first Seleucid coinage of Tyre

Author
Newell, Edward Theodore, 1886-1941
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Numismatic Notes and Monographs
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American Numismatic Society
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New York
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Worldcat
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Worldcat Works

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Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.

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THE FIRST SELEUCID COINAGE OF TYRE

By Edward T. Newell

In the city of Tyre was located one of the most active mints of the Seleucid kings. Their well known tetradrachms of Phœnician weight, bearing the eagle type associated with the usual symbol of the Tyrian mint (the club combined with the letters ΤϒΡ), are among the commonest coins of the entire Seleucid series. It is, however, a matter of considerable surprise when we contemplate the fact that the striking of these particular coins only commenced with the reign of Alexander I Bala (150–145 b.c.), although the flourishing city of Tyre had already been subject to the Syrian monarchs for over fifty years.

Under the previous dominion of the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt the city had constituted one of their principal mints— indeed the most prolific and continuously active one along the entire Phœnician coast. 1 It is difficult to believe, therefore, that Tyre really ceased for a time to coin silver, when in 201 b.c. Antiochus III entered its gates and the city became the centre of his Phœnician dominions. The commercial importance of Tyre, its great strategic value, and its past numismatic history all point to the necessary conclusion that its silver coinage could hardly have stopped when it passed from Lagid to Seleucid rule.

It is true that a few copper coins have already been attributed to Tyre for the period preceding the reign of Alexander Bala. In addition, one tetradrachm bearing the portrait of Antiochus III has also been assigned to this mint by Dr. J. Rouvier (No. 1824 in his Numismatique des Villes de la Phénicie, Jour. Int. Num., Vol. 6, 1904). This latter piece, however, because of its style and fabric, probably never emanated from the Tyrian mint. 2 We are, therefore, reduced to the above mentioned rather paltry copper coinage as the sole representatives for over fifty years of the wealthy city of Tyre and a great Seleucid fortress.

Induced by this somewhat surprising state of affairs to institute a careful search through the various catalogues of important public collections and also such private collections as were accessible to him, the writer was soon rewarded by finding a comparatively large and remarkably homogeneous group of tetradrachms and drachms whose attribution to Tyre now appears certain. With these the disturbing and, in fact, impossible gap in the Tyrian silver coinage, which extended from the capture of the city by Antiochus III in 201 b.c. to the inauguration of the well known series of "eagle" tetradrachms of Phœnician weight in 150 b.c. (the first year of Alexander I's reign), is now completely and apparently satisfactorily filled. As the following catalogue shows, every Seleucid sovereign who reigned during the fifty years in question is represented by an adequate silver coinage, in addition to a plentiful series of bronze coins.

The writer is here desirous of expressing his deep sense of gratitude to the Rev. Edgar Rogers for his great kindness in allowing him to publish certain rare and apparently unpublished varieties (Nos. 51 and 53). The writer is also very grateful to Dr. Rogers, M. Jameson, and the authorities of the British Museum and Paris collections for their kindness and trouble in sending him casts of certain important pieces needed for this article.

ANTIOCHUS III, 223–187 b.c.

Series I, Circa 201–196 b.c.

1 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Head to right adorned with diadem with fluttering ends: The features of Antiochus III are rather fleshy, his nose is comparatively short.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ onright. ANTIOXOϒ on left. Apollo, completely naked, seated to left on omphalos. He holds arrow in outstretched right hand and rests left on a bow of the "composit" type. On r., outside inscription, image On l., outside inscription, image

Newell Coll. Plate I.

2 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same die as the preceding coin.

Rev. Similar, but the shaft of Apollo's bow forms a simple curve.

Newell Coll. Plate I. Another in commerce, gr. 17.23.

3 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar head to right, at times in a circle of dots.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ above. ΑΝΤΙΟΞΟϒ below. Prow of galley, adorned with dolphin, to l., in circle of dots.

Newell Coll. Two specimens, gr. 6.65 and 5.36. Plate I.

4 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but above prow is to be seen the date PIE (= 198–197 b.c.).

Paris, No. 450 (gr. 4.40) Pl. xi, 5; No. 451 gr. 4.90.

5 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on right. ANTIOXOϒ on left. Palm tree, the whole surrounded by a circle of dots.

Newell Coll. gr. 2.76. Plate I.

While conforming in a general way to the types and style of the tetradrachms which the writer has elsewhere 3 shown must be assigned to Antioch, our two coins, Nos. 1 and 2, nevertheless differ markedly in many minor details. This fact at once suggests the possibility that we have here to do with the issues of another mint. On the other hand, the technique of the diecutting and the fabric of the coins themselves point to a mint whose location could not have been at any very great distance from Antioch, that is to say, as far away as Asia Minor or Babylonia. We must, therefore, look nearer home—perhaps in Cilicia, Syria, or along the Phœnician coast.

