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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Greek Imperial ▸ Decapolis, Arabia & SyriaView Options:  |  |  |     

Roman Provincial Coins from the Decapolis, Syria and Arabia

The Decapolis means "the ten cities" in Greek, yet we don't really know how many cities there were, or where they were. In 106 A.D., under the Roman emperor Trajan, the Nabataean Kingdom and the cities of the Decapolis were incorporated into the newly established Provinces of Syria and Arabia.

Click here to read "The Decapolis of Jordan" by Rami G. Khouri


Antioch, Roman Provincial Syria, Municipal Coinage, Fall 48 - Spring 47 B.C.

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The countermark is similar to a group of countermarks from Antioch, Chalkis, Laodicaea, Seleukia, and Damascus, all cities controlled by Cleopatra (except for Antioch, which nevertheless appears to have issued coins for Antony and Cleopatra). Richard McAlee notes, "it now seems likely that the countermark portrays Cleopatra, and was used to mark coins circulating in the Syro-Phoenician territories which were given to her by Mark Antony." Older references identified the head as Apollo.
RY84165. Bronze AE 23, McAlee 43; RPC I 4216; BMC Galatia p. 155, 35; SNG Cop -; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan, weight 11.436 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 48 - 47 B.C.; countermark: c. 36 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, countermark: head right (Cleopatra?) in an oval punch; reverse ANTIOXEΩN THΣ MHTPOΠOΛΩΣ, Zeus seated left holding Nike and scepter, date IΘ below; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Struck at Rome for Use in Syria

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In 115 A.D., while Trajan was in Antioch, during his war against Parthia, the city was convulsed by a huge earthquake. The emperor was forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. Trajan and his successor restored the city, but the population was reduced to less than 400,000 inhabitants and many sections of the city were abandoned.
RY85366. Bronze chalkous, half-quadrans, RPC online III 3682; McAlee 527; Woytek 939f; BMCRE III 1075A corr. (no cuirass), Choice VF, highlighting desert patina, weight 1.098 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 116 A.D.; obverse no legend, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse large S C in wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 35, lot 470; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C.

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Ptolemaios son of Mennaios (also known as Ptolemy I), an Ituraean Arab dynast, established the Kingdom of Chalkis, c. 85 B.C., during the collapse of the Seleukid Empire. The kingdom, with its capitol at Chalcis sub Libano at the foot of Antilibanus, included Heliopolis, the valley of the Marsyas, and the mountainous region of Ituraea. In 64 B.C., he bribed Pompey the Great to forgo annexing his kingdom into the new Roman province of Syria and to allow him to continue ruling his territory as Tetrarch. Ptolemaios was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift.
GY86696. Bronze AE 19, Herman 4; SNG Cop 414; BMC Galatia p. 280, 5; Lindgren I A2134B; HGC 9 1440 (S), VF, green patina, earthen deposits, light marks and scratches, high points bare copper, weight 3.506 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, 63 - 62 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse the Dioscuri standing facing, center legs crossed, heads turned confronted, each leaning on spear in outer hand, LB (year 2 Pompeian Era) ∆ / ΠTOΛEMA right, TETPAPΠX left, APXE below, all within wreath; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 10 - 9 B.C.

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Rome received Apamea with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.Great Colonnade at Apamea
RY86707. Bronze AE 21, De Luynes IV p. 42, 3458; RPC I 4354 (4 spec.); SNG Cop 300; BMC Galatia p. 234, 11 var. (MA below); HGC 9 -; SNG Mün -; Lindgren -; Hunter -, VF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, reverse off center, weight 7.784 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 10 - 9 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruits and grains, ΓT (year 303) inner left, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ − KAI AΣYΛOY in three downward lines (first two on left, last on right), ∆I below; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; extremely rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Lysanias, 40 - 36 B.C.

