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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

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Uncertain Mint, Anatolia or Syria

|Roman| |Asia|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Uncertain| |Mint,| |Anatolia| |or| |Syria||AE| |27|
The mint, the quaestor who struck this type, and even the identity of the person in the portrait remain uncertain. The type has previously been attributed to Macedonia and the portrait identified as Brutus (Friedlander) or Caesar (Grant). David Sear notes the type has never been found in Macedonia. Finds point to Syria or Anatolia. It is possible that the type was issued, with his own portrait, by Sosius, a general under Marc Antony who was quaestor in 39 B.C. Much more likely, however, the portrait is of Augustus.
RP96854. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), gF, dark green patina, flan adjustment marks, strike a little weak, edge crack, weight 14.989 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Anatolian or Syrian mint, c. 39 B.C.(?); obverse bare head right; reverse hasta (spear), sella quaestoria (quaestor's seat of office), and fiscus (imperial treasury), Q (quaestor) below; previously a rare type but recent finds have made it easier to acquire; from a Florida collector, ex Trusted Coins; $400.00 (€328.00)
 


Roman Judea and Palestina, c. 54 - 253 A.D., Lot of 12 Holy Land City Coins

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Roman| |Judea| |and| |Palestina,| |c.| |54| |-| |253| |A.D.,| |Lot| |of| |12| |Holy| |Land| |City| |Coins||Lot|
The following list was provided by the consignor and has not been verified by FORVM:
1) Domitian, AE26, Neapolis, legend in wreath, RPC II 2218, F
2) Divus Augustus from the Time of Nerva to Trajan, AE18, Berytus, Phoenicia, BMC 61, RPC I p. 649, F
3) Nero, AE18, Gabala, RPC I 4455, F
4) Elagabalus, AE28, 13.38g Tyre, BMC Phoenicia 396, aVF
5) Elagabalus, AE17, Petra, Spijkerman 56, VF, edge flaw
6) Elagabalus, AE21, Charachmoba, Tyche standing. Rosenberger 1, F
7) Septimius Severus, AE27, Rabbathmoba, Arabia, Statue of Ares, Spijkerman 12, Crude F
8) Elagabalus, AE19, Petra, Decapolis, founder plowing right, Spijkerman 56, Meshorer 283, Rosenberger 35, F
9) Gallienus, AE23, Damascus, Prize urn placed on table, Rosenberger 62, F, ex J.S. Wagner Collection
10) Volusian, AE24, Damascus, doe right suckling child, F, ex J.S. Wagner Collection
11) Volusian, AE23, Damascus, agonistic urn inscribed OLYMPIA CEBACMIA, BMC Syria 32, De Sualey 53/6, F, obv. porous, ex J.S. Wagner Collection
12) Hadrian, AE25, Petra, Decapolis, F
LT96157. Bronze Lot, 12 Holy Land City Coins, Roman Judea and Palestina, c. 54 - 253 A.D., unattributed to type, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $360.00 (€295.20)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria||tetradrachm|
Laodicea ad Mar was founded by Seleukos Nikator. The site was determined after an eagle snatched a piece of flesh from an altar where Seleukos was sacrificing. The exact site was indicated when he slew a boar following the eagle's flight. Perhaps the eagle on this reverse refers to the city's founding myth, though the ancients did not need a special reason to depict an eagle, the companion of Zeus.
RY92564. Billon tetradrachm, Prieur 1179; Bellinger Syria 72; SNG Cop 364; BMC Galatia p. 195, 364 (Antioch), aEF, dark even toning, areas of minor porosity, scratches, tight flan, weight 13.927 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 215 - 217 A.D.; obverse AYT•K•M•A•-•ANTΩNEINOC•CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX•EΞ•YΠATOC•TO•∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing facing, head left, wings open, wreath in beak, star between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $240.00 (€196.80)
 


Palmyra, Palmyrene, Syria, c. 150 - 225 A.D.

|Other| |Syria|, |Palmyra,| |Palmyrene,| |Syria,| |c.| |150| |-| |225| |A.D.||AE| |12|
Palmyra, a city in a large oasis in the Syrian Desert, 215 km northeast of Damascus, was the vital silk road caravan stop known as "the Bride of the Desert." Atargatis was the chief goddess of northern Syria, primarily a fertility goddess, but, she was also responsible for the protection and well-being of the people. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij, northeast of Aleppo, Syria. The Romans called her Dea Syria.
GB95894. Bronze AE 12, SNG Munchen 519; BMC Galatia p. 149, 2; Krzyzanowska Monnayage IV; SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina, earthen deposits, weight 1.663 g, maximum diameter 12.0 mm, die axis 0o, Palmyra mint, c. 150 - 225 A.D.; obverse Atargatis bust facing, head left, wearing turreted crown, thin crescent left, star right; reverse radiate bust of young Malakbel (solar deity) left; from the Michael Arslan Collection; extremely rare; $240.00 (€196.80)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Petra, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Petra,| |Arabia||AE| |22|NEW
Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. The area was subject to flash floods, but archaeological evidence shows that the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams, cisterns and water conduits. These innovations stored this flood water for prolonged periods of drought and enabled the city to prosper in the desert.The Decapolis
RY94935. Bronze AE 22, cf. Sofaer 30; Rosenberger 22; Spijkerman 27; BMC Arabia, p. 36, 15; SNG ANS -, VF, nice portrait, green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 8.416 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AY K Λ CEΠ - CEOVH CE (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse A∆PIA ΠETP-A MHTROΠOΛ (or similar), Tyche seated left on rocks, wearing turreted crown, right hand extended and holding stele, trophy over shoulder in left hand; from the Ray Nouri Collection; scarce; $200.00 (€164.00)
 


