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Ancient Coins of Antioch, Syria
Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
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.
GY95964. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 1637a; SNG Spaer 1257; Newell SMA 81; BMC Seleucid p. 47, 33 & pl. XIV, 2; HGC 9 796 (R1), aVF, toning, light corrosion/porosity, weight 15.785 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 155/4 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios right with light beard, short hair, diadem ends falling straight behind, laurel wreath border; reverse Tyche seated left on throne without back, fully clothed, short scepter in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, seat supported by winged tritoness, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, monogram (control) outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $260.00 (€213.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
There are many control symbol variations for Philip I tetradrachms, some are identified as lifetime issues, some as posthumous, and some as imitatives, including posthumous imitatives struck by the Romans. None of the published variations list this ∆I monogram exergue control symbol, without any other symbols outer left or inner left. Houghton-Lorber II 2464 is most similar, with this type of portrait and no controls left, but only N, Π and T exergue controls are listed. Also, this coin was part of a Leu auction lot that included other specimens of Houghton-Lorber II 2464 all in very similar condition, indicating the coins may have been found together.
GY97102. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished control monogram; Houghton-Lorber II 2464 var. (control); SNG Spaer 2817 var. (control); HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, aVF, field cracks, weight 15.244 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, below throne, ∆I monogram (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); unpublished control variant of a rare type; $250.00 (€205.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97646. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2464(a), HGC 9 1320 (R1), SNG Spaer 2805, BMC Seleucid -, VF, light toning, light marks, slight porosity, weight 13.546 g, maximum diameter 51.4 mm, die axis 45o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, N (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; rare; $250.00 (€205.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97097. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2463(3)j; Newell SMA 449; SNG Spaer 2808; BMC Seleucid p. 100, 4; HGC 9 1319, VF, toned, typical tight flan, obverse a little off center, light marks, weight 15.515 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠOY in two lines downward on right EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY in two lines downward on left, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, Φ over A outer left (control, off flan), monogram below throne, (frozen control) below throne, Σ (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); $190.00 (€155.80)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97099. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2464(c); SNG Spaer 2817; HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, VF, tight flan typical of the type, obverse off center, corrosion, weight 14.726 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠOY in two lines downward on right EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY in two lines downward on left, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, T (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); rare; $160.00 (€131.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97101. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber II 2463; HGC 9 1319, VF, tight flan as typical for the type, surface a bit rough from corrosion, obverse off center, weight 15.389 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠOY in two lines downward on right EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY in two lines downward on left, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, monogram below throne, uncertain controls off flan, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); $160.00 (€131.20)
 


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

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |13|
The aegis was a well-known symbol of Alexander the Great. After his death, the body of Alexander and his aegis wound up in the hands of the Ptolemies. At the time this coin was struck, Alexander Balas was the son in law of Ptolemy VI and the Ptolemaic candidate for the Seleucid throne. After the break between them, Ptolemy VI dissolved his daughter's first marriage and married her to Demetrius II, “as if she were a piece of furniture.” (J.P. Mahaffy). Alexander Balas fell at the 145 BC Battle of Oenoparas. Though the Battle was a Ptolemaic victory, Ptolemy VI died of battle wounds a few days later. 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. Apamea, on the right bank of the Orontes River, was an ancient Greek and Roman city. It was located at a strategic crossroads for Eastern commerce and became one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Seleucus also made it a military base with 500 elephants, and an equestrian stud with 30,000 mares and 300 stallions.
GB97972. Bronze AE 13, Houghton-Lorber II 1792.2b; SNG Spaer 1480; Houghton CSE 207, VF, rough, weight 1.63 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antiochia on the Orontes mint, 150 - 146 B.C.; obverse aegis with facing head of Medusa at center; reverse Pegasos flying right right, A (control) below, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) above, AΛEΞAN∆POY below; from a New England collector; rare; $125.00 (€102.50)
 


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

|Antioch|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
From the Ray Nouri Collection.

This type is traditionally assigned to Antioch but McAlee identifies Laodicea as the most likely mint. McAlee notes, "After Septimius stripped Antioch of its privileges and conferred them on Laodicea-ad-Mare, some coins of Laodicea bear the legend 'Metropolis of the Four Provinces,' and others have a representation of four Tyches. The letters ∆ - E also regularly appear on the coins of Laodicea from the time of Elagabalus to that of Trebonianus Gallus." We attribute the type to Antioch, but clearly that is not certain.
RY94937. Billon tetradrachm, Bellinger Syria 42, SNG Cop 236, McAlee 758, Prieur 249 var. (both ties behind neck), Dura Coins -, F, toned, tight flan cutting off part of legends, reverse legend weak, weight 12.920 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 219 A.D.; obverse AVT K M A ANTWNEINOC CEB, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder, one wreath tie on neck; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠ B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the second time), eagle standing facing, wings spread, head left, wreath in beak, ∆ - E (∆ EΠAPCEIΩN - of the four eparchies) flanking eagle's head, star between legs; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


Herennius Etruscus, Early 251 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Antioch|, |Herennius| |Etruscus,| |Early| |251| |-| |First| |Half| |of| |June| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
In 250 the Plague of Cyprian, a pandemic probably smallpox, began. It was still raging in 270 when it claimed the life of emperor Claudius II Gothicus. At the height of the outbreak, 5,000 people a day were said to be dying in Rome. The plague caused widespread manpower shortages in agriculture and the Roman army.
RY97763. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1153b (scarce), RPC Online IX 1715 (11 spec.), Prieur 630, Dura Coins 552, BMC Galatia 614 var. (5th officina), VF, slightly rough, weight 12.615 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 250 - early 251; obverse EPENN ETPOV ME KV ∆EKIOC KECAP, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind, two dots (2nd officina) below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing left on palm frond, wings open, head right, tail left, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $110.00 (€90.20)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Antioch|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
In 248, Trajan Decius put down the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria, by order of Emperor Philip. In 249, after his legionaries proclaimed him emperor, Trajan Decius marched them to Verona, where he defeated and killed Philip.
RY93146. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 934; Prieur 445; Dura Coins 427; BMC Galatia p. 214, 518; SNG Cop 269, VF, excellent portrait, dark brown and bronze tone, scratches, weight 11.324 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠATO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing right, wings open, head right, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA S C in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (€73.80)
 




  






REFERENCES|

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