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

Ancient Coins of the Seleucid Kingdom

Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., Struck by Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I

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This coin was struck under one of the Macedonian satraps in Babylon: Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I. Perdiccas suspected Archon of colluding in the theft of Alexander's corpse and, in 321 B.C., sent Dokimos to replace him. Archon was defeated and died from battle wounds. Seleucus, made satrap by Perdiccas' rival Antipater, arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 B.C. and defeated Dokimos.
SH54774. Gold stater, Price P203, Müller Alexander P116, aEF, weight 8.564 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 90o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with Griffin; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, facing head of Helios below left, [KY] below right; Struck under Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I, circa 323-318/7 BC.; SOLD


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

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Superb ancient counterfeit with intact plating and of finest style.
SH24647. Fouree silver plated tetradrachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber I 173 (official Susa mint), combining monograms of 173.14 and 173.16, Choice EF, weight 14.724 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, illegal mint, after 305 B.C.; obverse bust of Alexander or Seleukos wearing helmet covered with panther skin and adorned with horns and ears of bull; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY, Nike with spread wings, standing right, crowning trophy with wreath, AX and ΠA control-marks across lower field; ex Gorny&Mosch 141, lot 161; SOLD


Baktria, Diodotus I as Satrap for Antiochus II Theos, c. 255 - 250 B.C.

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Diodotus I was the Seleukid governor of Baktro-Sogdiana early in Antiochos II's reign. His first coinage was issued with the Seleukid monarch's portrait. He then issued coins, like this one, with his own portrait, yet retaining the name of Antiochos as king. Diodotus' territory was so remote that he was king in all but title. About 250 B.C., he took the title too and issued coins as king in his own name (BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆IO∆OTOY).

Recent scholarship shows that Ai Khanoum (Greek name uncertain) was the principal mint of the region, located on the frontier between Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union.
SH42566. Gold stater, Houghton-Lorber I 630, Newell ESM 723, SGCV II 7497, VF, test cut on obverse, weight 8.380 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ai Khanoum mint, obverse diademed head of middle-aged Diodotus I right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Zeus striding left, naked, aegis over extended left arm, hurling fulmen with raised right, wreath over eagle inner left; rare; SOLD


Baktria, Diodotus I as Satrap for Antiochus II Theos, c. 255 - 250 B.C.

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Diodotus I was the Seleukid governor of Baktro-Sogdiana early in Antiochos II's reign. His first coinage was issued with the Seleukid monarch's portrait. He then issued coins, like this one, with his own portrait, yet retaining the name of Antiochos as king. Diodotus' territory was so remote that he was king in all but title. About 250 B.C., he took the title too and issued coins as king in his own name (BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆IO∆OTOY).

Recent scholarship shows that Ai Khanoum (Greek name uncertain) was the principal mint of the region, located on the frontier between Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union.
SH33186. Gold stater, Houghton-Lorber 630, Newell ESM 723, SGCV II 7497, gVF, obverse test cut, weight 8.310 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ai Khanoum mint, obverse diademed head of middle-aged Diodotus I right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Zeus striding left, naked, aegis over extended left arm, hurling fulmen with raised right, wreath over eagle inner left; rare; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus (The "One-Eyed"), 317 - 312 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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When Alexander's empire was divided, his general Seleucus received the satrapy of Babylonia. From about 317 to about 311 B.C., however, Antigonus I Monophthalmus (The "One-Eyed") took over as ruler of all Mesopotamia. Seleucus took refuge with Ptolemy of Egypt and with his aid was able to reenter Babylon in 312 B.C. In 306 Antigonus became the first of the Macedonian generals to take the royal title. In 301 he was defeated and killed by the combined armies of Seleucus and Lysimachus.
SH12090. Gold stater, Price 3707, EF, weight 8.553 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 45o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, 317 - 311 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with a griffin; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left holding wreath and ship's mast, H under left wing, MEP monogram in wreath under right; SOLD


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius II Nikator, 146 - 138 and 129 - 125 B.C.

