Lydian Kingdom, Kroisos, c. 561 - 546 B.C.
In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day. According to Herodotus, Croesus encountered the Greek sage Solon and, secure in his own wealth and happiness, asked Solon who was the happiest man in the world. He was disappointed by Solon's response that three had been happier than Croesus: Tellus, who died fighting for his country, and the brothers Kleobis and Biton who died peacefully in their sleep after their mother prayed for their perfect happiness because they had pulled her to a festival in an oxcart. Solon explained that Croesus cannot be the happiest man because the fickleness of fortune means that the happiness of a man's life cannot be judged until after his death. Sure enough, Croesus' hubristic happiness was reversed by the tragic death of his accidentally-killed son, his wife's suicide at the fall of , and his defeat at the of the Persians.SH85153. Silver , 1018; 455; 2873; p. 7, 37; II/1 407, pl. X, 7; 10; 662; 3419, aEF, and struck, etched surfaces, 10.047 g, maximum 18.5 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 560 - 546 B.C.; on the left, forepart of a roaring right, , on the right, the forepart of a bull left, pellet above lion's ; two square punches, of unequal size, side by side; ex Art of Money (Portland, OR); $3000.00 (€2670.00)
Persian Empire, , Anatolia, Darios I - Xerxes II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.
SH84767. Gold daric, IIIb A/B, 275, 4679, F, bumps and marks, die wear, 8.295 g, maximum 15.7 mm, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; kneeling-running figure of the Great right, bearded, wearing crown and , a quiver at his shoulder, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand; irregular approximately rectangular punch; $1210.00 (€1076.90)
Persian Achaeminid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodaros, c. 340 - 335 B.C.
Pixodarus was the youngest of the three sons of , all of whom successively ruled. To secure the friendship of , of , Pixodarus offered his eldest daughter in marriage to his Philip's son Arrhidaeus. Arrhidaeus' ambitious younger brother, Alexander (later Alexander the Great) offered himself instead. Pixodarus eagerly agreed but Philip put an end to the scheme. Pixodarus died, apparently a natural death, before Alexander landed in in 334 B.C. and was succeeded by his Persian son-in-law Orontobates.SH63582. Silver , 597; 2375; 280; 891; 2913; p. 185, 5 ff.; 6608; 4966, aVF, porous, 6.541 g, maximum 19.5 mm, 0o, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; of facing slightly right; ΠIΞΩ∆APOY, standing right, (double-headed axe) over shoulder in right, lotus-tipped vertical in left; $400.00 (€356.00)
Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), of & , c. 384 - 362 B.C., Tarsus,
Datames' enemies in Artaxerxes' court accused him, perhaps falsely, of intending to revolt against the Great . Secretly warned, he then did, in fact, revolt, c. 370 B.C. The revolt appeared to be leading to a breakup of the entire western half of the empire into autonomous states. His own son's desertion to Artaxerxes was, however, the beginning of the end, which came when Datames was assassinated, c. 362 B.C.GS84906. Silver , 25; 278; 81; series 1, pl. 3, 22, aEF, , tiny edge splits, 0.611 g, maximum 10.1 mm, 45o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 378 - 372 B.C.; female right (Aphrodite?), wearing earring, necklace, and diadem; Aramaic right, helmeted male (Ares?) right; ex Numismatics e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 231; $210.00 (€186.90)
Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), of & , c. 384 - 362 B.C., Tarsus,
In historical times, Tarsos was first ruled by the , followed by , and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of , was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 B.C. onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 B.C., when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 B.C. and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more Hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Athens and .GS84907. Silver , 310, 217, 48, 4567, II 600, Gorturk -, VF, and struck, , earthen deposits, light corrosion, 0.714 g, maximum 11.1 mm, 135o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, of female facing slightly left, drapery around neck; draped of female (Aphrodite?) right, wearing , hoop earring, and pearl necklace; ex Numismatics e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 229; $175.00 (€155.75)
Persian Empire, , Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.
GA85125. Silver , IV (middle) B, pl. XIV, 43; 1033; 4683, VF, typical , , 5.507 g, maximum 14.9 mm, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; Kneeling-running figure of the Great right, dagger in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned, quiver on shoulder, waist indicated, pellets on sleeves; irregular oblong punch; $175.00 (€155.75)
Persian Empire, , , Ba'Alshillem II, c. 401 - 366 B.C.
, named for the "first-born" of Canaan, the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:15, 19), is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isaiah 23:2, 4, 12; Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Ezekiel 27:8; 28:21, 22; 32:30; Joel 3:4). The Sidonians long oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12) but Solomon entered into a matrimonial with them, and thus their form of idolatrous worship found a place in the land of Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 33). Jesus visited the "coasts" of Tyre and (Matthew 15:21; Mark 7:24) where many came to hear him preach (Mark 3:8; Luke 6:17). After leaving Caesarea, Paul's ship put in at , before finally sailing for (Acts 27:3, 4).GS70326. Silver 1/16 , 851 ff.; 240; 27 (Abd'astart, Straton I); p 146, 36 (same); 197 ff. (same), VF, , tiny edge cuts, banker's mark, , bumps and marks, 0.648 g, maximum 9.5 mm, 90o, (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 371 - 370 B.C.; war galley left, Phoenician letter beth above, banker's mark or above galley; of (to left) standing right, slaying erect to right, Phoenician letter ayin between them; $160.00 (€142.40)
Persian Empire, Tarsos, , Pharnabazos, c. 379 - 374 B.C.
In 377, Pharnabazos was made commander of a Persian attempt to retake , which had rebelled and had defeated two previous attempts to retake it. Pharnabazos hired Greek mercenaries under the Athenian general Iphicrates to reinforce his army. A dispute with Iphicrates resulted in failure of the expedition. GS84908. Silver , series 4, 76, 257, 8645 (uncertain ), -, -, aEF, , slightest corrosion, 0.740 g, maximum 10.9 mm, 90o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 379 - 374 B.C.; seated half left on backless throne, torso bare, around hips and legs and over left shoulder and arm, grounded long lotus-tipped vertical before him in right hand, left hand at waist; of bearded warrior to left, wearing crested Attic helmet with raised ear flap and adorned with tendril; ex Numismatics e-sale 27 (28 May 2016), lot 254; $150.00 (€133.50)
Persian Empire, Artaxerxes II - Darius III, c. 375 - 340 B.C., , Anatolia
GS79827. Silver 1/4 , IV (late) C; 764; 1041; 37; cf. 679; (early - middle, A/B); p. 167, 143 (middle B), VF, on , 1.206 g, maximum 7.9 mm, 60o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 375 - 340 B.C.; kneeling-running figure of the Great right, dagger in right, bow in left, bearded, crowned, quiver on shoulder; square punch; very ; $125.00 (€111.25)
Persian Empire, , Anatolia, Xerxes I - Darius II, c. 485 - 420 B.C.
After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus' queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force. The replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify Ahasuerus as the historical Xerxes I, 485 - 465 B.C. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning. GA85132. Silver , IIIb (early), pl. XII, 16 ff.; 673; 4682; pl. 7, 155 ff.; p. 67 and pl. 17, 1 ff., aVF, , 5.442 g, maximum 13.9 mm, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 485 - 420 B.C.; kneeling-running figure of the Great right, transverse spear downward in right hand, bow in extended left hand, quiver on shoulder, bearded, crowned; irregular oblong punch, banker's mark; $125.00 (€111.25)
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