Again the features of Antiochus on these coins show that he is no longer a young man. The coins must certainly be later than Nos. 7 to 12 on Plate I of the writer's "The Seleucid Mint of Antioch," where the features are still very youthful. On the other hand, our head does not exhibit the sunken cheeks and sharper profile of Nos. 25 to 30 on Plate II of the same work. In other words, our coins evidently fall somewhere between these two groups and so are to be considered as nearly contemporaneous with Series II of the Antiochene mint which is assigned to about 206–200 B.c. A comparison of the portraiture confirms this in a general way.

A glance at our Plate I shows unmistakably the close connection that must exist between the bronze coins (Nos. 3 and 5) there displayed and our two tetradrachms. There is a striking similarity between the portraits which all these coins bear, and a still greater similarity in the style of their die-cutting. So evident is this, that the most conservative of numismatists will probably admit the strong chance that all these coins were perhaps actually issued from one and the same mint. Now the technique displayed by the bronze coins, the flans upon which they were struck and, above all, their types are characteristically, even certainly, Phœnician. Hence, at least, the tentative assignment of Nos. 1–5 to some important Phœnician city can hardly be seriously disputed. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that the conclusions arrived at above as to the approximate date of their first appearance coincides with the historical fact that Antiochus III finally secured possession of the Phœnician coast in the spring of 201 b.c. The actual date borne by No. 4 is probably the terminus of this particular issue. The definite assignment to Tyre, as proposed in this article, of our tetradrachms rests largely upon the attribution of Series II and III.

The bronze coins described above have been given, following M. Babelon and Dr. J. Rouvier, the convenient terms of Chalkous and Dilepton to facilitate a quick distinction between the two denominations used. To determine upon what really are the denominations found in Greek copper coins is a knotty problem, and requires a longer period of research and study before it is placed upon a definite and acceptable basis. The terms are here used only for convenience sake and in deference to M. Babelon's well-known authority. 4

Series II, Circa 196 b.c.

6 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head as on preceding tetradrachms but with longer nose and features less fleshy. The diadem ends henceforth hang down straight instead of fluttering.

Rev. Inscription and type as on Nos. 1 and 2. Apollo is entirely nude as before, but the omphalos is here draped with his himation. His bow is again of the simple type. On l. outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image

Paris, No. 336, Plate II; Athens, Jour. Int. Num. Vol. VI, 1903, Pl. vii, 2.

7 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same obverse die as was used for the preceding coins.

Rev. Similar. On l., outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image Newell Coll. Plate II.

8 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar but of higher relief and better style. For the first time a circle of dots surrounds the head.

Rev. Similar, but the omphalos (as on Nos. 1 and 2), is no longer draped. The bow is of simple style. On l., outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image In exergue, Bull rushing to l.

Paris, No. 337. Plate II.

Nos. 6 and 7 of this series are united not only by the monogram image found on both, but especially by the fact that their obverses were struck from the same die. No. 6 bears also the monogram image which we have seen occurred on our two first tetradrachms Nos. 1 and 2. Therefore, in spite of the minor differences in style and details of design between the two groups, it is probable that they were all struck in one and the same mint. This inference is definitely proved by No. 8 which in style and details of the obverse design is closest to Nos. 6 and 7, but in the style of its reverse is closest to Nos. 1 and 2. Further more, it bears the same two monograms image and image found on the tetradrachms of Series I, and so must certainly have been struck at their mint. The infuriated bull which is to be seen in the exergue of this coin is probably only a magistrate's symbol.

Series III, circa 196–188 b.c.

9 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Antiochus III to r. surrounded by a circle of dots. The portrait on this and the following coins is somewhat idealized, the features are thinner and sharper, the nose long and pointed. The diadem ends hang down stiffly. The breaks which appear later on this die do not show here.

Rev. On r. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ; on l., ΑΝΤΙΟXOϒ. Apollo, naked but for his right thigh which is draped, is seated to l. on omphalos, the top of which is also draped. In style and details, this reverse approaches closest to those of Nos. 6 and 7. On l., outside inscription, image on r., outside inscription, image

Paris, No. 291 (erroneously attributed to Antiochus Hierax) Pl. viii, fig. 6, here Plate III. A much finer specimen from the same obverse and reverse dies is shown on Pl. xxii, No. 581, Hirsch Sale, XXXII. 1912.

