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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Provincial ▸ Roman SyriaView Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins of Syria

In 63 B.C., Syria was incorporated into the Roman Republic as a province following the success of Pompey the Great against the Parthians. In 135 A.D., after the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Roman Syria and Judaea were merged into the province Syria Palaestina. The province Coele-Syria was split from Syria Palaestina in 193. Syria became part of the splinter Palmyrene Empire for a brief period from 260 to 272, when it was restored to Roman central authority. In the 3rd century, with the Severan dynasty, Syrians even achieved imperial power.


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 9 - 8 B.C.

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Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Rome received Apamea with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.Great Colonnade at Apamea
GY87604. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 4353; SNG Cop 301; SNG Mün 809; BMC Galatia p. 234, 12; Lindgren-Kovacs 2032; SGCV II 5870; HGC 9 1425 (S) var. (date), gVF, well centered, some porosity, weight 8.033 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 90o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 9 - 8 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right wreathed with ivy, ME monogram behind; reverse thyrsos (staff of Dionysos), AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ in two downward lines on right, KAI AΣYΛOY downward on left, ∆T (year 304 of the Seleucid Era) downward inner left; scarce; $260.00 (€221.00)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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The Sela Neron (Nero Tetradrachm) is mentioned in the Mishna Keilim 17:12.
RY88969. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 260 (rare, same dies), RPC I 4184, Prieur 84, Wruck 41 corr., VF, excellent portrait, toned, porosity, tight flan, weight 14.448 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 62 - 63 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate bust right wearing aegis; reverse ETOYΣ AIP Θ (year 111 and regnal year 9), eagle standing right on thunderbolt, palm branch right; ex Roma Numismatics; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


16 Roman Provincial Coins of Antioch

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LT87182. 16 Roman provincial coins, mostly or all of Antioch, 20.7mm - 25.9mm, F or better, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, the actual coins in the photograph, no tags or flips, as-is, no returns; $195.00 (€165.75)
 


Northern Syria, 3rd Century A.D.

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This type has long been attributed to Pharaoh Nektanebo II. Butcher, however, notes it is quite common in the vicinity of Antioch and in Northern Syria and the obverse style is similar to third century Antiochene zodiacal type coins. He suggests they may have been struck under Hadrian.
RY77448. Bronze AE 16, Butcher p. 405, 11; Weiser p. 16, 1 (Nektanebo II, Memphis, Egypt), aVF, scratches and marks, weight 3.396 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, 3rd century A.D.; obverse ram (Ares) leaping left, head turned back right; reverse balance scale (Libra); $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 7/6 B.C., Legate P. Quinctilius Varus

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Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman general and politician under Augustus. From 7 or 6 B.C. until 4 B.C. he governed Syria as the where he was known for harsh rule and high taxes. Josephus mentions the swift action of Varus in 4 B.C., against a revolt in Judaea following the death of Herod the Great. Varus occupied Jerusalem and crucified 2000 rebels. Varus is most infamous for losing three Roman legions in an ambush by Germanic tribes led by Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, at which point he took his own life. Upon hearing the news, Augustus tore his clothes, refused to cut his hair for months and, for years afterward, was heard, upon occasion, to moan, "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my Legions!" (Quintili Vare, legiones redde!).
RP87432. Bronze trichalkon, McAlee 85; RPC I 4242; SNG Cop 90; BMC p. 158, 57; Butcher 48; Cohen DCA 402, aVF, well centered, a little rough, porous, obscure countermark (or flaw) on obverse, weight 6.267 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, legate P. Quinctilius Varus, 7/6 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, three pellets (mark of value) below neck; reverse ANTIOXEΩ EΠI OVAPOV, Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, wearing chiton and peplos, palm frond in her right hand, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, EK (Actian Era year 25) in the right field; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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In 248, overwhelmed by the number of invasions and usurpers, Philip offered to resign. The Senate decided to support the Emperor, with Gaius Messius Quintus Decius most vocal of all the senators. Philip was so impressed that he dispatched Decius with a special command of the Pannonian and Moesian provinces. His loyal supporter, Decius, was, however, proclaimed Emperor by the Danubian armies in the spring of 249 and defeated and killed Philip in September.
RP87838. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1032(b) (ex. rare), Prieur 402A, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, VF, well centered, uneven toning, earthen deposits,, weight 10.929 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate and cuirassed bust left, without aegis, seen from the front; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠATO Γ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 3rd time), eagle standing right, head right, wings open, neither wing behind leg, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; extremely rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Lot of 5 Roman Provincial Bronze Coins of Antioch Syria, c. 200 - 250 A.D.

