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Off the Beaten Path: Two from Ascalon

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My first 'off the beaten path' thread for 2024 actually covers two coins. Although struck nearly two decades apart, I felt they were similar enough to include in the same post.


The first one is a neat little leaded bronze struck for Vespasian with a very busy reverse!


Æ23, 11.80g
Ascalon (Judaea) mint, 78-79 AD
Obv: ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΣ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: ΑΣΚΑΛΩ, ΒΠΡ; Tyche standing, l., on prow with standard and aphlaston; in l. field incense altar; in r. field dove standing l.
RPC 2207 (7 spec.).
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, May 2023. Ex CNG E510, 23 February 2022, lot 573.
Ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection.

In the years after the devastating Jewish revolt the pro-Roman harbour city of Ascalon produced a series of bronze coins under the Flavians. The coins copy types previously struck under Augustus and Nero. Here we see Tyche as a city goddess along with Ascalon's city symbol a dove. Pliny the Elder mentions Ascalon as the only oppidum liberum in the region during the first century AD (NH 5. 68).

NB: An aphlaston is the upward curving stern of an ancient warship.

In hand.

Next, is a little bronze struck for Domitian depicting a very city-centred deity.


Æ18, 4.96g
Ascalon (Judaea) mint, 94-95 AD
Obv: ϹΕΒΑϹ; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: ΑϹ, ΗϘΡ; War-god Phanebal standing, l., holding harpa in r. hand and small round shield and long palm branch in l. hand
RPC 2216 (17 spec.).
Acquired from Forvm Ancient Coins, May 2023. Ex CNG E510, 23 February 2022, lot 576.
Ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection.

This small denomination bronze struck for Domitian during Ascalon civic year 198 (94-95 AD) depicts Phanebal, the ethnic war-god of Ascalon, a fusion of the Phoenician deities Ba'al and Tanit. He is shown holding a harpa (a sickle-like curved sword), palm frond, and shield - all of which are his attributes.

In hand.


I'm curious to see if you folks have any coins from Ascalon. If so, please share!

As always, thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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Great post and excellent coins, David!

I have a Seleucid/Judaean coin in my collection that was previously thought to have originated from the mint at Ascalon. There are several online reference sources that have not yet been updated. The coin is now believed to have been minted in Jerusalem. This latest attribution means that I am now Ascalon-free or perhaps I’m Asca-lonely — Ba-dum-tss 🥁 — Sorry, I couldn’t resist.


Here’s my post from a few years ago. This coin is now numbered 6166 in David Hendin’s Guide to Biblical Coins Sixth Edition.



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Nice coins David! Here's a little one from the time of Domitian.


Judaea, Ascalon AE14. War galley

Obv: Turreted & veiled bust of Tyche right.
Rev: War galley right, date H9P above.
Dated Year 198 = 94-95 AD. Time of Domitian.
Rosenberger 58.


This one is not Flavian. 😮


Judaea, Ascalon. Antoninus Pius AE16. Phanebal

Obv: laureate head of Antoninus Pius, r.
Rev: AC ΦΑ ΝΗΒΑΛΟC. Date in left field NC=AD 146/7. Helmeted war-deity Phanebalos standing l., brandishing harpa, holding shield and palm-branch.
Yashin 208, SNG ANS 725var (date).


When I acquired this Titus his face was covered in a black tar like substance. 


Judaea, Askalon. Titus AE24

Obv: ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate head right.
Rev: AΣKAΛΩ, Tyche standing left on prow, holding standard and aphlaston, altar to left, dove standing left over ΔΠΡ (year 184) in right field.
RPC II 2209; BMC 117.
Dated AD 80-81.

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