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Lysanias is called Tetrarch of Abila by Josephus. Lysanias' father Ptolemaios was married to Alexandra, one of the sisters of Mattathias Antigonus. Lysanias offered the Parthian satrap Barzapharnes a thousand talents and 500 women to depose Hyrcanus and put his uncle (or step-uncle) Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (Josephus B.J. 1.248). When Lysanias continued to support Antigonus against the Roman nominee Herod the Great, Mark Antony had him executed, and gave his territory to Cleopatra VII.
GB67917. Bronze AE 21, Herman 11.g, RPC I 4769, HGC 9 145 corr., Lindgren III 1243, BMC Galatia -, VF, weight 5.480 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, c. 40 B.C.; obverse veiled female bust right, no inscription; reverse double cornucopia, flanked by four ligatures ΛYCA, TETP, APX, IΦ (Lysanias tetrarch and high priest); very rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Petra, Arabia

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UNESCO describes Petra as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." The BBC selected Petra as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die."
RP84854. Bronze AE 25, Spijkerman 32, Rosenberger 19, SGICV 2281, SNG ANS -, VF, attractive earthen fill, weight 10.019 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Petra mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEΠT CEOYHPOC IN ΠEP CEB (or similar), laureate bust right; reverse METPOΠOΛIC A∆PIAN ΠETRA, Tyche seated left on rock, turreted and veiled, right hand extended and open, trophy over shoulder in left; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Uncertain Caesarea, Syria

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RPC attributes this rare type to an uncertain mint named Caesarea. See RPC I p. 599 for a discussion of its attribution.
RP83686. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 4084; SNG Cop 177 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); BMC Lycaonia p. 32, 5 (Anazarbus, Cilicia), VF, well centered, nice portrait, attractive olive green patina, light marks and scratches, weight 4.58 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Caesarea mint, 25 Jan 41 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse KΛAY∆IOC KAICAP, laureate head right; reverse ETOYC KAICAPEΩN Γ (year 3), turreted, veiled and draped bust of Tyche right; rare; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86732. Bronze AE 23, BMC Galatia p. 267, 4; Lindgren I 1210 var. (star in ex.); SNG Cop -; SNG München -, F, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, porosity, legend not fully struck, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, as caesar, c. Summer 221 - 13 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AYP AΛEΞAN∆POC, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ-A-NE-ΩN, turreted Genius standing half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, humped bull standing left at feet on left, eagles flanking left and right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $130.00 (€110.50)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

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The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.
RP77502. Bronze AE 28, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), F, porous, scratches, weight 19.349 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (for quaestor) below; ex H.D. Rauch e-auction 15 (16 Jun 2014), lot 145; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Lysanias, c. 40 - 36 B.C.

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Lysanias is called Tetrarch of Abila by Josephus. Lysanias' father Ptolemaios was married to Alexandra, Mattathias Antigonus' sister. Lysanias offered the Parthian satrap Barzapharnes a thousand talents and 500 women to depose Hyrcanus and put his uncle (or step-uncle) Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (Josephus B.J. 1.248). When Lysanias continued to support Antigonus against the Roman nominee Herod the Great, Mark Antony had him executed, and gave his territory to Cleopatra VII.
RP86409. Bronze AE 18, Herman 12; RPC I 4770; SNG Cop 415; BMC Galatia p. 280, 6; Lindgren III 1244; HGC 9 1449 (R1), VF, uneven strike, flan adjustment marks on weak areas, small edge split, weight 3.706 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis ad Libanon (Qinnasrin, Syria) mint, c. 40 - 36 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Lysanias right, ΠTO monogram behind; reverse ΛYΣANIOY TETPAPXOY KAI APXIEPEΩΣ, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike offering wreath in right hand, left hand on grounded shield behind, ΦΛ monogram in right field; rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 38 - 37 B.C.

