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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Greek Imperial| ▸ |Mesopotamia & Babylonia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins from Mesopotamia and Babylonia

Tranquillina, Augusta, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Singara, Mesopotamia

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SH11786. Bronze AE 26, SGICV 3867, BMC Arabia 14, VF, weight 11.651 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Singara mint, May 241 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse CAB TPANKVΛΛINA CEB, diademed and draped bust right; reverse CVP CEΠ KOΛ CINΓAPA, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche right, centaur Sagittarius above, discharging bow; rare; SOLD


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.
SH70946. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 830, Bellinger Syrian 159, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, gVF, nice portrait, good metal, well centered on a crowded flan, weight 13.320 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, Cos. 4, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANTΩNEINOC CEB, radiate head right, bare back and shoulder, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠA TO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing facing, head and tail right, wings open, wreath in beak, star upper left, crescent between legs, two pellets in exergue; ex Ancient Resource (Pasadena, CA); SOLD


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia

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Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RB57028. Bronze AE 24, Babelon 84; BMC Arabia p. 105, 123; cf. Lindgren 2585 (no altar, four stars); SNG Cop -; SNG UK -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Leipzig -, F, weight 8.595 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, obverse IOVL MAMEA CEBACT, draped bust right; reverse MHT KOΛ E∆ECCHNΩN, Tyche seated left on rock, wearing turreted crown, river-god swimming at her feet, altar before her, two stars flanking in field; rare; SOLD


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia

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Although the site of Urfa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the modern city was founded in 304 B.C by Seleucus I Nicator and named after the ancient capital of Macedonia. In the late 2nd century, as the Seleucid dynasty disintegrated, it became the capital of the Arab Nabataean Abgar dynasty, which was successively a Parthian, Armenian, and Roman client state and eventually a Roman province. Its location on the eastern frontier of the Empire meant it was frequently conquered during periods when the Byzantine central government was weak, and for centuries, it was alternately conquered by Arab, Byzantine, Armenian, Turkish rulers. In 1098, the Crusader Baldwin of Boulogne induced the final Armenian ruler to adopt him and then seized power, establishing the first Crusader State known as the County of Edessa and imposing Latin Christianity on the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic majority of the population.Edessa
RP09695. Bronze AE 26, BMC Arabia 57 (obverse type) and BMC Arabia 64 (reverse type legend var), SGICV 3141 var. (bust left), Lindgren -, VF, weight 12.18 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, obverse CEB AYT K M A ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MP AV K E∆ECCA (or similar), Tyche seated left on rocks, crowned by flying Nike, river-god swimming below; possibly unpublished variety; SOLD


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Rhesaena, Mesopotamia

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Rhesaena (numerous other variations of the ancient name include Rhesaina, Resaena) in the Roman province of Mesopotamia Secunda, was an important town in the far north of Mesopotamia, was on the way from Carrhae to Nicephorium, about eighty miles from Nisibis and forty from Dara, near the sources of the Chaboras (Khabur) River. Today, it is Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria. Gordian III fought the Persians nearby in 243, at the battle of Resaena. The city's coins show that it was a Roman colony from the time of Septimius Severus. The Notitia dignitatum (ed. Boecking, I, 400) lists it under the jurisdiction of the Dux of Osrhoene. Hierocles (Synecdemus, 714, 3) also locates it in Osrhoene but it was renamed Theodosiopolis. It was fortified by Justinian. In 1393, it was nearly destroyed by Tamerlane's troops.
RB90731. Bronze AE 26, Castelin Rhesaena 87; SNG Cop 248; BMC Arabia p. 130, 30 var. (bust left), VF, attractive portrait, interesting reverse, porous, weight 12.10 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rhesaena (Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria) mint, obverse AYT K Γ MEKY ∆EKIOC TPAIANOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse XEΠ KOΛ PHCAINHCIWN LIIIP, two Tyches clasping hands over lit altar; Aquarius on short column to left; centaur Sagittarius on right, advancing right, drawing bow; eagle above, open wings, head left, wreath in beak, river-god Chaboras swimming right in exergue; rare; SOLD


