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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 SALE |PRICE| $153.00
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D., Antioch, Syria, Civic Christian Persecution Issue

|Antioch|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria,| |Civic| |Christian| |Persecution| |Issue||quarter| |follis|
In 311, after the death of Galerius in late April or May, representatives from Nicomedia presented themselves before Maximinus, bringing images of their gods and requested that Christians not be allowed to live in their city. Late in 311, an embassy from Antioch, led by their curator Theotecnus, also requested permission to banish Christians from their city and its territory. Other cities followed with the same request. Maximinus support for Antioch's requests is advertised by this coin type. Fearing his co-emperors, however, Maximinus changed his mind. His edict in May 313 restored privileges and property to Christians. Later in 313, Licinius captured Antioch and executed Theotecnus.
RL93284. Billon quarter follis, McAlee 171(d), Van Heesch 2, Vagi 2955, SRCV IV 14932, gVF, dark patina, earthen highlighting deposits, weight 1.560 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 - May 313 A.D.; obverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the Protector), Jupiter seated left, globe in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left, ∆ in right field, ANT in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


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 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


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 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


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

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|NEW
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO IMPERATORIS dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Imperators. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RL94876. Billon follis, RIC VI Antiochia 133c, Cohen VII 55, SRCV IV 14851, Hunter V 58 var. (2nd officina), VF, desert patina, well centered, weight 6.956 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), 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, altar at feet on left, star upper left, A right, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS93268. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1698b2 (Samosata), RSC IV 705a, Hunter IV 71, SRCV III 10298 (uncertain Syrian mint), RIC V-1 J445 (S, Antioch), gVF, toned, flow lines, obverse well centered, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.934 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Syrian mint, 259 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, pellet below back; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Oriens and Gallienus standing facing, heads turned confronted; Oriens on left, wearing turreted crown, offering wreath to Gallienus on right, spear vertical in left hand, wreath above; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.50
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.||antoninianus|
While serving as co-Augusti, Maximian and Diocletian associated themselves with Hercules and Jupiter respectively. Diocletian was a religious conservative who wished to associate the imperial government with the traditional Roman cult, and these associations helped to do this. This was a departure from the policies of previous emperors, like Aurelian, who had strengthened the positions of non-traditional gods in the Roman pantheon.
RA92749. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 622 corr. (star over B not listed), SRCV IV 13134, Cohen VI 311, Hunter IV 55 var. (1st officina), VF, full border centering, nice green patina, flan edge a little ragged with some small cracks, weight 3.504 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 285 - 294 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOV ET HERCV CONSER AVGG (Jupiter and Hercules protectors the emperors), Jupiter (on left) standing right, long scepter vertical in left hand, globe in right hand; Hercules (on right) standing left, offering Victory to Jupiter with right hand, club and lion-skin in left hand, Victory raising wreath and holding palm frond, star over B low center, XXI in exergue; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RS93316. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68, Cunetio 849 (31 spec.), RIC V-1 J447, SRCV III 10312, Choice aEF, sharp portrait, well centered, toned, reverse die wear, ragged edge, weight 3.412 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
One of the last rulers of Rome to be called "Princeps" or First Citizen, Gallienus' shrewd self-promotion paved the way for later emperors who would be addressed with the words "Dominus et Deus" (Lord and God).
RA94177. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1643a, RSC IV 634, RIC V-1 S617, SRCV III 10291, Hunter IV - (p. lxix), aEF/F, choice obverse, reverse also well centered but stuck with a very worn die, weight 4.171 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 266 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse MINERVA AVG, Minerva standing left, resting right on shield at feet, spear vertical in left, VIIC (=COS VII) in exergue; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


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.
RL94803. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 337 (also 7th officina); RIC V-2 925; Cohen VI 509; Pink VI, 2nd emission, p. 40; SRCV III 12021, aVF, near black patina highlighting reddish earthen deposits, uneven strike with parts of legends weak, weight 3.488 g, maximum diameter 22.7 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, seen from behind; reverse RESTITVT ORBIS (to the restorer of the world), woman on left, standing right, presenting wreath to Emperor, Emperor standing left, globe in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, Z in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 




  






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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