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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Syria||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Syria
Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
SH95962. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1782.2c; BMC Seleucid p. 52, 11 var. (outer left monogram); SNG Spaer 1424 var. (same); Newell SMA 142 (same); HGC 9 875a, gVF, fine Hellenistic style, old cabinet toning, edge split, weak area at neck/date, old scratches, weight 16.327 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 149 - 148 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander Balas right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY in two downward lines on the left, Zeus seated left on high back throne, himation over left shoulder and around hips and legs, Victory in extended right hand offering wreath, lotus topped scepter in left hand, Θ outer left, PA monogram inner left, date ∆ΞP (Seleucid Era year 164) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $450.00


Hostilian, Summer - November 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hostilian,| |Summer| |-| |November| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
Hostilian was the younger son of Trajan Decius. After the latter's death, Hostilian was elevated to Augustus by his father's successor Trebonianus Gallus. He died of plague shortly after. McAlee notes, "Hostilian's Antiochene provincial coins are the rarest of the emperors of the 3rd century."
RP95883. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1162 (very rare, same obverse die), Prieur 653 (2 spec.), Dura 574; BMC Galatia, p. 226, 627 var. (no officina indicated), VF, porosity, light deposits, weight 10.361 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 250 - summer 251 A.D.; obverse Γ OVA OCTIΛ ME KVINTOC KECAP, bareheaded and draped bust right, from the front, VI below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOVCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm branch, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; only one specimen on Coin Archives; very rare; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00


Palmyra, Palmyrene, Syria, c. 150 - 225 A.D.

|Other| |Syria|, |Palmyra,| |Palmyrene,| |Syria,| |c.| |150| |-| |225| |A.D.||AE| |12|
Palmyra, a city in a large oasis in the Syrian Desert, 215 km northeast of Damascus, was the vital silk road caravan stop known as "the Bride of the Desert." Atargatis was the chief goddess of northern Syria, primarily a fertility goddess, but, she was also responsible for the protection and well-being of the people. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij, northeast of Aleppo, Syria. The Romans called her Dea Syria.
GB95894. Bronze AE 12, SNG Munchen 519; BMC Galatia p. 149, 2; Krzyzanowska Monnayage IV; SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina, earthen deposits, weight 1.663 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Palmyra mint, c. 150 - 225 A.D.; obverse Atargatis bust facing, head left, wearing turreted crown, thin crescent left, star right; reverse radiate bust of young Malakbel (solar deity) left; extremely rare; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Seleucia Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Seleucia| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
"The importance of the Thunderbolt [to Seleucia Pieria] is explained by Appian, who tells how a clap of thunder preceded the founding of the city, wherefore Seleucus mad thunder the divinity of the Seleucia...When, therefore, the coins show a thunderbolt resting on a throne it is not a mere symbol of Zeus but is itself the object to which, as Appian reports, the inhabitants continued to direct their worship and hymns." -- Alfred Bellinger in The Syrian Tetradrachms of Caracalla and Macrinus
RX97449. Billon tetradrachm, Bellinger Syrian 76, Prieur 1188 var. (obv. legend arrangement), aEF, well centered on a tight round flan, light tone, weight 13.049 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Seleucia Pieria (Cevlik, Hatay Province, Turkey) mint, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse AYT K M A - ANTΩNIN-OC CEB, laureate head right, exaggerated pupil; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠA TO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time, ∆ appearing as Λ on all spec.)), eagle standing facing on thunderbolt, head right, wings open, wreath in beak; $225.00 SALE |PRICE| $203.00


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |27|
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins, NGC| Lookup; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||drachm|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
GY95961. Silver drachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber II 1785.1c; Newell SMA 186; BMC Seleucid p. 53, 21; HGC 9 887a, VF, toned, off center, die wear, light marks, weight 4.093 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 151 - 146 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, clean shave, diadem ends falling straight down; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY in two downward lines on the right, ΘEOΠATOPOΣ EYEPΓETOY in two downward lines on the left, Apollo seated left on omphalos, nude, examining arrow in right hand, left resting grounded on bow behind, Θ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $170.00 SALE |PRICE| $153.00


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Laodicea ad Mar, Seleucia and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Diadumenian,| |Mid| |May| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mar,| |Seleucia| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |31|
Laodicea ad Mar (Latakia, Syria) has been inhabited since the second millennium B.C. It was on the Via Maris, a coastal road that ran south from Antioch to Damascus and Beirut. The city was renamed by Seleucus I Nicator in honor of his mother, Laodice and was a major port for the Seleukid Kingdom. Laodicea flourished under Rome and was second only to Antioch in the region. Herod the Great, king of Judaea, furnished Laodicea with an aqueduct, the remains of which stand to the east of the town. The Legio VI Ferrata was probably based in Laodicea.
JD97397. Bronze AE 31, Lindgren-Kovacs 2099, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Righetti -, aF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, porosity/corrosion, edge split, weight 13.695 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse IM M OP ANTONINOS NOB CAES, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right seen from the front; reverse ROMAE FEL, she-wolf right suckling Romulus and Remus; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; very rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||AE| |26|
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GY93774. Bronze serrated AE 26, Houghton-Lorber II 1648, cf. SNG Fitzwilliam 5673, SNG Cop 240, Babylon Rois 725 (various control monograms), aVF, dark patina, earthen deposits, scratches, edge crack, central cavities, thick flan, weight 18.711 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, perhaps Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 150 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right bow and quiver at his shoulder; reverse tripod lebes, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, obscure monogram (control) outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |19|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered. Apamea, on the right bank of the Orontes River, was an ancient Greek and Roman city. It was located at a strategic crossroads for Eastern commerce and became one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Seleucus also made it a military base with 500 elephants, and an equestrian stud with 30,000 mares and 300 stallions.
GY93775. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber II 1805(1)b; SNG Spaer 1450; BMC Seleucid p. 55, 44; HGC 9 565 (R1); Babelon Rois 812; SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina, earthen deposits, central cavities, weight 7.137 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 150 - 149 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Apollo standing left, arrow in right hand, resting left hand on grounded bow, palm outer left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, ∆E monogram (control) right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00




  






REFERENCES|

American Numismatic Society Collections Database - http://numismatics.org/search/search.
Bellinger, A. The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report, Vol. 6: The Coins. (New Haven, 1949).
Bellinger, A. The Syrian Tetradrachms of Caracalla and Macrinus. ANSNS 3. (New York, 1940).
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