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Apameia Syria is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Previously known as Pharmake, it was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator in 300 B.C., who renamed it after his Bactrian wife, Apama. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.
GY86705. Bronze AE 20, Hunterian III 9, RPC I 4362, HGC 9 1435 (S), cf. Lindgren-Kovacs 2033 (ZOΣ), BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, VF, dark patina with highlighting red earthen fill, bumps, scratches, well centered on a tight flan, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 38 - 37 B.C.; obverse turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; reverse Athena standing half left, Nike offering wreath in her right hand, spear vertical behind in her left hand, grounded round shield behind leaning against her leg, EOΣ (year 275 of the Seleukid Era) inner left, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ − KAI AYTONOMOY in three downward lines (first two on right, last on left), AN in exergue; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; scarce; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

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Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
RY86830. Bronze AE 22, RPC Online IV 8532 (52 spec.); SNG Hunterian 2628 (same c/m); BMC Galatia p. 125, 8 (same); SNG Cop 28; countermark: Howgego 453 (32 pcs.), aF, c/m VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, corrosion, edge cracks , weight 10.192 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma mint, 138 - 161 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAI TIT AIΛ A∆P ANTWNEINOC CEB EY (or similar), laureate head right, countermark: 5-pointed star in same shaped 5 mm punch; reverse ZEYΓMTEWN, tetrastyle temple, a rectangular walled and colonnaded peribolos before the temple containing sacred grove, crescent with horns up above, obscure officina letter upper left; ex Beast Coins; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86857. Bronze AE 22, BMC Galatia p. 267, 4; Lindgren I 1210 var. (star in ex.); SNG Cop -; SNG München -, F, tight flan cutting off legends, porous, scratches, weight 7.025 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, as caesar, c. Summer 221 - 13 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AYP AΛEΞAN∆POC, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ-A-NE-ΩN, turreted Genius standing half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, humped bull standing left at feet on left, eagles flanking left and right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Julia Mamaea, Augusta, 13 Mar 222 - Feb/Mar 235 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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The Tyche of Antioch was a cult statue of the city goddess (fortune) of Antioch, venerated in a temple called the Tychaion. The statue was made by Eutychides of Sicyon (c. 335 - c. 275), a pupil of the great Lysippus. It was the best-known piece of Seleucid art, remarkable because it was sculpted to be viewed from all directions, unlike many statues from the period. Although the original has been lost, many copies exist, including the one in the photograph right, now at the Vatican. The goddess is seated on a rock (Mount Sipylus), has her right foot on a swimming figure (the river Orontes), wears a mural crown (the city's walls), and has grain in her right hand (the city's fertility).Tyche of Antioch
RY84567. Bronze 8 assaria, cf. McAlee 857(a) (scarce); Waage 665; BMC Galatia p. 209, 491; SNG Hunterian 3044; SNG Cop 257; Butcher 491b (all rev. leg. variants), aVF, broad flan, corrosion, weight 13.501 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse IVΛ MAMAEA CEBACTH, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse ANTIOXE-WN MH KO, Tyche seated left on rocks, wearing turreted crown, chiton and peplos, grain ears in right hand, left hand resting on rock; ram above leaping left with head right; star inner right; river-god Orontes swimming left below; ∆ - E over S - C in two lines divided flanking across field above center; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Antioch, Syria

