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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, 39 - 38 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
SH91531. Silver shekel, RPC I 4627, Cohen DCA 919/88 (R2), Baramki 77, Rouvier 2067, HGC 10 357, BMC Phoenicia -, VF/aEF, old collection toning, nice style, obverse cleaning scratches, small edge split, weight 14.148 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 39 - 38 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, ΠH (year 88) over club left, BN (control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; rare year; $900.00 (Ä792.00)


Kition, Cyprus, Melekiathon, c. 392 - 361 B.C.

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Kition also known by its Latin name Citium, was a city-kingdom on the southern coast of Cyprus (in present-day Larnaca). It was established in the 13th century B.C. Its most famous, and probably only known, resident was Zeno of Citium, born c. 334 B.C. in Citium and founder of the Stoic school of philosophy which he taught in Athens from about 300 B.C.
GS92809. Silver 1/3 stater, Tziambazis 30; Babelon Perses 707; BMC Cyprus p. xxvi, (i), pl. XIX, 7; Zapiti-Michaelidou -, aVF, struck with worn dies, weight 3.669 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Kition mint, c. 392 - 361 B.C.; obverse Melqart-Herakles in fighting stance right, lion skin on arm, club overhead in right hand, bow extended before him in left hand; reverse lion attacking stag crouching right, MLK-ML[...] (in Aramaic) above, all in dotted square border; ex CNG e-auction 413 (31 Jan 2018), lot 120; rare ruler; $165.00 (Ä145.20)


Tyre, Phoenicia, 108 - 107 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin

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Half Shekel - the currency of the Jerusalem Temple.
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied on Jews was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were not always used in everyday commerce, but were the only coins accepted by the temple. Many taxpayers required a currency exchange, so money changers set up in the Temple court. Jesus found this business and their shouting (advertising rates) offensive, so he threw over their tables.
JD79297. Silver shekel, Cohen DCA 921 (unreported date - no known specimens); HGC 10 358; Hendin 1619; BMC Phoenicia -; Baramki AUB -, F, toned, light corrosion, weight 6.011 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre mint, 108 - 107 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOYIEPAΣ KAIAΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date ΘI (year 19) over club and palm frond left, ZB (control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; extremely rare date; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Sunday, October 20, 2019.
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Melqart