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.
JD11788. Bronze AE 28, SNG Cop 234; BMC Arabia p. 120, 5; SNG Righetti 2618 var. (no star behind, etc.); SNG Milan 118 var. (same); SNG Hunterian -, VF, nice patina, flat strike in centers, weight 12.809 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nisibis mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI MAP AV C AΛEΞAN∆POC CE-B, 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, star before and star behind; scarce; SOLD


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

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In Roman times, Harran was known as Carrhae, and was the location of the Battle of Carrhae in 53 B.C., in which the Parthians, commanded by general Surena, defeated a large Roman army under the command of Crassus, who was killed. Centuries later, the emperor Caracalla was murdered here, probably at the instigation of Macrinus. In the 3rd century A.D. the region was a frontier province of the Roman Empire, being the location for major wars between Rome and Persia. The emperor Galerius was defeated nearby by the Parthians' successors, the Sassanid dynasty of Persia, in 296 A.D. The city remained in Roman hands until 609 or 610 A.D., when the Persian general Shahrbaraz completed conquered Oshroene. The city returned to Roman control after the successful offensive of emperor Heraclius in the 620s. In 640 A.D. it was conquered by the Muslim Arab general 'Iyad b. Ghanm.
RP33814. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 836, VF, grainy, coppery undertones, weight 11.607 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠ CE MAKPINOC CE, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPXEΞYΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), eagle standing front, wings spread, head right, between legs crescent, star in left field, two pellets in exergue (off-flan); SOLD


Caracalla and Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

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This type was probably never struck with complete legends.
RP17133. Bronze AE 19, BMC Arabia p. 87, 45 - 48; Lindgren 2566; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Leipzig -; SNG Righetti -; Weber -; McClean -, aVF, brown tone, weight 4.229 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 209 - 211 A.D.; obverse AYTOK ANTWNEINC ΓETAC CE (or similar), confronted busts of Caracalla, on left, and Geta Caracalla laureate, draped, and cuirassed, Geta bare-headed and draped only; reverse KΛΩ NEI Λ MHTPOΠO KAPP (or similar), star of eight rays within crescent with horns up; very rare; SOLD


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

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In 242 AD, Gordian III, along with his praetorian prefect and father-in-law Timesitheus, began a campaign against the Sasanian king, Shahpur I. After freeing Syria, a decisive battle secured all of Mesopotamia, including Singara and Nisibis. But after Timesitheus died in 243 the Roman advance stalled and they suffered a major defeat. In February 244, Gordian died and Philip was proclaimed emperor. Philip negotiated a truce in order to return to Rome for his Senate confirmation.
RP40032. Bronze AE 25, BMC Arabia 1, VF, weight 10.682 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Singara mint, 242 - Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOΠ∆IANOC CEB, radiate bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse AYP CEΠ KOΛCINΓAPA, turreted bust of Tyche right, Centaur Sagittarius above; scarce; SOLD


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

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Although the site of Urfa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the modern city was founded in 304 B.C by Seleucus I Nicator and named after the ancient capital of Macedonia. In the late 2nd century, as the Seleucid dynasty disintegrated, it became the capital of the Arab Nabataean Abgar dynasty, which was successively a Parthian, Armenian, and Roman client state and eventually a Roman province. Its location on the eastern frontier of the Empire meant it was frequently conquered during periods when the Byzantine central government was weak, and for centuries, it was alternately conquered by Arab, Byzantine, Armenian, Turkish rulers. In 1098, the Crusader Baldwin of Boulogne induced the final Armenian ruler to adopt him and then seized power, establishing the first Crusader State known as the County of Edessa and imposing Latin Christianity on the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic majority of the population.Edessa
RP00282. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 854, VF, weight 14.3 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT KAI M OΠEΛ CEV - MAKPEINOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), eagle facing, wings spread, head right, wreath in beak, shrine with pediment between legs; scarce; SOLD




  




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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, August 18, 2019.
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Roman Mesopotamia & Babylonia