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Solar Eclipse 335 BC, Tyre

A year before Alexander the Great started his invasion of Persia in 334 BC, a large solar eclipse was visible over the known world. His father had been assassinated in 336 BC. Surely the solar eclipse below would have influenced Alexander in his perception that his campaign was blessed by Zeus. Julius Caesar respected and emulated Alexander as did most Roman generals. Remember from previous posts Caesar crossed the Rubicon river after a solar eclipse.

Tyre in 335 BC was under Persian governmental control, however the coinage reflects the economic influence of Ancient Greece. All wars are fought with economics before military intervention. The above coin was minted in Tyre by King Ozmilk (347-333 BC) and specifically dates to 335 BC, see Dated Coins of Antiquity by Edward E. Cohen. There is an interesting variation in the Phoenician letter Ayin ( O ) above the IIII. The Ayin does not represent the date but is likely in reference to the eye of the Egyptian sun Horus. It signifies the protection of royalty and the general safety of the population. It is likely the dot within the circle is in reference to a annular or total solar eclipse of 335 BC. Compare the Ayin to another coin from the same year below.

Note the change in the "Ayin" likely representing the 335 BC solar eclipse. It is clearly broken at the top like a horns up crescent with a pellet between.

Unfortunately for Tyre this solar eclipse was not a sign of protection. Alexander the Great destroyed the city and enslaved and crucified its inhabitants in 332 BC. He went on to spare Jerusalem because Alexander had a vision the Temple High priest supported him in his conquests. Please see the post "What coin did Jesus pay the temple tax with and why?" ,to take this theme further.

Photos Pars Coins and Morvzzi Numismatica

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