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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


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Heliopolis, Coele-Syria

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The use of perspective is rare on ancient coins!

Heliopolis in Coele-Syria was made a colonia with the rights of the ius Italicum by Septimius Severus in 193. Work on the religious complex at Heliopolis lasted over a century and a half and was never completed. The Temple of Jupiter, the largest religious building in the entire Roman Empire, was dedicated during the reign of Septimius Severus. Today, only six Corinthian columns remain standing. Eight more were shipped to Constantinople under Justinian's orders c. 532 - 537, for his basilica of Hagia Sophia.
RY89044. Bronze AE 25, Sawaya series 22, 294 - 295 (D56/R118); Lindgren III 1271 (same dies); SNG Cop 429; BMC Galatia p. 290, 2; Price-Trell 702, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 11.386 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, emission 5, 209 - 210 A.D.; obverse L SEPTIMIVS SEVERVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse decastyle temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Heliopolitanus, on a high podium, with steps in front, aerial view in perspective from above the left front corner, I O M H (Iovi Optimo Maximo Heliopolitano) above, COL HEL (Colonia Heliopolitana) below; ex John Jencek; $550.00 (€484.00)
 


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

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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; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Gadara, Decapolis, 64 - 63 B.C.

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This type and another similar anonymous year one of Rome type, have traditionally been attributed to Gadara. In 64/3 BC Roman troops under Pompey "liberated" the Greek cities conquered by the Judaean king Alexander Jannaeus. Pompey personally supervised reconstruction in Gadara. Commemorating these events, Gadara established the year 64/3 B.C. as the beginning of a new Pompeian era, replacing the previous Seleukid era. Hoover says the attribution to Gadara is in error; that the fabric and style suggest a mint in southern Syria. For now, at least, we retain the traditional attribution.
RP91034. Bronze AE 23, Meshorer City-Coins 217, Spijkerman 1, Rosenberg IV 1, HGC 10 381 (S), RPC I -, aVF, weight 11.043 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 64 - 63 B.C.; obverse bust of Herakles left, draped with lion's skin, club on left shoulder, anepigraphic; reverse galley ram right, L A / PΩMHS (year 1 of Rome [Pompeian Era]) in two lines above, all within wreath; rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Lot of 5 Roman Provincial Bronze Coins, Nero (2), Titus (1), and Nerva (2), 54 - 98 A.D.

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LT88498. Bronze Lot, 5 Roman provincial coins, Nero (2, Antioch, Syria and Hierocaesaraea, Lydia), Titus (1, Antioch, Syria), Nerva (2 Antioch, Syria), 19.3mm - 25.4mm, F or better, nice coins, Nero with countermark, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch(?)

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"C•A" on the reverse has been interpreted several ways, including Caesaris Auctoritate, Commune Asia, and Caesar Augustus. RPC notes the mint, the meaning of ΛT, and the date are all uncertain. The mint was certainly in Syria, where nearly all examples have been found and the type shares a countermark which otherwise only found on Antioch SC bronzes. ΛT could be the Greek numeral 330, but, if a date, it does not fit any known era for Syria.
RY92807. Bronze AE 22, McAlee 197 (R), RPC I 4106 (26 spec.), BMCRE I 743, Butcher 61 , VF, porosity, some obv die wear, edge crack, weight 6.338 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Syrian mint, 16 Jan 27 B.C. - 19 Aug 14 A.D.; obverse AVGVST TR POT (from upper right), laureate head right; reverse C•A, smaller ΛT above, all within a laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves, the wreath between an inner and outer linear border; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 8 (29-30 Jun 2019), lot 799; rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


16 Roman Provincial Coins of Antioch

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LT87182. 16 Roman provincial coins, mostly or all of Antioch, 20.7mm - 25.9mm, F or better, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, the actual coins in the photograph, no tags or flips, as-is, no returns; $175.00 (€154.00)
 


Lot of 5 Roman Provincial Bronze Coins of Antioch Syria, c. 200 - 250 A.D.

