Because of Egypt's isolated position, Antioch was a more suitable capital for the eastern empire than Alexandria, and to some extent the Roman emperors tried to make the city an eastern Rome. They built a great temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, a forum, a theater, a circus, baths and aqueducts. The city was, however, repeatedly damaged by earthquakes. Edward Gibbon wrote of Antioch: "Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capital of the East." Antioch was, paradoxically, also an important hub of early Christianity. The city had a large population of Jews and so attracted the earliest missionaries; including Peter, Barnabas, and also Paul during his first missionary journey. Antioch's converts were the first to be called Christians. Late in 311, an embassy from Antioch presented themselves before Maximinus and requested permission to banish Christians from their city. Maximinus initially agreed, but in May 313 restored privileges and property to Christians. Antioch struck coins for provincial Syria before becoming and imperial mint. Imperial mint dates of operation: 217 - 611 A.D. Mintmarks: AN, ANT, ANTOB, SMAN.
Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.
The reverselegend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!"
RL71439. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 132, LRBC 2625, Voetter 26, EF, perfect centering, excellent style, ragged flan, weight 5.162 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 135o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Soldier standing left in military attire, shield on left arm, spearing diademed and bearded fallen horseman turned to face him and raising arm, Γ in upper left field, ANB in ex; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
In 280, Julius Saturninus, the governor of Syria, was made emperor by his troops. Probus besiege him at Apamea, where he was captured and executed.
BB71412. Silveredantoninianus, RIC V 925; Cohen VI 509; Pink VI, 2nd emission, p. 40; SRCV III 12074, VF, perfect centering, weight 3.687 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseRESTITVT ORBIS, female (Orbis, the World) presenting wreath to Probus standing right holding globe and scepter, B in center, XXI in ex; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.
A sum of Greek numerals E (5) and ∆ (4) is used to indicate the 9th officina in order to avoid using Θ (9). Because they sound alike, theta (Θ) was associated with Thanatos, the daemon personification of death. Theta used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians voting for the death penalty. Also, after a funeral "Nine Days of Sorrow," were solemnly observed by the family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RB71730. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 322, Cohen VI 34, EF, perfect centering, excellent portrait, weight 4.274 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 293 - 295 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseCONCORDIA MILITVM, Diocletian receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter, E∆ (officina 9) in center, XXI in exergue; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
The reverselegend abbreviates Clementia Temporum, which can be translated "a time of peace and calm."
RS65435. Silveredantoninianus, RIC V 921, Choice EF, weight 4.138 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseCLEMENTIA TEMP, emperor standing right receiving globe from Jupiter standing left holding long scepter behind in left, A• in center, XXI in ex; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
RL65366. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Antioch 86, Choice aEF, attractive black patina with highlighting red earthen desert fill, weight 2.670 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseGLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMANB in ex; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00