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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Provincial| ▸ |Roman Syria||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins of Syria

In 63 B.C., Syria was incorporated into the Roman Republic as a province following the success of Pompey the Great against the Parthians. In 135 A.D., after the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Roman Syria and Judaea were merged into the province Syria Palaestina. The province Coele-Syria was split from Syria Palaestina in 193. Syria became part of the splinter Palmyrene Empire for a brief period from 260 to 272, when it was restored to Roman central authority. In the 3rd century, with the Severan dynasty, Syrians even achieved imperial power.

Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Syria, 54 - 53 B.C.

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antioch,| |Seleucia| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |54| |-| |53| |B.C.|, |tetrachalkon|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
RY93608. Bronze tetrachalkon, McAlee 38(d) (V. Rare), RPC I 4212, Cohen DCA 383 (R1), HGC 9 1371, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, VF, dark patina, off center, edge split, weight 7.140 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 54 - 53 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN / THΣ in two downward lines on the right, MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ downward on left, Zeus enthroned left, Nike offering wreath in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in his left hand, star (control symbol) lower left, IΓ (year 13 of the Pompeian era) in exergue (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria|, |chalkous|NEW
In mid-117, Trajan, now a sick man, was slowly returning to Italy when he died in Selinus, Cilicia on 9 August. On his death bed, he made Hadrian his successor but rumor had it that Plotina and Matidia actually selected Hadrian after Trajan was dead. There was, however, no realistic rival to Hadrian. He was linked by blood and marriage to Trajan and commanded Rome's largest military force. Among Hadrian's first acts was to give up all of Trajan's eastern conquests. He then set out from Antioch to view the remains of Trajan, which were being escorted by Attianus, Plotina, and Matidia. He sent them on to Rome by ship and immediately returned to Antioch. He appointed Catilius Severus governor of Syria, and then left for Rome.
RY95009. Bronze chalkous, McAlee 543(h), Butcher 239a (no control); BMC Galatia p. 185, 290 var. (A); SNG Munchen -, F, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, off center, weight 1.058 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, die axis 90o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 11 Aug 117 - 10 Jul 138 A.D.; obverse laureate head right, border of dots, no legend; reverse S C (senatus consulto), H (control number = 8) below, all within wreath, border of dots; from a New England collector; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.00


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

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria|, |8| |assaria|NEW
When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Later legend elaborates, stating that Babylas demanded that he do penance for his part in the murder of the young Gordian III before he would allow Philip to celebrate Easter. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RP94244. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 970; BMC Galatia p. 215, 524; SNG Cop 270; Butcher CRS 494a; McClean 9405; RPC Online VIII - (unassigned, ID 7514, 17 spec.), aF, broad flan, porous, scratches, weight 18.211 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 - 247 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K MA IOVAI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KΛ, veiled turreted bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E over S - C across field in two divided lines, ram leaping right with head turned back above; from an American collector; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


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

|Philip| |II|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria|, |8| |assaria|NEW
Although Philip is portrayed as a young man on this coin, he was a boy, only about 10 or 11 years old, when this coin was struck.
RP94245. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 1084 (extremely rare - no plate coin); Butcher CRS 498d; BMC Galatia p. 220, 577; RPC Online VIII - (unassigned; ID 7513, 1 specimen), F, well centered, porous, scratches, light earthen deposits, weight 12.751 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2nd issue, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust left, seen from front, wearing balteus, spear in right hand resting on right shoulder, shield on left arm; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩN, towered, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E / S - C across fields, ram leaping right with head turned back above, star below; only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades, one of only three specimens known to Forum; extremely rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Beroea, Cyrrhestica, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Trajan,| |25| |January| |98| |-| |8| |or| |9| |August| |117| |A.D.,| |Beroea,| |Cyrrhestica,| |Syria|, |AE| |25|
English-speakers refer to the city as Aleppo. The original ancient name, Halab, has survived as the current Arabic name. It was also known in antiquity as Khalpe, Khalibon, and to the Greeks and Romans as Beroea. During the Crusades, and again during the French Mandate of 1923-1946, it was Alep. Aleppo represents the Italianised version of this. Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the modern city occupies its ancient site. Much of the city and its heritage has been damaged or destroyed in the Syrian Civil War.
RY93154. Bronze AE 25, RPC Online III 3427; SNG Cop 37; SNG Munchen 441; SNG Hunterian 2699; BMC Galatia p. 130, 4, F, centered on a tight flan, nice portrait, parts of legend weak, slight porosity, light deposits, weight 11.483 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyrrhestica, Beroea (Aleppo, Syria) mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8 or 9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTOKP KAIC NEP TPAIANOC APICT CEB ΓEPM ∆AK ΠAPΘ, laureate head right; reverse BEPOI/AIWN in two lines, B below, all within laurel wreath; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Abila, Decapolis

