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Carrhae, southeast of Edessa, celebrated for its cultus of the Moon, both in male and female form. Quasi-autonomous and Imperial bronze— M. Aurelius to Tranquillina. Inscr., ΑΥΡ. ΚΑΡΡΗΝΩΝ ΦΙΛΟΡΩΜΑΙΩΝ ΚΟΛΩΝΙΑ, variously arranged and abbreviated; also ΛΟΥΚΙΑ Α[ΥΡΗΛΙΑ] ΚΑΡΡΑ; ΘЄΙΩΝ ΑΥΡΗΛ. ΚΑΡΡΗΝΩΝ; ΚΟΛ. ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙC ΚΑΡΡΗΝΩΝ; ΚΑΡΡΑ ΚΟΛ. ΜΗΤ. ΜΕCCΟΦ; and rarely COL. CAR.; COL. AVR. METROPOL. ANTONINIANA CA.; COL. MET. ANTONINIANA AVR. ALEX.; etc. Types—Crescent and Star; Tyche seated with River-god swimming at her feet, or Bust of Tyche surmounted by a crescent, before which is the figure of a divinity (or Aquarius, see MacDonald, Hunter Cat. iii. p. 303) standing on a column. The colony took its name from L. Verus. Carrhae was probably also the mint of the denarii of M. Aurelius, Faustina Jun., L. Verus, and Lucilla, and of the small Æ of Commodus, reading Η ΝЄΙΚΗ ΡΩΜΑΙΩΝ, ΥΠЄΡ ΝΙΚΗC ΡΩΜΑΙΩΝ, ΥΠЄΡ ΝΙΚΗC ΤΩΝ ΚΥΡΙΩΝ CЄ(βαστων), ΥΠЄΡ ΝΙΚΗC ΤΩΝ CЄΒΑC., etc. These denarii were issued during the campaign of Verus against the Parthians (A.D. 163-166).
Edessa, in Osrhoëne, the chief city in Mesopotamia, was located near the source of a mountain stream (the Seirtus) which flows from Mount Masius southwards towards the Euphrates. It was built probably by Seleucus and named after the ancient Macedonian town Edessa or Aegae.
In the time of Antiochus IV (B.C. 175 - 164), it appears to have temporarily assumed the name of Antiocheia ad Callirhoën, and coin with his portrait struck there read ΑΝΤΙΟΧΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΕΠΙ ΚΑΛΛΙΡΟΗΙ.
Shortly afterward it passed into Parthian hands and in B.C. 132 the kingdom of Osrhoëne was founded. The regal coinage, however, does not begin until the reign of Vaël (A.D. 163-165), some of whose coins bear the head of his suzerain Volagases III. There are also Æ of Volagases III himself, struck at Edessa (B. M. C. Parthia, p. 236). For a study of the coins see Babelon, Mélanges, ii. pp. 209-296. The inscriptions are in Estranghelo.
In 166/7 the Romans, having defeated Volagases, placed Mannus VIII on the throne, and denarii were issued with his name, ΒΑCΙΛЄVC ΜΑΝΝΟC ΦΙΛΟΡΩΜΑΙΟC, and the heads of M. Aurelius and his family. Contemporary with these are bronze coins with the Estranghelo inscription Ma'nou malka, and the head of Mannus. Mannus' successor, Abgarus VIII (A.D. 179-214), struck bronze coins reading Abgar malka, and others with the heads and names (in Greek) of himself and his son Mannus IX (ΜΑΝΝΟC ΠΑΙC); but the majority of his coins combine his head with that of Commodus, Severus, or Caracalla. The coins of Abgarus IX (214-216) with the head of Caracalla are barbarous.Caracalla made Edessa a colony about A.D. 216; the colonial coins henceforth to the reign of Trajan Decius read ЄΔЄCCΑ or ЄΔЄCCΗΝΩΝ with various titles, such as Ο(πελλια) ΜΑ(κρινιανη), ΚΟΛ(ωνια), ΚΟΛW(νια) ΜΑΡ(κια) ΑΥΡ(ηλια) ΑΝΤ(ωνινιανη), ΜΗΤ(ροπλις) ΚΟ(λωνια), etc. Types—Tyche of the City seated with River-god, Skirtos, at her feet; bust of Tyche (ΤΥΧΗ); in front, sometimes figure of Aquarius(?) on a column. The colonial series was temporarily interrupted in the reign of Gordian III by the restoration of the kingdom under Abgarus X (A.D. 242-244); types—Bust or equestrian figure of Abgarus; Abgarus before Gordian; etc.
