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    Walls of Tarsus, or Jerusalem?

    CILICIA. Tarsus. Mazaeus, as Satrap (ca. 361-334 BC). AR stater (23mm, 11.01 gm, 12h). Baalters seated left, holding scepter; to left, grain ear and grape bunch above Aramic N; Aramiac M below throne / Lion left, attracting bull right; circuit of crenelated walls below; Aramaic legend around. Casabonne series 4, group B. A pleasing example of this scarce and historically intriguing type. SNG France 360. NGC AU 3/5 - 3/5.

    David Hendin, author of "Guide to Biblical Coins" and one of the world's foremost authorities on Holy Land coinage, has proposed that the walls represented on this issue of the satrap Mazaeus might be those of Jerusalem, rather than Tarsus, the city of issue. He translates the Aramaic inscription on the reverse as "Mazaeus who is over Beyond the River and Cilicia." The similarity of this inscription to a phrase used in the Old Testament books Ezra and Nehemiah suggests that it is a coded reference to Jerusalem, whose formidable circuit of walls was famous in antiquity. Mazaeus is also named on coins issued in Judah and Samaria, indicating he had authority in these regions. 


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
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