10 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same obverse die. Die breaks are here commencing to show at the back of the head.

Rev. As above, but only Apollo's right thigh is draped. On l., outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image In exergue. Bow in Quiver.

Pozzi Sale, Apr. 4, 1921, Pl. lxxxvi, No. 2948, Plate III.

11 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same die as the preceding, but with the die breaks still more evident.

Rev. Similar to preceding, but with Apollo entirely nude. On l., outside inscription, image and Lighted Torch. On r., outside inscription, image In exergue, Club.

London, No. 7, Plate III; Newell Coll.; Paris, No. 290 (erroneously attributed to Antiochus Hierax); Pozzi Sale, Apr. 4, 1921, Pl. lxxxvi, No. 2949.

12 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same obverse die as was used for the preceding coin.

Rev. Similar. On l., outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image

Newell Coll. Plate IV. A similar coin, but with the obverse from another die, was sold by Mme. Serrure in her sale of Nov. 18, 1911, No. 76, Pl. iii.

13 Drachm.

Obv, Diademed head similar to preceding.

Rev. Similar type and inscription. On l., outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image Newell Coll. Plate V; Pozzi Sale, Apr. 4, 1921, Pl. lxxxvi, No. 2956.

14 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same die as Nos. 9–12.

Rev. Similar to preceding. On left, outside inscription, image On r., outside inscription, image In exergue, Club.

Rev. Edgar Rogers. Plate IV.

15 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From the same die as the preceding. This die is now showing very bad breaks and dimmed outlines due to long continued use.

Rev. Similar to preceding. On l., out side inscription, image above Club. On r., outside inscription, image Newell Coll. Plate IV; another in commerce.

16 Chalkous.

Obv. Diademed head with sharp features as on preceding coins. Circle of dots around.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ above. ΑNTIOXOϒ below. Stem of galley (not prow as described by M. Babelon). In field the date PIZ (= 196–195 b.c.)

Paris, No. 452. gr. 7.75. Pl. xi, 6.

17 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar but date is ΡΙΘ (= 194–193 b.c.).

Newell Coll. gr. 7.20. Plate V.

18 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar but date is PK (= 193192 b.c.).

Newell Coll. gr. 9.32.

19 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar but date is ΡΚΔ (= 189188 b.c.).

London, No. 33.

20 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar, features thinner and sharper than on No. 5.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑNTIOXOϒ on l. Palm tree. The whole in circle of dots.

Newell Coll. 4 specimens, gr. 3.27, 2.35, 2.24, 2.05 Plate V; Paris, Nos. 577–578, gr. 2.00 and 3.15 (erroneously assigned to Antiochus IV); Dr. Rouvier, No. 1823; London, No. 48, Pl. ix, 8.

We need not here delay over the attribution of the bronze coins Nos. 16–20 to Tyre, an attribution that is certain and recognized by all recent authorities. The dates PIZ to ΡΚΔ which appear on the larger of the two denominations show their issue to have taken place between the years 196 and 189 B.c. The small bronze pieces, Nos. 5 and 20, with the type of the palm tree, are the beginning of a long line of similar pieces whose attribution to Tyre is certain and has so been recognized by Dr. J. Rouvier as well as by M. Babelon.

Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15, form a remarkably homogeneous group. All the known specimens, with but a single exception (an example of No. 12) are struck from one and the same obverse die. A glance at these coins, as reproduced on Plates III and IV, shows clearly the advancing wear, breaks, and general deterioration of the particular die in question, due to its long continued service. Especially to be noted is the fact that this group of coins throughout displays a monogram already used for the issues of Series I and II, namely image, thus conclusively proving that these coins must all be the issues of a single mint. Finally, the tetradrachms of Series III are important as now, for the first time in Seleucid numismatics, appears the Club—the customary attribute of Tyrian Heracles and the usual symbol of the mint of Tyre. The two symbols, Lighted Torch and Quiver, occurring on our coins only intermittently, are evidently but the symbols of magistrates responsible for the coinage and so, unlike the Club, do not occur again on later issues.

Series IV, circa 188–187 b.c.

21 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Antiochus III to r.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑNTIOXOϒ on l. Apollo seated to l. on omphalos, holding arrow in right hand and resting left on bow. On l., outside inscription ΣΑ and Club. On r., outside inscription, image

Coll, of Dr. E. P. Robinson. Plate V.

The single known tetradrachm of Series IV was probably struck but a short time previous to the death of Antiochus III. This follows from the fact that not only the symbol but also both monograms are found on the immediately succeeding issue of Seleucus IV. Thus is finally crystallized the general type and character of the silver issues of Seleucid Tyre until the time when the entire system was changed by Alexander I Bala.

