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Ancient Coins of Antioch, Syria
Hostilian, Summer - November 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hostilian,| |Summer| |-| |November| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
Hostilian was the younger son of Trajan Decius. After the latter's death, Hostilian was elevated to Augustus by his father's successor Trebonianus Gallus. He died of plague shortly after. McAlee notes, "Hostilian's Antiochene provincial coins are the rarest of the emperors of the 3rd century."
RP95883. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1162 (very rare, same obverse die), Prieur 653 (2 spec.), Dura 574; BMC Galatia, p. 226, 627 var. (no officina indicated), VF, porosity, light deposits, weight 10.361 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 250 - summer 251 A.D.; obverse Γ OVA OCTIΛ ME KVINTOC KECAP, bareheaded and draped bust right, from the front, VI below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOVCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm branch, head right, wings open, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; only one specimen on Coin Archives; very rare; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander II Zabinas, 128 - 123 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |II| |Zabinas,| |128| |-| |123| |B.C.||AE| |22|
Zabinas claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII, but may have been the son of an Egyptian merchant. He was used as a pawn by the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon). Zabinas managed to defeat Demetrius II and thereafter ruled parts of Syria, but soon ran out of Egyptian support and was defeated by Demetrius' son Antiochus VIII Grypus. As a last resort, Zabinas plundered the temples of Antioch. He is said to have joked about melting down a statuette of the goddess of victory, Nike, which was held in the hand of a Zeus statue, saying "Zeus has given me Victory." Enraged by his impiety, the Antiochenes expelled Zabinas, who was captured and executed soon after. "Zabinas" is a derogatory name meaning "the bought one," implying he was Ptolemy's slave.
GY93617. Bronze AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2237.1c, SNG Spaer 2336, Babelon 1310, BMC Seleucid p. 83, 21; HGC 9 1164 (C-S), Choice VF, well centered and struck, brown tone, porous, edge cracks/split, beveled obverse edge, weight 8.433 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 125 - 122 B.C.; obverse radiate and diademed head of Zabinas right, one diadem end flying up behind, the other falling forward over shoulder; reverse double cornucopia bound with fillet, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, A over head of grain in inner left, Π in inner right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


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

|Philip| |II|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||8| |assaria|
Although Philip is portrayed as a young man on this coin, he was a boy, only about 10 or 11 years old, when this coin was struck.
RP94245. Bronze 8 assaria, McAlee 1084 (extremely rare - no plate coin); Butcher CRS 498d; BMC Galatia p. 220, 577; RPC Online VIII - (unassigned; ID 7513, 1 specimen), F, well centered, porous, scratches, light earthen deposits, weight 12.751 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2nd issue, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust left, seen from front, wearing balteus, spear in right hand resting on right shoulder, shield on left arm; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩN, towered, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right, ∆ - E / S - C across fields, ram leaping right with head turned back above, star below; only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades, one of only three specimens known to Forum; extremely rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


