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

Ancient Coins of Syria
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)


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)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VII| |Euergetes| |Sidetes,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||AE| |18|
After his brother Demetrius was captured by the Parthians, Antiochus VII was made king. He married Demetrius' wife Cleopatra Thea. He defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus, the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulcher and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city. Sidetes then attacked the Parthians, supported by a body of Jews under Hyrcanus, and briefly took back Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media before being ambushed and killed by Phraates II. His brother Demetrius II had by then been released, but the Seleucid realm was now restricted to Syria. Antiochus VII was the last Seleucid king of any stature.
GY110206. Bronze AE 18, Houghton-Lorber II 2067(5)c; Babelon 1097; SNG Spaer 1912; HGC 9 1087; BMC Seleucid p. 74, 55 var. (star vice palm), VF, dark tone, earthen deposits, obverse edge beveled, weight 5.687 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 137 - 136 B.C.; obverse bust of winged Eros right; reverse headdress of Isis, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two downward lines on the right, EYEPΓETOY downward on left, outer left, palm frond over ςOP (year 176 of the Seleucid Era) below; $80.00 (80.80)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Damascus, Coele-Syria

|Other| |Syria|, |Salonina,| |Augusta| |254| |-| |c.| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Damascus,| |Coele-Syria||AE| |24|
Saul (later known as Paul) was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when he was blinded by a light from the presence of Jesus. He spent three days in Damascus, blind, until Jesus sent a disciple named Ananias to Saul. Damascus was the city in which Paul began his work as a great evangelist, teaching people in Asia, Africa and Europe about Jesus.
RP110196. Bronze AE 24, SNG Mnchen 1027; Rosenberger IV p. 33, 63; De Saulcy p. 56, 2; Lindgren 2154; SNG Cop -; BMC Syria , aF, uneven strike with right side weak on obv. and rev. green patina, light earthen deposits, porosity, weight 8.793 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 225o, Damascus mint, 254 - c. Sep 268 A.D.; obverse CORNE SALONA AVG (blundered), draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse COL ∆AMAS METRO, agonistic urn between uncertain objects, all on ornate three-legged table with curved legs; $65.00 (65.65)


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 71 - 70 B.C.

|Other| |Syria|, |Apameia,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |71| |-| |70| |B.C.||AE| |23|
In 302 B.C., Seleucus ceded a large part of Afghanistan to Chandragupta for 500 elephants to equip his army. The Seleukids' elephant and horse breeding and training camp was at Apamea. More than thirty thousand brood mares and three hundred stallions were kept. Here instructors taught the methods of fighting in heavy armor, and all the arts of war. In 188 B.C., Rome forced the defeated Antiochus III to sign the Treaty of Apamea, which obligated him to hand over all but 10 of his ships, hostages, 15,000 talents and all his elephants. When this coin was issued, the elephants had long existed only in memory.
GY110201. Bronze AE 23, HGC 9 1419; Cohen DCA 410 (scarce); cf. BMC Galatia, p. 233, 5 (year 243); SNG Munchen 792 (same); Hunter III p. 190, 2 (same); SNG Cop -, aVF, blue-green patina, earthen deposits, oval flan, flan adjustment marks on rev., weight 9.716 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 71 - 70 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Zeus right; reverse elephant walking right, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ in two lines above, KAI AΣYΛOY over ∆I (control letters) below, BMΣ (year 242 of Seleukid era) under trunk; scarcer year; $90.00 (90.90)


Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 128 - 129 A.D.

|Antioch|, |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |128| |-| |129| |A.D.||trichalkon|
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem." We think it is unlikely; nevertheless, the type is very popular and somewhat expensive.
GB90244. Bronze trichalkon, RPC Online III 3729, Butcher CRS 266, McAlee 125(d), SNG Hunterian II 2950, F, dark near black patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 5.145 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, reign of Hadrian, 128 - 129 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN THC MHTPOΠOΛEWC, veiled and turreted head of Tyche right, weak countermark at chin; reverse ram leaping right, looking back, star within crescent above, ET ZOP (year 177 of the Caesarean Era) below; $110.00 (111.10)


Seleukid Kingdom, Diodotus Tryphon, 142 - 138 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Diodotus| |Tryphon,| |142| |-| |138| |B.C.||AE| |18|
Tryphon, a general, betrayed and deposed the child king Antiochus VI and seized power for himself in Coele-Syria. He reinstated Hasmonean rule in Judea in exchange for which Jewish armies under the High Priest Jonathan marched against his rival Demetrius. But Tryphon betrayed Jonathan taking him prisoner at a "friendly" meeting and marching his army to Judaea. Jonathan's brother, Simon Maccabaeus, was ready for battle, preventing invasion. Tryphon promised to free Jonathan in exchange for one hundred talents and Jonathan's two sons as hostages. Simon did not trust Tryphon, but he complied so he could not be accused of his brother's death. As expected, Jonathan was executed.Tryphon committed suicide after he was defeated by Antiochus VII.
GY98893. Bronze AE 18, Houghton-Lorber II 2034(2)a, SNG Spaer 1835, Babelon Rois 1051, HGC 9 1061 (S), aVF, brown patina, central cavities, scattered tiny pitting, weight 5.626 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 142 - 138 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, diadem ends falling straight behind; reverse spiked Macedonian helmet left, with cheek guards, adorned with a wild goat's horn above the visor, aphlaston (control) left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / TPYΦΩNOΣ in two downward lines on the right, AYTOKPATOPOΣ downward on left; $70.00 (70.70)


Seleukid Kingdom, Diodotus Tryphon, 142 - 138 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Diodotus| |Tryphon,| |142| |-| |138| |B.C.||AE| |18|
Tryphon, a general, betrayed and deposed the child king Antiochus VI and seized power for himself in Coele-Syria. He reinstated Hasmonean rule in Judea in exchange for which Jewish armies under the High Priest Jonathan marched against his rival Demetrius. But Tryphon betrayed Jonathan taking him prisoner at a "friendly" meeting and marching his army to Judaea. Jonathan's brother, Simon Maccabaeus, was ready for battle, preventing invasion. Tryphon promised to free Jonathan in exchange for one hundred talents and Jonathan's two sons as hostages. Simon did not trust Tryphon, but he complied so he could not be accused of his brother's death. As expected, Jonathan was executed.Tryphon committed suicide after he was defeated by Antiochus VII.
GY98894. Bronze AE 18, Houghton-Lorber II 2034(2)e, SNG Spaer 1830, Babelon Rois 1052, Houghton CSE 261, HGC 9 1061 (S), VF/F, dark green patina, central cavities, weight 4.842 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 142 - 138 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, diadem ends falling straight behind; reverse spiked Macedonian helmet left, with cheek guards, adorned with a wild goat's horn above the visor, star (control) left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / TPYΦΩNOΣ in two downward lines on the right, AYTOKPATOPOΣ downward on left; $80.00 (80.80)


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |22|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
GY99020. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 1793(3)d; BMC Seleucid p. 55, 37; SNG Spaer 1438 var. (controls); SNG Cop 258 var. (same); HGC 9 900 (R1), gF, dark green patina, obv. off center, light deposits, areas of light corrosion, edge split, weight 6.909 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 145 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander I right; reverse Athena standing left, helmeted and draped, Nike in right hand offering wreath, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear leaning against left arm, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on left, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, KA monogram over Πo monogram (controls) inner left; $870.00 (878.70)










REFERENCES|

American Numismatic Society Collections Database - http://numismatics.org/search/search.
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