Al Kowsky Posted February 5 · Member Share Posted February 5 Yesterday the two coins I won from CNG 531 arrived, so I'll post the more interesting one ☺️. The Roman provincial coins from the Gaza mint are usually crude & the die engravers must have been "journeymen", so I was happy to score this hefty bronze that looks better than most. ROMAN JUDAEA, Gaza. Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161 (dated CY 215, AD 154/5). AE: 20.23 gm, 30.95 mm, 12 h. Obverse: Laureate, draped, & cuirassed bust of emperor facing right & seen from behind. Reverse: Bust of turreted, draped & veiled Tyche of Gaza facing right; EIC (date) in left field; (G)AZA in right field; sign of Marnas, mem near bust. Rosenberger 75; Sofaer 94. Photo courtesy of Coin Archives; Ex Kenneth S. Abramowitz Collection. Gaza has a known history going back 4,000 years that's been plagued by continuous upheavals & warfare. The Canaanites were the earliest known settlers, followed by the Egyptians, then by the Philistines. Gaza became part of the Assyrian Empire around 730 BC until it was conquered by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. At this point in it's history, most of it's inhabitants were killed or scattered & resettled by Bedouins. Gaza slowly became Hellenized. It was fought over by the Ptolemaic & Seleucid dynasties until it was destroyed by the Hasmoneans in 96 BC. It was rebuilt by the Roman general Pompey the Great & granted to king Herod the Great 30 years later. Gaza was now firmly under Roman control with Herod being nothing more than a Roman puppet. After the 1st Jewish-Roman War, AD 66-73, prosperity & stability returned to Gaza. The city received grants & building projects from several Roman emperors. Many pagan temples were erected in the Gaza City dedicated to the god Marnas & the local goddess Tyche. Hadrian visited Gaza in AD 130 & inaugurated a new stadium that became famous for it's sports competitions. Gaza was an important trading center for goods coming from Arabian caravans, so a local currency was a necessity. The earliest coinage used in Gaza was most likely Persian gold darics & silver siglos. Native kings began striking silver coinage in Gaza circa the mid 5th century BC. Imitations of Athenian Owls & their fractions soon followed. A mint was reestablished under Roman control circa 61 BC, & anonymous bronze coinage became the common currency. Bronze coinage depicting Roman emperors began with Augustus & continued through the Roman occupation. Billon coinage was introduced by emperor Caracalla, primarily for his proposed war against the Parthian Empire. Al Kowsky Collection. Photo courtesy of CNG. The "Holy Grail" of Gaza coinage is an imitation of an Athenian Owl pictured below. The coin was auction by Nomos AG, on June 22, 2021 for $76,700.00 (including the buyers premium) 😲; it is the finest known example of 9 in existence. The obverse looks like a typical Athenian Owl but the reverse is dramatically different, with a front facing owl making eye to eye contact with the viewer 🤨. PHILISTIA (Palestine), Gaza. 5th-4th centuries BC. AR Tetradrachm: 24 mm, 17.49 gm, 11 h. Obverse: Head of Athena with a full crest facing right. Reverse: Front facing owl with an olive sprig on both sides. The two letters spell "Zayin", the Phoenician name for Gaza. BMC pl. XL II. Photo courtesy of Nomos AG. References Essay: Heroes and Deities on the Coins of Gaza under Roman Rule. Yoav Farhi. University of Negev. 2017. Essay: Roman Influence on Jewish Coins. Rachel Barkay. Spink. 2012 Essay: Notes on Gaza Coins. Archdeacon Dowling. Haifa Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and Their Fractions, from 57 BC to AD 253. Michel & Karen Prieur. 2000. Classical Numismatic Group LLC, Lancaster, PA Nomos AG, Zurich, Switzerland. Wikipedia. Website members are welcome to post their coins from Gaza or anything else relevant to this thread ☺️. 19 1 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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