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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.
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.
In 231, Severus Alexander led a formidable army into the east. In a great battle Alexander defeated Artaxerxes and drove him back from the frontiers of Rome. He returned to Rome, where he received a triumph for his victory over the Persians.RS73592. Silver denarius, RSC III 561, RIC IV 302, BMCRE VI 1020, Hunter III 190 var. (no cuirass), cf. SRCV II 7930 (obv legend, star right on rev, etc.), VF, well centered, interesting eastern style, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 228 - 231 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverseVICTORIA AVG, Victory advancing right, wreath raised in right hand, palm frond in left over shoulder; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.
On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near ColoniaAurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium, and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.RB71428. Billonfollis, RIC VII Antioch 8 (R4), SRCV IV I5244, Cohen VII 108, gVF, nice portrait, well centered on a crowded flan, weight 4.105 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 313 - 314 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverseIOVI CONSERVATORIAVGG, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulders, Victory on globe in right offering wreath, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle at feet with wreath in beak, wreath over H over III in right field, ANT in exergue; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
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, part 2, 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 (time of peace and calm), emperor standing right receiving globe from Jupiter standing left holding long scepter behind in left, Aē in center, XXI in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
Byzantine Empire, Justin I and Justinian I, April - 1 August 527 A.D.
This tiny bronze from Antioch is the last coin type to depict the Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides and, indeed, it is the last ancient coin type to depict any classical deity. The sculpture, which first appeared on coins of Antioch in the second century B.C., was made in the late 4th Century B.C. by the Greek sculptor Eutychides of Sicyon for the then newly founded city of Antioch. The sculpture was imitated by many Asiatic cities. There is a small copy in the Vatican.BZ73040. Bronze pentanummium, DOC I 17, Hahn MIB 13, Wroth BMC 10 - 11, SBCV 133, Morrisson BnF -, Ratto -, F, nice glossy green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 1.716 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse D N D N IVSTINVS ET IVSTINIANVS PP AVG (or similar), diademed, draped and cuirassed busts of Justin and Justinian facing; reverseTyche of Antioch seated left, reversed E left, all within a distyle shrine; very rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.
Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528.BZ72605. Bronze half-follis, Ratto 672, DOC I 211a (not in the collection, references Ratto), Hahn MIB 134, SRCV 226, Sommer 4.95, Morrisson BnF -, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, VF, nice green patine with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, part of obverselegend unstruck, weight 6.797 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 315o, 1st officina, Theoupolis-Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 533 - 537 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, Justinian enthroned facing holding long scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; reverse large K (20 nummi), T-H/E-u/O/P (Theoupolis) on left divided by large cross, A (1st officina) right; very rare from 1st officina; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50