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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. The_Treasury

Nabataean Kingdom, Malichus I, c. 60 - 30 B.C.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Malichus| |I,| |c.| |60| |-| |30| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Although he ruled for 39 years, Malichus only minted coins in three years near the end of his reign, his years 26 - 28. The date on this coin is obscure and there is some disagreement about the date of his accession to the throne. This coin was struck sometime between 35 and 31 B.C.
GB111366. Bronze AE 17, cf. Meshorer Nabataea 17 - 19; HGC 10 685; Cohen DCA 960 (scarce); Al-Qatanani 24, 25, or 29; Barkay CN 11, 14, or 19, F, brown tone, highlighting enhanced red earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, weight 3.270 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 35 - 31 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse Aramaic legend: Melko the king, king of the Nabataeans, open hand with palm facing, Aramaic regnal year (obscure, 26, 27, or 28) across central field; scarce; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV and Huldu, 9 B.C. - 15 or 16 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV| |and| |Huldu,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |15| |or| |16| |A.D.||drachm|
The date, at the end of the reverse legend, is off flan. We were unable to find a definite die match, but the style and epigraphy seem most similar to specimens from year 14. Until a definite die match is identified, the date will remain less than certain.
GS111367. Silver drachm, cf. Barkay CN 139 (year 14), Al-Qatanani 90 (year 14), Meshorer Nabataean 86 (year 14), Cohen dated 973, VF, toned, off center, edge crack, weight 4.346 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 5 - 6 A.D.(?); obverse Nabataean legend, "Aretas, king of the Nabataeans, lover of his people" (counterclockwise), laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV right, with long wavy hair combed behind his ears, Nabataean heth below chin; reverse Nabataean legend, "Huldu, queen of the Nabataeans, year [...]" (year off flan, perhaps 14, counterclockwise), veiled bust of Huldu right, Nabataean heth below chin; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV and Phasael, 5 - 4 B.C.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV| |and| |Phasael,| |5| |-| |4| |B.C.||AE| |14|
Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Jesus was born sometime between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. Matthew describes King Herod as the ruler during the time of the Nativity, and Herod died in 4 B.C. Later, in order to kill Jesus and eliminate him as a rival king, Herod ordered the "Massacre of the Innocents" - the killing of all male children in Bethlehem aged two years and under. This means that Jesus may have been up to two years old already by that time, and this also sets the Nativity between 6 and 4 B.C. The normal issue of this type has the monograms of Aretas (heth) and his son, Phasael, (peh sade).
GB110807. Bronze AE 14, Meshorer Nabataean 63A var. (monograms); Barkay CN 117 var. (same); Al-Qatanani 185t9 var. (same); Schmitte-Korte 1990 49 var. (same, VF, attractive dark green patina with reddish earthen highlighting, light scratches, weight 1.898 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse laureate head right; reverse two parallel cornucopias, tops left, tided with ribbon, palm frond on right; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II and Gamilath, c. 80 - 102 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II| |and| |Gamilath,| |c.| |80| |-| |102| |A.D.||drachm|
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king. A child when he became king, his mother, Shuqailat, ruled in the early years. He was given the title, "He who gives life and salvation to his people," perhaps for subjugating Arab tribes. 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. The date on this coin is off flan, but the style matches coins struck from 88 - 92 A.D.
GS111369. Billon drachm, cf. Al-Qatanani 239 - 240 (yrs. 20 - 21); Meshorer Nabataean 153 (yr. 21); Barkay CN 232 - 233 (yrs. 20 - 21); BMC Arabia p. 12, 1 (date off flan), VF, light tone, tight flan, obv. flatly struck, die wear, weight 2.843 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 89 - 91 A.D.(?); obverse Nabataean legend, "Rabbel the king, of the Nabataeans, year 20 or 21(?)" (date partially off flan), laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV with long hair right; reverse Nabataean legend, "Gamilath, his sister, queen of the Nabataeans", veiled bust of Gamilath right; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II and Gamilath, c. 80 - 102 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II| |and| |Gamilath,| |c.| |80| |-| |102| |A.D.||drachm|
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king. A child when he became king, his mother, Shuqailat, ruled in the early years. He was given the title, "He who gives life and salvation to his people," perhaps for subjugating Arab tribes. 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. The date on this coin is off flan, but the style matches coins struck from 88 - 92 A.D.
GS110743. Billon drachm, cf. Al-Qatanani 238 - 240 (yrs. 20 - 21); Meshorer Nabataean 153 (yr. 21); Barkay CN 231 - 233 (yrs. 19 - 21); BMC Arabia p. 12, 1 (date off flan), VF, toned, tight flan cutting off most of legends, weight 3.316 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 88 - 91 A.D.; obverse Nabataean legend, "Rabbel the king, of the Nabataeans, year [19 - 21?]" (date off flan), laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV with long hair right; reverse Nabataean legend, "Gamilath, his sister, queen of the Nabataeans", veiled bust of Gamilath right; $170.00 SALE PRICE $153.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.||AE| |15|
Aretas IV was the greatest Nabataean king, ruling S. Palestine, most of Trans-Jordan, N. Arabia, and Damascus. He took the name Philopatris, lover of his people. Aretas married Shuqailat, his second wife, in 16 A.D. Aretas' daughter Phasaelis was married to, and divorced from, Herod Antipas. Herod then married his stepbrother's wife, Herodias. It was opposition to this marriage that led to the beheading of John the Baptist. After he received news of the divorce, Aretas invaded the territory of Herod Antipas and defeated his army. Paul mentions Aretas in connection with his visit to Damascus, when he had to sneak out of the city in a basket lowered from a window in the wall to escape (2 Corinthians 11:32). Al-Khazneh, one of the most elaborate buildings in Petra, is believed to have been his mausoleum.
GB110802. Bronze AE 15, Al-Qatanani 156, Barkay CN 187d, Huth 80, Meshorer Nabataean 97, SNG ANS 6 1435, gVF, dark green patina, highlighting buff earthen highlighting, flan adjustment marks, casting sprue remnant, weight 2.182 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse Aretas standing facing, looking left, laureate, wearing military dress, scarf and high boots, spear in right hand, left on pommel of sword in scabbard, palm frond left, Aramaic monogram (H) upper right; reverse Shuqailat standing left, veiled, wearing long chiton, right hand raised, wreath left, Aramaic legend "Shuqa/ila/t" in three lines on right; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D., Barbaric Imitative

