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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Nabataean Kingdom||View Options:  |  |  | 

Nabataean Kingdom

The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert, where only they could survive, and wait for the invaders to leave. Aretas II was a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. Aretas III was the first to issue coins, which he began after he defeated the Seleucid army in 84 B.C. and the council of Damascus asked him to govern their city. A Roman army under Marcus Aemilius Scaurus defeated Aretas III and besieged Petra, but paying a tribute, Aretas received formal recognition by the Roman Republic. The kingdom was slowly surrounded by the expanding Roman Empire, who conquered Egypt and annexed Judea, but wealthy from incense trade, Nabataea paid tribute and retained independence. The Nabataeans fought against Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. After the last Nabataean king, Rabbel II, died in 106 A.D., Trajan incorporated Nabataea into the Roman province Arabia Petraea. One of the latest known Nabataean language inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "...This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in which Arabs destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.

Roman Palestina or Arabia, Nabataean Pottery Oil Lamp, c. 225 - 300 A.D.

|Hanukkah|, |Roman| |Palestina| |or| |Arabia,| |Nabataean| |Pottery| |Oil| |Lamp,| |c.| |225| |-| |300| |A.D.|
This lamp came to us in a group accumulated in Israel. The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta, with their associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes linking them to the Mediterranean are in the Negev Desert, southern Israel today. In his, Nabataean Clay Lamps, an Analytical Study of Art and Myths, Nabil Khariy identifies lamps known from the Nabataean sites, especially Petra, which can be differentiated from Greek, Roman and Judaean parallels and identified specifically as Nabataean made. Khariy notes that although the Nabataeans lost their independence in 106 A.D., excavations clearly show aspects of Nabataean culture continued until late in the 6th century A.D. Khariy 66, similar to this lamp, is described as made with a local clay and cruder than similar lamps from non-Nabataean sites. Grawehr type J3, like this lamp, has a larger filling hole than most similar lamps. The larger filling hole is found on late examples of the type.
AL21908. Nabatean Oil Lamp; cf. Khariy 66; Grawehr J3 (Petra, 225-300 A.D.) Murray-Ellis p. 26, 16 (Petra, ND); Negev-Sivan p. 117, 129 (Mampsis, 75-200 A.D.), near Choice, intact, small chips in handle, c. 225 - 300 A.D.; reddish-brown clay, round body, small rounded nozzle, small knob handle, defined ridge separating shoulders from plain concave discus, ten stamped rosettes impressed around shoulders, very low ring base; $150.00 (138.00)


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II,| |70| |-| |106| |A.D.||AE| |15|
Rabbel married Hagru in early 106 A.D. He died soon after and upon his death, Trajan annexed the kingdom. On 22 March 106, Nabataea was incorporated into the new province of Arabia Petraea, with Bosra as its capital.

This type has been identified as very rare but about a dozen specimens have been offered recently. Perhaps a recent find is being disbursed and they will be difficult to find again after these coins are sold.
GB93619. Bronze AE 15, Meshorer Nabataean 164, SNG ANS 1452, F, rough, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.666 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, 106 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate busts of Rabbel II and Hagru, Rabbel II has long hair and ornament on the top of his head; reverse two crossed cornucopias, Aramaic legend "Rabbel / Hagru" in two lines between the horns; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Syllaeus and Aretas IV, 9 B.C.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Syllaeus| |and| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.||1/4| |drachm| |or| |denarius|
Aretas IV was probably the son of Obodas III, but this is not certain. Syllaeus was chief minister for Obodas III and initially shared rule with Aretas after Obodas death. But the rulers of Nabataea served under the authority of Rome and Rome, begrudging Syllaeus as an enemy, did not approve. In 24 B.C. Syllaeus had betrayed Rome causing the near complete massacre of a Roman army sent into Arabia Felix. Syllaeus was called to the court at Rome, where in 6 B.C. he was convicted of treason and Obodas' murder. He was beheaded and his body was pitched from the Tarpeian Rock.
SH12877. Silver 1/4 drachm or denarius, Meshorer Nabataean, Sup. 4; Schmitt-Korte and Price,"Nabataean Coinage III", NumChron 1994, pl. 10, Choice VF, weight 1.069 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, 9 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Obodas II, Syllaes' Aramaic monogram (shin) behind; reverse S (shin = Syllaeus) and H (heth = Aretas) in wreath; very rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

Barkay, R. "New Nabataean Coins" in INJ 16 (2007-8).
Barkay, R. "Seven new silver coins of Malichus I and Obodas III" in NC 2006, pp. 99 - 103.
Barkay, R. "The earliest Nabataean coinage" in NC 2011.
Bowersock, G. Roman Arabia. (Cambridge, 1983).
Bowsher, J. "Early Nabataean Coinage" in ARAM 2:1-2 (1990), pp. 221-228.
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Dussad, R. "Numismatique des rois de Nabatene" in Journal Asiatique 12 (1904), pp 189 - 238.
Hill, G. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum - Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
Hoover, O. "A Reassessment of Nabataean Lead Coinage in Light of New Discoveries" in NC 2006.
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).
Huth, M. Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms, Ancient Arabian Coins from the Collection of Martin Huth. ACNAC 10. (New York, 2010).
Huth, M. & P. van Alfen. Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms. Studies in the Monetization of Ancient Arabia. ANSNS 25. (New York, 2010).
Meshorer, Y. Nabatean Coins, Qedem 3. (Jerusalem, 1975).
Plant, R. The Coinage of the Nabataeans, Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin, March 1979, pp. 81-84.
Robinson, E. "Coins from Petra etc." in NC 1936, pp. 288-291, pl. XVII.
Schmitt-Korte, K. & M. Cowell. "Nabatean Coinage - Part I. The Silver Content Measured by X-ray Fluorescence Analysis" in NC 1989, pp. 33-58, pl. 11-17.
Schmitt-Korte, K. "Nabatean Coinage - Part II. New Coin Types and Variants" in NC 1990, pp. 105-133, pl. 10-15.
Schmitt-Korte, K. & M. Price. "Nabatean Coinage - Part III. The Nabatean Monetary System" in NC 1994, pp. 67-131, pl. 10-12.
Spikerman. A. The coins of the Decapolis and Provincial Arabia. (Jerusalem, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Tal, O. "Coin denominations and weight standards in fourth-century BCE Palestine" in INR 2, pp. 24 - 28.

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