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.,| |Abila,| |Decapolis|, |AE| |24|
Abila in the Decapolis, also known for a time as Seleucia, and ancient Raphana, is now called Quwaylibah, a site occupied by two tells (Tell al-Abila and Tell Umm al-Amad). Tell in Arabic means only "hill." The archaeological connotation of "hill of accumulated debris" in this case does not apply. The city was built over two natural hills on the left bank of Wadi ("valley") Qweilibeh, which is, in fact, delineated by hills and escarpments. The largest site is located amidst verdant agricultural fields near the modern Ain Quweilbeh spring. Roman temples, Byzantine churches and early mosques lie amidst olive groves and wheat fields.
RP91009. Bronze AE 24, RPC IV online T6512 (3 spec.), Sofaer 10, Rosenberger IV 9, Spijkerman 9, SNG ANS -, VF, well centered on tight flan, sage green patina, earthen deposits, weight 11.291 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, 162 - 163 A.D.; obverse AYT KAICAP Λ AYPOYHPΩC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CE ABIΛHNW-N I A A I KOI CY (of the people of Seleucia Abila in Coele-Syria), nude Herakles seated left on rocks, right hand resting on grounded club, left hand on rocks behind, ϖKC (year 226) in exergue; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria|, |AE| |27|
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins, NGC| Lookup; $225.00 SALE |PRICE| $203.00


Northern Syria, 2nd to 3rd Century A.D.

|Roman| |Syria|, |Northern| |Syria,| |2nd| |to| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.|, |AE| |15|
This type has long been attributed to Pharaoh Nektanebo II. Butcher, however, notes it is quite common in the vicinity of Antioch and in Northern Syria and the obverse style is similar to third century Antiochene zodiacal type coins. He suggests they may have been struck under Hadrian.
RY90994. Bronze AE 15, Butcher p. 405, 11; Weiser p. 16, 1 (Nektanebo II, Memphis, Egypt), F, scratches and bumps, light earthen deposits, weight 3.383 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, 2nd to 3rd century A.D.; obverse ram (Ares) leaping left, head turned back right; reverse balance scale (Libra), weak countermark; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 10 - 9 B.C.

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Apameia,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |10| |-| |9| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Rome received Apamea with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.Great Colonnade at Apamea
RY88994. Bronze AE 21, BMC Galatia p. 234, 11; SNG Cop 300; AMC I 1470; RPC I 4354 (4 spec.); HGC 9 -; SNG Mn -; Lindgren -; Hunter -, F, dark green patina, light porosity, light earthen deposits, light scratches, edge split, weight 6.362 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 10 - 9 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruits and grains, ΓT (year 303) inner left, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ − KAI AΣYΛOY in three downward lines (first two on left, last on right), M-A flanking tip of cornucopia; ex Guy Clark's Ancient Coins And Antiquities; rare; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Seleukia Pieria, Syria, 79 - 80 A.D.

|Syria|, |Seleukia| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |79| |-| |80| |A.D.|, |AE| |20|
BMC Galatia notes the Commodus named on the obverse is a legatus of Syria, apparently C. Julius Commodus Orfitianus.
RP89137. Bronze AE 20, RPC II 2025B; Waddington p. 448, 7266; Hunterian III p. 215, 27; BMC Galatia, p. 272, 31 var. (head right); SNG Cop 401 var. (same), VF, cleaned and porous, flan crack, weight 4.358 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukia Pieria mint, reign of Titus, 79 - 80 A.D.; obverse EΠI KOMO∆OY, draped, veiled, and turreted bust of Tyche left, palm over shoulder, HΠP (year 188 of the Actian Era) behind, bead and reel border; reverse filleted thunderbolt on cushioned stool, CEΛEYKEWN / THC IEPAC KAI AYTONOMOY in horizontal lines above and below, bead and real border; ex David Surber collection; $3.50 (3.22)




  






REFERENCES|

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