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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Antioch||View 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.


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D., with Licinius II Caesar

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SH35421. Billon follis, Bastien, NC 1973, pp. 87 - 97, VF, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 330o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 317 or 318 A.D.; obverse DD NN IOVII LICINII INVICT AVG ET CAES (Domini Nostri Iovii Licinii Invicti Augustus et Caesar), confronted busts of Licinius I and II, holding trophy of arms between them; reverse I O M ET VIRTVTI DD NN AVG ET CAES (Iovi Optimo Maximo Virtuti Domini Nostri Augustus et Caesar), Jupiter standing facing to the right of trophy of captured arms with two bound captives at base, Jupiter nude except for cloak over shoulder and holds long scepter in left hand, SMATS in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD


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

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This type commemorated the departure of Elagabalus from Antioch to Rome together with the sacred stone of his cult (probably a meteorite). At each summer solstice Elagabalus celebrated a great festival during which he paraded the holy stone through the city of Rome. Herodian described the spectacle: "A six horse chariot carried the divinity, the horses huge and flawlessly white, with expensive gold fittings and rich ornaments. No one held the reins, and no one rode in the chariot; the vehicle was escorted as if the god himself were the charioteer. Elagabalus ran backward in front of the chariot, facing the god and holding the horses' reins. He made the whole journey in this reverse fashion, looking up into the face of his god.
RS34938. Silver denarius, BMCRE V 284, RSC III 268, RIC IV 195, SRCV II 7545, Choice gVF, weight 2.655 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SANCT DEO SOLI ELAGABAL (ELAGABAL in exergue, "to the holy god, the sun Elagabal"), slow quadriga right, carrying the conical Stone of Elah-Gabal ornamented on the front with an eagle and surrounded by four parasols; very rare; SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action "vow, promise", it may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion, a bargaining expressed by do ut des, "I give that you might give."
RS79818. Silver siliqua, RIC VIII Antioch 35 (R2), RSC V 338A, SRCV V 17925, Hunter V -, Cohen VII -, EF, well centered, toned, nice surfaces with a few light marks, weight 3.152 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch mint, c. 340 - 342 A.D.; obverse pearl-diademed head right, with eyes raised to heaven, no legend; reverse VOTIS / XV / MVLTIS / XX in four lines within laurel wreath with jewel at the top, tied at the bottom, ANT in exergue; very rare; SOLD


Pescennius Niger, April to 1 June 193 - March, April or May 194 A.D.

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The Romans believed that Fortuna, after deserting the Persians and Assyrians, took flight over Macedonia and saw Alexander perish as she passed into Egypt and into Syria. At last arriving on Mount Palatine, she threw aside her wings and casting away her wheel, entered Rome where she took up her abode forever.
SH28187. Silver denarius, cf. Lanz 114, 447 and CNG 61, 1848 (both with different obv legends); cf. RIC IV 29 for rev type (based on BMC specimen which doesn't actually exist), gVF but softly struck, weight 3.105 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse [IMP CAES C] PESCE NIGER IVSTI AV, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNAE REDVCI, Fortuna standing left, grounded long palm vertical in right, cornucopia in left; extremely rare; SOLD


Pescennius Niger, April to 1 June 193 - March, April or May 194 A.D.

