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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Greek Imperial| ▸ |Decapolis, Arabia & Syria||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins from the Decapolis, Syria and Arabia

The Decapolis means "the ten cities" in Greek, yet we don't really know how many cities there were, or where they were. In 106 A.D., under the Roman emperor Trajan, the Nabataean Kingdom and the cities of the Decapolis were incorporated into the newly established Provinces of Syria and Arabia.

Click here to read "The Decapolis of Jordan" by Rami G. Khouri

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Struck for Use in Roman Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Struck| |for| |Use| |in| |Roman| |Arabia||tridrachm|NEW
This type was previously attributed to Caesarea, Cappadocia, but the Tell Kalak hoard and a lack of finds in Cappadocia indicate the type circulated in Arabia. Slightly more than two-thirds silver, the composition of this type is identical to contemporary Syrian tetradrachms. The weight indicates they are tridrachms, but there is no consensus as to the denomination. Sydenham and Kindler refer to them as tridrachms, McAlee as light tetradrachms, and Butcher as tetradrachms. The type has no iconographic link with Arabia and Arabian drachms are considerably more debased, typically at a 50:50 ratio of silver to bronze. RPC III notes they may have been struck in Rome for circulation in Arabia, or at least, the dies were made in Rome.
RS97644. Silver tridrachm, RPC III 4071 (23 spec.); Henseler 267; Sydenham Caesarea 190a; SNG ANS 1161 (Caesarea); BMC Galatia p. 55, 74 (Caesarea), VF, superb "Roman" dies portrait, toned, flow lines, light bumps and scratches, reverse slightly off center, edge splits, weight 10.347 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Bostra(?) mint, 112 - 114 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC CEB ΓEPM ∆AK, laureate and draped bust right, seen from slightly behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), distyle temple, podium of four steps, cult image of Artemis of Perge within, eagle standing on pediment with head left and wings open; scarce; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
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
RP97596. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 948, Prieur 448, RPC VIII U28995, BMC Galatia p. 214,520, SNG Cop 267, F, toned, porous and rough, weight 9.171 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing left, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $50.00 (€41.00)
 


Roman Judea and Palestina, c. 54 - 253 A.D., Lot of 12 Holy Land City Coins

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Roman| |Judea| |and| |Palestina,| |c.| |54| |-| |253| |A.D.,| |Lot| |of| |12| |Holy| |Land| |City| |Coins||Lot|
The following list was provided by the consignor and has not been verified by FORVM:
1) Domitian, AE26, Neapolis, legend in wreath, RPC II 2218, F
2) Divus Augustus from the Time of Nerva to Trajan, AE18, Berytus, Phoenicia, BMC 61, RPC I p. 649, F
3) Nero, AE18, Gabala, RPC I 4455, F
4) Elagabalus, AE28, 13.38g Tyre, BMC Phoenicia 396, aVF
5) Elagabalus, AE17, Petra, Spijkerman 56, VF, edge flaw
6) Elagabalus, AE21, Charachmoba, Tyche standing. Rosenberger 1, F
7) Septimius Severus, AE27, Rabbathmoba, Arabia, Statue of Ares, Spijkerman 12, Crude F
8) Elagabalus, AE19, Petra, Decapolis, founder plowing right, Spijkerman 56, Meshorer 283, Rosenberger 35, F
9) Gallienus, AE23, Damascus, Prize urn placed on table, Rosenberger 62, F, ex J.S. Wagner Collection
10) Volusian, AE24, Damascus, doe right suckling child, F, ex J.S. Wagner Collection
11) Volusian, AE23, Damascus, agonistic urn inscribed OLYMPIA CEBACMIA, BMC Syria 32, De Sualey 53/6, F, obv. porous, ex J.S. Wagner Collection
12) Hadrian, AE25, Petra, Decapolis, F
LT96157. Bronze Lot, 12 Holy Land City Coins, Roman Judea and Palestina, c. 54 - 253 A.D., unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $360.00 (€295.20)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria||tetradrachm|
Laodicea ad Mar was founded by Seleukos Nikator. The site was determined after an eagle snatched a piece of flesh from an altar where Seleukos was sacrificing. The exact site was indicated when he slew a boar following the eagle's flight. Perhaps the eagle on this reverse refers to the city's founding myth, though the ancients did not need a special reason to depict an eagle, the companion of Zeus.
RY92564. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 1179; Bellinger 72; SNG Cop 364; BMC Galatia p. 195, 364 (Antioch), aEF, dark even toning, areas of minor porosity, scratches, tight flan, weight 13.927 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse AYT•K•M•A•-•ANTΩNEINOC•CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX•EΞ•YΠATOC•TO•∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing facing, head left, wings open, wreath in beak, star between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $270.00 (€221.40)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Samosata, Commagene

