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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Hasmonean Dynasty ▸ Alexander JannaeusView Options:  |  |  | 

Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C.

Aristobulus' was succeeded by his eldest brother, Alexander Jannśus, who was freed from prison, together with his two brothers, by Aristobulus' widow, Queen Salome Alexandra - "And now the king's wife loosed the king's brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest." (Josephus, Wars, I, IV:1). To expend his territory, Jannaeus, immediately attacked Ake-Ptolemais, which called Ptolemy of Cyprus to its aid. When it looked as though Jannaeus would be crushed, Cleopatra III of Egypt intervened, driving out her son-and-rival Ptolemy and reluctantly leaving Jannaeus with both Judaea and Ptolemais. Other conquests brought Jannaeus into conflict with Obadas I of Nabataea who soundly defeated him in 90 B.C. Jannaeus became the first High Priest to also hold the title of king, which met with disapproval of many religious Jews. Severely unpopular, he was pelted with citrons (etrog) on the Festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and according to Josephus, "being enraged at this, he killed some 6,000." A full scale revolt erupted and rebels called for the aid of the Seleucid King Demetrius II of Damascus in 88 B.C. Demetrius met Jannaeus with an army of 3,000 horse and 14,000 - 40,000 foot soldiers, forcing him into the mountains. At Demetrus' withdrawal, however, Jannaeus gathered reinforcements and re-established his authority, crucifying 800 rebels who were forced to watch the slaughter of their wives and children from their crosses (Josepus, Ant. XIII:380). After the Nabataean king Aretas gained control of Damascus, he used his new power base to inflict a final attack on Jannaeus, forcing the concession of a number of Hellenized towns before Jannaeus' death in 76 B.C.


Judean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C., Brockage

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A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.
JD84590. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1145, VF, off center, weight 2.319 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, Jerusalem mint, 103 - 76 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription, Yehonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, within wreath; reverse incuse of obverse; $95.00 (Ä84.55)


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The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary.
JD42691. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1148, SGCV II 6086, VF, weight 2.078 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, obverse Hebrew inscription, Yehonatan the King, lily; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (King Alexander in Greek), anchor within inner circle; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin); scarce; SOLD


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Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor probably publicized the annexation of these areas. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Yaakov Meshorer
JD40342. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1150, Meshorer TJC K5, Choice gVF, weight 2.246 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, Jerusalem mint, 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse eight ray star surrounded by diadem (or wheel), Hebrew inscription "Yehonatan the king" between rays, reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY (of King Alexander), upside-down anchor; SOLD







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SYMBOLS ON HASMONEAN DYNASTY COINS

The Lily: The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary.

The Pomegranate: The pomegranate was one of the seven celebrated products of Palestine and among the fruits brought to the temple as offerings of the first-fruits. Two hundred pomegranates decorated each of the two columns in the temple and were an integral part of the sacred vestment of the High Priest, as bells and pomegranates were suspended from his mantle.

The Cornucopia: The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty."

The Anchor: The anchor was adopted from the Selukids, who used it to symbolize their naval strength. Anchors are depicted upside down, as they would be seen hung on the side of a boat ready for use.

The Star: The star symbolize heaven.

The Diadem: The diadem symbolized royalty.


Catalog current as of Monday, June 26, 2017.
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Alexander Jannaeus