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Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and more broadly, the Roman state. The earliest certain cult to dea Roma was established at Smyrna in 195 B.C., probably to mark the successful alliance against Antiochus III. In 30/29 B.C., the Koinon of Asia and Bithynia requested permission to honor Augustus as a living god. "Republican" Rome despised the worship of a living man, but an outright refusal might offend their loyal allies. A cautious formula was drawn up, non-Romans could only establish a cult for divus Augustus jointly with dea Roma. In the city of Rome itself, the earliest known state cult to dea Roma was combined with Venus at the Hadrianic Temple of Venus and Roma. This was the largest temple in the city, probably dedicated to inaugurate the reformed festival of Parilia, which was known thereafter as the Romaea after the Eastern festival in Roma's honor. The temple contained the seated, Hellenised image of dea Roma with a Palladium in her right hand to symbolize Rome's eternity.
SH35846. Silver denarius, Unpublished; cf. RIC IV 72 aureus from Num. Chron., 1908, pp. 90 ff. (R5); RSC -, VF, weight 4.724 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse [IMP CA]ES C PESC NIGER IVST AVG, laureate head right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome)NA-E, Roma seated left, cornucopia in right, left rests on a rudder on globe; unique?; SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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In 354, Constantius II recalled his legate (and cousin) Constantius Gallus to Constantinople after receiving unfavorable reports about him. Caesar of the East, Gallus had successfully suppressed revolts in Palestine and central Anatolia. Constantius stripped him of his rank and later had him executed in Pola (in modern Croatia).
SH70831. Gold solidus, Depeyrot 6/3, RIC VIII Antioch 81 var. (unlisted officina), VF, digs and scratches on obverse, weight 4.225 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 10th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, late 347 - 355 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS PERP AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA REI-PVBLICAE, Roma on left, enthroned facing, holding spear; Constantinopolis on right, enthroned half-left, right foot on prow, scepter in left; both hold shield inscribed VOT / XX / MVLT / XXX in four lines; SMANI in ex; ex CNG auction 306, lot 431; ex Kelly J. Krizan M.D. Collection; rare; SOLD


Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.

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In 351, Constantius Gallus built a new church in honor of Saint Babylas at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, and transferred the remains of the bishop to it to neutralize the pagan effects of the nearby temple of Apollo. In 362, Julian consulted the oracle of Apollo at the temple in Daphne, but received no answer, and was told that it was because of the proximity of the saint. He had the sarcophagus of the martyr exhumed and removed. A few days later, on October 22, a mysterious fire broke out consuming the roof of the temple and the statue of the god, copied from Phidias' statue of Zeus at Olympia. Julian, suspecting angry Christians, closed the cathedral of Antioch and ordered an investigation. Ammianus Marcellinus reports "a frivolous rumor" laid blame on candles lit by a worshipper late the previous night (XXII, 13). John Chrysostom claimed a bolt of lightning set the temple on fire. The remains of Babylas were reinterred in a church dedicated to him on the other side of the River Orontes.
SH46443. Gold solidus, RIC VIII Antioch 223, aVF, light clipping, weight 3.894 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch, 9th officina (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 27 Jun 363 - 16 Feb 364 A.D.; obverse D N IOVIAN-VS PEP AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Roma holding spear, and Constantinopolis holding scepter and foot on prow, enthroned facing, holding shield inscribed VOT V MVLT X, ANTΘ in exergue; rare (RIC R2); SOLD


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

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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
SH33430. Silver denarius, BMCRE V277 - 278 var. (obverse legend), RSC III 27 ff. var. (same), RIC IV 188 var. (same), EF, weight 3.381 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FELIX AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FELICITAS TEMP, galley with sail right, containing eight rowers and pilot holding rudder, acrostolium and standard at stern, sail or standard at prow; the finest example of the type FORVM has seen and a rare obverse variety (full spelling for FELIX instead of FEL); SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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Gold does not tarnish, however, uncleaned ancient gold coins, such as this one, will sometimes have very light rose toning.
SH43070. Gold solidus, RIC VIII Antioch 83, VF, obverse graffiti, weight 4.376 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, late 347 - 19 Jan 350; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS PERP AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA REI-PVBLICAE, Roma on left, enthroned facing, holding spear; Constantinopolis on right, enthroned left, right foot on prow, scepter in left; both hold shield inscribed VOT XX MVLT XXX; SMAN∆ in exergue; perfect centering; rare; SOLD


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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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
SH46447. Gold solidus, RIC VIII Antioch 172 var. (10th officina not listed), aVF, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, later part of 355 - 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed head right; reverse GLORIA REI-PVBLICAE, Roma on left, enthroned facing, holding spear; Constantinopolis on right, enthroned left, foot on prow, scepter in left; both hold shield inscribed VOT XXXX, ANTI in exergue; very rare; SOLD




  




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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 Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
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Antioch