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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.
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.RA73872. Billonantoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 322; Cohen VI 34; SRCV IV 12637, Choice gVF, nice portrait, bold full circles strike, green patina, some silvering, weight 4.317 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina 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) center bottom, •XXI in exergue; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
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; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.
In 293, Diocletian's Palace was built at a small bay on the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, today's Split, Croatia. RA71999. Billonantoninianus, RIC V 322, SRCV IV 12637, Cohen VI 34, Hunter IV 67 var. (also 10th officina, but no pellet in exergue), aEF, well centered, good strike, some silvering, a few light marks, light deposits and porosity, weight 3.741 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 315o, 10th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 293 - 295 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from the front; reverseCONCORDIA MILITVM, Diocletian (on left) standing right, holding parazonium in his left hand, receiving Victory holding wreath on globe from Jupiter, who is standing left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, holding a long scepter vertically behind in his left hand, I 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, 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, A• in center, XXI in exergue; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
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; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00