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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

The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia

|Judean| |&| |Biblical| |Books|, |The| |Coins| |of| |the| |Decapolis| |and| |Provincia| |Arabia|NEW
Dennis Kroh in his book Ancient Coin Reference Reviews rates this book with 4 (out of 5) stars **** and notes:"Fr. Augustus Spijkerman's posthumous work, "The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia" (Jerusalem, 1978), is a great catalogue of city-coins of Judaea in the Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem, many of which were previously unpublished types. It also features much historical documentation and the best ibliography of any work of its kind. 322 pages of text and 82 excellent plates including many illustration of ancient sites. Elusive, it can be found for $80-100 or so. (1993)"
BK43849. The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia by Augustus Spijkerman, Jerusalem, 1978, hard bound, XVI 322 pages, 82 plates, 8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches; out of print; the standard reference for the region; used, good condition; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00 ON RESERVE


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II and Gamilat, 70 - 106 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II| |and| |Gamilat,| |70| |-| |106| |A.D.||drachm|NEW
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king. A child when he became king, his mother, Shuqailat, ruled in the early years. He was given the title, "He who gives life and salvation to his people," perhaps for subjugating Arab tribes. Upon his death, Trajan annexed the kingdom. On 22 March 106, Nabataea was incorporated into the new province of Arabia Petraea, with Bosra as its capital. The date on this coin is a little obscure but is probably year 21.
GS110263. Billon drachm, cf. Barkay 233; Al-Qatanani 240; Meshorer Nabataean 153; Sofaer 82; BMC Arabia p. 12, 1 - 2, VF, toned, double struck, date is less than certain but most likely year 21, weight 3.316 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 315o, Petra (Jordan) mint, cf. 90 - 91 A.D.; obverse Nabataean legend: "Rabbel the king, king of the Nabataeans, year 21" (date unclear), laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV with long hair right; reverse Nabataean legend: "Gamilat, his sister, queen of the Nabataeans", veiled bust of Gamilat right; ex Naville Numismatics (14 Nov 2021) auction 69, lot 91; $200.00 (202.00)


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.||AE| |14|NEW
Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabatean Kingdom, is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the "Rose City." Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. The structure is believed to have been the mausoleum of the Nabatean King Aretas IV in the 1st century A.D. The sculptures are thought to be those of various mythological figures associated with the afterlife. On top are figures of four eagles that would carry away the souls. The figures on the upper level are dancing Amazons with double-axes. The entrance is flanked by statues of the twins Castor and Pollux who lived partly on Olympus and partly in the underworld. Tomb_of_Aretas
GB110264. Bronze AE 14, cf. Barkay CN 150, Al-Qatanani 141, Meshorer Nabataean 70, SNG ANS 6 1432, Huth -, VF, dark patina with attractive highlighting earthen deposits, weight 1.729 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 2 - 24 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Aretas right; reverse two crossed and filleted cornucopias, Nabataean het (Aretas) between the horns; ex Naville Numismatics (14 Nov 2021) auction 69, lot 87; $130.00 (131.30)


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria, by order of Emperor Philip. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip.
RY110551. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 934; Prieur 445; Dura Coins 427; BMC Galatia p. 214, 518; SNG Cop 269, VF, centered on a broad flan, porosity, light corrosion, weight 12.378 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing right, wings open, head right, tail left, left wing is not behind leg, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex R. Basler International Numismatics (Irvine, CA); $120.00 (121.20)


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |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
RY110552. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1045b (scarce); Bland Hoards III 576; RPC Online VIII U29067; BMC Galatia p. 218, 559; Prieur 466 var. (only r. pteryx visible); SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, well centered, small spots of corrosion, weight 11.318 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, both pteryges visible; 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; ex R. Basler International Numismatics (Irvine, CA); scarce; $130.00 (131.30)


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
In 256 A.D., about six years after this coin was struck, the Persian King Shapur conquered and plundered Antioch.
RY110642. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online IX 1708; McAlee 1125(b); Prieur 579; Dura Coins 515; BMC Galatia p. 221, 591; McClean 9414, gVF, centered, excellent portrait, toned, slight porosity, weight 10.854 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse AYT K Γ ME KY TPAIANOC ∆EKIOC CEB (Imperator Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius Augustus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from behind, four pellets below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm, head right, wings open wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 519 (29 Jun 2022), lot 302; $120.00 (121.20)