Nicephorim, near the Euphrates, about sixty miles south of Carrhae. Imperial coins of Gordian and Gallienus, described as reading ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΙΩΝ, are ascribed to this city on doubtful authority (Mionnet, Suppl., viii. p. 414).
Nisibis, the chief town of the district called Mygdonia. Under Antiochus IV it received the name of Antiocheia, and struck coins with his portrait, reading ΑΝΤΙΟΧΕΩΝ ΕΝ ΜΥΓΔΟΝΙΑΙ (B. M. C. Cat., Seleuc., p. 42). Imperial, Elagabalus to Trajan Decius. Inscr., ΚΟΛ. ΝЄCΙΒΙ., CЄΠ. ΚΟΛΩ. ΜΗΤ., ΙΟΥ. CΗΠ. ΚΟΛΩ. ΝЄCΙΒΙ., etc. The titles Septimina and Julia are respectively in honor of Sept. Severus, probably the founder of the colony, and of Philip Senior. The title Metropolis seems to have been conferred upon the colony by Severus Alexander. Types—Head of Tyche surmounted by constellation Aries, or Tyche seated surmounted by Aries, with River-god swimming at her feet. On the coins of Philip, this statue is rudely represented facing in a temple.
Rhesaena, a considerable town between Edessa and Nisibis. It was made a colony probably by Sept. Severus, the Legio III Pia being settled there. Imperial, Caracalla to Etruscus. Inscr., ΠΗCΑΙΝΗCΙWΝ or CΗΠ. ΚΟΛ. ΡΗCΑΙΝΗCΙWN L. III. P. Types—Constellation Sagittarius; Eagle sometimes in Temple, or as an adjunct combined with various types; Founder plowing; Figure sacrificing; etc. In the exergue is frequently a River-god swimming.
Seleuceia ad Tigrim, founded by Seleucus I at the point where the royal canal connected the Euphrates with the Tigris. Subsequently, the town rose to great commercial importance, even rivaling Alexandreia and Antioch. Under the rule of the Parthians, B.C. 250 to A.D. 226, it seems to have been the chief place of mintage of that Empire. This explains the almost entire absence of autonomous money. Of the few specimens which exist, some bear the dates 270-274 of the Seleucid era. (= B.C. 42-38). Inscr., ΣΕΛΗΥΚΕΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΩΙΤΙΓΡΕΙ. Types—Head of Tyche, rev. Tyche seated with River-god Tigris at her feet; Two figures of Tyche joining hands; etc. To the same mint may be assigned various coins without a city name, viz. (1) ΠΟΛΙC Α, Head of City, rev. Tyche seated with horned River-god at her feet; (2) Head of City, rev. no type, ΔΚΣ ΔΙΟΥ Α (= Dios of B.C. 89/88; Wroth, B. M. C., Parthia, p. xlvii n.); (3) Radiate head, rev. Head of City, CΚΤ ΓΟΡΠΙΑΙΟΥ or ΥΠЄΡΒЄΡЄΤΑΙΟΥ (= Gorpiaios or Hyperberetaios of A.D. 14/15); (4) Tyche, rev. Nike, and dates = 39-43 A.D., when the city was in revolt (Wroth, op. cit., p. xiv).
Singara, a colony on the river Mygdonius, southeast of Nisibis. Imperial, Sev. Alexander to Philip. Inscr., ΑΥΡ. CЄΠ. ΚΟΛ. CΙΝΓΑΡΑ (Aurelia Septimia Colonia Singara); ΜΗΤ. ΚΟ. ΑΥ. C. CЄ. CΙΝΓΑΡΑ (Metropolis Colonia Aurelia Septimis Severiana Singara); or, under Philip, ΙΟΥ. CЄΠ. ΚΟΛΩΝ. CΙΝΓΑΡΑ (Julia Septimia Colonia Singara). Types—Head of Tyche surmounted by constellation Sagittarius, or Tyche seated with River-god swimming at feet.
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According to Spartianus, Mesopotamia was brought under the power of Rome as a province of the empire by Trajan; declared free of tribute by Hadrian, and afterwards relinquished to the Parthians by that Emperor; received into the empire again by Verus; lost by Commodus; recovered again by Septimius Severus; ceded to the Persians together with Armenia by Philip.
See on Sestertius of Trajan, the fine group composed of that Emperor standing, armed and sceptered, amidst, the prostrate personifications of the Armenian province, and of the two celebrated rivers above mentioned--with the inscription ARMENIA ET MESOPOTAMIA IN POTESTATEM P.R. REDACTAE. S.C.--See Armenia.