Seleukid Kingdom - Hadad, Semitic Storm God

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This type has been suggested to very likely be the rarest 'type' in the entire Seleukid series, with less than ten 'Hadad' coins known to exist, two of which (including the present specimen) are the only silver coins known to bear Antiochos' epithet 'Dionysos', which is otherwise only found on his bronze coinage.

The Seleukid Kingdom in the time of Antiochos XII was a shadow of its former self, reduced to Atioch and a few Syrian cities. Antiochos ruled a southern separatist realm centred on Damascus, and was the last Seleukid ruler of any military reputation. Attempting to halt the rise of the Nabataeans, Antiochos was killed in battle, resulting in the loss of Damascus.

The appearance of a Semitic deity with Assyrian/Babylonian origins on the reverse of this coin reflects the prevalence of Hadad's cult in Syria well into the first century AD; this storm god was equated with Zeus by the Greeks, and later by the Romans with Jupiter Dolichenus. The god appears on coinage as late as 208/9 AD, and organised worship of Hadad is known to have continued well into the third century AD, probably surviving in isolated pockets until much later.

Seleukid Kingdom. Antiochos XII AR Tetradrachm. Damascus, dated year 227 (86/85 BC). Diademed head right / Cult statue of Hadad standing facing on double basis, flanked by two bull foreparts, holding grain stalk in right hand; BAΣIΛEΩS ANTIOXOY ΔIONYΣOY to right, EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ KAΛΛINIKOY to left, monogram and SKC in exergue; all within a laurel wreath. SC 2472A; SNG Spaer -; Houghton & Spaer -; Newell, LSM -; Houghton -; CNG 79, 17 September 2008, 429 (same obverse die). 15.83g, 28mm, 12h.

Extremely Rare - apparently only the second known example.