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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Greek Imperial| ▸ |Decapolis, Arabia & Syria||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins from the Decapolis, Syria and Arabia

The Decapolis means "the ten cities" in Greek, yet we don't really know how many cities there were, or where they were. In 106 A.D., under the Roman emperor Trajan, the Nabataean Kingdom and the cities of the Decapolis were incorporated into the newly established Provinces of Syria and Arabia.

Click here to read "The Decapolis of Jordan" by Rami G. Khouri

Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II and Gamilat, 70 - 106 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Rabbel| |II| |and| |Gamilat,| |70| |-| |106| |A.D.||drachm|NEW
Rabbel II was the last Nabataean king. A child when he became king, his mother, Shuqailat, ruled in the early years. He was given the title, "He who gives life and salvation to his people," perhaps for subjugating Arab tribes. Upon his death, Trajan annexed the kingdom. On 22 March 106, Nabataea was incorporated into the new province of Arabia Petraea, with Bosra as its capital. The date on this coin is a little obscure but is probably year 21.
GS110263. Billon drachm, cf. Barkay 233; Al-Qatanani 240; Meshorer Nabataean 153; Sofaer 82; BMC Arabia p. 12, 1 - 2, VF, toned, double struck, date is less than certain but most likely year 21, weight 3.316 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 315o, Petra (Jordan) mint, cf. 90 - 91 A.D.; obverse Nabataean legend: "Rabbel the king, king of the Nabataeans, year 21" (date unclear), laureate and draped bust of Aretas IV with long hair right; reverse Nabataean legend: "Gamilat, his sister, queen of the Nabataeans", veiled bust of Gamilat right; ex Naville Numismatics (14 Nov 2021) auction 69, lot 91; $200.00 (202.00)


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV and Phasael, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV| |and| |Phasael,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.||AE| |14|
Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Jesus was born sometime between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. Matthew describes King Herod as the ruler during the time of the Nativity, and Herod died in 4 B.C. Later, in order to kill Jesus and eliminate him as a rival king, Herod ordered the "Massacre of the Innocents" - the killing of all male children in Bethlehem aged two years and under. This means that Jesus may have been up to two years old already by that time, and this also sets the Nativity between 6 and 4 B.C. This type was issued in the names of Aretas IV and his daughter Phasael, 5 - 4 B.C.
GB94965. Bronze AE 14, cf. Al-Qatanani 178t1; Barkay CN 118a; Huth 82; Meshorer Nabataean 64; BMC Arabia p. 10, 35; SNG ANS 6 -, aVF, black patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, scratches, remnant of a pre-strike casting sprue, weight 1.710 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Aretas right, Nabataean H (het) left, O (ayin) right; reverse two cornucopias crossed and filleted, two pomegranates dangling from tops above center, Nabataean PS (peh sade) monogram (Phasael, Aretas' daughter) in center; from the Ray Nouri Collection; scarce; $160.00 (161.60)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Struck at Rome for Use in Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Struck| |at| |Rome| |for| |Use| |in| |Syria||semis|
In 125 A.D., the Pantheon was constructed in Rome as it stands today.
RY99386. Orichalcum semis, RIC II-3 760, McAlee 552(a), BMCRE III 1356, Strack II 626, RPC Online III 3765, SNG Hunterian 2947, gVF, earthen filled fields, slightly off center on a tight flan cutting off part of legends, weight 5.069 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 124 - 125 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse COS III, Roma seated left on cuirass, right foot drawn back (no helmet), Victory bearing wreath and palm frond in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, round shield behind cuirass, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; $160.00 (161.60)


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D., Barbaric Imitative

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.,| |Barbaric| |Imitative||AE| |14|
Aretas IV was the greatest Nabataean king, ruling S. Palestine, most of Trans-Jordan, N. Arabia, and Damascus. Al-Khazneh,one of the most elaborate temples in Petra, is believed to have been the mausoleum of Aretas IV. Paul mentions Aretas in connection with his visit to Damascus (2 Corinthians 11:32). Al-Khazneh, one of the most elaborate temples in Petra, is believed to have been the mausoleum of Aretas IV.
GB94966. Bronze AE 14, Al-Qatanani 141t6 (die match, barbaric style), Meshorer Nabataean 68A; cf. Huth 77 (official style), Barkay CN 150c (same), Schmitt-Korte 38 (same), VF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. off center, reverse edge beveled, small edge split, weight 1.482 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial mint, c. 2 - 24; obverse laureate head of Aretas right; reverse two crossed and filleted cornucopias, Nabataean het ros monogram (Aretas) between the horns; from the Ray Nouri Collection; extremely rare; $150.00 (151.50)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Kanatha, Decapolis, Provincia Arabia