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II,| |70| |-| |106| |A.D.||AE| |16|
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king, ruling 70/71 to 106 A.D. Rabbel II is not mentioned in historical sources; we know him only from inscriptions and his coins. An inscription identifies Rabbel as the son of Malichus, who was the son of Aretas; it also identifies Gamilat and Hagaru as daughters of Malichus, thus sisters of Rabbel. From coinage, we know that when he was crowned, Rabbel II was too young to rule and his mother, Shuqailat II, ruled as regent for six years. Rabbel's two sisters also appear on his coins confirming Rabbel married his own sisters and made them queens, a Nabataean tradition. After Rabbel II's death in 106, Trajan made the Nabataean Kingdom part of the Roman province Arabia Petraea.
GB94787. Bronze AE 16, Barkay CN 235; Al-Qatanani 245; Meshorer Nabataean 163; Huth 99; SNG ANS 6 1446; Schmitt-Korte II 86; BMC Arabia p. 13, 3, aVF, near black patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan squared by sprue cuts, weight 3.138 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 88/89 - 105 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate busts of Rabbel II and Gamilat, Rabbel II has long hair and a V shaped ornament over his forehead at the center of his laurel wreath; reverse two crossed cornucopias, Nabataean legend "Rabbel / Gamilat" in two lines between the horns; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $50.00 (50.50)


Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II,| |70| |-| |106| |A.D.||AE| |16|
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king, ruling 70/71 to 106 A.D. An inscription identifies Rabbel as the son of Malichus, who was the son of Aretas; it also identifies Gamilat and Hagaru as daughters of Malichus, thus sisters of Rabbel. Rabbel's two sisters also appear on his coins confirming Rabbel married his own sisters, a Nabataean royal tradition. Gamilat was his first wife. Rabbel may have married his sister Gamilat as early as 76 A.D. and she may have lived to 105 A.D. Gamilat appears on drachms dated from regnal year 11 to 22, c. 81 - 92 A.D. The bronze coinage is undated.
GB94789. Bronze AE 16, Barkay CN 235; Al-Qatanani 245; Meshorer Nabataean 163; Huth 99; SNG ANS 6 1446; Schmitt-Korte II 86; BMC Arabia p. 13, 3, VF, black patina with highlighting earthen deposits, flan squared by sprue cuts, porosity, weight 3.366 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 88/89 - 105 A.D.; obverse jugate laureate busts of Rabbel II and Gamilat, Rabbel II has long hair and a V shaped ornament over his forehead at the center of his laurel wreath; reverse two crossed cornucopias, Nabataean legend "Rabbel / Gamilat" in two lines between the horns; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $60.00 (60.60)


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

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Esbus,| |Arabia| |Petraea|
In Numbers and Deuteronomy Esbus is the capital of Amorite king, Sihon (also known as Sehon). The biblical narrative records the Israelite victory over Sihon during the time of the Exodus under the leadership of Moses. Moses died soon after the victory, after viewing the "promised land" from the top of Mount Nebo. Esbus is mentioned among the towns of the Roman Arabia Petraea by Ptolemy.
RP110321. Bronze RPC Online VI T9345 (12 spec.); BMC Arabia p. 29, 3; Spijkerman 3; Sofaer 4; SNG ANS -, F, brown patina, porous, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 9.474 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Esbus (Heshbon, Jordan) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AYT C M AVR ANTONINV, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear; reverse AYP ECBOYC, front view of shrine with four columns with arcuated lintel between small pediment on each wing, within which Tyche standing facing turreted, head left, holding small bust and spear and placing foot on prow(?); rare; $100.00 (101.00)


Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Syria, c. 63 - 48 B.C.

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antioch,| |Seleucia| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |c.| |63| |-| |48| |B.C.||tetrachalkon|
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
RP110082. Bronze tetrachalkon, cf. McAlee 30A ff., RPC I 4203 ff., Butcher CRS 2 ff., HGC 9 1371, BMC Galatia -, aVF, green patina, porosity, light earthen deposits, weight 6.439 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 63 - 48 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Zeus enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike offering wreath in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in his left hand, ANTIOXEΩN / THΣ in two downward lines on the right, MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ downward on left, Pompeian ear year in exergue (off flan); $70.00 (70.70)




  






REFERENCES

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