|Sale: CNG 69, Lot: 615. Estimate $300.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 8 June 2005.
Sold For $315. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Circa 375-333 BCE. AR Obol (0.65 gm, 5h). Persian king seated right, holding flower to nose and sceptre, thymiaterion before; "BT" (Bagabatas) above / Persian king slaying bull, pellet in center. Meshorer & Qedar 6. Good VF, toned, die break on reverse, some striking weakness. ($300)
Bagabatas is unknown, but must have been a Persian administrator in Samaria. The obverse design is derived from the seated king on staters of Mazaios of Myriandros (cf. SNG France 422).SECTION INTRO
Samaria was founded by Omri, king of Israel, as the new captial of Israel circa 900 BC. The first phase of its existence ended with the Assyrian conquest of 721 BC, when the Israelite population was deported to Babylon, to be replaced by a mixed community of Chaldeans, Syrians, and Arabs. When the Israelites returned with the Persians after 539 BC they settled into a diffuse cosmopolitan city, with numerous pagan temples and cults, the most significant being those of Baal and Astarte. Surrounded by these disparate foreign influences, the Samaritans evolved into a distinctive Jewish sect that survives to the present day in small towns at the foot of their sacred mountain, Mt. Gerizim. The Samaria Hoard and other recent finds in the region have revealed an amazingly complex coinage that was unknown until the last decade. Both Samaria and Judaea produced a fractional coinage in the 4th century BC, reproducing Greek and Persian types with legends naming the province. However, Samaria went well beyond the standard types, using types with Persian kings and deities, animals fantastic and natural, other Semitic types, as well as traces of Greek mythology. The extensive studies by Meshorer and Qedar will be supplemented by further detailed examinations of the unique iconography of the series.