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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Seleucid Kingdom||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of the Seleucid Kingdom

Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
GS91995. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 82.2d, Price 3756, SNG Saroglos 649, Müller Alexander 741, HGC 9 10f, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG München -, VF, superb style in sculptural high-relief, light marks, graffiti on reverse upper left, tight flan, obverse off center, weight 17.110 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 90o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right foot drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, MI over crescent horns upward in left field, MYHP monogram within wreath under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; ex FORVM (2009); $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.
GS91298. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 82(3)e, Price 3761b (same rev. die), SNG München 796 (same), Müller Alexander 748, HGC 9 10f, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, gVF, well centered, bold strike with high relief dies, speckled toning, tiny edge splits, weight 16.865 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 30o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, MI over rudder left, MYPT monogram (no pellet in P) in wreath below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleucus I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C.

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Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
GS91686. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 117(1)c (notes ∆ control var. from Hersh coll.), Newell ESM 4 (∆I), HGC 9 12i, VF/aF, superb sculptural high-relief head of Herakles, bumps and scratches, burnishing on reverse, weight 16.805 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 45o, Seleucia I mint, c. 300 - 296 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse Zeus on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, monogram in left field, ∆ (∆I variant) under throne, ΣEΛEYKOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; very rare control variant; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


Cappadocian Kingdom, Ariarathes VII Philometor, 116 - 101 B.C., In the Name and Types of Antiochos VII of Syria

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When Ariarathes VII Philometor was a child under the regency of his mother Laodice, Cappadocia was seized by King Nicomedes III of Bithynia, who then married Laodice. Laodice's brother King Mithridates VI of Pontus soon expelled Nicomedes and the restored the Cappadocian throne to Ariarathes VII. When Ariarathes VII learned that his father's assassin was under Mithridates' protection (Mithridates had arranged the murder), he prepared for war. Before the battle, the King of Pontus had him killed and put his own son Ariarathes IX on the Cappadocian throne.
GY91996. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2148; HGC 7 829; HGC 9 1069, gVF, areas a little rough, a few deposits, weight 16.604 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Eusebia-Mazaka mint, 107/6 - 104/3 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos VII right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ APIAPAΘOY ΦIΛOMHTPOΣ, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike right in extended right offering wreath, spear and grounded shield in left hand, monogram above A outer left, O inner left, Λ inner right; all within laurel wreath; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 227; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, Usurper in Anatolia, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios (Achaeus) was an uncle of Antiochos III. In 223 B.C., Antiochus III appointed Achaeus to the command of Anatolia on the western side of Mount Taurus. Achaeus recovered all the districts which had been lost; but was falsely accused by Hermeias, the minister to Antiochus, of intending to revolt. In self-defense he assumed the title of king. Antiochus marched against Achaeus after he concluded the war with Ptolemy. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, Achaios was captured and beheaded.
GY89996. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber I 956 corr. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, green and garnet patina, off center, light deposits, tiny edge split, weight 3.260 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn/winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in formal (corkscrew) curls; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AXAIOY downward on left, A (control symbol) outer right; apparently unpublished and only two sales recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C.

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Oliver Hoover, in Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton, attributes this type to the Cappadocian Kingdom, c. 130 - 80 B.C. The symbols were used on Cappadocian royal coinage, the coins are found in Cappadocian hoards and a tetradrachm naming the Cappadocian King Ariarathes VII Philometor (116 - 99 B.C.) bears the obverse portrait of Antiochus VII. He notes they may have been struck to pay foreign (Syrian?) mercenaries who preferred the types of Antiochus VII.
GS87618. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2061.1s, Newell SMA 280, SNG Spaer 1852, HGC 9 1067d, VF, well centered on a broad flan, light bumps and marks, small spots of light corrosion on the obverse, weight 16.109 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 138 - 129 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII right, fillet border; reverse Athena standing slightly left, head left, right hand extended through inscription to border holding Nike, grounded shield in left hand, spear leaning on left arm, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two downward lines on right, EYEPΓETOY downward on left, ligate ∆I over Λ outer left, laurel wreath border; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $160.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Struck with Ptolemy VI Dies Captured on Cyprus

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This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived invasion and occupation of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cyprus, c. 168 B.C. The dies were originally engraved for Ptolemy VI of Egypt. The letters EYΛ are the first letters of Eulaios, a regent during part of the minority of Ptolemy VI. The name of "Ptolemy" was effaced from the reverse die before the coin was struck.
GP93833. Bronze obol, Lorber Lotus Series p. 46, VI.3; Svoronos 1398 & pl. xlvii, 21-24 (Ptolemy VI with Eulaios); Weiser 152 (same); SNG Cop 294; Noeske –, VF, well centered and struck, attractive highlighting red earthen deposits, porous, central depressions, beveled obverse edge, weight 16.144 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus mint, c. 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (ΠTOΛEMAIOY erased from die), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, legs heavily feathered, lotus left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rectangular punch; ex Timelines Auctions auction 117 (9 Sep 2019), lot 3868; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

