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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Provincial| ▸ |Roman Syria||View Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Provincial Coins of Syria

In 63 B.C., Syria was incorporated into the Roman Republic as a province following the success of Pompey the Great against the Parthians. In 135 A.D., after the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Roman Syria and Judaea were merged into the province Syria Palaestina. The province Coele-Syria was split from Syria Palaestina in 193. Syria became part of the splinter Palmyrene Empire for a brief period from 260 to 272, when it was restored to Roman central authority. In the 3rd century, with the Severan dynasty, Syrians even achieved imperial power.

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.
RP111713. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 5409; Sear CRI 957 (Syria); AMNG II 29 (Pella), F, dark green patina, weight 18.142 g, maximum diameter 27.4 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; $250.00 (230.00)


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; $145.00 (133.40)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Gadara, Syria Palestina

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Gordian| |III,| |29| |July| |238| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Gadara,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |24|
To end their strong ties and increase dependence on Rome, when Roma annexed Arabia, the ten cities of the Decapolis were distributed among the adjacent Roman provinces. Adraa, Gerasa and Philadelphia went to the province of Arabia; Gadara, Pella and Capitolias seem to have been assigned to Judaea and the northerly cities went to the province of Syria. Still the prestige and honor of being a Decapolis city continued long after it had lost any real meaning.
RP111782. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online VII.2 3624 (9 spec.), Sofaer 102 var. (obv. leg.), Spijkerman 94 var. (same), SNG ANS 1337 var. (same), Rosenberger IV 90 var. (same), gF, dark green patina with lighter highlights, weight 14.205 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 239 - 240 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K MAP ANTW ΓOPΔIANOC CB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse war galley rowing right with navigator in stern, row of oarsmen, captain in prow, ΠΟΜΠ / ΓΑΔΑΡΕ/ΩΝ in three lines above, ΓT (year 303) below; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 484, ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection; $110.00 (101.20)


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Gadara, Decapolis

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Vespasian,| |1| |July| |69| |-| |24| |June| |79| |A.D.,| |Gadara,| |Decapolis||AE| |23|
A round countermark with a head right is common on this type and is identified usually attributed as Howgego 206. Howgego identifies the head as Tyche but notes it may be male and may appear turreted due to an undertype. RPC II notes the heads are not all the same. We believe some do look very much like Tyche-Fortuna and some look very male. This one looks male.
GB111784. Bronze AE 23, Spijkerman 26a (c/m male bust); RPC II 2093; SNG ANS 6 1300; Rosenberger 32; Sofaer 24; countermark: Howgego 206, gF, dark green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, obv. countermark, weight 11.134 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Decapolis, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 71 - 72 A.D.; obverse OYECΠACIANOC KAICAP (clockwise from upper right), laureate head right; countermark: male(?) head right in a round punch; reverse ΓAΔAPA (clockwise on right), Tyche standing left, wreath in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, date LEΛP (year 135) horizontal center left; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 479; ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection; $110.00 (101.20)


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Nerva,| |18| |September| |96| |-| |25| |January| |98| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||as|
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
RY111785. Bronze as, McAlee 421(d); RPC Online III 3482; Butcher CRS 187; SNG Hunterian II 2907; BMC Galatia, p. 182, 261; Wruck 129, aVF, nice portrait green patina, some roughness, slightly off center, weight 12.763 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR NERVA AVG III COS, laureate head right; reverse large S C, small Δ (4th officina) below, all within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; ex CNG e-auction 510 (23 Feb 2022), lot 460; ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection; $100.00 (92.00)


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Samosata, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Samosata,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |21|
Samosata, meaning "sun," was an ancient city whose ruins existed at the modern city of Samsat, Adiyaman Province, Turkey until the site was flooded by the Atatrk Dam. -- wikipedia.org
RP99004. Bronze AE 21, RPC III 3419; SNG Hunt 2590; SNG Munchen 376; SNG Cop Cyprus 17; Butcher p. 470, 12; BMC Galatia p. 118, 22, gVF, dark patina, uneven strike with flat areas, part of edge ragged, light earthen deposits, weight 5.450 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Samosata (site now flooded by the Atatrk Dam) mint, c. 132 - 133 A.D.; obverse AΔPIANOC CEBACTOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear; reverse ΦΛA / CAMO / MHTPO / KOM (Flavia Samosata Metropolis Commagene), inscription in four lines within oak wreath; $90.00 (82.80)


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., 138 - 161 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |138| |-| |161| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |22|
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.
RP111648. Bronze AE 22, cf. SNG Hunter II 2633; RPC Online IV.3 T10693; BMC Galatia p. 124, 1, VF, dark patina, tight flan, some legend unstruck/off flan, weight 9.144 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, obverse ΑΥΤΟ ΚΑΙ ΤΙ Α AΔPIA ANTWNINOC CEB EYC (or similar, obscure), laureate head of Antoninus Pius right; reverse ZEVΓMATΕWN (or similar), temple with four columns; on far side of a wall of two stories and a colonnaded peribolos containing grove, A in right field, all in laurel wreath; $80.00 (73.60)


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 ΔHMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠ B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the second time), eagle standing facing, wings spread, head left, wreath in beak, Δ - E (Δ EΠAPCEIΩN - of the four eparchies) flanking eagle's head, star between legs; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 (64.40)


Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Syria, c. 63 - 48 B.C.

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antioch,| |Seleucia| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |c.| |63| |-| |48| |B.C.||tetrachalkon|
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
RP110082. Bronze tetrachalkon, cf. McAlee 30A ff., RPC I 4203 ff., Butcher CRS 2 ff., HGC 9 1371, BMC Galatia -, aVF, green patina, porosity, light earthen deposits, weight 6.439 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 63 - 48 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse Zeus enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike offering wreath in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in his left hand, ANTIOXEΩN / THΣ in two downward lines on the right, MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ downward on left, Pompeian ear year in exergue (off flan); $60.00 (55.20)


Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Damascus, Coele-Syria

|Other| |Syria|, |Salonina,| |Augusta| |254| |-| |c.| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Damascus,| |Coele-Syria||AE| |24|
Saul (later known as Paul) was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when he was blinded by a light from the presence of Jesus. He spent three days in Damascus, blind, until Jesus sent a disciple named Ananias to Saul. Damascus was the city in which Paul began his work as a great evangelist, teaching people in Asia, Africa and Europe about Jesus.
RP110196. Bronze AE 24, SNG Mnchen 1027; Rosenberger IV p. 33, 63; De Saulcy p. 56, 2; Lindgren 2154; SNG Cop -; BMC Syria , aF, uneven strike with right side weak on obv. and rev. green patina, light earthen deposits, porosity, weight 8.793 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 225o, Damascus mint, 254 - c. Sep 268 A.D.; obverse CORNE SALONA AVG (blundered), draped bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders; reverse COL ΔAMAS METRO, agonistic urn between uncertain objects, all on ornate three-legged table with curved legs; $55.00 (50.60)







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REFERENCES|

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