |II| |(Yonatan),| |King| |67| |B.C.,| |Ethnarch| |63| |-| |40| |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 coins of John Hyrcanus II. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription on this coin reads, from right to left, as follows: YNTN (Yonatan) H (the) / KHN (Priest) GD/L ( high) W (and) (HH)BR (council) / YHD[YM] (Jews). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97355. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), gVF, clear inscription missing only the last two letters, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 1.800 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse 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; SOLD


|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.
JD97412. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159 (Salome Alexandra as Regent), Meshorer TJC S (Alexander Jannaeus), HGC 10 641 (Alexander Jannaeus), VF, dark patina with lighter green deposits, porous, tight flan, reverse a little off center, pre-strike casting sprue cuts on edge (flat spots), obverse edge beveled, weight 1.684 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription within wreath: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin); SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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).
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).
Kaufman, J. Unrecorded Hasmonean Coins from the J. Ch Kaufman Collection. (Jerusalem, 1995).
Kindler, A. Coins of the Land of Israel. (Jerusalem, 1974).
Maltiel-Gerstenfeld, J. 260 Years of Ancient Jewish Coinage. (Tel Aviv, 1982).
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).

Catalog current as of Thursday, May 13, 2021.
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