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In 115 A.D., while Trajan was in Antioch, during his war against Parthia, the city was convulsed by a huge earthquake. The emperor was forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. Trajan and his successor restored the city, but the population was reduced to less than 400,000 inhabitants and many sections of the city were abandoned.
RY84893. Bronze as, McAlee 487(k); Dura 1643; cf. BMC Galatia p. 184, 270 (A); SNG Cop 203 (IΓ), gVF, green patina, tight flan, adjustment marks, bumps and scratches, light corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 14.746 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 102 - 114 A.D.; obverse AVTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIA-NOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate head right; reverse large S C, AI below, all within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 28, lot 256; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity," for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east.6th Century Antioch
RY86487. Bronze semis, McAlee 403(d); RPC II 2017; BMC Galatia p. 181, 251; Wruck 116; SNG Fitzwilliam 5878 var. (dot above S C); SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -, gVF, tight flan, light earthen deposits, slight porosity, weight 7.861 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 69 - 79 A.D.; obverse DOMITIANVS CAESAR, laureate head left; reverse large S C, no dot in field, within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86854. Bronze AE 23, SNG Munchen 962; SNG Cop 385; Lindgren-Kovacs 2115 var. (radiate head, AVT K - ANT...); cf. BMC Galatia p. 267, 1 (Caracalla), VF, tight flan, reverse a little off center, weight 6.160 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AVT K M - ANTΩNINOC, radiate and draped bust right; reverse PE−Φ−A−NEΩN, turreted Genius stands facing, head left, wears himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, bull left, two eagles flanking in upper field; ex Classical Numismatic Group; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; rare; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86858. Bronze AE 22, BMC Galatia p. 267, 4; Lindgren I 1210 var. (star in ex.); SNG Cop -; SNG München -, aF, centered on a tight flan, porous, some pitting, light earthen highlighting, weight 8.221 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, as caesar, c. Summer 221 - 13 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AYP AΛEΞAN∆POC, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ-A-NE-ΩN, turreted Genius standing half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, humped bull standing left at feet on left, eagles flanking left and right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86860. Bronze AE 24, BMC Galatia p. 267, 2 corr. (Caracalla); SNG Cop 385; Lindgren-Kovacs 2115 var. (radiate head), F, tight flan, porous, pitting, flaw in obverse right field, weight 7.893 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, obverse AVT K ANTΩNINOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PEΦ−A−NE−ΩN, turreted Genius stands facing, head left, wears himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, bull left, two eagles flanking in upper field; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; rare; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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In 14 A.D., a census indicated that there were 4,973,000 Roman citizens.
RP86876. Bronze as, McAlee 214, RPC I 4270; SNG Cop 144; SNG Munchen 713; SNG Righetti 1913; BMC Galatia p. 169, 150; Lindgren-Kovacs 1958, F, centered on a tight flan, dark patina, earthen encrustations, bumps and marks, weight 15.572 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 14 - 15 A.D.; obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY KAIΣAP, bare head right; reverse A EPI SI/LANOU / ANTIO/XEWN / EM (regnal year 1, Actian year 45), inscription in six lines within inner linear boarder surrounded by laurel wreath and outer linear border; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Armenian Kingdom, Tigranes II the Great, 95 - 55 B.C.

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Tigranes was called "Tigranes the Great" by Plutarch. The "King of Kings" never appeared in public without having four kings attending him. At its height, Tigranes' empire extended from the Pontic Alps to Mesopotamia and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. In 83 B.C., the Syrians offered him the crown and after conquering Phoenicia and Cilicia, he effectively ended the Seleucid Empire. His southern border reached as far as Akko-Ptolemais. The first Armenian ruler to issue coins, he adopted the Seleucid tradition and struck coins at Antioch and Damascus during his occupation of Syria from 83 to 69 B.C. In 66 B.C., Pompey advanced into Armenia with Tigranes' own son as an ally. Tigranes, now almost 75 years old, surrendered. Pompey treated him generously and returned part of his kingdom in return for 6,000 talents of silver. His unfaithful son was sent back to Rome as a prisoner. Tigranes continued to rule Armenia as an ally of Rome until his death in 55 B.C.
SH66375. Bronze four chalci, cf. Nercessian 84; Bedoukian CCA 119; BMC Seleucid p. 104, 12 (half chalkous); SNG Cop -, aF, weight 9.332 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus(?) mint, c. 83 - 69 B.C.; obverse head of Tigranes I right wearing five-pointed Armenian tiara, A behind; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ TIΓPANOY, Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right, left hand on hip, uncertain letters outer left; ex Gianni Aiello Collection; rare; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Lysanias, c. 40 - 36 B.C.