The style of No. 21 is identical with that of the immediately preceding tetradrachms of Series III. Like them, it bears the mint symbol Club, and the monogram image which has been found to occur on Nos. 9 to 15 inclusive. Further proof of the identity of the mint is hardly necessary. A new magistrate, signing his initials ΣΑ immediately above the club, appears now for the first time, but we will have further occasion to record his signature on the succeeding issues of Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV.

Seleucus IV, 187–175 b.c.

22 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Seleucus IV to r. Circle of dots.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΣΕΛΕϒΚΟϒ on l. Apollo seated to r. as on previous issues, holding arrow in outstretched right hand and resting left on bow. On l., outside inscription, Club and ΣΑ. On r., outside inscription, image (or image).

Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll. Plate VI.

23 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. On l., outside inscription, Club and ΣΑ. On r., outside inscription, image

Num. Chron., 1883. Pl. vi, No. 3; Rev. Edgar Rogers, Plate VI (the club is missing on this specimen).

24 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar diademed head of Seleucus IV to r. Circle of pearls.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ above. ΣΕΛΕϒΚΟϒ below. Stem of galley as on the later bronze issues of Antiochus III. In field, the date ΕΛΡ (= 178–177 b.c.).

Glasgow, Hunterian Coll., No. 11 (gr. 7.55), Pl. lxvi, 5.

25 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but date is SΛΡ (= 177–176 b.c.).

Paris, No. 509 (gr. 7.10), No. 510 (gr. 6.80).

26 Chalkous.

Obv, Similar.

Rev, Similar, but date is ΡΛΗ (=176–175 b.c.).

Paris, No. 512 (gr. 7.20), Pl. xi, 20; Glasgow, Hunterian Coll. No. 12 (gr. 6.84); Newell Coll., (gr. 6.95) Plate VI.

27 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but date is ΡΛΗ (= 175–174 b.c.).

Newell Coll., gr. 6.30.

28 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΣΕΛΕϒΚΟϒ on l. Palm tree, the whole in circle of dots.

Newell Coll. (gr. 2.00) Plate VI.

The two tetradrachms described above, bearing the name and portrait of Seleucus IV, follow closely the type and style of his father's last issue in Tyre. Each coin, furthermore, displays in the left field, outside the inscription, the magistrate's initials ΣΑ and beneath them the mint-mark Club—thus exactly reproducing the above mentioned piece of Antiochus III (No. 21). Finally, in the right field of our coins are to be seen either image (No. 22) or image (No. 23), both monograms occurring frequently on preceding coinages. There can be no possible question, therefore, but that we here possess issues for the same mint whose activities we have studied for the preceding reign.

The bronze coins, Nos. 24–28, likewise carry on the issues of Antiochus III for Tyre. We see the same types used for the two denominations struck, excepting only that the portrait and name of Seleucus IV have now been substituted for those of his father Antiochusthe Great. Similarly, it is only the larger of the two denominations that bear dates, in this case ΕΛΡ to ΡΛΗ inclusive. This latter date PΛH (year 138 Aer. Sel. = after September 30th of 175 b.c.) is interesting as its existence on the coinage of Seleucus IV has been questioned more than once. First published by Sestini (Lett. Num. Vol. VIII, p. 110) where, however, the coin has been wrongly described, the portrait of Seleucus being called a bust of Dionysus and the ship's stern a prow—it has been republished by Mionnet although he questions it in the following terms: "Si cette date a été bien lue, elle donne un grand prix à cette médaille qui prolonge le règne de Seleucus IV d'une année ou de quelques mois, puisque c'est en l'an 138 de l'ère des Séleucides qu' Antiochus IV est monté sur le trône." Furthermore, Cavedoni (Rev. Num. 1856, p. 377) has attempted to reject the date PΛH, while Clinton in his Fasti Hellenici does not even mention it under the reign of Seleucus IV. On these apparently sufficient grounds M. Babelon, too, in his "Les Rois de Syrie, d'Arm' nie et de Commagène," p. xci, discards the date in question from among the coins of Seleucus. On the other hand, the coin in the author's collection (No. 27) is unquestionably an issue of Seleucus IV as it bears a typical portrait of that king, while the name ΣΕΛΕϒΚΟϒ is plainly visible. The types correct the description of the coin given by Sestini and prove the piece to belong to the issues of the mint now under discussion. The date ΡΛΗ, in its usual position immediately above the stern, is quite legible, and, in particular, the final letter H—the crux of the whole matter—chances to be clearest of all. The coin is not reproduced on our plate as the character of the patina with which it is covered is such that, while the date is quite legible to the naked eye, it has been found impossible to secure a plaster cast of sufficient clearness to make reproduction on the plates worth while.

