Sidon DiShekel Baalshalim II 386 - 372 BC

Obv: War galley facing left, with oars,row of shields along bulwarks, small armed figurehead, curved ornament over suqare stern, supporting globe and crescent standard, double rudder, double zigzag line of waves below.

Rev: King of Persia in a cart drawn left by four pacing horses driven by charioteer who leans forward and holds reins, the king wears Kidaris and Kandys and raises his right hand, an Egyptain attendant with animal headed staff and waring a crown of upper Eygypt and waist cloth walking behind

Metal Silver 27.94 grams, 27 mm diameter. Condition: Nice VF

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History of Sidon - Baalshalim II

Sidon is a typical Phoenician city dating from the third millenium BC and one of the cities that prospered with trade with Egypt, it's arch rival was its sister Phoenician city of Tyre. Sidon is named for the first son of the great king of Canaan who is mentioned as one of the sons of Noah. Sidon was one of seven cities that the Hebrews could not colonize after the Exodus. During the Assyria period, the King of Sidon "Abdimilkutte" revolted against the new Assyrian king "Esarhadden (680 - 669 BC). Esarhaddin destroyed Sidon, executed King Abdimilkutte, and transported the inhabitants of Sidon to Assyria to do forced labor. During the Persian period, the city was the capital of the Persian 5th Santrapy that stretched from Eqypt in the South to Cilicia in the North. During this period Sidon along with the other Phoenician cities was the source of the Persian Navy. Sidon was irrigated by three rivers and numerous springs and so was a place of gardens and orchards. During the properous Persian period the Persians built a royal park in the city called "paradeisos" from which we get our word "paradise"

Persia was weakened by its wars with Athens and by 380 BC, the Persians had given-up most of their control of Phoenicia and there was a surge of nationalism amongst all the Phoenician states. This was a prosperous time for Sidon under their great king Baalshalim II (386 - 372 BC) who may have ruled both Sidon and Tyre at the time. In 375 BC, a Persian force attempted to recover Egypt. After the Persian failure, many of the Satraps of Asia minor revolted against Persian rule. In 365/364 BC, Sidon revolted against Persia, which was put down by the Persians by 359 BC.

In 352 BC, at the common council in Tripolis, the Phoenician cities declared independence from Persia. The same year the Sidonians revolted against Persian rule, expelled the Persian garrison, devastated the royal park and burned the Persian cavalry's stores of grain. The Sidonians formed an alliance with Egypt who sent 4000 Greek mercenaries to aid Sidon. The Persian king (Artaxerxes) collected a large army and arranged for naval support. The Sidonian King Tennes, in return for his own safety, betrayed his people and handed the city over to the Persians. Rather than fall into the hands of the Persians; 40,000 citizens of Sidon barricaded themselves in their houses and set fire to themselves. The Persians latter executed Tennes.

The Sidonians loathed the Persians and in 344 BC they welcomed Alexander the Great. Even though they open their city to Alexander, he still disposed of their King Strato II (Abdashtart) and replaced him with "Abdalonymous", who was chosen for his lack of interest in glory and wealth.