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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.


Macrianus, Summer 260 - Early Summer 261 A.D.

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The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City.

During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation.
RA83949. Silvered antoninianus, MIR 1738b, RSC IV 11, Hunter IV 5, RIC V-2 11 (R2), SRCV III 10807, Choice aEF, perfect centering on a broad flan, toned, porous, slight die wear, weight 4.304 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, obverse IMP C FVL MACRIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma, helmeted, seated left on shield, Victory in extended right, spear in left, two pellets in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik, web auction 3 (25 Feb 2018), lot 1015; rare; $400.00 (340.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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MON VRB stands for MONETA VRBIS. According to H. R. Baldus this initial issue of coins was minted in Rome. Indeed the portrait style is unmistakably that of the mint of Rome, and even if the coins were actually minted in Antioch, the dies were surely engraved by the Rome mint.
SH60149. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 899, Prieur 304, BMC Galatia 507, EF, very sharp, handsome portrait and eagle, double strike evident in obverse legend, minor flan crack, small encrustations,, weight 13.825 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome or Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 or 246 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOY CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail left, wreath in beak, S - C (senatus consulto) below wings, MON VRB in exergue; FORVM paid $225 for this coin!; $200.00 (170.00)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RA86673. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68 (uncertain Eastern), RIC V-1 J447 (Asia), SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), EF, white metal, mint luster, areas of light porosity, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $140.00 (119.00)


Julia Paula, Augusta July or August 219 - c. September 220 A.D., First Wife of Elagabalus

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Julia Paula was the first wife of Elagabalus and daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Julius Paulus. They were married in 219 A.D. and divorced in less than a year.
RS87353. Silver denarius, RIC IV 222 (S, note), RSC III 21, BMCRE V 323, SRCV II 7658, cf. Hunter III 4 (Rome), VF, attractive portrait, lightly toned, tight flan, slightly uneven strike, a few tiny green deposits, weight 2.197 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, under Elagabalus, 219 - 220 A.D.; obverse IVLIA PAVLA AVG, draped bust right; reverse VENVS GENETRIX (Mother Venus), Venus Genetrix seated left on throne with high back, apple in right hand, scepter vertical in left hand; ex CNG e-auction 424 (11 Jul 2018), lot 513; ex CNG e-auction 325 (23 Apr 2014), lot 615; scarce; $130.00 (110.50)


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D.

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The same types with the same legends may have been minted for Macrinus at both Rome and Antioch. Some examples with a short beard and younger face are clearly of the style of Rome (and probably look little like Macrinus who was in the east). Some, but probably not all, examples with a longer beard and older features were probably minted at Antioch. RIC does not attempt to distinguish between the products of the two mints.
RS73902. Silver denarius, RIC IV 24b; RSC III 62; BMCRE V p. 501, 40; Hunter III 19; SRCV II 7347, VF, well centered, very dark thick toning, perhaps debased silver, weight 2.495 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (or Rome?) mint, Jan 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power, consul, father of the country), Securitas standing facing, head left, legs crossed, long scepter vertical in right, resting left arm on column; $110.00 (93.50)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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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. 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
RY86487. Bronze semis, McAlee 403(d); RPC II 2017; BMC Galatia p. 181, 251; Wruck 116; SNG Fitzwilliam 5878 var. (dot above S C); SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -, gVF, tight flan, light earthen deposits, slight porosity, weight 7.861 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 69 - 79 A.D.; obverse DOMITIANVS CAESAR, laureate head left; reverse large S C, no dot in field, within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; $100.00 (85.00)


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

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In 327 A.D., when this coin was struck and in the city where this coin was struck, construction began on the Domus Aurea (Latin: golden house), the cathedral of Antioch. The cathedral is thought to have been located on an island where the Seleucid's Imperial Palace of Antioch had been located. The church became a major point of the controversy between Christians and Julian the Apostate when the latter closed the cathedral in response to the burning of an ancient temple to Apollo in the nearby suburb of Daphne. From 526 to 587 it suffered from a series of earthquakes, fires and Persian attacks, before being finally destroyed in another earthquake in 588, after which it was not rebuilt.
RL86837. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 78 (R3), LRBC I 1345, SRCV IV 16269, Cohen VII 454, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, brown tone, slight porosity, weight 3.323 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed head right, ladder-form diadem with two laurel leaves in every other division; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, no doors, no pellet under arch, star above, SMANTZ in exergue; ex Beast Coins, the Zachary "Beast" Beasley Collection of Camp Gates; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RA87255. Silvered double aureliani, MER-RIC 4091 (7 spec.), RIC V-1 211 (R2), BnF XII -, Hunter IV -, Venra -, VF, some silvering, well centered, flat weak centers, weight 2.633 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Emperor on left, standing right, in military dress, short eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, receiving globe from Jupiter, Jupiter on right, standing left, long scepter in left hand, ∆ in center, XI in exergue; very rare; $100.00 (85.00) ON RESERVE


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

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The Persians occupied part of Syria in 251 A.D. and took and burned Antioch in 256 A.D. and again in 260 A.D.
RS86825. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 108k (also IV both sides), RIC IV 89 (S), SRCV III 9647, Hunter III - (p. cvi), VF, well centered, toned, radiating flow lines, die wear, some porosity, weight 3.838 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 251 - 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, tiny IV (officina) below; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE AVG, Roma seated left on shield, Victory in right hand, spear in left hand; Victory is standing on globe, holding palm frond in left hand, and presenting wreath with right hand; IV (officina) in exergue; ex Beast Coins; scarce; $95.00 (80.75)


Carinus, First Half of 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

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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.
RA84211. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 325; Cohen VI 184; SRCV III 12362; Pink VI/2, p. 52; Hunter IV -, aEF, much silvering, well centered and struck on a tight flan, weight 3.684 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 4th emission, May - June 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Emperor standing right, short scepter in left hand, facing Jupiter (or Numerian) on right, standing left, with right hand offering Victory on globe, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, E∆ in lower center, XXI in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)




  



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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 Sunday, July 22, 2018.
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Antioch