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Demetrius II ruled for two periods, separated by years of captivity in Parthia. He gained the throne with the help of Egypt, but general Diodotus rebelled, took Antioch and made Antiochus VI Dionysus his puppet king. Demetrius then ruled part of the kingdom from Seleucia. In 38 B.C. he attacked the Parthians but was defeated and captured, ending his first reign. The Parthians released him in 129 B.C. when his brother, Antiochus VII Sidetes, marched against Parthia. They hoped the brothers would fight a civil war but the Parthians soon defeated Sidetes, and Demetrius returned to rule Syria. His second reign portraits show him wearing a Parthian style beard. His second reign ended when he was defeated and killed by yet another usurper set up by Egypt, Alexander II Zabinas.
GS85157. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2155 (same dies), Houghton Tarsus A2/P2 (same dies), HGC 9 1116a (R3), EF, fantastic portrait, marks and scratches, edge crack, obverse damage in beard, slight double strike on reverse, weight 16.364 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 0o, Royal workshop, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 2nd reign, 129 - 125 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of bearded Demetrios II right, hair combed smooth on the crown of head, diadem ends fall straight, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ∆HMHTPIOY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOY / NIKATOPOΣ in two downward lines on the left, Zeus seated left, Nike in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Nike facing right inside inscription and offering wreath to Zeus, HAP and NE monograms in exergue; only a few examples of this extremely rare type known and all are apparently from the same die pair; extremely rare; SOLD


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos III Keraunos, 226 - 223 B.C.

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Seleucus III Soter proved not to be the "Savior" that his official royal epithet advertised; nor did live up to his nickname Keraunos - "Thunder." He failed to reclaim western Asia Minor from his cousin, Attalus of Pergamum, and was assassinated after only a brief reign of only a few years.
GS86617. Silver drachm, Houghton-Lorber I 933, Newell WSM 1327, Weber 7867, HGC 9 418 (R3), gVF, superb portrait, light toning, light bumps and marks, reverse double struck with a worn damaged die, weight 4.056 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Northern Syria or Northern Mesopotamia, uncertain mint, 226 - 223 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Seleukos III with long sideburns; reverse Apollo seated left on omphalos, examining arrow in right hand, resting left hand on grounded bow, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (downward on right) ΣEΛEYKOY (downward on left), AP monogram (control) left, monogram (control) right; very rare; SOLD


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos 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.
SH42576. Silver drachm, Houghton-Lorber II 131(8), Newell ESM 91a-b (same obv die), gVF, weight 4.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 270o, Seleukeia mint, obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Athena driving quadriga of horned elephants right, anchor above, BAΣIΛEΩΣ on left, ΣEΛEYKOY exergue; ex CNG auction 82, lot 713 ($1200 plus fees); SOLD


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

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This is an excellent example of the type which is often weakly struck and off-center. Fantastic lion. Heavy, very thick flan. Some references refer to this type as a stater.
SH09002. Silver double shekel, Houghton-Lorber I 88.2a, Newell ESM 263, SNG Cop -, gVF, weight 16.94 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 315o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 311 - 305 B.C.; obverse Ba'al seated left on diphros, holding scepter in right and resting left hand on seat, border of dots; reverse lion walking left on exergual line, horizontal anchor above, border of dots; SOLD


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

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Demetrius III Eucaerus ("the Timely") was nicknamed Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean Priest King Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SH28097. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2451(5), SNG Spaer 2862 var. (date); Houghton II 799 var. (date); Newell LSM 127 var. (monogram), VF, scratch on reverse, a little rough, weight 15.769 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, 91 - 90 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, curly beard, diadem ends fall straight behind, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ∆HMHTPIOY ΘEOY ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, N over ∆ (controls) outer left, date BKΣ (year 222 of the Seleucid Era) in exergue, laurel wreath border; very rare; SOLD




  




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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