UNCERTAIN MINT 123, PROBABLY IN NORTHERN PHOENICIA
Obv.: Head of Antiochus IX r., diadem ends falling straight behind, fillet border.
Rev.: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ in two lines on r., ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ on l., Athena standing l., holding Nike and resting l. hand on shield, spear behind, laurel wreath border.
Reference: Private Tehran coll.
This is the first known emission of Uncertain Mint 123 to depict Antiochus IX without beard and moustache. The absence of the beard seems to suggest that the coinage of this mint continued in production after the c. 111/10 B.C. date given in Seleucid Coins. Since Antiochus IX began to employ a clean-shaven portrait at Antioch after the death of his half-brother and nemesis, Antiochus VIII, in 96 B.C. it seems probable that this issue of Uncertain Mint 123 belongs to the period 96-95 B.C.
The existence of this beardless portrait removes the “iconographic dissonance” that contributed to the removal of SC 2389 from Ptolemaïs (Ake), where E. T. Newell had originally placed it. The issues of Uncertain Mint 123 probably should be restored to Ptolemaïs (Ake) and Newell vindicated.