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As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GS89058. Silver drachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1642.3c, Newell SMA 122, SNG Spaer 1283, HGC 9 806, Cohen DCA 111, VF, light marks, small closed edge crack, weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 151 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right, bead and reel border; reverse cornucopia filled with grain and fruit, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ in two lines downward on left, ΠA and HP monograms over date AΞP (Seleucid year 161) lower inner right; ex Harlin J. Berk; $155.00 SALE |PRICE| $140.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C., Struck with Ptolemy VI Dies Captured on Cyprus

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This coin was struck with dies captured by Seleukid invaders during Antiochos IV's short lived invasion and occupation of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cyprus, c. 168 B.C. The dies were originally engraved for Ptolemy VI of Egypt. The letters EYΛ are the first letters of Eulaios, a regent during part of the minority of Ptolemy VI. The name of "Ptolemy" was effaced from the reverse die before the coin was struck.
GP89399. Bronze obol, Lorber Lotus Series p. 46, VI.3; Svoronos 1398 & pl. xlvii, 21-24 (Ptolemy VI with Eulaios); Weiser 152 (same); SNG Cop 294; Noeske –, VF, well centered on a broad flan, small red earthen deposits, name of Ptolemy erased from die, porous, central depressions, obverse edge beveled, weight 12.413 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cyprus mint, c. 168 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ (ΠTOΛEMAIOY erased from die), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, legs heavily feathered, lotus left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rectangular punch; from a New England collector; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C.

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Seleucia on the Tigris was founded by Seleucus I Nicator either when he visited Babylonia in the second half of 309 or sometime between 304 and 301 B.C. It was explictly designated as the capital of the empire. The city was opposite the ancient city of Opis at the confluence of the river Tigris and the Royal Canal, which connected the new city to the Euphrates. The ruins have been identified at Tell Umar, about 30 km south of Baghdad, and 60 north of Babylon. Excavations have shown that the city was built according to a gridiron plan. As it was a Seleucid city, there will have been the usual, straight main street, perhaps decorated with colonnades. The agora has not yet been identified. The theater may have been on the southern edge of the city.
GY86790. Silver drachm, Houghton-Lorber I 140(1) var. (Θ in ex.), 140(2) var. (monogram under throne); HGC 9 29g (R1), F, bumps, scratches, scrape on obverse, tight flan, anchor weakly struck, weight 4.008 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 135o, 2nd workshop, Seleukeia on the Tigris mint, c. 296/5 - 281 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean lion-skin headdress; reverse Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, anchor flukes up outer left, ΣEΛEYKOY downward on right, ∆ (primary control) under throne, tiny Θ (secondary control) inner left below arm and above knee; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Brett, A. "Seleucid Coins of Ake-Ptolemais in Phoenicia, Seleucus IV to Tryphon" in ANSMN 1 (New York, 1945).
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Gardner, P. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, The Seleucid Kings of Syria. (Forni reprint, 1963).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Phoenicia. (London, 1910).
Hoover, O. Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton, Part II. ACNAC 9. (New York, 2007).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Syrian Coins, Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC. HGCS 9. (Lancaster, PA, 2009).
Houghton, A., C. Lorber, & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Houghton, A. Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. ACNAC 4. (New York, 1983).
Houghton, A. "The Second Reign of Demetrius II of Syria at Tarsus" in ANSMN 24 (1979).
Kritt, B. Seleucid Coins of Bactria. CNS 1. (Lancaster, 1996).
Kritt, B. The Seleucid Mint of Aï Khanoum, CNS 9. (Lancaster, PA, 2016).
Levante, E. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (1986, and supplement).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (1985).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins from the Lindgren Collection. (1993).
Nelson, B. "The 2005 'Seleucus I' Hoard" in Coin Hoards X (2010).
Newell, E. Late Seleucid Mints in Ake-Ptolemais and Damascus. ANSNNM 84 (1939).
Newell, E. The Coinage of the Eastern Seleucid Mints. From Seleucus I to Antiochus III. (New York, 1938).
Newell, E. The Coinage of the Western Seleucid Mints, From Seleucus I to Antiochus III. (New York, 1941).
Newell, E. The Seleucid Mint of Antioch. (Chicago, 1978).
Price, M. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Rogers, E. The Second and Third Seleucid Coinage at Tyre. ANSNNM 34 (New York, 1927).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. (London, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Switzerland I. Levante-Cilicia. (Zurich, 1986; & suppl., 1993).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
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Seleucid Kingdom