Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Top 20: Coin No.1: Darius the Great 510-486 BC

This coin is the 'earliest' I have in my collection.
It shows King Darius the Great and was minted around 510-486 BC.
It is a silver Siglos and weighs 5 gm (weight is a crucial means of establishing if a coin is genuine)
It shows Darius running to the right holding a bow in his left hand and a spear on his right.
Coin notes:
1. The Kingdom of Lydia was founded in what is now modern day Turkey.
2. The Achaenmenid line began in the 7th century with King Achamenis
3. Croesus 541-546 was defeated by Cyrus at Sardis.
4. Darius was sword bearer to Cyrus
5. Bi-metallic currency valued gold at 13 to 1 over silver
6. Darics were gold, Sigloi were silver
7. This is the only coin in my collection mentioned in the Old Testament.
Ezra 6:15 states "And this house was finished on the 3rd day of the Month Adar
which was in the 6th year of the reign of Darius the King" This equates to 12th
March 515 BC
8. Darius earned the respect and goodwill of the Jews by permitting the re-building of the Temple in 516 BC

If you want to place this coin into a 'time slot' look in my January Archives, call up the article "Ron Goldstein's History of Ancient Times as seen by a coin collector" and you will find it under my catalogue number 253.
A sample of this chronological list is shown below:

BC 536 The edict of Cyrus, Jews began rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem
BC 529-522 Cambyses King of Persia
BC 522 Darius divides Persian Empire into 20 Satraps (provinces)
BC 510-486 Darius I,The Great (Old Test.EZRA Chap6.) 253/3428/1
BC 516 Rebuilding of Temple, consecration BC 515.
BC 510 Rome declared a Republic, last King,Tarquin the Proud expelled
BC 499 Ionian Greeks revolt against Persian rule.
BC 494 Rome:Office of Tribune created to protect rights of plebes. Ionian revolt collapses.
BC 490 Darius launches attack on mainland Persia starting the Persian Wars. Persian armies defeated by Greeks at Marathon
BC 485 Death of Darius I, decline of Persia comences

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