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Lysanias is called Tetrarch of Abila by Josephus. Lysanias' father Ptolemaios was married to Alexandra, Mattathias Antigonus' sister. Lysanias offered the Parthian satrap Barzapharnes a thousand talents and 500 women to depose Hyrcanus and put his uncle (or step-uncle) Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (Josephus B.J. 1.248). When Lysanias continued to support Antigonus against the Roman nominee Herod the Great, Mark Antony had him executed, and gave his territory to Cleopatra VII.
GB86410. Bronze AE 18, Herman 12.a (same countermark); Lindgren III 1244 (same); RPC I 4770; HGC 9 1449 (R1); SNG Cop 415; BMC Galatia p. 280, 6, aVF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, marks, scratches, corrosion; c/m: Fair, weight 5.120 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis ad Libanon (Qinnasrin, Syria) mint, c. 36 - 23 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Lysanias right, ΠTO monogram behind, countermark before below chin; reverse ΛYΣANIOY TETPAPXOY KAI APXIEPEΩΣ, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike offering wreath in right hand, left hand on grounded shield behind, ΦΛ monogram in right field; rare; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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Laodicea ad Mare prospered thanks to the excellent wine produced in the nearby hills and was also famous for its textiles, both of which were exported to all the empire. A sizable Jewish population lived in Laodicea during the first century. Under Septimius Severus the city was fortified and was made for a few years the capital of Roman Syria: in this period Laodicea grew to be a city of nearly 40,000 inhabitants and had even an hippodrome. Christianity was the main religion in the city after Constantine I and many bishops of Laodicea participated in ecumenical councils, mainly during Byzantine times. The heretic Apollinarius was bishop of Laodicea in the 4th century, when the city was fully Christian but with a few remaining Jews. An earthquake damaged the city in 494 A.D. Justinian I made Laodicea the capital of the Byzantine province of "Theodorias" in the early sixth century. Laodicea remained its capital for more than a century until the Arab conquest.
RP86245. Bronze AE 19, SNG München 944; SNG Hunterian 3226, SNG Cop 372 var. (bust); BMC Galatia p. 262, 105 var. (no clubs), VF, porous, reverse off center, weight 5.941 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 225o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVP - ANTONINVS - AVG, radiate bust right, bare shoulders seen from behind; reverse LAVDICEON, two naked wrestlers, standing confronted and grappling, wrestler on the left has his hand on his antagonist shoulder, clubs left and right, one behind each wrestler, ∆E exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 21 - 20 B.C.

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Apameia Syria is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Previously known as Pharmake, it was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator in 300 B.C., who renamed it after his Bactrian wife, Apama. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.
GY86414. Bronze AE 23, RPC 4350; McClean 9429; Cohen DCA 416; HGC 9 1425 (S); cf. BMC Galatia p. 234, 12 (year 94); SNG Cop 301 (same), VF, centered on a tight flan, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, bumps and marks, porosity, weight 9.644 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 21 - 20 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right wreathed with ivy; reverse thyrsos (staff of Dionysos), date BꟼΣ (year 292 of the Seleucid Era) downward inner left, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ / KAI AΣUΛOY in three downward lines starting outer right; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Laodikea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, c. 47 - 20 B.C.

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Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Most biblical scholars believe Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C.
GY86415. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 4392; BMC Galatia p. 249, 18 (APX in ex.); SNG Cop 332 (same); Weber 7982 (same); SNG München 874 (ZM in ex.), VF/aVF, tight flan, light corrosion/porosity, weight 7.924 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse turreted and veiled head of Tyche right; reverse Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ∆M (year 44) downward inner left field, IOYΛIEΩN/TΩN KAI in two downward lines on the left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN, downward on the right, uncertain control letters in exergue; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Damascus, Coele Syria

