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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ SamosataView Options:  |  |  |   

Samosata, Commagene, Syria (Adiyman Province, Turkey)

Samosata was an ancient city on the right (west) bank of the Euphrates whose ruins existed at the modern city of Samsat, Adiyaman Province, Turkey until the site was flooded by the newly constructed Atatürk Dam. The founder of the city was Sames, a Satrap of Commagene who made it his capital. The city was sometimes called Antiochia in Commagene and served as the capital for the Hellenistic Kingdom of Commagene from c. 160 BC until it was surrendered to Rome in 72. A civil metropolis from the days of Emperor Hadrian, Samosata was the home of the Legio VI Ferrata and later Legio XVI Flavia Firma, and the terminus of several military roads. Seven Christian martyrs were crucified in 297 in Samosata for refusing to perform a pagan rite in celebration of the victory of Maximian over the Sassanids. It was at Samosata that Julian II had ships made in his expedition against Sapor, and it was a natural crossing-place in the struggle between Heraclius and Chosroes in the 7th century. Imperial mint dates of operation: c. 253 - 258 A.D. Mintmarks: none.


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RA85487. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1707p (Samosata), RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95a (Antioch), Hunter IV 12 (uncertain eastern), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, porous, weight 4.385 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Valerian (on left) standing right confronting Spes, wearing military garb and holding spear, Spes standing left, raising skirt with left hand and presenting flower to prince with right hand, pellet within wreath above; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50
 


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RA85489. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1696d (Samosata), RIC V 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95 (Antioch), SRCV III 10775 (uncertain Syrian), Hunter IV - (p. liii), F, white metal, well centered, areas weakly struck, porous, earthen deposits, weight 4.106 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Saloninus (on left) and Spes (on right) standing confronted, Spes is raising skirt and presenting flower to prince, Saloninus holds scepter in left; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RA87012. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1699m (Samosata), RIC V S447 (Asia), RSC IV 792a, SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous, light pitting, weight 3.985 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 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 confronted, sacrificing over altar between them, each togate and holding short scepter, pellet in wreath above; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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RIC assigns this issue to Antioch but MIR gives the issue to a second Eastern mint located at Samosata. Samosata was an ancient city on the west bank of the Euphrates whose ruins existed at the modern city of Samsat, Adiyaman Province, Turkey until the site was flooded by the newly-constructed Atatürk Dam.
RA87018. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1703r (Samosata), RIC V 456 (Antioch), Choice VF, well centered, toned, earthen deposits, weight 3.011 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), emperors standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right, globe in left; Gallienus on right, offering Victory, transverse spear in left; star above; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

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In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RS90039. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1687e (Samosata), SRCV III 9995, RIC V 293 (Antioch), RSC IV 276 (Antioch), Hunter IV 76, VF, well centered, toned, porous, weight 3.566 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syria mint, 255 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right hand, globe in left hand; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left hand; $38.00 SALE PRICE $34.20
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Gallienus was the first Roman emperor to commission primarily cavalry units, the Comitatenses, that could be dispatched anywhere in the Empire in short order. He also forbade senators from becoming military commanders. These policies undermined senatorial power, as equestrian commanders rose to prominence. These reforms and the decline in senatorial influence not only helped Aurelian to salvage the Empire, but they also make Gallienus one of the emperors most responsible for the creation of the Dominate, along with Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine I.
RA87015. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1687m (Samosata), SRCV III 10414 var. (obv legend, Syrian mint), RIC V 456 (Antioch), AHG 256 (this coin), VF, well centered, toned, light pitting, weight 3.744 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian on left, holding scepter in right, globe in left hand, facing Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left; from the Antioch Hoard of Gallienus; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Gallienus was the first Roman emperor to commission primarily cavalry units, the Comitatenses, that could be dispatched anywhere in the Empire in short order. He also forbade senators from becoming military commanders. These policies undermined senatorial power, as equestrian commanders rose to prominence. These reforms and the decline in senatorial influence not only helped Aurelian to salvage the Empire, but they also make Gallienus one of the emperors most responsible for the creation of the Dominate, along with Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine I.
RA87019. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1687m (Samosata), SRCV III 10414 var. (obv legend, Syrian mint), RIC V 456 (Antioch), Cohen 1310, AHG 250 (this coin), VF, well centered, porous, edge cracks, weight 3.393 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian (on left) and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian holds scepter in right, globe in left; Gallienus offering Victory in right, transverse spear in left; $35.00 SALE PRICE $31.50
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 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.
RS90040. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1684e (Samosata), Hunter IV 73, SRCV III 9955, RIC V 285 (Antioch), RSC IV 152 (Antioch), gVF, well centered, toned, edge crack and small edge split, some porous spots, weight 3.401 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 45o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Emperors standing confronted, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right holding parazonium; $32.00 SALE PRICE $28.80
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RA79727. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1703m (Samosata), RIC V 456 (Antioch), F, well centered on a broad flan, porous, earthen encrustations, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 22.65 mm, die axis 0o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right hand, globe in left hand; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left hand; $30.00 SALE PRICE $27.00
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

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This ironic reverse utterly failed to foresee Valerian's fate. In 260 A.D., after four years of great losses in battle and to plague, Valerian arranged for talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian (Parthian) Emperor Shapur but was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown. In Rome, it was rumored that Shapur used his stuffed body as a footstool.
RA87017. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1700l(3) (Samosata), RSC IV 190a (Antioch), RIC V-1 287 var. (no officina mark, Antioch), SRCV III 9967 var. (same, uncertain Syrian), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous, edge cracks, weight 3.331 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, two pellets below; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS (to the restorer of the East), turreted female (Oriens) standing right, presenting wreath to Valerian, standing left, wearing military attire, spear vertical in left hand, pellet within wreath above; scarce with officina mark •• on obverse; $30.00 SALE PRICE $27.00
 




  



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Samosata