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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>HellenisticMonarchies>KingdomofEdessa

Kingdom of Edessa (Osrone), Mesopotamia

The Kingdom of Osroene (or Edessa) was one of several kingdoms arising from the dissolution of the Seleucid Empire. The kingdom was established by Nabataeans or Arabs from North Arabia, occupied an area on what is now the border between Syria and Turkey, and lasted nearly four centuries, c.132 B.C. to 214, under twenty-eight rulers. Located on the silk route between the two superpowers, the kingdom was alternately dominated by Parthia and Rome. Each invasion by one or the other would change the balance of power and sometimes the government. For example, in 213 A.D. Caracalla summoned the king and his sons to Rome, murdered them and took direct rule for Rome. The Sassinids took Edessa in 242 A.D but Gordian III quickly recovered the area and returned the throne to the dynasty. Edessa ceased to exist when it was taken by the Sassinids in 244 A.D. The Syriac document, "The Teaching of Addai" claims that Abgar V, King of Edessa, corresponded with Jesus and asked him to come to Edessa. Tradition also says Christianity became the official religion of Edessa in 206 A.D., 135 years before Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of Rome in 341 A.D.


Kingdom of Osrhoene, King King Ma'nu VIII, c. 139 - 163 and 165 - 177 A.D., In the Name of Lucilla
Click for a larger photo The Kingdom of Osrhoene was an independent kingdom, alternately under Parthian and Roman domination, from the end of the Seleucid period until it became a Roman province in 244 A.D. This coin was minted in the name of Lucilla, Augusta and wife of the emperor Lucius Verus.
SH15727. Silver denarius, possibly unpublished, SRCV II -, SNG Cop -, cf. BMC Arabia p. 93, 7 ff. (Juno reverse), F, weight 2.334 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Edessa mint, c. 167 - 177 A.D.; obverse ΛOYKIΛΛA CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair plaited, bound with fillet, and tied with chignon in back; reverse BACIΛEV MANNOC ΦIΛOPWMA, Victory walking left, wreath in right, palm over shoulder in left; uneven toning, flat reverse strike; extremely rare; SOLD

The Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Septimius Severus and Abgar VIII, 197 - 212 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Abgar VIII, also known as Abgar the Great, is remembered for his reputed conversion to Christianity in about 200 A.D. His son Abgar IX Severus, who succeeded him in 212, was summoned with his son to Rome in 213 and murdered at the orders of Caracalla. A year later Caracalla ended incorporated the kingdom as a Roman province.
RP55358. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 94, 14 ff., SNG Cop 196 ff., F, weight 6.505 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa mint, 197 - 212 A.D.; obverse CEOVHPOC ΛTOKΛO (or similar), laureate head of Septimius Severus right; reverse ABΓAPC BACIΛC (or similar), draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed tiara, holding scepter before; SOLD

Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
RP55556. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 225; BMC Arabia p. 114, 144; SGICV 5745, gF, edge chip, pitting, weight 9.128 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa mint, obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, drapery on left shoulder, star before; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin); SOLD


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REFERENCES

Hill, G.F. Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins: the Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 7: Cyprus to India. (New Jersey, 1982).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
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Kingdom of Edessa (Osroene), Mesopotamia