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We were unable to find an example with complete legends or even read them with certainty combining parts from the six specimens we found in references and online. Some letters remain uncertain because they were blundered or partially off flan on all specimens examined.
RY86708. Bronze AE 27, SNG Cop 421, Lindgren-Kovacs A2141B, Rosenberger IV 20, SNG Munchen -, BMC Galatia -, aF, desert patina, oval flan, weight 9.720 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse CEV Π CE - AVTOK KAI (or similar, blundered), laureate and draped bust right, from front; reverse ∆AMACKHWN MHTPOΠOΛ-EWN (or similar, blundered), turreted and draped bust of Tyche left inside tetrastyle shrine with arch; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; extremely rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Damascus, Coele-Syria

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Saul (later known as Paul) was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when he was blinded by a light from the presence of Jesus. He spent three days in Damascus, blind, until Jesus sent a disciple named Ananias to Saul. Damascus was the city in which Paul began his work as a great evangelist, teaching people in Asia, Africa and Europe about Jesus.
RY86709. Bronze AE 22, cf. Lindgren III 1263 (legends obscure/different, etc.), De Saulcy p. 55, 7 (same); Rosenberger IV 62 (same), SNG Cop -, SNG Hunt -, BMC Galatia -, F, dark patina with earthen deposit highlighting, tight flan, right side of obv. legend unstruck, scratches, weight 9.696 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 225o, Damascus mint, Aug 253 - Sep 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIENVS PIV F AVG (or similar, blundered), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CO ∆AMΣ - METPO, agonistic prize urn containing two palms fronds on an ornate tripod; ex J. S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Volusian, c. November 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Damascus, Syria

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Hadrian promoted Damascus to the Metropolis of Coele-Syria about 125 A.D. Septimius Severus upgraded it to a colonia in 222 A.D. Damascus was an important caravan city with trade routes from southern Arabia, Palmyra, Petra, and silk routes from China all converging on it delivering eastern luxuries to Rome. The inscription on the prize urn names the sacred Olympia Sebasmia games, celebrated at Damascus as part of the local imperial cult.
RY86710. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online IX 1964 (same dies, 4 spec.); BMC Galatia p. 288, 32; Rosenberger 58; De Saulcy 6; SNG Hunter 3462 var. (bust); SNG Mün -; SNG Cop -, aF, porous, light earthen deposits, weight 7.860 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, c. Nov 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP GALLO VOLOSSIANO AVG, laureate head right, traces of drapery; reverse COL ∆AMAS METRO, agonistic urn containing cypress, inscribed OΛYMΠIA / CEBACMIA, ram's head right between I E (IEPA - sanctuary) below; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Volusian, c. November 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Damascus, Syria

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Telephus (or Telephos) was the son of Herakles and Auge, daughter of King Aleus of Tegea. An oracle told King Aleus that he would be overthrown by his grandson, so he forced his daughter Auge to become a virgin priestess. After she was violated by Herakles, their son, the infant Telephus, was hidden in the temple but his cries revealed him. Aleus ordered Telephus exposed on Mt. Parthenion. He was saved by a doe Herakles sent to suckle him.
RY86711. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online IX 1968 (11 spec.); SNG Hunter 3461; De Saulcy 7; Lindgren I 2153; Rosenberger 59 var. (ram running in ex.); SNG Mün 1025 var. (same), F, desert patina, parts of legends weak, porous, weight 10.109 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, c. Nov 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse D VIB GALLO VOLOSSIANO AVG, laureate head right, traces of drapery; reverse COL ∆AMA METR, hind (antlered doe) standing right, suckling infant Telephos seated left, ram's head right in exergue; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86859. Bronze AE 23, SNG Munchen 961; Lindgren I 2116 corr. (described as head); BMC Galatia p. 267, 3 var. (head); SNG Cop 385 var. (radiate), F, desert patina, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, scratches, porous, weight 5.113 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ−A−NE−ΩT, turreted Genius standing half left, wears himation, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, bull at feet left, two eagles flanking in upper field; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 




    



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Roman Decapolis, Syria and Arabia