Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by 7Calbrey, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    The kingdom of Nabataea was renown during the last 3 centuries BC. It flourished in the first century AD especially in Christ Time, and established Petra(now in Jordan) as their capital. Under the Roman patronage, the kingdom had stretched even to Damascus before it was occupied by Trajan in 105 AD to become a Roman colony named Arabia.
    The following coin is Nabataean but it strangely includes Greek letters, contrary to the early native Arabic which was basically derived from Aramaic. I wonder if there were any kinds of Nabataean provincial coins?? It weighs nearly 4 grams.

    NabatGr O.JPG NabatGeek R.JPG
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  3. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    Nice example!

    But it doesn't include Greek letters.

    Roman Provincial coinage was issued in Petra and Damascus. Both cities could be loosely considered Nabatean land, but the coins are Roman in style not Nabatean. Damascus RPC issues began at the tail end of the 1st century B.C., while Petra RPC issues began, I believe, during Hadrian's reign.

    The Nabatean culture is quite interesting and makes for captivating historical reading, particularly in regard to their interactions with Hasmonean, Roman, Parthian, and other governments. Their coinage (non-silver) can still be acquired in decent shape at comparatively reasonable prices. Get 'em while you can! :-D
  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Nice coin!
    I agree with p1 as far as I can tell these coins only show Aramaic script ?....
    I have this one, the same as the op coin...
    Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D. Bronze AE ,Petra mint,
    Obverse.. Jugate laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV and Shaquilath right; Aramaic letters in field.
    Reverse....Two cornucopias crossed and filleted, Aramaic legend, "Aretas, Shaquilath" in two lines above and one below;
    Here's a site you might find interesting which with hard work will eventually give you the translation...
    Curtisimo, Andres2, chrsmat71 and 8 others like this.
  5. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Is the OP coin listed on the RPC publications of coinage. What number does it have. Why didn't the Romans let any hint to their Authority on these coins, just like other provincial coins (Emperor, deities etc...).
  6. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    They weren't annexed into the Roman empire until AD106 by Trajan...
    A tough bunch!
    philologus_1 likes this.
  7. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for these academic explanations, especially in matter of early Semitic languages and their derivatives. Here's now another interesting Nabatean coin which reads "Jamilat"(Beautiful) on reverse. I think the writing is Arabic rather than Aramaic. What do you think ?
    Spaniard likes this.
  8. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Here's the coin.

    Nabat Rabel2.jpg RabJamilat.JPG
  9. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    The script still looks Aramaic to me.....But I'm no expert...
    Your coin looks like a Rabell II with his sister Gamilath whom he apparently married. He ruled from AD70 until the take over by Trajan in AD106 .
    7Calbrey likes this.
  10. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

  11. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice coins!

    The legends on Nabataean coins is Nabataean, a descendant of Aramaic, sister script of Hebrew, and the parent of modern Arabic. I had found an overlay of these coins at one point, but the inscriptions read (right to left):
    Top: HRTT (Haritat, Aretas' native name)
    Middle: SQY
    Bottom: LT (Shuqailat, his wife)

    Still haven't imaged my collection, but it's a set that's on the verge of being doable... until you hit the $500+ rarities!

    Nabataea was almost legendary in their day... every time the Romans came marching up to conquer them, they would find empty cities - the people had packed up and would spend as much time as necessary in the desert, waiting. Eventually the supply line would run out or the payroll would rack up, and the Romans would pull back, and the people would move back in. It wasn't until Rabbel II died in 106 that apparently the people petitioned to become a Roman province, one of the few times this happened without losing a war to Rome.

    Until I get my collection imaged, here is the fun denarius of Trajan, commemorating "Arabia Adqvisita", the personification of the region shielding a camel with an olive branch.
    Trajan Arabia denarius.jpg
  12. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    That's a nice looking Nabatean you got there 7C, many of them are in kind of rough shape or don't have everything on the flan. Your's is sharp and pretty well centered.

    This is my best looking jugate bust Nabatean for comparison.


    Nabatean Kingdom, Malichus II 40 - 70 AD

    O: jugate laureate and draped bust of Malichus II and Shuqailat II right R: two cornucopias, crossed and filleted, Aramaic legend, "Malichus / Shuqai/lat" in two lines above and one below cornucopia SNG ANS 1444 16x12 mm 3.1g
  13. Broucheion

    Broucheion Well-Known Member

    Nabatean Kingdom [Undertype: Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BCE)]
    16x17 mm 3.17 g​

    OBV: Athena - UNDERTYPE: Zeus-Ammon head, facing right and wearing diadem. Centration depression. Dotted border.
    REV: Nike - UNDERTYPE: Εagle on thunderbolt facing left, wings closed. Legend to left: ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ; to right: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ. Centration depression. Dotted border.
    LORBER: CPE-B0442 [under type]
    Sv-0843 [under type]

    From Dan Wolf's website : "This group is not, strictly speaking, a particular denomination series of one ruler. They demonstrate that early Nabataean coinage seems to have relied on existing circulating Ptolemaic coins, particularly those of Ptolemy II and III, to serve as flans. These coins are fairly scarce and the overstriking (of a type sometimes attributed to Aretas II, Athena obverse over standing Nike reverse) almost always obliterates the undertype to a degree that makes the undertype not specifically identifiable. In very rare cases we can be absolutely certain about the undertype and can see that they are (usually small) coins of Ptolemy II and III. It appears there are also coins of Ptolemy IV that have been used but are not shown here. These very interesting types tell us that Nabataean coinage appears to have started no earlier than about 200BC but perhaps earlier than is clear from the (presumably later) types that are not overstruck. The types of Ptolemy II shown here (at left) are most likely either Svoronos 417 (Zeus / open-wing eagle) and possibly others with control letters no longer visible. The coins at right are likely (and some clearly identifiable) types of Ptolemy III. Two coins show the typical cornucopia at the left of the eagle and with one coin displaying the CHI-RHO. One appears to have the harpa mintmark of Joppa mint, one of the Phoenician mints that issued Ptolemaic bronze coins in mid 3rd C. BC. The coins shown here are oriented to show the Ptolemaic coin undertype. Interestingly, some of the coins are struck in a 'reverse sense' (obverse Nabataean type on reverse of Ptolemaic type) and others are 'normal sense' overstrikes. An important reference paper on these overstruck Ptolemaic coins is "The Earliest Nabataean Coinage" by Rachel Barkay in Numismatic Chronicle (2011), with images of more related coins and a classification system for them."

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  14. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Finn235....Thanks for the script breakdown really helpful...
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