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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Syria||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Syria
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Hieropolis, Cyrrhestica, Syria

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Hieropolis,| |Cyrrhestica,| |Syria||AE| |26|
Atargatis was the chief goddess of northern Syria in Classical Antiquity. Ctesias also used the name Derceto for her, and the Romans called her Dea Syriae ("Syrian goddess"). Primarily she was a goddess of fertility, but, as the baalat ("mistress") of her city and people, she was also responsible for their protection and well-being. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij, northeast of Aleppo, Syria.
RP92557. Bronze AE 26, Butcher CRS 60a; SNG Hunterian II 2695 var. (laur. head r.); SNG Cop -; BMC Syria -; Lindgren-Kovacs -, aVF, dark brown tone with highlighting red earthen deposits, centered on a tight flan cutting off parts of legends, porosity, weight 13.513 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Hieropolis (Manbij, Syria) mint mint, 218 - 222 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI MAP AYP CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘEAC CYPIAC - IEPAΠO-ΛITΩN, Atargatis riding lion walking left, she is seated slightly right, head left, wearing tall headdress, chiton and peplos, drum in right hand, scepter in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; only one specimen on Coin Archives in the last two decades; extremely rare; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


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; extremely rare; $300.00 SALE |PRICE| $270.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||AE| |20|
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus IV, was held in Rome as a hostage. After Antiochus IV (his uncle) died, he claimed the right to rule but Rome preferred Antiochus V, a weak child. Demetrius escaped, was welcomed in Syria and took his throne. Antiochus V and his regent were executed. Demetrius defeated Judas Maccabaeus and restored Seleukid control over Judaea.
GB95287. Bronze serrated AE 20, Houghton-Lorber II 1645; Houghton CSE 170; SNG Spaer 1295 ff.; BMC Seleucid p. 80, 3 - 4; Babelon 727 ff.; HGC 9 826 (S), F, well centered, porous, small central cavities, weight 7.680 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 150 B.C.; obverse bust of Artemis right wearing stephane, bow and quiver at shoulder; reverse bow and quiver with strap, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, no control symbols; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.00


Hostilian, Summer - November 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hostilian,| |Summer| |-| |November| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
Hostilian was the younger son of Trajan Decius. After the latter's death, Hostilian was elevated to Augustus by his father's successor Trebonianus Gallus. He died of plague shortly after. McAlee notes, "Hostilian's Antiochene provincial coins are the rarest of the emperors of the 3rd century."
RP95883. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1162 (very rare, same obverse die), Prieur 653 (2 spec.), Dura 574; BMC Galatia, p. 226, 627 var. (no officina indicated), VF, porosity, light deposits, weight 10.361 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 250 - summer 251 A.D.; obverse Γ OVA OCTIΛ ME KVINTOC KECAP, bareheaded and draped bust right, from the front, VI below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOVCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm branch, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; only one specimen on Coin Archives; very rare; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00


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; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||as|
The Battle of Antioch. After Macrinus foolishly cut legionary pay, Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus as emperor on 16 May 218. Macrinus sent cavalry but they too joined Elagabalus. Macrinus finally abandoned his pay cut and paid a bonus, but it was too late. Legion II Parthica defected. General Gannys, the commander of Elagabalus' forces, decisively defeated Macrinus was just outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Macrinus shaved off his hair and beard and fled, disguised as a member of the military police. He was recognized by a centurion at Chalcedon on the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
RY93580. Bronze as, McAlee 792/1 (very rare), Waage 595, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, VF, nice black with red earthen highlighting desert patina, porosity, tight flan cutting off much of obverse legend, weight 4.474 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AV ANTONINOC C, laureate head right; reverse ram advancing right, head left, above leg and thigh of animal (sacrifice); small ∆E over larger S - C above ram; all within laurel wreath fastened at the top with a star; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 506; very rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria||AE| |18|
The Battle of Antioch. After Macrinus foolishly cut legionary pay, Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus as emperor on 16 May 218. Macrinus sent cavalry but they too joined Elagabalus. Macrinus finally abandoned his pay cut and paid a bonus, but it was too late. Legion II Parthica defected. General Gannys, the commander of Elagabalus' forces, decisively defeated Macrinus was just outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Macrinus shaved off his hair and beard and fled, disguised as a member of the military police. He was recognized by a centurion at Chalcedon on the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
RY93581. Bronze AE 18, McAlee 728 (extremely rare), BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, VF, nice portrait, attractive desert patina, tight flan cutting of part of obverse legend, spot of minor corrosion on the reverse, weight 5.031 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI M O CE MAKPINOC CE, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from front; reverse S•C, ∆ above, E below, all within laurel wreath with ten bunches of leaves and closed at the top with a star; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 497; very rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 5 - 4 B.C., Legate P. Quinctilius Varus

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |5| |-| |4| |B.C.,| |Legate| |P.| |Quinctilius| |Varus||trichalkon|
Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman general and politician under Augustus. From 7 or 6 B.C. until 4 B.C. he governed Syria where he was known for harsh rule and high taxes. Josephus mentions the swift action of Varus in 4 B.C., against a revolt in Judaea following the death of Herod the Great. Varus occupied Jerusalem and crucified 2000 rebels. Varus is most infamous for losing three Roman legions in an ambush by Germanic tribes led by Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, at which point he took his own life. Upon hearing the news, Augustus tore his clothes, refused to cut his hair for months and, for years afterward, was heard, upon occasion, to moan, "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my Legions!" (Quintili Vare, legiones redde!).
RY95762. Bronze trichalkon, McAlee 87; Butcher 50c; RPC I 4252; SNG Cop 92; SNG Munchen 640; BMC Galatia p. 159, 59; Cohen DCA 402 (S), aF, rough, earthen deposits, off center, edge crack, weight 6.993 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, legate P. Quinctilius Varus, 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ANTIOXEΩ EΠI OVAPOV, Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, wearing chiton and peplos, palm frond in her right hand, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, ZK (Actian Era year 27) in the right field; scarce; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||as|
The Battle of Antioch. After Macrinus foolishly cut legionary pay, Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus as emperor on 16 May 218. Macrinus sent cavalry but they too joined Elagabalus. Macrinus finally abandoned his pay cut and paid a bonus, but it was too late. Legion II Parthica defected. General Gannys, the commander of Elagabalus' forces, decisively defeated Macrinus was just outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Macrinus shaved off his hair and beard and fled, disguised as a member of the military police. He was recognized by a centurion at Chalcedon on the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
RY93578. Bronze as, McAlee 743 (very rare), MacDonald Hunter III 242, aVF, desert patina with red earthen highlighting, porous, tight flan, weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Mid May - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AVT K M O C MAKPINOC CE, laureate head right, bare shoulder seen from behind; reverse AVT K M O ∆ ANTONINOC, laureate head right, bare shoulder seen from behind, S - C divided low across field; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 498; very rare; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.00


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Samosata,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |29|
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.
RY93572. Bronze AE 29, BMC Galatia p. 122, 56; Butcher 33c; SNG Cop 23 corr. (Philip I), Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, toned, light deposits, porosity, weight 17.448 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 0o, Samosata (site now flooded by the Atatürk Dam) mint, Jul/Aug 247 - Late 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYAI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CAMOCATEΩN, city goddess seated left on rock, turreted, veiled, right arm on leg, grain ears downward in right hand, left hand on rock, Pegasus leaping left at feet; ex Roma e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), 517; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00










REFERENCES|

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