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.,| |Barbaric| |Imitative||AE| |14|
Aretas IV was the greatest Nabataean king, ruling S. Palestine, most of Trans-Jordan, N. Arabia, and Damascus. Al-Khazneh,one of the most elaborate temples in Petra, is believed to have been the mausoleum of Aretas IV. Paul mentions Aretas in connection with his visit to Damascus (2 Corinthians 11:32). Al-Khazneh, one of the most elaborate temples in Petra, is believed to have been the mausoleum of Aretas IV.
GB94966. Bronze AE 14, Al-Qatanani 141t6 (die match, barbaric style), Meshorer Nabataean 68A; cf. Huth 77 (official style), Barkay CN 150c (same), Schmitt-Korte 38 (same), VF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. off center, reverse edge beveled, small edge split, weight 1.482 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial mint, c. 2 - 24; obverse laureate head of Aretas right; reverse two crossed and filleted cornucopias, Nabataean het ros monogram (Aretas) between the horns; from the Ray Nouri Collection; extremely rare; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II and Gamilath, c. 80 - 102 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II| |and| |Gamilath,| |c.| |80| |-| |102| |A.D.||drachm|
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king. A child when he became king, his mother, Shuqailat, ruled in the early years. He was given the title, "He who gives life and salvation to his people," perhaps for subjugating Arab tribes. 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. The date on this coin is off flan, but the style matches coins struck from 88 - 92 A.D.
GS110752. Billon drachm, cf. Al-Qatanani 238 - 240 (yrs. 20 - 21); Meshorer Nabataean 153 (yr. 21); Barkay CN 231 - 233 (yrs. 19 - 21); BMC Arabia p. 12, 1 (date off flan), VF, toned, tight flan cutting off much of legends, weight 3.584 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 88 - 91 A.D.; obverse Nabataean legend, "Rabbel the king, of the Nabataeans, year [19 - 21?]" (date off flan), laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV with long hair right; reverse Nabataean legend, "Gamilath, his sister, queen of the Nabataeans", veiled bust of Gamilath right; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.||AE| |17|
Aretas IV was the greatest Nabataean king, ruling S. Palestine, most of Trans-Jordan, N. Arabia, and Damascus. He took the name Philopatris, lover of his people. Aretas married Shuqailat, his second wife, in 16 A.D. Aretas' daughter Phasaelis was married to, and divorced from, Herod Antipas. Herod then married his stepbrother's wife, Herodias. It was opposition to this marriage that led to the beheading of John the Baptist. After he received news of the divorce, Aretas invaded the territory of Herod Antipas and defeated his army. Paul mentions Aretas in connection with his visit to Damascus, when he had to sneak out of the city in a basket lowered from a window in the wall to escape (2 Corinthians 11:32). Al-Khazneh, one of the most elaborate buildings in Petra, is believed to have been his mausoleum.
GB110810. Bronze AE 17, Al-Qatanani 156t2, Barkay CN 187, Huth 80, Meshorer Nabataean 97, SNG ANS 6 1435, VF, near black patina, obv. a little off center, centers weak, flan adjustment marks, remnants of casting sprues, weight 1.943 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse Aretas standing facing, looking left, laureate, wearing military dress, scarf and high boots, spear in right hand, left on pommel of sword in scabbard, palm frond left, no monogram; reverse Shuqailat standing left, veiled, wearing long chiton, right hand raised, wreath left, Aramaic legend "Shuqa/ila/t" in three lines on right; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Roman Republic, First Triumvirate, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus & Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, 58 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |First| |Triumvirate,| |Marcus| |Aemilius| |Scaurus| |&| |Publius| |Plautius| |Hypsaeus,| |58| |B.C.||denarius|NEW
M. Aemilius Scaurus, in 62 B.C., as quaestor to Pompey, was sent against King Aretas but withdrew when Aretas paid 300 talents. Aemilius was curule aedile when this coin was struck. This was the first time a moneyer publicized an event from his own career on coinage. Later he was praetor and propraetor, lost a campaign for Consul, and successfully defended Cicero. In 52 B.C., he was charged with bribery and went into exile.
RR112929. Silver denarius, Crawford 422/1b, Sydenham 913, RSC I Aemilia 8, Russo RBW 1519, SRCV I 379, F, porous, oval flan, off center, weight 3.428 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 58 B.C.; obverse Aretas, King of Nabataea, kneeling beside camel raising olive branch with fillet, M·SCAVR over AED·CVR above, EX - S C divided across field, REX ARETAS in exergue; reverse Jupiter in quadriga left, reins in right, hurling thunderbolt with left, scorpion below, P·HYPSAEVS over AED·CVR above, CAPT on right, C·HYPSAE·COS over PREIVE in exergue; $130.00 SALE PRICE $107.00




  



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REFERENCES

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Barkay, R. "The Coinage of the Last Nabataean King, Rabbel II (AD 70/1-105/6)" in NC 174 (2014), pp. 29 - 44, pl. 6 - 7.
Barkay, R. The Coinage of the Nabataeans. Qedem 58. (Jerusalem, 2019).
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