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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ AntiochView Options:  |  |  |     

Antioch, Syria (Antakiyah, Turkey)

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.

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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RS83526. Silver denarius, RIC IV 274; RSC III 11; BMCRE VI p. 215, 1033; SRCV 7856; Hunter III -, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, coppery areas, small edge cracks, weight 2.967 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse AEQVITAS AVG (equity of the emperor), Aequitas standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star upper left; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

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Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RS84945. Silver denarius, RIC IV 190, RSC III 54, BMCRE V 281, Hunter III 116, SRCV II 7517, EF, light bumps and marks, dark spots, weight 3.090 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse HILARITAS AVG, Hilaritas standing front, looking left, patera in right, long grounded palm frond in left, flanked by two nude children standing at her feet reaching up to her, the child on the right touching the palm frond; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 2377 (Mar 2016), lot 1972; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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"Peace founded with Persis" - after murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return Rome to secure his spot, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse possibly means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus".
RS84988. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 69 (S), RSC IV 113, Hunter III 120, SRCV III 8941, VF, broad flan, light toning, a few light marks, edge cracks, mild porosity, weight 3.849 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, Feb 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, scepter in left; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.

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Diana is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Musťe du Louvre, Paris.
RA85169. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 1031, RIC V 205, Huvelin 1990 16, Amasya 2311, Cohen VI 67, SRCV III 11327, Hunter VI - (p. lxxxii), Choice VF, coppery surfaces, traces of silvering, weight 3.598 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 1, c. September 268 Ė end 269; obverse IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse DIANAE VICTR, Diana standing slightly right, head right, drawing arrow with right hand from quiver on right shoulder, bow in left hand, small stag right at feet on right with head turned back looking at goddess, H in exergue; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D.

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When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Later legend elaborates, stating that Babylas demanded that he do penance for his part in the murder of the young Gordian III before he would allow Philip to celebrate Easter. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RS85645. Silver antoninianus, Bland 64 (5 spec., also bust from front), RIC IV 240a (R), RSC IV 1, SRCV IV 9259, Hunter III - (p. xciv), Choice aEF, light toning, nice portrait, light marks, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 345o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 245 - 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00




    



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REFERENCES

Huvelin, H. "L'atelier d'Antioche sous Claude II" in NAC XIX (1990), pp. 251-271.
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
Van Heesch, J. "The last civic coinages and the religious policy of Maximinus Daza (AD 312)" in Numismatic Chronicle 1993, pp. 65 - 75, pl. 11.

Catalog current as of Thursday, November 23, 2017.
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Antioch