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Dishekel - Time of Azbaal in Byblos

ref. : EN.532.2010 | 12 September 2010 | by Francis Leveque
coins | IVe century BC
Byblos (Jbeil) (Gebla), Phénicie ( Liban )
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Argent Dishekel, diameter 25,5 mm, Weight 13,31 g.

Workshop : Byblos

Date : c 350 av. J.-C.

Reverse :

Monogramme NO
Description : Phoenician bireme (war galley) w/ lion’s head prow ornamen, three hoplites with round shields within; zigzag row of waves below; in exergue, "NO" monogram below; hippocamp facing left; murex shell below hippocamp; dotted circular border.

Obverse :

Légende phénicenne
Traduction : “Azb’al M(e)l(e)k G(e)b(a)l” in Phoencian script, (Ozbaal, King of Gebal)
Description : Large lion attacking bull, facing left; dotted circular border

Commentaire :

Commentaires : Informations about phoenician cities as here Byblos are rare before the arrival of Alexandre the Great. The order of succession of the kings is not well-known. It is possible Byblos, with other cities of Phoenicia, revolted against the authority of the Persian King in 351 BC. The city was famous for its military port remembered by the galley.

Byblos, known also during Antiquity under the name of ’Gebal’, modern Jbaïl in Lebanon, is located at 30 km in the north of Beirut. For IVe century BC, we know the names of the following kings : Elpaal, Ozbaal, Adramalek et Ayinel. They present all same monetary typology.


Bibliography :

  • , The British Museum. Catalogue of the Greek Coins (BMC), Londres , 1873-1927 (réimpr. 1963-1965), vol. 26, p.95, n° 4-5var, pl. 11/12
  • coll., Leake and General Collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum (SNG Fitz), Cambridge , 1940-1971, n° 6028
  • D.R. SEAR , Greek Coins and their Values (GC) , 1978, n° 6011
  • L. Mildenberg, Arthur Dewing Collection of Greek Coins (Dewing), American Numismatic Society, New York , 1985, n° 2662
  • L. Basch, Le musée imaginaire de la marine antique (MIMA), Institut hellénique pour la préservation de la tradition nautique, Athènes , 1987, p.326, n° 697