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My Twenty Ruler Seleucid Bronze Collection and Coin Heap


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I’ve been so inspired by the fine posts in the Greek Forum that I decided it was time to update my Seleucid collection.

I’ve been collecting Seleucid bronzes for as long as I’ve been collecting Judaean coins. When I’ve mentioned in the past about how my first ancient coin was actually an entire boxed collection called Coins of the Holy Land, I sometimes forget to mention that one of the coins in the set was a Seleucid bronze of Antiochus VI. I was so taken with the beautiful classical Greek portrait on the coin that over the years I’ve acquired quite a few of them.


Anyway, here’s my collection in one virtual heap followed by my favorite twenty.image.jpeg.6ddca12159b276dc5d92d27ba7802213.jpeg




image.jpeg.d63df2e9bc642b4bac0e9b9b8c9f2e6a.jpegIf any forum members are into Seleucid bronzes I invite you to post them.


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Promising you, @LONGINUS, that 'Gasp' emoticon was more along the lines of, 'Wow.'  This is a memorably comprehensive range of reigns.

Right (translation: 'obvious, but...'), regarding your collecting, there's the inescapable link between the Seleucids and the Maccabees /Hasmoneans.  If you go back far enough, a Seleucid AE was one of a very small handful of Hellenistic AEs I had as a kid.  (...Now cordially missed.)  And, Yep, I paired it with my first Hasmonean, a common lepton of Alexander Jannaeus, with the anchor.

But meanwhile, the Seleucid one had the same kind of serration as on several of your examples.

The only other context where I've ever seen contemporary serration is Republican denarii.  ...Thank you, there, at least, it makes intuitive sense.  But I've always wondered why even the later Seleucids were doing what looks like the same thing with AEs, often on conspicuously small modules.  ...Did it have something to do with the minting techniques per se?  For instance, could some of them have been cast, rather than struck --a method used in some Roman AEs, circa the Tetrarchy?  

No, really, just curious. 

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That is a terrific collection, Longinus.

Seleucid bronzes are a significant part of my collection as well, I have 35 of them. I love the fact that they frequently combine Roman style obverses (the ruler's portrait) with Greek style reverses full of symbolism (gods, elephants, anchors, etc).

My coins largely replicate the rulers shown in your favourite twenty although I don't have Antiochos XII but I do have Antiochos X which I attach below together with a couple of different types of other rulers.



Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochos X Eusebes Philopator.

Antioch, 94-83 BC.

Diademed head right, slightly bearded / [BA]ΣIΛE[WΣ] ANTIOXOY EYΣEBOYΣ ΦIΛOΠATOΡOΣ, pilei of Dioscuri with straps, surmounted by stars; monogram to left.

SC 2432.

6.68g, 18mm.




Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas.

Antioch on the Orontes, 152-145 BC.

Head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, elephant standing left, monogram to right.

SC 1791; BMC 57-58.

3.07 g, 14mm.



Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander II Zabinas.

 Antioch on the Orontes, 128-123 BC.

Radiate and diademed head right / Double cornucopia; A-Π flanking, star to lower left.

SC 2237.1f.

7,78g, 20mm.

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Beautiful coins! Beautiful presentation! I have only three Seleucid coins. Here they are.

Cleopatra Thea, Queen of Syria, with son Antiochus VIII.
AR tetradrachm; 15.85 gm, 27 mm.
Antioch mint, 125-121 BC.
Obv: Jugate busts, right.
Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΚΛΕΟΠΑΤΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, Zeus Nikephoros seated l., holding lotus-tipped scepter; IE outer left, A under throne.
Refs: SNG Spaer 2437; c.f. Sear 7135.
Notes: Ex-Henry Clay Lindgren. Obverse die match to an example sold in Baldwin's, Dmitry Markov and M&M Numismatics New York Sale IX, January 13, 2005.

Laodike IV, wife and sister of both Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV.
Selucia in Pieria, 175-164 BC.
AE 3.33 gm; 15 mm.
Obv: Veiled bust of Laodike IV, r.
Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, elephant head l.; prow.
Refs: Houghton, CSE 113 (plate coin); Forrer 183.

Antiochos III, 223-187 BC.
Seleucid Æ 2.41g, 13.6 mm, 11 h.
Lydia, Sardes.
Obv: Laureate head of Apollo right.
Rev: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY, legend above and below elephant advancing left; upturned anchor before.
Refs: SC 979; HGC 9, 560; Newell, WSM 1114; SNG Spaer 615.


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Thanks, @LONGINUS@Roman Collector, the one of Cleopatra Thea and Antiochus VIII is a standout, to say the least.  I doubt I've ever seen a Seleucid coin with the jugate profiles like this before.  Other examples were familiar from Ptolemaic and Nabataean coins.

The Nabataeans combined that practice with imitations of Hasmonean motifs on the reverses.  I have a few of those, but, Drat Again, no pictures.  But it's cool how explicitly the combination evokes Nabataea's lucrative place on the trade routes in that part of the world.

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Wonderful presentation as always Ray! That is a great sub-collection.

My favorite bronze Seleucid is an ex @Ryro!

Seleukid Kingdom
Diodotos Tryphon
AE17, Antioch mint, struck ca. 142-139 BC
Dia.: 17 mm
Wt.: 4.8 g
Obv.:  Diademed head of Tryphon right
Rev.: BAΣΙΛEΩΣ TPYФΩNOΣ AYTOKPATOPOΣ to right and left of a Macedonian helmet left, adorned with ibex horn. Star in lower left field
Ref.: BMC Vol. IV 11-12; Babelon 1052; Hoover HGC 1061; Houghton SC 2034.2e
Ex Ryro Collection, Ex David@PCC, Ex Bassem Daou 

Here is another Seleucid king in silver.


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Excellent coins and presentation!

Of course my favorites have shields...

Here are a few:

Here's a real rarity with the king in the boss:


A very rare tiny quarter unit:


A horse with shield below:


Nike donning the shield:


and all kinds of elephants and anchors so you know where they come from (keep your eyes open for countermarks)










Edited by Ryro
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A lot of good looking coins in this post. I don't have a count of total Seleucids, but I managed to obtain 32 different rulers and coins from 37 mints. @Sulla80 that's one of the nicest obverses for a Tryphon I've seen. My latest. Need to make my own photo, not as rough in hand.


Antiochos IX Eusebes Philopator. Uncertain mint 121, probably in Syria. 96-95 BC. Radiate and beardless head to right / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ, Athena standing facing, head to left, holding long palm and grounded shield and spear; H in inner left field, all within wreath. SC 2377; HGC 9, 1259

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3 hours ago, Celator said:

A lot of good looking coins in this post. I don't have a count of total Seleucids, but I managed to obtain 32 different rulers and coins from 37 mints. @Sulla80 that's one of the nicest obverses for a Tryphon I've seen....

32 rulers from 37 mints sounds like a nice collection...the multicolored patina's can be interesting - here's another Tryphon "Autokrat"


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