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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Melqart||View Options:  |  |  |   

Melqart

Melqart (Phoenician: lit. Melek-qart, "King of the City") was the tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre. Melqart was often titled Ba'l Sur, "Lord of Tyre," and considered to be the ancestor of the Tyrian royal family. In Greek, by interpretatio graeca he was identified with Heracles and referred to as the Tyrian Herakles. As Tyrian trade and colonization expanded, Melqart became venerated in Phoenician and Punic cultures from Lebanon to Spain. The first occurrence of the name is in a 9th-century B.C. stela inscription found in 1939 north of Aleppo in today northern Syria, the "Ben-Hadad" inscription, erected by the son of the king of Aram, "for his lord Melqart, which he vowed to him and he heard his voice." Melqart is likely to have been the particular Ba'al found in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible, specifically in 1 Kings 16.31?10.26) whose worship was prominently introduced to Israel by King Ahab and largely eradicated by King Jehu.


Tyre, Phoenicia, 91 - 90 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin

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SH15316. Silver half shekel, Phoenicia 242, 129 var. (beth between legs); Cohen DCA 919-37 (C); Baramki AUB -, gVF, weight 7.082 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 90 - 89 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date ZΛ (year 37) over club & palm left, ∆ (control) right, Phoenician letter samekh between legs; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, 111 - 110 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SL86641. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 237, 85; Cohen DCA 919-18 (C); Baramki AUB -, NGC Ch AU*, strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (4280576-003), weight 14.20 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 109 - 108 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date HI (year 18) over club and palm frond left, ZB right, Phoenician letter beth between legs; SOLD


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Second Punic War, c. 213 - 211 B.C.

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Examples in the Enna hoard and other Sicilian hoards indicate that this coin was struck in Carthage for use in the Sicilian campaign of 213 - 210 BC. Experts disagree on the identity of the portrait; many identifying it as the god Melqart, others as Hannibal or his father.
SH13769. Silver half shekel, SNG Cop 383, Choice EF, weight 3.329 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage mint, obverse laureate male head left (Hannibal or Melqart), dot border; reverse African elephant walking left on exergual line, Punic letter in exergue, linear border; toned; SOLD


Jerusalem or Tyre, 42 - 43 A.D., Jerusalem Temple Tax Coin

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The Temple Tax Coin.
Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple. When Tyre's coins were debased under Rome, shekels marked KP were likely struck at Jerusalem to maintain good silver coinage for the annual temple tax. "..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27.
SH79730. Silver shekel, cf. CNG auction mail-bid sale 61 (25 Sep 2002), lot 860 (same controls, otherwise unpublished, this date is recorded for a half-shekel, RPC I 4700), VF, nice style, toned, tight flan, reverse die wear (most evident in the H in the date), weight 13.949 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 42 - 43 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs, PΞH (year 168) and club left, KP over PKE monogram (control) right; missing from references and major collections - the CNG coin is the only other year 168 shekel known to Forum; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, 106 - 105 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SH86384. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 238, 99 (also with Phoenician letter nun between legs); HGC 10 357; Cohen DCA 919, EF, well centered and struck on a tight flan, toned, marks, encrustations, some light corrosion, weight 13.857 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, c. 106 - 105 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond under wing, date AK (year 21) over club left, HAP monogram right, Phoenician letter nun (control letter) between legs; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 39 (26 Aug 2017), lot 340; SOLD


Jerusalem or Tyre, 13 - 12 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

After the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, some experts believe Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The Jerusalem shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
SL89608. Silver shekel, RPC I 4644; HGC 10 357; DCA Tyre 420; Cohen DCA 920; BMC Phoenicia p. 237, 189 var. (monogram), NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 1/5, scratches, smoothing (4282169-005), weight 13.59 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 13 - 12 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date PI∆ (year 114) over club and palm frond left, KP over monogram right, Phoenician letter beth between legs; ex CNG e-auction 438, lot 231; SOLD


Shekel of Tyre, KP Type, 34 - 35 A.D., Temple Tax for Two

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Full Shekel - Tax for Two. At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
SL86642. Silver shekel, RPC I 4670 (2 spec.); Prieur 1431 (2 spec.); Cohen DCA 920-170 (C); BMC Phoenicia -; Baramki AUB -; Rouvier -, NGC AU, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (4241491-015), weight 13.53 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 44 - 45 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond under right wing, date PO (year 170) over club left, KP (καισαρ?) over monogram (control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia

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SH09037. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 1478, Choice EF, a touch flat on high points, very nice metal, weight 14.69 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Tyre mint, 103 - 109 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP - TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM, laureate head right, eagle below, club in front, palm-branch behind; reverse ∆HMAPX - EΞ YΠAT B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 2nd time), laureate bust of Melqart draped in lion-skin; rare; SOLD


Tyre, Phoenicia, 69 - 68 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

The Temple Tax Coin
"..go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them [the temple tax collectors] for me and thee." Since the tax was one half shekel per man the coin would have to be a shekel to pay the tax for both Jesus and Peter. Matthew 17:24-27
SH71896. Silver shekel, Cohen Dated 919 (R3), HGC 10 357, Hendin 1618, Rouvier -, BMC Phoenicia -, SNG Cop -, aEF, area of weak strike, weight 14.358 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 69 - 68 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, head left, right foot on ship's ram, wings closed, palm frond under right (far) wing, date HN (year 58) over club left, ΦΛ monogram right, Aramaic beth between legs; SOLD


Jerusalem or Tyre, 12 - 11 B.C., Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver

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Judas' 30 Pieces of Silver
"Then one of the 12, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' And they covenanted with him for 30 pieces of silver." - Matthew 26:14-15. Shekels of Tyre were the only currency accepted at the Jerusalem Temple and are the most likely coinage with which Judas was paid for the betrayal of Christ.

After the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, some experts believe Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The Jerusalem shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
SH91534. Silver shekel, RPC I 4645; BMC Phoenicia p. 248, 192 var. (beth vice aleph); Baramki 79 var. (same); Rouvier 2088 var. (same); Cohen DCA 920/115; HGC 10 357, VF, dark old collection patina, cleaning scratches, a few spots of mild corrosion, flan crack, weight 13.712 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre or Jerusalem mint, 12 - 11 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, transverse palm frond on far side, PIE (year 115) over club left, KP (Caesar) over BN (control) right, Phoenician letter aleph (control) between legs; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; SOLD




  




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Melqart