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 struck coins for provincial Syria before becoming and imperial mint. Imperial mint dates of operation: 217 - 611 A.D. Mintmarks: AN, ANT, ANTOB, SMAN.
Eudoxia, Augusta 9 January 400 - Early October 404 A.D., Wife of Arcadius
Eudoxia was the strong willed wife of Arcadius. They were married on 27 April 395 A.D. She exercised considerable influence over policy, much to the disgust of many high ranking Romans, notably in the Church. She was mother to five children, including Theodosius II and Pulcheria. She died in childbirth.
SH65424. Copper AE 3, RIC X 104, LRBC 2800, SRCV 4241, gVF, fantastic desert patina, weight 1.854 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 401 - 403 A.D.; obverse AEL EVDOXIA AVG, pearl-diademed and draped bust right, crowned with wreath by the Hand of God above; reverseSALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated on cuirass inscribing Christogram on shield set on cippus, ANT... (obscured) in exergue; truly beautiful in hand; scarce; $150.00 (112.50)
Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
In 276, Probus returned the antoninianus (aurelianianus) to the standard and official tariffing of Aurelian.
RB65430. Silveredantoninianus, RIC V 920, EF, weight 3.794 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseCLEMENTIA TEMP, emperor standing right receiving globe from Jupiter standing left holding scepter, E in center, XXI in ex; $150.00 (112.50)
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.
RB65437. Silveredantoninianus, RIC V 925, Cohen 509, Choice EF, weight 4.239 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseRESTITVT ORBIS, woman standing right presenting wreath to Probus standing left holding globe in right and scepter in left, E center, XXI in ex; $150.00 (112.50)
Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.
The cross was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because it symbolized a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution that most early Christians would have personally witnessed. In 315, Constantine abolished crucifixion as punishment in the Roman Empire. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians. Constantine adopted the Chi-Rho Christ monogram (Christogram) as his banner (labarum). The use of a cross as the most prevalent symbol of Christianity probably gained momentum after Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, traveled to the Holy Land, c. 326 - 328, and recovered the True Cross.
RL65462. Bronze AE 4, RIC IX 67(d)4, Choice VF, weight 1.133 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, 383 - 395 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseSALVS REIPVBLICE, Victory walking left holding trophy over right shoulder, dragging captive with left, cross left, ANTΓ in ex; $135.00 (101.25)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
From the Antioch Hoard of Gallienus.
RA59125. Billonantoninianus, Göbl MIR 1617i, RIC V S668, SRCV III 10402, RSC IV 1237b cor., AHG 487 (this coin), Choice EF, weight 3.471 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseVIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, helmeted and wearing military garb, resting right hand on shield set on ground, spear with point up in left, starin ex; $135.00 (101.25)