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Samosata,| |Commagene||provincial| |sestertius|
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.
RY92573. Bronze provincial sestertius, BMC Galatia p. 122, 48; RPC VIII U8340; Butcher CRS 31a; SNG Righetti 1843; SNG Hunterian II 2611, VF, nice portrait, well centered on broad flan, porous, a few pits, weight 17.563 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, Samosata (site now flooded by the Atatürk Dam) mint, Feb 244 - End Sep 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΦΛ CAMOCATEWN MHTROP KOM, Tyche of Samosata (city-goddess) seated left on rocks, wearing turreted crown, grain in right hand, eagle perched facing on right arm with wings open and head left, small Pegasos galloping left at her feet; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€90.20)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||as|
The size of the flan varies greatly for this issue, from 21 to 29mm, averaging c. 24 mm.
RY92563. Bronze as, McAlee 555(a); BMC Galatia p. 189, 306; SNG Righetti 1956; SNG Cop 213 var. (Γ), gF, centered on a tight flan cutting off much of legend, dark desert patina, scratches, porosity, small edge splits, weight 12.357 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. Aug 138 - 145 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAIC TIT AIΛ A∆PIA ANT∆NEINOC CEBA EV (or similar), laureate head right; reverse large S•C (senatus consulto), A below, all within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (€73.80)
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Gabala, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Gabala,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |24|
Gabula was important enough in the Roman province of Syria Prima to be a Metropolitan Archdiocese in the sway of the Patriarchate of Antioch (the provincial capital Antioch on the Orontes), but was to fade, presumably at the advent of Islam.
RY92570. Bronze AE 24, SNG Cop 316; SNG Hunterian II 3244; Lindgren III 1192; SNG Munchen 835; BMC Galatia p. 246, 20 var. (laureate head), VF, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off much of legends, porous, weight 8.847 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 15o, Gabala (Jableh, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AV K M O C MAKPEINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΓABAΛEWN, Tyche seated left, wearing chiton, peplos and modius, rudder held by tiller on right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $100.00 (€82.00)
 


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 (€131.20)
 


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; from the Michael Arslan Collection; extremely rare; $300.00 (€246.00)
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||semis|
In 162, Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to lead the war against Parthia. Lucius spent most of the campaign in Antioch, though he wintered at Laodicea and summered at Daphne, a resort just outside Antioch. Critics derided Lucius' luxurious lifestyle. He took up a mistress, enjoyed the company of actors and would "dice the whole night through." The Syrian army was said to spend more time in Antioch's open-air cafés than with their units. The war was, nevertheless, a success. Despite Lucius' minimal personal participation, he was awarded the titles Armeniacus, Medicus and Parthicus Maximus and a triumph upon his return to Rome in 166.
RY93576. Bronze semis, RPC Online IV.3 T7149, McAlee 610, VF, black patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obverse a little off center, weight 7.575 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 161 - 169 A.D.; obverse AVT K Λ AVPHΛ OVHPOC CEB, radiate head right; reverse S•C, uncertain Greek numeral-letter below, all within wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 483; $90.00 (€73.80)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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