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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.


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

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Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA79908. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3107, RIC V 381, BnF XII 1248a, Hunter IV 7, Gbl MIR 353, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, gVF, white metal, toned, uneven strike, porosity, slightly off center, weight 3.703 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 270o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, E below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; $100.00 (89.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

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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; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, wreath raised in right hand, palm frond in left over shoulder; $95.00 (84.55)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse legend abbreviates Clementia Temporum, which can be translated "a time of peace and calm."
RS65435. Silvered antoninianus, 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 cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), emperor standing right receiving globe from Jupiter standing left holding long scepter behind in left, A in center, XXI in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Constantine reorganized the Roman army to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers - the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians - even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the turmoil of the previous century.
RL65366. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 86, LRBC I 1356, SRCV IV 16359, 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 - 333 and 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMANB in exergue; $80.00 (71.20)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus, were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RA73653. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1628c, RSC IV 46b, RIC V S628, Hunter IV S194, SRCV III 10171 var. (cuirassed bust left), gVF, full circles strike on a broad flan, much silvering, porous, weight 3.435 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVG, she-wolf standing right, head left, the twins Romulus and Remus suckling below, palm branch right in exergue; $75.00 (66.75)




    



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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, February 23, 2017.
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Antioch