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Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy and making him the richest monarch of his age. His 112 ships comprised the most powerful fleet that had ever existed. His splendid court compares with the Versailles of Louis XIV. An enthusiast for Hellenic culture, he also adopted Egyptian religious concepts bolstering his image as a pharaoh. At the Library at Alexandria, Jewish texts were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. He defeated the Seleucids in the first Syrian War, gaining control of western Cilicia, southern Lycia, Caunus, Halicarnassus, Myndus, Cnidus, probably Miletus, all of Phoenicia, and even part of Syria. GS94060. Silver quarter ma'ah, Hendin 1081; Meshorer TJC 33; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 22, 26; Gitler-Lorber II, group 6, pl. 1, 10, aF, obverse off flan, weight 0.162 g, maximum diameter 5.7 mm, c. 283 - 270 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of either Ptolemy I right; reverse head of Berenike I right, Hebrew inscription downward on right: YHD; very rare; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00
Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria
Neapolis, Samaria, the biblical Shechemis, is now Nablus, Israel. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. The city was refounded as Flavia Neopolis after the suppression of the Jewish Revolt. Nablus is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.JD72682. Bronze AE 20, Sofaer pl. 53,122; Rosenberger 59; BMC Samaria p. 62, 111; Lindgren III 1510, gVF, nice green patina with earthen highlighting, typical tight flan, weight 7.492 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis mint, obverse IOYΛIA MAICA CEB, draped bust right wearing stephane; reverse ΦΛ NEAC-ΠOΛE •CVP•, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Ascalon, Syria Palaestina
Phanebal was a deity specific to Ascalon. Mr. Tameanko, in his book, Monumental Coins, theorizes that the Temple of Phanebal was designed to imitate the sacred First Temple in Jerusalem, built by Solomon. Meshorer notes, "The Egyptianizing cornice, the columns widening in the middle and the uraei on the upper beams chow the influence of the Egyptian architecture. Perhaps this unusual shrine is the 'serifa in Ashqelon' mentioned in the Talmud (Aboda Zara 11b) as one of the five permanent idolatrous temples in the Land of Israel."JD92801. Bronze AE 28, RPC Online IV 6373 (5 spec.); Meshorer City Coins p. 27, 50; SNG ANS 722; Sofaer pl. 143, 143; BMC Palestine p. 129, 191; Rosenberger I p. 57, 169, Fair, weight 17.232 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ascalon mint, Year 254 = 150 - 151 AD; obverse ANTWNINOC CEBACTOC, laureate head right; reverse ACK-AΛW, complex facade of the Temple of Phanebal depicting four doorways, one inside the other, ∆NC (year 254) in exergue; zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
Faustina Junior, Augusta 146 - Winter 175/176 A.D., Abila in Decapolis, Palaestina Secunda
Abila was founded under the Seleucids, and was known for a time as Seleucia. It was later ruled by the Kingdom of Judaea. Under Rome it was included in the province Palaestina Secunda. The second-century geographer Ptolemy, in his Geography, lists 18 cities of the Decapolis and Coele-Syria. He adds Abila and eight others to Pliny's ten.RP91006. Bronze AE 15, cf. RPC IV online T6509; Spijkerman 6; Rosenberger 5; Sofaer pl. 124, 8; SNG ANS -, F, scratches, corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 2.714 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 180o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, c. 161 - 163 A.D.; obverse ΦAYCTEINA CEBACTH, draped bust of Faustina II right; reverse CEΛEYK ABILA EKC (year 226), bunch of grapes hanging from vine; rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00