The presence of the date ΡΛΗ on a coin of Seleucus IV is proved by the specimen in the author's collection. Can we explain this appearance in the face of the general scepticism among scholars recorded above? I think the true explanation lies in the circumstances immediately follow+ ing the assassination of Seleucus IV by his minister Heliodorus. This latter event appears in all probability to have occurred in the summer of 175 b.c., as the chronologists give Seleucus twelve years of reign. Now there followed several months of doubt and uncertainty regarding the succession to the Seleucid throne. Heliodorus as regent probably proclaimed Antiochus, infant son of the murdered king, and carried on the rule in his name. On the other hand, Antiochus, the brother of Seleucus IV, being at Athens when the news of the assassination reached him, immediately proclaimed his own candidacy to the throne. He sailed for Asia Minor and with the assistance of Eumenes, king of Pergamum, finally overcame Heliodorus and secured the dominions of his brother These events must have covered many months to allow sufficient time for the news to reach Athens, for Antiochus to arrive in Asia Minor, for Eumenes to collect his forces, for the subsequent advance into Syria and for the eventual overthrow of Heliodorus. It might well be, therefore, that the Seleucid year 138—which we now know for certain saw the striking of bronze coins with the names of both Seleucus IV (No. 27) and Antiochus IV (No. 33)—was already several months old before Antiochus finally found himself completely master of the situation. In the meanwhile things must have been somewhat uncertain. And as small change was needed in Tyre, the authorities there decided to continue the bronze coinage with the old types but bearing the correct date PΛH. Such a procedure neither faction could really take amiss. So soon as Antiochus was definitely established in Syria, Tyre hastened to change the old types for the new ones on her coinages.

It is, of course, possible that the assassination of Seleucus did not actually take place until after the commencement of the year 138 A er. Sel. (that is after September or October 175 b.c.)—we do not know the exact date of this occurrence. Such dated cuneiform tablets as have been published 5 do not help us much in this regard. The latest one dated in the reign of Seleucus IV bears the date 135 A er. Sel . (= 177–176 b.c.), while the first one of Antiochus IV was dated on the 22nd day of Iyyar of the year 138. This corresponds to May 174 B.C., as in Babylonian records the Seleucid Era appears to have been computed from the first of Nisan (April) of 312 B.C.

Antiochus IV , 175–164 b.c.

Series I.

29 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Antiochus IV to r. Around, fillet (?) border.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟϒ on l. Apollo seated to l. on omphalos, holds arrow in outstretched right hand and rests left on bow. On l., outside inscription, ΣΑ over Club. On r., outside inscription, image

Paris, No. 518. Plate VII.

30 Drachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar.

Athens. Plate VII.

31 Drachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but Club is in exergue and ΣΑ is missing.

Glasgow (Hunterian Coll. No. 6).

32 Drachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but Club only on l.

Glasgow (Hunterian Coll. No. 7.)

33 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar. Circle of dots.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ above. ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟϒ below. Stern of galley above which is date L ΡΛΗ (= 175–174 b.c.).

Paris, No. 672 (gr. 7.20), Pl. xiv, fig. 19; Rouvier Coll., No. 1840, where type is wrongly described as prow.

34 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but date is ΛΘΛΠ (= 174–173 b.c.).

Paris, No. 673 (gr. 5.45).

35 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑNTIOXOϒ on l. Palm tree.

Rouvier Coll., No. 1845.

Series II.

36 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Antiochus IV to r. Fillet border around.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑNTIOXOϒ on l. Apollo, as on No. 29, seated to l. On l., outside inscription, image over Club. On r., outside inscription, image

R. Jameson Coll., No. 1696. Plate VII.

37 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. On l., outside inscription, image over Wing, On r., outside inscription, image Club in exergue.

Glasgow (Hunterian Coll., No. 5), Pl. lxvi, 10.

38. Chalkous.

Obv. Diademed head of Antiochus IV to r. Behind ΔΜΡ (= 169–168 b.c.). Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑNTIOXOϒ TϒΡΙΩΝ in three lines above stern of galley.

image in two lines beneath.

Newell (gr. 7.33); Rouvier Coll. No. 1842, Pl. xviii, 25; London, No. 55; Paris, Nos. 674 (Pl. xiv. fig. 20) to 677 (gr. 7.50, 7.75, 8.50, 7.65).

