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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.

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 (Tadmur, Syria) 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 SALE PRICE $216.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
There are many control symbol variations for Philip I tetradrachms, some are identified as lifetime issues, some as posthumous, and some as imitatives, including posthumous imitatives struck by the Romans. None of the published variations list this ∆I monogram exergue control symbol, without any other symbols outer left or inner left. Houghton-Lorber II 2464 is most similar, with this type of portrait and no controls left, but only N, Π and T exergue controls are listed. Also, this coin was part of a Leu auction lot that included other specimens of Houghton-Lorber II 2464 all in very similar condition, indicating the coins may have been found together.
GY97102. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished control monogram; Houghton-Lorber II 2464 var. (control); SNG Spaer 2817 var. (control); HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, aVF, field cracks, weight 15.244 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, below throne, ∆I monogram (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); unpublished control variant of a rare type; $250.00 SALE PRICE $200.00
 


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 SALE PRICE $162.00
 


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Antioch|, |Trebonianus| |Gallus,| |June| |or| |July| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
The last regular tetradrachms minted at Antioch were struck during Gallus' second consulate. Prieur notes, "It is highly likely that the debasement of these issues made them so unreliable in the eyes of the public that a new system had to be developed. Since a system based on the antoninianus already existed in the western part of the empire, it naturally replaced the tetradrachm in the East."
RY97234. Billon tetradrachm, RPC IX Online 1822 (9 spec.); McAlee 1176(a) (scarce); Prieur 671; BMC Galatia p. 228, 649; SNG Munich 103; Dura Coins 590, gVF, nice portrait, flow lines, debased coppery surfaces with only traces of silver, part of obverse legend unstruck, scattered porosity, weight 11.543 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 135o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, second issue, 252 - 253 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K Γ OYIB TPEB ΓAΛΛOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind, • below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠATO B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 2nd time), eagle standing slightly right, head and tail left, wings open, wreath in beak, A between legs, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


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 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


Antioch, Roman Provincial Syria, Fall 48 - Spring 47 B.C., Cleopatra Countermark

|Antioch|, |Antioch,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Syria,| |Fall| |48| |-| |Spring| |47| |B.C.,| |Cleopatra| |Countermark||AE| |24|
From McAlee, The Coins of Roman Antioch, p. 74, note 25: "The coins of this year (Pompeian Era 19 = 48/7 BC) and of Year 3 of the Caesarean Era are frequently seen with a countermark on the obverse, which was previously described as "head of Apollo r." in an oval. As discussed in the text, 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."
RP98209. Bronze AE 24, McAlee 43; RPC I 4216; BMC Galatia p. 155, 35; Cohen DCA 384; HGC 9 1366; SNG Cop -; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25, gF, dark brown patina with highlighting red earthen deposits, tight flan, obverse a little off center, flattened opposite of countermark, weight 11.987 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, fall 48 - spring 47 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust of Cleopatra right in an incuse oval; reverse ANTIOXEΩN THΣ MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, Zeus Nicephorus enthroned left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs, Nike offering wreath in his extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, fulmen (thunderbolt) above, cornucopia (control symbol) inner left, IΘ (Pompeian Era year 19) below, all within laurel wreath; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
McAlee interprets ∆ - E as "∆ EΠAPXEIΩN," meaning "of the four eparchies" and 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." McAlee also notes that Severan era coins of Laodicea have a star between the eagles legs, perhaps referring to the beacon of Laodicea's lighthouse.
RY93150. Billon tetradrachm, cf. McAlee 763, Prieur 252 (1 spec.), SNG Righetti 996, SNG München -, aVF, dark brown patina, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, slight porosity, weight 12.296 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 219 A.D.; obverse AVT K M A ANTWNEINOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC TO B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 2nd time), eagle standing facing, wings spread, head and tail right, wreath in beak, ∆ - E flanking above wings, star between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
 


Herennius Etruscus, Early 251 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Antioch|, |Herennius| |Etruscus,| |Early| |251| |-| |First| |Half| |of| |June| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
In 250 the Plague of Cyprian, a pandemic probably smallpox, began. It was still raging in 270 when it claimed the life of emperor Claudius II Gothicus. At the height of the outbreak, 5,000 people a day were said to be dying in Rome. The plague caused widespread manpower shortages in agriculture and the Roman army.
RY97763. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1153b (scarce), RPC Online IX 1715 (11 spec.), Prieur 630, Dura Coins 552, BMC Galatia 614 var. (5th officina), VF, slightly rough, weight 12.615 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 250 - early 251; obverse EPENN ETPOV ME KV ∆EKIOC KECAP, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind, two dots (2nd officina) below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing left on palm frond, wings open, head right, tail left, wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
 


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Gabala, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Gabala,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |24|
Gabula was important enough in the Roman province of Syria Prima to be a Metropolitan Archdiocese in the sway of the Patriarchate of Antioch (the provincial capital Antioch on the Orontes), but was to fade, presumably at the advent of Islam.
RY92570. Bronze AE 24, SNG Cop 316; SNG Hunterian II 3244; Lindgren III 1192; SNG Munchen 835; BMC Galatia p. 246, 20 var. (laureate head), VF, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off much of legends, porous, weight 8.847 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 15o, Gabala (Jableh, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AV K M O C MAKPEINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΓABAΛEWN, Tyche seated left, wearing chiton, peplos and modius, rudder held by tiller on right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria

|Antioch|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria||8| |assaria|
The Tyche of Antioch was a cult statue of the city goddess (fortune) of Antioch, venerated in a temple called the Tychaion. The statue was made by Eutychides of Sicyon (c. 335 - c. 275), a pupil of the great Lysippus. It was the best-known piece of Seleucid art, remarkable because it was sculpted to be viewed from all directions, unlike many statues from the period. Although the original has been lost, many copies exist, including the one in the photograph right, now at the Vatican. The goddess is seated on a rock (Mount Sipylus), has her right foot on a swimming figure (the river Orontes), wears a mural crown (the city's walls), and has grain in her right hand (the city's fertility).Tyche of Antioch
RY94894. Bronze 8 assaria, SNG Hunt 3042 (same obv. die); McAlee 832/2 (same); Butcher 488a; SNG Cop 256 var. (SHC in ex.); BMC Galatia, p. 209, 479 var. (same), aF, attractive for the grade, dark brown toning with green and red earthen highlighting deposits, porosity, weight 17.391 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI MAP AVP CE AΛEΞAN∆POC CEB, laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPO KOΛΩNIAC, Tyche seated left on rocks between standing Tyche, on left, holding rudder and cornucopia, and figure in military dress, on right, crowning the seated Tyche, tiny ∆-E (∆ EΠAPXEIΩN - of the four eparchies) high across field, river god Orontes swimming left between S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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