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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic Monarchies ▸ Seleucid KingdomView Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of the Seleucid Kingdom

Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 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.
SH76216. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished; Houghton-Lorber I 165(1) var. (controls), cf. Houghton-Lorber I 169(a) (hemidrachm), VF, very high relief, well centered, bumps and marks, head of Zeus flatly struck, weight 17.143 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 90o, Susa (Shush, Iran) mint, c. 295 - 291 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion scalp headdress; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY, Zeus enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward, feet on footstool, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, radiate bust of Helios facing (control symbol) on left, AP (primary control) under throne above strut, ΠA (secondary control) monogram under strut; extremely rare, possibly unique - the only example known to Forum; $900.00 (€801.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

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Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
GS84619. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1781.3a, Cohen DCA 118, HGC 9 875a, EF, excellent Hellenistic style, lightly toned, slightly off center, some die wear, light marks, light deposits on obverse, weight 16.950 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch on the Orontes (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 146 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY, Zeus Nikephoros enthroned left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, Nike offering him wreath in his right hand, scepter in his left hand, cornucopia (control symbol) outer left, ΓΞP (Seleukid Era year 163) and monogram (control symbol) in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 386 (9 Nov 2016), lot 328; $540.00 (€480.60)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Achaios, 220 - 214 B.C.

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Achaios was an uncle of Antiochos III. He proclaimed himself King in Anatolia. After a two-year siege of his capital of Sardes, Lydia, he was captured and beheaded.
GY76100. Bronze AE 15, Houghton-Lorber I 956 var. (unlisted control symbol), SNG Spaer 834 var. (same), Newell WSM 1442 var. (same), HGC 9 436 (S-R1), VF, nice green patina, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 220 - autumn or winter 214 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed, wreath in talons, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / AXAIOY in two flanking downward lines, X (control symbol) outer right; unpublished extremely rare variant; $380.00 (€338.20)
 


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

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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 soon returned with support from Ptolemy. From 312 B.C., Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire. He declared himself king in 306 B.C., founding the Seleukid Empire and the dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C.
GS84888. Silver obol, Houghton-Lorber I 85, Price 3706, Müller Alexander -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Saroglos -, VF, a little rough, reverse off center, weight 0.534 g, maximum diameter 7.7 mm, die axis 270o, Babylon Imperial Workshop mint, as satrap of Babylon or as king, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse MYP monogram in wreath on left, club, bow and quiver, H right (off flan); very rare; $220.00 (€195.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY79685. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2006b, SNG Spaer 1771, Babelon 1009, Houghton CSE 248 ff. var. (control), SNG Cop 304 var. (same), HGC 9 143 (C-S), VF, nice portrait, green patina, obverse slightly off center, well-centered reverse, weight 8.067 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over palm frond (control symbols) to the right; scarce; $185.00 (€164.65)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VIII Grypus, 121 - 96 B.C.

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Antiochus VIII Epiphanes Grypus (Hook-Nose) was crowned as a teenager, ruling jointly with his mother Cleopatra Thea. In 121 B.C., one day when he returned from a hunt, his mother offered him a cup of wine. Since this was not common behavior for her, Grypus was suspicious and forced her to drink the wine; poisoned, it killed her. Grypus fought a civil war with his brother that ended with his murder.
GY84979. Silver drachm, Houghton-Lorber 2310b, Newell SMA 410, HGC 9 1209, VF, tight flan, light marks, light corrosion, weight 3.677 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch on the Orontes mint, 3rd reign at Antioch, 109 - 96 B.C.; obverse diademed head right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠIΦANOYΣ, tripod lebes, PE monogram over Γ outer left; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY84863. Bronze serrated AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2006b, SNG Spaer 1771, Babelon 1009, Houghton CSE 248 ff. var. (control), SNG Cop 304 var. (same), HGC 9 143 (C-S), VF, dark green patina with buff earthen highlighting, centration dimples, weight 7.602 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over palm frond (control symbols) to right; scarce; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY84865. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2006a, SNG Spaer 1772, Houghton CSE 248, Babelon Rois 1007; SNG Cop 304 var. (star vice cornucopia), HGC 9 1043 (C-S), VF/F, nice green patina with red earthen highlighting, weight 7.249 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wreathed in ivy; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over cornucopia (control symbols) to the right; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

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After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
SH90305. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2006c, SNG Spaer 1774, Houghton CSE 249, SNG Cop 304 var. (control), HGC 9 1043 (C-S), VF, weight 7.923 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left, holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in exergue, ΣTA over star (control symbols) to the right; ex Forum (2010); $100.00 (€89.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus I Soter, 280 - 261 B.C.

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Antiochos' reign was marred by struggle against internal and external enemies, including the betrayal and revolt of his co-regent in the east, his eldest son, whom he was forced to execute. He earned the title savior (soter) of Asia by defeated roving bands of Galatians that had terrorized the cities for years. However, not long after, he lost southern and western Asia Minor to Ptolemy.
GB83572. Bronze AE 16, Houghton-Lorber I 377, Newell WSM 886, HGC 9 175 (R3), F, nice green patina, bumps and marks, weight 5.18 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Mesopotamian or further east mint, 280 - 261 B.C.; obverse horned horse head right; reverse anchor flukes upward, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ANTIOXOY downward on left, monograms (control symbols) inner left and inner right; extremely rare; $95.00 (€84.55)
 




  



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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<.i>. 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 Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
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Seleucid Kingdom