39 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar, but date is EMP (= 168–167 b.c.).

Rev. Similar.

Paris, No. 678 (gr. 6.35).

40 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar, but the head is also radiate and there is no date.

Rev. Similar inscriptions, but type represents prow of a galley.

Paris, Nos. 679–681 (gr. 6.10, 7.70, 6.85); Rouvier Coll. No. 1844.

Rouvier describes these coins as showing a prow instead of the stern of a galley, and cites the pieces in the Paris Collection. M. Babelon, however, makes no note of the change in type.

In the 138th year of the Seleucid Era, the brilliant but erratic Antiochus IV, surnamed Epiphanes, finally became established as ruler of the empire. This we learn definitely from the dated bronze coins struck in Tyre (Nos. 27 and 33), which in that year substituted his name and portrait for those of Seleucus his predecessor.

With regard to the Tyrian silver issues of Antiochus, we should note that the first series continues exactly the style and appearance of the Seleucus' coinage for this mint. The two magistrates ΣΑ and image again sign their initials on the coinage, thus making it certain that we have here the issues of a single mint.

The break which occurs in the Tyrian bronze coinage (no issues known between ΘΛΡ and ΔΜΡ) appears to extend to the silver coinage as well. An interval of some years duration must have elapsed between the appearance of Nos. 29 and 36. Though they are evidently the issues of one mint—they both display the club symbol, which by now we have come to recognize as characteristic of our series, and the same magistrate's monogram image—there is a noticeable difference in style. In this respect the earlier coin is nearest to its immediate predecessors under Seleucus IV. Its style is fine, its relief is still rather high, its flan is small and the surface of its reverse is somewhat concave.

On the other hand, Nos. 36 and 37 are more closely allied with the succeeding silver issues under Antiochus V and Demetrius I. Like them, Nos. 36 and 37 are of lower relief and more spread fabric. On No. 37, for the first time, an additional symbol—a wing—appears in the field, and is henceforth always present until the reform instituted in the Tyrian coinage in the first year of Alexander I Bala.

Antiochus V, 164–162 b.c.

On the sudden death of Antiochus Epiphanes, his young son, also named Antiochus, succeeded him for a short and troubled reign of two years. None-the-less, both silver and bronze coins were issued in his name at Tyre, as the following pieces bear witness.

41 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Antiochus V to r. Fillet border.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑNTIOXOϒ on l. ΕϒΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ in exergue. Apollo seated to l. as on No. 36. On l., outside inscription, image above Wing. On r., outside inscription, image above Club.

London, No. 1. Plate VII.

42 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar. Border of dots.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΑNTIOXOϒ on l. Palm tree.

Rouvier Coll., No. 1846. Pl. xviii, 23.

43 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but in field N—P (= 163–162 b.c.).

Cat. Walcher de Molthein No. 2947, Pl. xxvi; Newell Coll. (gr. 2.43).

Rouvier Coll., No. 1847. Plate VII.

In style and appearance these coins are exactly similar to the last issues under Antiochus IV. On the tetradrachm we may notice the monograms of the two magistrates who had previously signed No. 37. Our coin also displays the Club and the Wing symbols. For the first time in our mint there now appears on the silver coinage the official appellation—in this case Eύπἀτωρ—of the ruling king, a custom which had already become prevalent in the central mint of Antioch under Antiochus IV (see the author's "The Seleucid Mint of Antioch," Amer. Jour. of Num., Vol. LI).

Demetrius I, 162–151 b.c.

44 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Diademed head of Demetrius I. to r., the whole surrounded by a laurel wreath.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟϒ on l. Tyche enthroned to l., holds short sceptre in r. hand and cornucopiæ in l. On l., outside inscription, image over Club. On r., outside inscription, image over Wing.

London, No. 35; Warren Coll., No. 1301. Pl. xxx; Paris (recent acquisition), monogram here is image Plate VIII.

45 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. On l., outside inscription, image over Wing. On r., outside inscription, image In exergue, Club.

Paris, No. 714, Plate VIII; Glasgow (Hunterian Coll., No. 7).

46 Drachm.

Obv. Similar but head is surrounded with a dotted border instead of the laurel wreath.

Rev. Similar. On l., outside inscrip- tion, image over Wing, On r., outside inscription, image In exergue, Club.

Egger, XLV, Pl. xix, 680; Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll., Plate VIII; Petrowicz Coll. (Z.f.N. Vol. XXIX, 1912, Pl. iv, 17).

