Byblos was the ancient Phoenician port city of Gebal on the coast of the Mediterranean. Byblos thought itself the oldest of all cities, the god El had founded it at the beginning of time, and to the end of its history it remained the religious capital of Phoenicia. Because papyrus was one of the principal articles in its trade, the Greeks took the name of the city as their word for book - biblos – and from their word for books named our Bible - ta biblia - which means 'the books’. Byblos is one of the cities considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world as it has been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years. Between 1100 and 725 BCE Byblos declined in importance as her sister city, Tyre, grew. After the conquest of the region by Alexander the Great, and the destruction of Tyre in 332 BCE, Byblos again prospered and became completely hellenized, adopting Greek culture, dress, and language. During the hellenistic period (330-64 BCE) Byblos became most famous for the production of papyrus which would give it its Greek name. In 64 BCE the region was conquered by the Roman general Pompey the Great and continued as a Roman colony from 64 BCE - 395 CE. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire controlled Byblos from 395-637 CE when the Muslim invaders took the region and drove the Byzantines out.

Antiochus IV Hover to enlarge Antiochus IV

Antiochus IV
Mint: Byblus
168 to 164 BC
Obvs: Antiochus radiate and diademed right, dotted border.
Revs: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Phoenician script "of Gebal" on left, "the holy" in exergue. Six-winged Kronos-El standing left holding was-sceptre, dotted border.
AE 21mm, 6.01g
Order # G 283
Ref: SC 1444.1; HGC 9, 663(R2)