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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ ArabiaView Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Arabia

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Bostra, Decapolis

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Portraits of the young Marcus Aurelius as Caesar are a favorite among many collectors.
RY13610. Bronze AE 16, Spijkerman 20, gF, weight 1.73 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Bostra (Bosra, Syria) mint, as caesar, 138 - 161 A.D.; obverse AYPHΛIOC KAICAP, bare headed cuirassed bust right; reverse TYXHN TPAI BOC, turreted and draped bust of Tyche right; price reduced to Forum's cost!; rare; SOLD


Gaza(?), Philistia or Arabia, c. 353 - 330 B.C., Imitative Athenian Pi-Style Tetradrachm

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

The obverse of this coin is die linked to examples with the Aramaic letter mem on the reverse (van Alfen style group Ia, Gitler and Tal V.17), which may abbreviate Marnas, the patron deity of Gaza.
Temple of Fortuna
SH66392. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New, Semitic Style Group Ia, p. 56 and pl. 11, 56 (this coin); cf. Gitler and Tal V.17 (with mem on reverse, Gaza), VF, weight 16.178 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 353 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; ex Amphora Coins, catalog 98, 150, Van Alfen New plate coin; rare; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Bostra, Provincial Arabia

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The camel was the sacred animal and symbol of Dusares, the main Nabataean god. Camels were sacrificed to him. The Romans made the camel their symbol of Arabia.
SH90321. Silver drachm, Sydenham Caesarea 204; Kindler Bostra pl. VI, 10 ff. var.; BMC Galatia p. 54, 65 var. (Caesarea, Cappadocia); SNG ANS 1159 var. (all var. bust), gVF, superb heroic portrait, weight 3.409 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Bostra (Bosra, Syria) mint, 112 - 117 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANΩ APICTΩ CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate, bare-chest bust right, with slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠA TO ς (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 6th time), Bactrian camel, with two humps, walking left on exergual line; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins, extremely rare with this bust; SOLD


Levant, Egypt or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Transitional Style Tetradrachm, c. 350 - 330 B.C.

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
SH66406. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 58 and pl. 12, 67 (this coin), VF, test cut on reverse, weight 16.983 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 270o, non-Athenian Eastern mint, c. 353 - 294 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; Van Alfen New plate coin; very rare; SOLD


Mesopotamia, Levant, Arabia, or Egypt, Imitative Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 450 - 350 B.C.

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From Mesopotamia, across the Levante and Arabia, to Egypt, Persian satraps and local rulers struck imitative Athenian type tetradrachms. Some were struck with styles much different from the Athenian originals. Some included monograms or inscriptions in Aramaic or other local scripts. The style of this coin is close to the original Athenian but unusual enough that we are convinced it is an imitative. In particular, Athena's face is distorted and the owls eyes are unusually large.
GS86605. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Dewing 1622; SNG Cop 40; Svoronos Athens pl. 17, 18; SNG München 56; HGC 4 1597; SGCV I 2526, gVF, centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, punch on obverse, banker's mark on reverse, tiny edge cracks, weight 17.243 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial mint, c. 450 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves into ear; reverse owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 353 - 350 B.C., Pi-Style II Tetradrachm

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
SH66402. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 53 and pl. 7, 18 (this coin); Kroll Pi-Style p. 243, fig. 6; Svoronos Athens pl. 20, 13; SNG Delepierre 1475 ff.; SNG München 91 ff., VF, test cut on obverse, owl's beak flattened, weight 17.013 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 353 - 294 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; Van Alfen New plate coin; SOLD


Levant, Egypt, or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Transitional Style Tetradrachm, c. 390 - 330 B.C.

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This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula. On page 58, Van Alfen identifies this coin as a non-Athenian, an imitative.Temple of Fortuna
GS86471. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 58 & pl. 12, 74 (this coin); countermark: Van Alfen New p. 49, fig. 1; for prototype see: Kroll Pi-Style p. 241, fig. 4, VF, multiple countermarks, edge cracks, weight 16.642 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 270o, non-Athenian Eastern mint, c. 390 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll, quatrefoil countermarks; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent, quatrefoil countermarks; from the Lucas Harsh Collection, Van Alfen New plate coin, ex Amphora catalog 98, lot 149; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Bostra, Arabia

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This type was previously attributed to Caesarea, Cappadocia but recent hoard evidence indicates it was struck in Bostra, Arabia.
RY10962. Silver tridrachm, SNG ANS 1160, SNGvA 6396, Sydenham Caesarea 190a, aEF, weight 10.26 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 135o, Bostra (Bosra, Syria) mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate head right with drapery on left shoulder; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), distyle temple, eagle in pediment, containing cult image of Artemis of Perge; some areas with mint luster, others a little frosty, ex Edward J. Waddell; SOLD


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Petra, Arabia

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SH11674. Bronze AE 27, Spijkerman 38, Rosenberger 23, VF, weight 8.76 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, obverse IVΛIA ∆OMNA CEB, draped bust right, hair in waved horizontal ridges, bun at back of head, looped plait on neck; reverse A∆PI ΠETPA MHT, Tyche seated left inside distyle temple with pellet on pediment, holding stele in right and trophy in left; very nice grade for the city, yellow metal; rare; SOLD


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

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Aretas IV was the greatest Nabataean king, ruling S. Palestine, most of Trans-Jordan, N. Arabia, and Damascus. Paul mentions Aretas in connection with his visit to Damascus (2 Corinthians 11:32).
SH11741. Silver drachm, apparently unpublished; cf. Meshorer 96 (year 27) and 97 ("o" right on rev), Schmitt-Korte -, SNG ANS -, BMC Arabia -, gVF, weight 4.555 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, 19 - 20 A.D.; obverse Aramaic legend, "Aretas, king of the Nabataeans, the lover of his people", laureate and draped bust of Aretas right; reverse Aramaic legend, "Shaqilath, queen of the Nabataeans, year 28", veiled and draped bust of Shaqilat right; slightly flat reverse strike but better than usual for the Petra mint; extremely rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol III, Part 2. (London, 1926).
Hendin, David. Guide to Biblical Coins. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G.F. Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
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).
Hoover, O. and R. Barkay. "Important Additions to the Corpus of Nabataean Coins since 1990" in Huth CCK. (New York, 2010).
Huth, M. Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms, Ancient Arabian Coins from the Collection of Martin Huth. ACNAC 10. (New York, 2010).
Kindler, A. The Coinage of Bostra. (Oxford, 1983).
Lindgren, H. and F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Meshorer, Y. City-Coins of Eretz Israel and the Decapolis in the Roman Period. (Jerusalem, 1985).
Meshorer, Y. Nabataean Coins. Qedem 3. (Jerusalem, 1975).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins: the Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Munro-Hay, S.C. ?Coins of Ancient South Arabia? in NC 154 (1994).
Munro-Hay, S.C. ?Coins of Ancient South Arabia II? in NC 156 (1996).
Nicolet-Pierre, H. "Thionèsis, roi de Characène (25/24-20/19 ou 19/18 avant J.-C.)" in Revue Numismatique 6e sér. 20. (1978).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Schmitt-Korte, K. "Nabatean Coinage - Part II. New Coin Types and Variants" in NC 150. (New York, 1990).
Schmitt-Korte, K. and Price, M. "Nabatean Coinage - Part III. The Nabatean Monetary System" in NC 154. (New York, 1994).
Spijkerman, A. The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia. (Jerusalem, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
van Alfen, P. "A Die Study of the Eastern Arabian Abiel Coinage" in Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms. (New York, 2010).
van Alfen, P. "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16 - 17 (2004-2005).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
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Arabia