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |27|
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins, NGC| Lookup; $180.00 (€147.60)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217, Rabbathmoba, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta,| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217,| |Rabbathmoba,| |Arabia||AE| |31|
Rabbathmoba (also called Areopolis or Aresopolis), on the Karak plateau, was probably the Biblical Ir-Moab conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan. Rabbath-Moba minted coins during the reigns of the Severan emperors between 193 and 222 A.D.
RY94929. Bronze AE 31, Sofaer 10 (same dies); cf. Spijkerman p. 268, 18 (dated PE); Meshorer City Coins 271; SNG ANS -; Rosenberger IV -, F, dark green patina, scratches, pit on reverse, irregular flan edge, weight 14.582 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rabbathmoba (near Kerak, Jordan) mint, c. 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse PABBAΘMΩBA, cult statue of Ares standing facing in military dress on a high base with pilasters, short sword erect in right hand, spear and round shield in left hand, base flanked on each side by a flaming altar, no date; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $150.00 (€123.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Rabbathmoba-Areopolis, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Rabbathmoba-Areopolis,| |Arabia||AE| |29|
Rabbathmoba (also called Areopolis or Aresopolis), on the Karak plateau, was probably the Biblical Ir-Moab conquered by Alexander Jannaeus. Its ruins are 18 kilometers north of Kerak in Jordan. Rabbath-Moba minted coins during the reigns of the Severan emperors between 193 and 222 A.D.
RY94932. Bronze AE 29, apparently unpublished; Sofaer 7 - 8 var. (obv. legend), SNG ANS 1413 var. (same); Spijkerman p. 265, 14 - 16 var. (same); Rosenberger IV -, F, green patina with highlighting orange earthen deposits, scratches, tight squared flan, weight 13.613 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rabbathmoba (near Kerak, Jordan) mint, 209 - 210 A.D.; obverse AYT K Λ CEΠ CEOVHPOC CEBACTO, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse PABAΘMOUBHNWN TUCH, Tyche standing right, wearing mural crown, her right foot on a river god, long scepter vertical in right hand, small bust in left hand, P-∆ ([year] 104 [of Roman rule]) divided across field; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $150.00 (€123.00)
 


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Laodicea ad Mar, Seleucia and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Diadumenian,| |Mid| |May| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mar,| |Seleucia| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |31|
Laodicea ad Mar (Latakia, Syria) has been inhabited since the second millennium B.C. It was on the Via Maris, a coastal road that ran south from Antioch to Damascus and Beirut. The city was renamed by Seleucus I Nicator in honor of his mother, Laodice and was a major port for the Seleukid Kingdom. Laodicea flourished under Rome and was second only to Antioch in the region. Herod the Great, king of Judaea, furnished Laodicea with an aqueduct, the remains of which stand to the east of the town. The Legio VI Ferrata was probably based in Laodicea.
JD97397. Bronze AE 31, Lindgren-Kovacs 2099, BMC Galatia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Righetti -, aF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, porosity/corrosion, edge split, weight 13.695 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, as caesar, 11 Apr 217 - mid May 218 A.D.; obverse IM M OP ANTONINOS NOB CAES, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right seen from the front; reverse ROMAE FEL, she-wolf right suckling Romulus and Remus; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; very rare; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Petra, Arabia

|Roman| |Arabia|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Petra,| |Arabia||AE| |23|NEW
Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabatean Kingdom, is a famous archaeological site in Jordan's southwestern desert. UNESCO describes Petra as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage." The BBC selected Petra as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die." 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. After the last Nabataean king, Rabbel II, died in 106 A.D., Trajan incorporated Nabataea into the Roman province Arabia Petraea. One of the latest known Nabataean language inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "...This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in which Arabs destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.Treasury
RY94893. Bronze AE 23, Spijkerman pl. 51, 43a (same dies), cf. Sofaer 45 (normal style, legends), BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, SNG Hunterian -, Rosenberger IV -, aVF, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, barbaric style and epigraphy, weak incomplete legends, weight 10.894 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 0o, Petra (Jordan) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 209 A.D.; obverse ANTEINO M AVP - AVTOKRATO (or similar), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, barbaric style; reverse MHTPOΠO A∆P ΠETPO (or similar), Tyche seated left on pile of rocks, extending right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, barbaric style; from the Ray Nouri Collection; very rare; $130.00 (€106.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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