Demetrius I Soter drachm: My first Biblical coin of sorts.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Sallent, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Yay, I believe I just crossed a milestone. I finally have a coin of someone who the Bible refered to directly and whose actions were documented extensively in the Bible...Demetrius I Soter, Basileus of the Celeucid kingdom.

    I think this one is definitely up @Deacon Ray 's alley.

    Demetrius I Soter AR drachm (minted circa 152-151 BCE)

    Apparently he was a real biblical villain. I'll let the Bible describe his transgressions:

    1 Maccabees, Chapter 1, Verses 10 through 15
    [10]From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king; he had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred and thirty-seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
    [11]In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, "Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us."
    [12] This proposal pleased them,
    [13] and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles.
    [14] So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom,
    [15] and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

    Letting your followers build a Greek style gymnasium (picture naked uncircumcised Greek men) in the heart of the Holy City and recruiting Jewish youth to the ways of the Greeks was definitely not a way to endear yourself in the heart of your Jewish allies/neighbors. Bad move for Demetrius I :eek:

    But then things got worse, he pillaged the Sacred Temple and stole some of the most sacred objects of the ancient Jewish faith.:mad:

    1 Maccabees, Chapter 1, Verses 21 through 28
    [21] He arrogantly entered the sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lampstand for the light, and all its utensils.
    [22] He took also the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple; he stripped it all off.
    [23] He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels; he took also the hidden treasures which he found.
    [24] Taking them all, he departed to his own land. He committed deeds of murder,
    and spoke with great arrogance.
    [25] Israel mourned deeply in every community,
    [26] rulers and elders groaned,
    maidens and young men became faint,
    the beauty of women faded.
    [27] Every bridegroom took up the lament;
    she who sat in the bridal chamber was mourning.
    [28] Even the land shook for its inhabitants,
    and all the house of Jacob was clothed with shame.

    So yeah, he really ticked off Israel and the Jewish people eventually killed him for it...but at least he is now immortal thanks to the Bible's description of his wikedness. And the man had some cool coinage too.:D
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  3. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    Sweet coin man nice write up too. I still need to get a silver of this guy but this one will do for now 4s6BeYF97MimPbZ3j2GgTD8fi6dZL2.jpg
  4. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    A wicked coin :D Congrats!
    wmichael and Sallent like this.
  5. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    I suppose this might be as good a coin as any to wrap up my 2016. She is definitely a good one to close the year with on a high note.
    randygeki likes this.
  6. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Lawyer, congrats on the great OP-score (very nice addition)

    I have an AE example from this fella ...

    Demetrios I Serratus AE17
    162 - 150 BC
    Diameter: 16.5mm
    Weight: 4.41 grams
    Obverse: Horse
    Reverse: Elephant
    Reference: SNG Spaer 1299
    Other: AEF/EF

    Demetrios I Serrate.jpg

    NOTE => this is Demetrios I (Seleukid King) which is different from Demetrios I (Bactrian King)

    ... oh, and I also have an example from the other dude with the same name, but from a different time and place ... wanna see?

    Demetrius I Trichalkon
    200-185 BC
    Diameter: 29.5 mm
    Weight: 12.61 grams
    Bactrian Kings, Demetrius I, bronze Attic trichalkon of:
    Obverse: Head of elephant with bell hanging from neck
    Reverse: Caduceus.
    Reference: Bopearachchi-16, Mitchiner-1086, SNG ANS 209

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    I love Seleucid coins, and that one has a great portrait and a pleasing overall look.

    The biblical history is just icing on the cake, and well presented. Thanks.

    I like everything posted here so far, but @stevex6's little AE serratus is my second favorite, I think. I haven't owned any of those yet, but affectionately refer to them as "bottle caps".
  8. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Ummm, is Ajax' coin not a bottle cap as well?

    ... and you "do" like them, or you do "not" like them?
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    Yep. Another "bottle cap".

    I do like the patina like yours has. That's the first thing that made me a fan of Seleucid coins. They so often come with great "desert" patina.
    stevex6 likes this.
  10. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

  11. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Cool coin, @Sallent, but I'm confused about the person and the history you copied. The coin is Demetrius I Soter and the history from the cited Maccabbees passages is of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, or have I misunderstood?
  12. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here is Demetrius I's mom!

    Laodike Selucia.jpg
    Laodike IV, wife and sister of both Seleucus IV and Antiochus IV.
    Selucia in Pieria, 175-164 BC
    AE 3.33 gm; 15 mm
    Obv: Veiled bust of Laodike IV, r.
    Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ (of King Antiochus), elephant head l.; prow.
    Refs: Ex-Houghton, plate coin of Coins of the Seleucid Empire; Forrer 183
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  13. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Soter = savior.

    Seleucid Kingdom, Demetrios I Soter, 162-150 BC
    AR tetradrachm, 16g, 32mm; Antioch mint, 162-155 BC
    Obv.: Diademed head of Demetrios I right within wreath.
    Rev.: Tyche, holding scepter and cornucopia, seated left on throne supported by tritonesses right, monogram to outer left. In two vertical lines, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY (King Demetrios).
  14. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Love the silver @Sallent

    Terrific posts everyone!!

    Another example of a 'bottle cap' type of Seleukos IV, 187-175 BC:
    seleukos IV.JPG seleukos IV bottle cap.JPG
  15. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Not to take anything away from the coin, but the first passage you quote names the villain as Antiochus IV, who was Demetrios's uncle. I remember being amused when I read about him calling himself Epiphanes ("the godly") while behind his back his subjects called him Epimanes ("the crazy").

    Edit: oops, I see TIF already pointed this out!
    Theodosius and Alegandron like this.
  16. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    To make a story short, I quoted the wrong section and the wrong King. It was late, I was tired, and I messed up.

    However, Demetrius I was indeed a villain in the Bible, but for killing the leader of the Jewish state in battle and then for various other transgressions, and was then killed after the Jewish forces allied with a usurper.

    However, his story is further up in Chapter 10, not Chapter 1...oops! It is thrilling though, and includes some epic battle scene descriptions and all.
  17. David@PCC


    Great choice for a first coin of the dynasty! Here is mine from the same year.
    Demetrios I
    Year 161, 152 BC
    Mint: Antioch
    AR Drachm
    Obvs: Head of Demetrios right diademed within fillet border.
    Revs: BAΣΙΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY ΣΩTHPOΣ, Cornucopia. A Å AΞP monogram below
    17mm, 4.1g
  18. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Beautiful coin Sallent
  19. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    i have this coin of the fellow....sorry for the pictures. i'll reshoot in 2017. (new years resolution).


  20. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Biblical Kingdoms Supporter

  21. wmichael

    wmichael Active Member

    Nice pun.
    randygeki likes this.
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