47 Chalkous.

Obv. Diademed head of Demetrius to r. Border of dots.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟϒ ΛΔΝΠ (= 159–158 b.c.) in three lines above stern of galley. ΤϒΡΙΩΝ and image beneath.

London, Nos. 43 and 44; Paris, No. 770 (gr. 8.10) and No. 771 (gr. 6.05) Pl. xvii, fig. 2; Rouvier Coll., No. 1850; Newell Coll. (gr. 7.24).

48 Hemichalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟϒ ΤϒΡΙΩΝ in three lines above prow to l. ΛΔΝΡ (= 159–158 b.c.) and image in exergue.

Rouvier Coll., No. 1848, Pl. xviii, 27; Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll.

49 Hemichalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙϒ LΔΝΡ in three lines above prow to l. ΤϒΡΙΩΝ and image in exergue.

Rouvier Coll., No. 1849, Pl. xviii, 26; Rev. Edgar ogers Coll. Plate VIII.

50 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar to No. 47 except that date is LHNP (= 155–154 b.c.).

Newell Coll (gr. 7.30, 6.25); Paris, Nos. 772 to 774 (gr. 6.10, 7.70, 6.50); London, Nos. 45 and 46; Rouvier Coll., No. 1851; Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll.

51 Hemichalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Like No. 49 but dated HNP.

Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll.

52 Chalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar to No. 50, except that the date is ΘΝΡ (= 154–153 b.c.).

Newell Coll. (gr. 6.55); Paris, Nos. 775, 776 (gr. 7.10, 6.55); London, Nos. 47 and 48; Rouvier Coll., No. 1852; Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll.

53 Hemichalkous.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar to No. 51, except that date is ΘΝΡ.

Rev. Edgar Rogers Coll.

54 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r. ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟϒ on l. Palm tree. Date is ΞΡ (= 153–152 b.c.).

Paris, No. 779 (gr. 2.45), Pl. xvii. fig. 3: Newell Coll. (gr. 2.08, 2.20, 1.80, 1.90). Plate VIII.

55 Dilepton.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, except that date reads ΛΑ–ΞΡ (= 152–151 b.c.).

Schroeder Coll., Beyrout.

Demetrius' Tyrian coins, both in silver and bronze, continue all the features first introduced during the latter portion of Antiochus Epiphanes' reign and continued in the coinage of his young son Antiochus V. The issues of Demetrius are still supervised by the magistrate image and the tetradrachms and drachms all bear the symbols Club and Wing. The coinage continues at intervals throughout the twelve years reign of Demetrius until the 161st of the Seleucid era. In that year his rival, Alexander I, surnamed Bala, first secured a good foothold in Phœnicia. The following year the latter finally succeeded in completely overthrowing Demetrius, who perished in a pitched battle fought not far from Antioch.

It was in that very same year, namely 162 of the Seleucid Era, that Alexander first introduced the Ptolemaic system of coinage into the Seleucid series. These new tetradrachms and didrachms are of Phœnician weight, they display the portrait of the ruler on the obverse, his name and the Ptolemaic eagle on the reverse. They were first struck in large quantities at the mints of Tyre, Sidon and Berytus. The monograms or symbols of these cities are conspicuously placed in the reverse field. Tyre is designated by a Club and monogram, Sidon by ΣΙ and an Acrostolium, Berytus by a Trident.

* * * * *

In the preceding pages has been described a group of silver tetradrachms and occasional drachms which together form an unusually homogeneous series. With the exception of a few varieties at the very commencement, every one of these silver coins displays a club as symbol, in addition to varying monograms and other symbols. The club, therefore, is the characteristic symbol of this series as a whole, and we have every reason for recognizing in it the symbol of the mint which once issued this group of coins. To judge by the portrait of Antiochus III, under whom this issue commenced, its first appearance must be assigned to about the middle of that monarch's reign. It finally came to an end with the accession of Alexander Bala, who substituted his well-known Phœnician tetradrachms with their accompanying smaller denominations. No coins similar to those described in the preceding pages have so far been published or exist in any collection to which the writer has had access, which bear any other portrait than those of the five kings immediately preceding Alexander Bala.