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

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VII| |Euergetes| |Sidetes,| |138| |-| |129| |B.C.||AE| |14|
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.
GY91728. Bronze AE 14, Houghton-Lorber II 2068.6, Houghton CSE 283, cf. SNG Spaer 184 (date off flan), HGC 9 1096 (S), BMC Seleucid p. 75, 68 (date, control symbol), Choice VF, dark green patina with red earthen highlighting, well centered, scattered mild porosity, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.793 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 270o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 134 - 133 B.C.; obverse lion head right; reverse club vertical with handle up, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY / EYEPΓETOY in three downward lines, first two lines on right, last line on left, ∆I monogram over cornucopia (control marks) left (cornucopia unstruck), ΘOP (year 179 of the Seleukid Era) below; $135.00 SALE |PRICE| $122.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius I Soter, 162 - 150 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |I| |Soter,| |162| |-| |150| |B.C.||AE| |26|
As required by the Treaty of Apamea, Demetrius, 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.
GY93774. Bronze serrated AE 26, Houghton-Lorber II 1648, cf. SNG Fitzwilliam 5673, SNG Cop 240, Babylon Rois 725 (various control monograms), aVF, dark patina, earthen deposits, scratches, edge crack, central cavities, thick flan, weight 18.711 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, perhaps Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 162 - 150 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right bow and quiver at his shoulder; reverse tripod lebes, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ∆HMHTPIOY downward on left, obscure monogram (control) outer left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VI| |Dionysus,| |144| |-| |c.| |142| |B.C.||AE| |22|
After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY95359. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 2006c, SNG Spaer 1774, Houghton CSE 249, Babelon Rois 1011, SNG Cop 304 var. (control), HGC 9 1043 (C-S), gVF, dark patina, tight flan, light marks and scratches, central depressions, weight 8.474 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left holding torch in trunk, ΣTA above right, star (control symbol) right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines above, EΠIΦANOYΣ / ∆IONYΣOY in two lines below; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Lucius| |Verus,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |February| |169| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||semis|
In 162, Marcus Aurelius sent Lucius Verus to lead the war against Parthia. Lucius spent most of the campaign in Antioch, though he wintered at Laodicea and summered at Daphne, a resort just outside Antioch. Critics derided Lucius' luxurious lifestyle. He took up a mistress, enjoyed the company of actors and would "dice the whole night through." The Syrian army was said to spend more time in Antioch's open-air cafés than with their units. The war was, nevertheless, a success. Despite Lucius' minimal personal participation, he was awarded the titles Armeniacus, Medicus and Parthicus Maximus and a triumph upon his return to Rome in 166.
RY93576. Bronze semis, RPC Online IV.3 T7149, McAlee 610, VF, black patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obverse a little off center, weight 7.575 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 161 - 169 A.D.; obverse AVT K Λ AVPHΛ OVHPOC CEB, radiate head right; reverse S•C, uncertain Greek numeral-letter below, all within wreath; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 483; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VI| |Dionysus,| |144| |-| |c.| |142| |B.C.||AE| |20|
After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GB92939. Bronze serrated AE 20, Houghton-Lorber II 2006c, SNG Spaer 1774, Houghton CSE 249, SNG Cop 304 var. (control), HGC 9 1043, VF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, light marks, obverse a little off center, centration dimples, weight 7.500 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left holding torch in trunk, ΣTA above right, star (control symbol) right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines above, EΠIΦANOYΣ / ∆IONYΣOY in two lines below; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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||as|
The Battle of Antioch. After Macrinus foolishly cut legionary pay, Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus as emperor on 16 May 218. Macrinus sent cavalry but they too joined Elagabalus. Macrinus finally abandoned his pay cut and paid a bonus, but it was too late. Legion II Parthica defected. General Gannys, the commander of Elagabalus' forces, decisively defeated Macrinus was just outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Macrinus shaved off his hair and beard and fled, disguised as a member of the military police. He was recognized by a centurion at Chalcedon on the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
RY93580. Bronze as, McAlee 792/1 (very rare), Waage 595, SNG Cop -, BMC Galatia -, VF, nice black with red earthen highlighting desert patina, porosity, tight flan cutting off much of obverse legend, weight 4.474 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AV ANTONINOC C, laureate head right; reverse ram advancing right, head left, above leg and thigh of animal (sacrifice); small ∆E over larger S - C above ram; all within laurel wreath fastened at the top with a star; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 47 (28 Jun 2018), lot 506; very rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


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.
GY93616. Bronze AE 18, Houghton-Lorber II 2067(15); SNG Spaer 1939 - 1940 (with grapes) or 1941 (without grapes); BMC Seleucid p. 74, 60 (with grapes); HGC 9 1087, VF, dark patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, choice obv., rev. off center, porous, tiny edge cracks, obverse edge beveled, traces of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 5.268 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 133 - 132 B.C.; obverse bust of winged Eros right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY, headdress of Isis, ΠP (year 180 of the Seleucid Era) below, ∆I monogram (over bunch of grapes?) outer left (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 




  






REFERENCES|

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