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The ruins of Antioch on the Orontes lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey. Founded near the end of the 4th century B.C. by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals, Antioch's geographic, military and economic location, particularly the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Persian Royal Road, benefited its occupants, and eventually it rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East and as the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity,” for the pivotal early role it played in the emergence of the faith. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Its residents are known as Antiochenes. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. Once a great metropolis of half a million people, it declined to insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes and a change in trade routes following the Mongol conquests, which then no longer passed through Antioch from the far east. 6th Century Antioch
LT88499. Bronze Lot, 5 Roman provincial coins of Antioch, Syria, 17.1mm - 23.0mm, Nice VF, desert patinas with highlighting earthen deposits, no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C.

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Ptolemaios son of Mennaios (also known as Ptolemy I), an Ituraean Arab dynast, established the Kingdom of Chalkis, c. 85 B.C., during the collapse of the Seleukid Empire. The kingdom, with its capitol at Chalcis sub Libano at the foot of Antilibanus, included Heliopolis, the valley of the Marsyas, and the mountainous region of Ituraea. In 64 B.C., he bribed Pompey the Great to forgo annexing his kingdom into the new Roman province of Syria and to allow him to continue ruling his territory as Tetrarch. Ptolemaios was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift.
GY86696. Bronze AE 19, Herman 4; SNG Cop 414; BMC Galatia p. 280, 5; Lindgren I A2134B; HGC 9 1440 (S), VF, green patina, earthen deposits, light marks and scratches, high points bare copper, weight 3.506 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libano mint, 63 - 62 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse the Dioscuri standing facing, center legs crossed, heads turned confronted, each leaning on spear in outer hand, LB (year 2 Pompeian Era) ∆ / ΠTOΛEMA right, TETPAPΠX left, APXE below, all within wreath; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Antioch, Syria

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Struck to pay Titus' legions during and after the First Jewish Revolt. RPC notes c. 320 different dies indicate 6,500,000 Syrian tetradrachms might have been minted. This was the quantity Titus would have needed to pay his four legions. Hoard evidence finds many of these types in Judaea confirming they were used to pay the legions.
RY88875. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 353 (rare), RPC II 1965, Prieur 131, F, rough, weight 13.983 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 70 - 71 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIAN, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; reverse ETOYC Γ IEPOY (holy year 3), eagle standing left on palm frond, wings spread, wreath in beak, club upright on left; rare; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Raphanea, Seleukis Pieria, Syria

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Josephus mentions Raphanea in connection with a stream that flowed only every seventh day (probably an intermittent spring now called Fuwar ed-Deir) and that was viewed by Titus on his way north from Berytus after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. Near Emesa, Raphanea was the fortified headquarters of the Legio III Gallica from which in 218 A.D. 14-year-old Elagabalus launched his successful bid of to become Roman Emperor. The crusaders passed through it at the end of 1099; it was taken by Baldwin I and was given to the Count of Tripoli. It was then known as Rafania.
RY86732. Bronze AE 23, BMC Galatia p. 267, 4; Lindgren I 1210 var. (star in ex.); SNG Cop -; SNG München -, F, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, centered on a tight flan, corrosion, porosity, legend not fully struck, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Raphanea (Rafniye, Syria) mint, as caesar, c. Summer 221 - 13 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse M AYP AΛEΞAN∆POC, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PEΦ-A-NE-ΩN, turreted Genius standing half left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, humped bull standing left at feet on left, eagles flanking left and right; ex Classical Numismatic Group, ex J.S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $115.00 (€97.75)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, April 20, 2019.
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Roman Syria