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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Antioch||View Options:  |  |  |   

Antioch, Syria (Antakiyah, Turkey)

Because of Egypt's isolated position, Antioch was a more suitable capital for the eastern empire than Alexandria, and to some extent the Roman emperors tried to make the city an eastern Rome. They built a great temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, a forum, a theater, a circus, baths and aqueducts. The city was, however, repeatedly damaged by earthquakes. Edward Gibbon wrote of Antioch: "Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capital of the East." Antioch was, paradoxically, also an important hub of early Christianity. The city had a large population of Jews and so attracted the earliest missionaries; including Peter, Barnabas, and also Paul during his first missionary journey. Antioch's converts were the first to be called Christians. Late in 311, an embassy from Antioch presented themselves before Maximinus and requested permission to banish Christians from their city. Maximinus initially agreed, but in May 313 restored privileges and property to Christians. Antioch struck coins for provincial Syria before becoming and imperial mint. Imperial mint dates of operation: 217 - 611 A.D. Mintmarks: AN, ANT, ANTOB, SMAN.

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS96928. Silver denarius, RIC IV 298 var. (star rev. left), RSC III 535c var. (same), BMCRE VI 1014 var. (same); SRCV II 7926 var. (same), Hunter III -, VF, superb portrait, light toning, flow lines, spotty dark deposits, die wear, off center, flan split/cracks, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (health of the public), Salus seated left on throne, feeding snake coiling up from altar from patera in right hand, left elbow resting on throne; Salus without star from Antioch (limited 223 A.D. issue) is missing from all the primary references but we know of a few other specimens from auctions; very rare; $170.00 (139.40)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||centenionalis|NEW
In 327, Construction began on the cathedral of Antioch.
RL94857. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 84 (R4), LRBC I 1352, Cohen 458, SRCV IV 16271, Hunter V 406 var. (7th officina), Choice gVF, well centered, attractive dark patina with highlighting red earth deposits, weight 2.693 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 329 - 330 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, star above, SMANTE in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $100.00 (82.00)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|NEW
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL96887. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 64 (S), LRBC I 1394, Cohen VII 314, SRCV -, Hunter V -, gF, encrustations, a little rough, weight 1.597 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 337 - 347 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti - Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse IVST VEN MEM (Justa Veneranda Memoriae - righteous revered memories), Aequitas standing half left, head left, scales right hand, SMANZ in exergue; ex Trusted Coins; rare; $100.00 (82.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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
RA93339. Billon antoninianus, Hunter V 344 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 922; Cohen VI 99; Pink p. 40, emission 2; SRCV III 11961, gVF, much silvering remains, full legends, unusually crude portrait, flow lines, rev. die wear, weight 3.300 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), emperor standing right, short scepter in left hand, receiving Victory on globe presenting wreath from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, holding long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Γ in center, XXI in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (73.80)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
The officina number is expressed as E∆ (5 + 4 = 9) because Θ, theta, the Greek numeral nine, was considered unlucky. Theta (Θ), was used as an abbreviation for Thanatos (death) and used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians voting for the death penalty. Also, after a funeral "Nine Days of Sorrow" were solemnly observed by the Roman family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RL94868. Billon follis, Hunter V 68 (also 9th officina), SRCV IV 14845, Cohen VII 47, RIC VI Antiochia 147c var. (no crescent), Choice VF, well centered, black patina with highlighting red earthen "desert patina", weight 6.809 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO EXERCITVS (to the guardian spirit of the army), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, flaming altar at feet on left, crescent horns up upper left, E over ∆ (5+4=9) right, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 (73.80)


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

|Constantine| |II|, |Constantine| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |March| |or| |April| |340| |A.D.||centenionalis|
In 327, construction of the Domus Aurea, the cathedral of Antioch, began on an island between two branches of the Orontes River, where the Imperial Palace was located. It was dedicated on 6 January 341, in the presence of Constans, Constantius II and ninety-seven bishops. In the following centuries, it was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and fires and rebuilt. It was finally destroyed in 588 after a major earthquake left the dome resting on a pile of rubble. Today the site of the cathedral is uncertain.
RL89942. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 54 (R3), SRCV IV 17203, Cohen VII 83, LRBC I 1325, Hunter V -, Choice aVF, well centered, weight 2.194 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse CONSTAN/TINVS / CAESAR / SMANTA (in four lines), star above; rare; $80.00 (65.60)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In 280, Julius Saturninus, the governor of Syria, was made emperor by his troops. Probus besiege him at Apamea, where he was captured and executed.
RL94821. Billon antoninianus, Hunter V 327 (also 2nd officina); RIC V-2 922; Cohen VI 99; Pink p. 40, emission 2; SRCV III 11961, Choice VF, nice portrait, centered, highlighting earthen deposits, rev. die wear, weight 4.067 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Probus on left, standing right, in military garb, scepter in left hand, receiving Victory on globe presenting wreath from Jupiter with right hand, Jupiter on right, standing left, nude but for cloak, long scepter vertical in left hand, B in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 (65.60)


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Nerva|, |Nerva,| |18| |September| |96| |-| |25| |January| |98| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||AE| |27|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
RY94883. Bronze AE 27, RPC Online III 3481(8 spec.); McAlee 421c; Butcher 186; Wruck 128; SNG Hunter 2906, BMC Galatia -, aF, thick earthen deposits, some corrosion, weight 12.786 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR NER-VA AVG III COS, laureate head right; reverse large S C (senatus consulto), Γ> below, all within laurel wreath closed at the top with an annulet; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 (65.60)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RT97968. Billon follis, Hunter V 197 (10th officina), RIC VII Antioch 8 (R3), SRCV IV I5244, Cohen VII 108, EF/VF, sharp portrait, bumps, flan crack, slightest porosity on reverse, edge crack, weight 3.025 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 10th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 313 - 314 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulders, Victory on globe in right offering wreath, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle at feet with wreath in beak, wreath over I over III in right field, ANT in exergue; ραρε; $80.00 (65.60)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.
RL94806. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 337 (also 7th officina); RIC V-2 925; Cohen VI 509; Pink VI, 2nd emission, p. 40; SRCV III 12021, VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porous, marks, weight 3.783 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORBIS (to the restorer of the world), woman presenting wreath to Emperor standing left holding globe and scepter, Z in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 (57.40)




  






REFERENCES|

Huvelin, H. "L'atelier d'Antioche sous Claude II" in NAC XIX (1990), pp. 251-271.
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
Van Heesch, J. "The last civic coinages and the religious policy of Maximinus Daza (AD 312)" in Numismatic Chronicle 1993, pp. 65 - 75, pl. 11.

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