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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. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. 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
LT88499. Bronze Lot, 5 Roman provincial coins of Antioch, Syria, 17.1mm - 23.0mm, Nice VF, desert patinas with highlighting earthen deposits, no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Abila, Decapolis

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Abila in the Decapolis, also known for a time as Seleucia, and ancient Raphana, is now called Quwaylibah, a site occupied by two tells (Tell al-Abila and Tell Umm al-Amad). Tell in Arabic means only "hill." The archaeological connotation of "hill of accumulated debris" in this case does not apply. The city was built over two natural hills on the left bank of Wadi ("valley") Qweilibeh, which is, in fact, delineated by hills and escarpments. The largest site is located amidst verdant agricultural fields near the modern Ain Quweilbeh spring. Roman temples, Byzantine churches and early mosques lie amidst olive groves and wheat fields.
RP91008. Bronze AE 24, RPC IV online T6512 (3 spec.), Sofaer 10, Rosenberger IV 9, Spijkerman 9, SNG ANS -, VF, well centered, tight flan, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 9.675 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 45o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, 162 - 163 A.D.; obverse AYT KAICAP Λ AYPOYHPΩC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CE ABIΛHNW-N I A A I KOI CY (of the people of Seleucia Abila in Coele-Syria), nude Herakles seated left on rocks, right hand resting on grounded club, left hand on rocks behind, ϖKC (year 226) in exergue; rare; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Abila, Decapolis

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Abila in the Decapolis, also known for a time as Seleucia, and ancient Raphana, is now called Quwaylibah, a site occupied by two tells (Tell al-Abila and Tell Umm al-Amad). Tell in Arabic means only "hill." The archaeological connotation of "hill of accumulated debris" in this case does not apply. The city was built over two natural hills on the left bank of Wadi ("valley") Qweilibeh, which is, in fact, delineated by hills and escarpments. The largest site is located amidst verdant agricultural fields near the modern Ain Quweilbeh spring. Roman temples, Byzantine churches and early mosques lie amidst olive groves and wheat fields.
RP91009. Bronze AE 24, RPC IV online T6512 (3 spec.), Sofaer 10, Rosenberger IV 9, Spijkerman 9, SNG ANS -, VF, well centered on tight flan, sage green patina, earthen deposits, weight 11.291 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, 162 - 163 A.D.; obverse AYT KAICAP Λ AYPOYHPΩC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CE ABIΛHNW-N I A A I KOI CY (of the people of Seleucia Abila in Coele-Syria), nude Herakles seated left on rocks, right hand resting on grounded club, left hand on rocks behind, ϖKC (year 226) in exergue; rare; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Antioch, Roman Provincial Syria, c. 47 - 45 B.C., Cleopatra Countermark

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McAlee, The Coins of Roman Antioch, p. 74, note 25 says tetrachalkoi of this time, "...are frequently seen with a countermark on the obverse which was previously described as 'head of Apollo r. in an oval...it now seems likely that the countermark portrays Cleopatra, and was used to mark coins circulating in the Syro-Phoenician territories which were given to her by Mark Antony."
RP93064. Bronze tetrachalkon, cf. McAlee 46 - 50, Butcher 15 - 17, RPC I 4219 - 4221, HGC 9 1367, DCA 392; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25; Butcher 18, VF, reverse flat spot opposite countermark, weight 12.469 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 47 - 45 B.C.; countermark: c. 36 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust of Cleopatra right in an incuse oval; reverse Zeus Nicephorus enthroned left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs, Nike offering wreath in his right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, thunderbolt above, uncertain Pompeian Era date below, MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ downward on left, ANTIOCEΩN / THΣ in two downward lines on right, all within laurel wreath; $130.00 (€114.40)
 




  



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Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
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Roman Decapolis, Syria and Arabia