Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Ptolemaic coins, part 1

NUMISMATICS: CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Ptolemies: Part I (Mike Markowitz). The first in a three-part series.

The Ptolemies, like the Seleucids, are important for the study of ancient Judaism. Both dynasties originated from generals (the Diadochoi, "Successors") of Alexander the Great who broke up and ruled his empire after his death.

Ptolemy I is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (11:5), although not by name. There is a legend, as the article notes, that Ptolemy II Philadelphus commissioned the Greek translation of the Pentateuch (the Septuagint). He is mentioned for other reasons, again not by name, in Daniel 11:6.

There are a great many Ptolemies, Berenices, and Cleopatras in this dynasty, but I think these two are the only ones who are featured on coins in this article.

CORRECTION: Ptolemy III is the branch mentioned in Daniel 11:7.

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