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Ancient Coins of Syria
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||AE| |19|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. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. 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
RY92567. Bronze AE 19, McAlee 782(a); Butcher 470; SNG Cop 243 var. (star vice diamond); BMC Galatia p. 203, 433 var. (same), F, black patina with highlighting natural red earthen deposits, tight flan, porosity, weight 4.869 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT KAI MAP AVP ANTΩNEINOC CE (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ∆ E (∆ EΠAPXEIΩN - "of the four eparchies") above, large S•C (senatus consulto), eagle with spread wings and head right below, all within laurel wreath closed at the top with a diamond (containing pellet?); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€55.20)


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Samosata,| |Commagene||AE| |32|NEW
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.
RY92574. Bronze AE 32, SNG Cop 22, Butcher p. 474, 29, BMC Galatia -; SNG Righetti -, SNG München -, Lindgren-Kovacs -, F, contrasting light and dark tone, porosity, areas of mild corrosion, scratches, weight 14.659 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Samosata (site now flooded by the Atatürk Dam) mint, 16 Mar 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AYT K M K AY ANTΩNINOC CEC, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse CAMOCATEΩN, Tyche seated left on rocks, wearing turreted crown, two stalks of grain in right hand, no eagle perched on wrist, Pegasos below flying left; from the Errett Bishop Collection, BIG 31.5 mm bronze!; very rare; $180.00 (€165.60)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |23|NEW
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.
RY92575. Bronze AE 23, RPC IV T8532 (controls A - Θ); BMC Galatia p. 125, 11 var. (control); SNG Hunterian 2628 var. (same); SNG Munchen 416 var. (same); SNG Cop -, VF, nice green desert patina with red highlights, double struck, slightest porosity, a few light scratches, weight 11.871 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAI TIT AIΛ AΛPI ANTWNINONOC CEB EY (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ZEYΓMATEWN (counterclockwise from 9:00), tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees (poor use of perspective, as on all examples of this type), crescent above, H (Greek control number 8) in upper left field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $130.00 (€119.60)


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|NEW
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 (€248.40)


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|NEW
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 on head, grain in right hand, eagle perched facing on right arm with wings open and head left, Pegasos galloping left at her feet; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€101.20)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |29|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
RY92560. Bronze AE 29, McAlee 410(i) (rare), SNG Cop 180, RPC II 2024 (18 spec. with a variety of controls), BMC Galatia p. 181, 245 var. (E), F, dark green patina, well centered, light marks and scratches, light earthen deposits, obverse edge beveled, weight 12.202 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 81 - 83 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITI-ANVS CAES AVG, laureate head left; reverse large S C, Θ below (control number, Greek 9), within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $110.00 (€101.20)


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|NEW
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 (€82.80)


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Syria,| |Antioch||tetradrachm|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.
RY92568. Bronze tetradrachm, McAlee 1017 (scarce), Prieur 394, RPC Online VIII U29022 (21 spec.), SNG Cop 276, Dura 453, BMC Galatia -, VF, porous, rough areas, weight 12.191 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, series 4, 1st half of 247 A.D.; obverse MAP IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOI KECAP, bare headed, draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO Γ, eagle standing facing, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C in in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $80.00 (€73.60)


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|NEW
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 (€92.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |III,| |c.| |96| |-| |87| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The inscription on the reverse of this coin translates, "King Demetrios, the god, father-loving, savior." He was nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Timely") by the Syrian Greeks but was called Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean priest king Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SL94920. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2450(2); HGC 9 1305; cf. BMC Seleucid p. 101, 1 (SE 217, same controls); SNG Spaer 2863 (SE 219, different controls), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5771210-005), weight 16.501 g, maximum diameter 30.10 mm, die axis 0o, Damaskos (Damascus, Syria) mint, 97 - 96 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, fringe of curly beard at jawline, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, two monograms (controls) outer left, date CIS (Seleucid Era year 216) in exergue, ∆H monogram (control) in exergue on right, laurel wreath border; from the Ray Nouri Collection, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $1000.00 (€920.00)










REFERENCES|

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