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Commodus,| |March| |or| |April| |177| |-| |31| |December| |192| |A.D.,| |Kanatha,| |Decapolis,| |Provincia| |Arabia||AE| |17|
Kanatha (or Canatha), 16 miles North of Bostra, is today Qanawat, Syria. It was the Biblical Kenath, which was captured by Nobah from the Amorites (Numbers 32:42 and Judges 8:11) and taken back by Geshur and Aram. The epithet Gabinia (ΓABI in the reverse legend) was probably derived from Gabinius the Proconsul of Syria.
RP99613. Bronze AE 17, SNG ANS 1268; Sofaer p. 154 & pl. 132, 6 ff.; Spijkerman p. 92, 8; Rosenberger IV p. 18, 8, Nice VF, green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, reverse a little off center, weight 2.960 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kanatha (Qanawat, Syria) mint, Mar/Apr 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.; obverse KOMO ANTONC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed right, from behind; reverse ΓABI KANAΘ (A's unbarred, Θ appearing as O), bust of Athena right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; rare city and coin; $140.00 (141.40)


Volusian, c. November 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

|Antioch|, |Volusian,| |c.| |November| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.||tetradrachm|
Gaius Vibius Afinius Gallus Vedumnianus Volusian was the son of Trebonianus Gallus and was given the rank of Caesar when his father became emperor. After emperor Hostilian was killed, he was raised to the rank of Augustus. He was assassinated along with his father in 253 A.D.
RY99417. Silver tetradrachm, RPC online IX 1795; McAlee 1187b; Prieur 695 (rare); SNG Hunterian 3125; BMC Galatia p. 230, 658; Dura 614, gVF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion/porosity, weight 10.901 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, late 251 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K Γ AΦIN ΓAΛ OYEN∆ OYOΛOYCCIANOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, (2nd officina) below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing slightly right on line, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, B (2nd officina) between legs, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $135.00 (136.35)


Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.

|Nabataean| |Kingdom|, |Nabataean| |Kingdom,| |Aretas| |IV,| |9| |B.C.| |-| |40| |A.D.||AE| |14|NEW
Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabatean Kingdom, is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the "Rose City." Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. The structure is believed to have been the mausoleum of the Nabatean King Aretas IV in the 1st century A.D. The sculptures are thought to be those of various mythological figures associated with the afterlife. On top are figures of four eagles that would carry away the souls. The figures on the upper level are dancing Amazons with double-axes. The entrance is flanked by statues of the twins Castor and Pollux who lived partly on Olympus and partly in the underworld. Tomb_of_Aretas
GB110264. Bronze AE 14, cf. Barkay CN 150, Al-Qatanani 141, Meshorer Nabataean 70, SNG ANS 6 1432, Huth -, VF, dark patina with attractive highlighting earthen deposits, weight 1.729 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, c. 2 - 24 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Aretas right; reverse two crossed and filleted cornucopias, Nabataean het (Aretas) between the horns; ex Naville Numismatics (14 Nov 2021) auction 69, lot 87; $130.00 (131.30)


The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia

|Judean| |&| |Biblical| |Books|, |The| |Coins| |of| |the| |Decapolis| |and| |Provincia| |Arabia|NEW
Dennis Kroh in his book Ancient Coin Reference Reviews rates this book with 4 (out of 5) stars **** and notes:"Fr. Augustus Spijkerman's posthumous work, "The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia" (Jerusalem, 1978), is a great catalogue of city-coins of Judaea in the Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem, many of which were previously unpublished types. It also features much historical documentation and the best ibliography of any work of its kind. 322 pages of text and 82 excellent plates including many illustration of ancient sites. Elusive, it can be found for $80-100 or so. (1993)"
BK43849. The Coins of the Decapolis and Provincia Arabia by Augustus Spijkerman, Jerusalem, 1978, hard bound, XVI 322 pages, 82 plates, 8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches; out of print; the standard reference for the region; used, good condition; $130.00 (131.30)


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; scarce; $130.00 (131.30)


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
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.
RY110551. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 934; Prieur 445; Dura Coins 427; BMC Galatia p. 214, 518; SNG Cop 269, VF, centered on a broad flan, porosity, light corrosion, weight 12.378 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 45o, 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 YΠA TO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing right, wings open, head right, tail left, left wing is not behind leg, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex R. Basler; $120.00 (121.20)




  



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REFERENCES

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