NABATAEA, Kingdom of
Aretas IV with Shuqailat, 9 BC - AD 40
AE19. 3.78g, 18.8mm
MINTED: NABATAEA, Petra mint, circa AD 20-40
REF: Meshorer 114; SNG ANS 1438ff
OBVERSE: Jugate busts of Aretas and Shuqailat right; H-S in Aramaic across field.
REVERSE: Crossed cornucopias; HRTT/SQY/LT in Aramaic in three lines between and below.
Original earthen desert patina. A few light cleaning scratches. Nicer in hand.
Historically interesting coin struck in the famed ancient city of Petra.
The Nabataeans were a tribe of Arab nomads and traders who settled in an area between the Arabian and Sinai Peninsulas, bordering Judaea and Egypt. From their well-protected capital of Raqmu (better known to us as the historic city of Petra in Jordan), the Nabataeans became a regional power in the late 4th century BC, dominating the trade in frankincense and other spices, and controlling a confluence of carvan routes that travelled through their lands.
Aretas IV was the Nabataean king from around 9 BC to AD 40. Shuqailat was his wife. His daughter Phasaelis was married to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. This was the Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded for criticizing his decision to divorce Phaselis and marry the wife of his brother. In response to this slight against his daughter, Aretas invaded Herod's lands, defeated his army, and sent him fleeing from his own city. The famous rock-carved facade of Al-Khazneh ('the Treasury') in Petra is believed to have been the mausoleum of Aretas IV.
NABATAEAN KINGDOM . Aretas IV . 9 BC - AD 40 . Coin from Ancient Petra
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