In the introduction attention was called to the surprising fact that scholars have not yet been successful in assigning any Seleucid silver issues to the wealthy seaport of Tyre, from the time it was finally captured by Antiochus III to the death of Demetrius I. And yet, throughout these fifty odd years, Phœnicia had formed a vastly important province of the Syrian Empire under the more or less prosperous reigns of Antiochus III, Seleucus IV, Antiochus IV, Antiochus V and Demetrius I. That Tyre really possessed an active mint throughout this very period we are certain because of the large series of named and dated bronze coins whose attribution is absolutely beyond question. Now, as shown above, there has come to light a strikingly homogeneous series of tetradrachms and accompanying drachms which bear the names and portraits of every one of the five missing kings. The series commences abruptly with the tetradrachms of Antiochus III and ends as abruptly with those of Demetrius I. The latter, however, should be compared with the succeeding Phœnician tetradrachms of Alexander Bala, those of Tyrian mintage, which they closely resemble in style and technique. The surmise that one and all were struck in Tyre is definitely confirmed by the practically invariable presence of the club, a symbol which for over four hundred years was continuously employed to indicate the Tyrian mint. Moreover, the portraits on the accompanying bronze coins, whose attribution to Tyre is certain, closely resemble in character and workmanship those found on the silver denominations.

Thus that unexplainable gap in the Tyrian silver mintage, the only real gap that existed in its issues from the time when the mint was reopened under Antigonus after its closing by Alexander the Great, until the final silver issues under the Roman emperors Trajan and Caracalla, is now apparently closed. Incidentally, one more group of the great Seleucid series can be placed on one side as now assignable, with every appearance of finality, to its original mint—in this case, Tyre.


BACK

NOTES

End Notes

1 Compare its issues with those of Sidon, Gaza, Ptolemais, or Joppa in Svoronos' "Τά Νομίσματα τού Κράτους τών ΙΙτολeμαίων."
2 In a recent letter to the writer, the Rev. Edgar Rogers, well known for 'his studies of the Seleucid series, made this same observation based upon previous and entirely independent research.
3 "The Seleucid Mint of Antioch," Amer. Jour. Num. Vol. LI, 1917.
4 Rois de Syrie, etc.
5 A. T. Clay: Legal Documents from Erech, N. Y., 1913, Introd., p. 14.

Plate I

image

Antiochus III

Series I


Plate II

image

Antiochus III

Series II


Plate III

image

Antiochus III

Series III


Plate IV

image

Antiochus III

Series III


Plate V

image

Antiochus III

Series III (Nos. 13–20)

Series IV (No. 21)


Plate VI

image

Seleucus IV


Plate VII

image

Antiochus IV (Nos. 29–36)

Antiochus V (Nos. 41–43)


Plate VIII

image

Demetrius I


PUBLICATIONS

Ernest Babelon. Les Médailles Historiques du Règne de Napoleon le Grand, Empereur et Roi. Paris. 1912. Folio, lx, 430 pages printed in three tones, a special border for every page. Illustrating two hundred unpublished drawings of Napoleonic medals, …. by Chaudet and Lemot for …. the French Institute. $20.00.

Agnes Baldwin. The Electrum Coinage of Lampsakos. 1914. 36 pages. 2 plates. $1.00.

Edward T. Newell. The Seleucid Mint of Antioch. 1918. 137 pages. 13 plates. $5.00.

Edward T. Newell. Tarsos under Alexander. 1919. 47 pages. 8 plates. $2.50.

Edward T. Newell. Some Rare or Unpublished Greek Coins. 12 pages. 2 plates. $1.00.

Edgar H. Adams. Private Gold Coinage of California. 5 Vols. (Unbound). $3.50.

Edgar H. Adams and William H. Woodin. United States Pattern, Trial and Experimental Pieces …. issued by the U. S. Mint from 1792 up to the present time. 1913. 204 pages. Illus. Cloth, $3.00.


Numismatic Notes and Monographs

  • Sydney P. Noe. Coin Hoards. 1921. 47 pages. 6 plates.50¢
  • Edward T. Newell. Octobols of Histiæa. 1921. 25 pages. 2 plates. 50¢.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards— Introduction and Kyparissia Hoard. 1921. 21 pages. 2 plates. 50¢.
  • Howland Wood. The Mexican Revolutionary Coinage 1913–1916. 1921. 44 pages. 26 plates. $2.00.
  • Leonidas Westervelt. The Jenny Lind Medals and Tokens. 1921. 25 pages. 9 plates. 50¢.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Five Roman Gold Medallions. 1921. 103 pages. 8 plates. $1.50.
  • Sydney P. Noe. Medallic Work of A. A. Weinman. 1921. 31 pages. 17 plates. $1.00.
  • Gilbert.S. Perez. The Mint of the Philippine Islands. 1921. 8 pages. 4 plates. 50¢.
  • David Eugene Smith, LL.D. Computing Jetons. 1921. 70 pages. 25 plates. $1.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. The First Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 40 pages. 8 plates. $1.00.