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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Greek Imperial ▸ Mesopotamia & BabyloniaView Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Provincial Coins from Mesopotamia and Babylonia

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

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Carrhae is the Haran of the Bible. Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians near Carrhae in 53 B.C. Emperor Galerius was defeated on the same site in 296 A.D.
RP84657. Bronze AE 23, SNG Hunterian 2501 - 2503 = Macdonald Hunter 22 - 24 corr. (laureate bust); BMC Mesopotamia p. 90, 63; SNG Cop -, F, uneven strike, slightly off center on a tight flan, weight 7.513 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CE, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTP KOΛ KAPPHNΩN, two stars arranged vertically within and above crescent with horns upward; extremely rare; $170.00 (151.30)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nisibis, Mesopotamia

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Nisibis is the city of Netzivin in the Talmud. The Jews of Nisibis resisted the Roman conqueror, Trajan, to maintain Parthian rule. The city was taken only after a lengthy siege. After the it fell, Nisibis was laid waste and the massacre was so great that the houses, streets, and roads were strewn with corpses.
RP84871. Bronze AE 29, SNG Cop 233; BMC Arabia p. 119, 7; SNG Righetti 2618; SNG Milan 118; SNG Hunterian -, F, porous, obverse slightly off center cutting off right side of legend, weight 12.292 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nisibis mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI MAP AV C AΛEΞAN∆POC C-E, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse CEΠ KOΛO NECIBI MHT, bust of Tyche right, turreted, draped and veiled, ram (Aries) leaping right above with head turned back, stars before and behind; scarce; $110.00 (97.90)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia

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Edessa is the historical name of an Assyrian town in northern Mesopotamia, refounded on an ancient site by Seleucus I Nicator. Caracalla was assassinated in Edessa in 217 and Valerian was captured by Shapur I at Edessa in 260.

In 230, the Persian King Ardashir I invaded Mesopotamia. Alexander attempted to make peace but was rebuffed. He and his mother Julia Mamaea made their headquarters at Antioch and accompanied the legions. The Roman counterattack was defeated in 232 but both sides suffered heavy losses and agreed to a truce. In 233, Severus Alexander celebrated a triumph in Rome to observe his "victory."
RP71324. Bronze AE 26, SNG Cop 218; BMC Arabia p. 108, 106; Lindgren I 2582, aVF, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, porous, weight 7.212 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Edessa mint, obverse AYT K M A C Eς AΛEΞA∆POC CE (CE below bust), laureate head draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHT KOΛ E∆ECCHNWN, turreted Tyche seated left on rock, small flaming altar before her, half-figure of river-god swimming right at her feet, star before and star behind; scarce; $95.00 (84.55)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

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Caracalla was assassinated near Carrhae on 8 April 217, while urinating on a roadside. When his escort gave him privacy to relieve himself, Julius Martialis, an officer of his personal bodyguard, ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. Martialis fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Herodian says Caracalla had executed Martialis' brother a few days earlier on an unproven charge. Cassius Dio says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. Macrinus, the Praetorian Guard Prefect, who succeeded him as emperor, may have arranged the assassination.
RP78055. Bronze AE 15, SNG Hunterian 2490 - 2491; BMC Arabia p. 86, 37; SNG Cop -, SNG Righetti -, VF, near black patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 1.643 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse M AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse COL AVR METROPOLI ANTONINIANA, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $80.00 (71.20)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

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Caracalla was assassinated near Carrhae on 8 April 217, while urinating on a roadside. When his escort gave him privacy to relieve himself, Julius Martialis, an officer of his personal bodyguard, ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. Martialis fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Herodian says Caracalla had executed Martialis' brother a few days earlier on an unproven charge. Cassius Dio says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. Macrinus, the Praetorian Guard Prefect, who succeeded him as emperor, may have arranged the assassination.
RP67880. Bronze AE 20, cf. BMC Arabia p.85, 16 ff.; SNG Hunterian 2485 ff.; SNG Cop 176 ff., F, nice green patina, flan crack, weak legends, weight 4.254 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, obverse M AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate head right, with short beard; reverse COL MET ANTONINIANA, turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; $40.00 (35.60)







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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des mdailles. (1897-1898).
Babelon, E. Numismatique d'Edessa. (Paris, 1904).
Bellinger, A. The Syrian Tetradrachms of Caracalla and Macrinus. ANSNS 3. (New York, 1940).
Castelin, K.O. The Coinage of Rhesaena in Mesopotamia. ANSNNM 108. (New York, 1946).
Hill, G.F. Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, Univ. of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, XII. Syria-Bactria et India. (Milan, 1991-1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II, Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).

Catalog current as of Sunday, May 28, 2017.
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Roman Mesopotamia & Babylonia