SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Heraclea ad Mare. Weight of 2 Minai (Lead, 105x105 mm, 1356.00 g), Mousaios, magistrate, SE 210 = 103/2 BC. HPAΚΛEΩTΩN / TΩN ΠΡOΣ ΘA/ΛAΣ-ΣHI / ETO-YΣ / IΣ - EΠI / MOYΣAIOY / ΔIMNOYN Grape bunch. Rev. Blank. Pondera -, cf. 3588 (for a weight of 2 Minai from Heraclea ad Mare dated to SE 205 = 108/7 BC with differing iconography). Unpublished and of great interest, an exceptional piece. Minor scuffs on the obverse, otherwise, very fine.
Strabo reports that Heraclea ad Mare lay south of Laodicea: 'But the remainder of the coast from Laodiceia is as follows: near Laodiceia are three towns, Poseidium and Heracleium and Gabala' (Strab. XVI, 753). Contrary to the great geographer's description, it is today believed that the city lay on the site of the important Bronze Age settlement at Ras Ibn Hani, which is north of modern Latakia. In Hellenistic times, the city cannot have been of great importance, for it apparently did not issue any civic coinage. It has been suggested, however, that a series of bronzes with the portrait of Berenike II on the obverse and the name of Ptolemy II on the reverse was issued here in the early stages of the Third Syrian War (246-241 BC), as a large concentration of them was found in excavations of Ras Ibn Hani.