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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.

Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 13 - 14 A.D., The "Star of Bethlehem Coin"

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |13| |-| |14| |A.D.,| |The| |"Star| |of| |Bethlehem| |Coin"||AE| |20|
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem."
RY09127. Bronze AE 20, McAlee 99; RPC I 4269; SNG Cop 98; BMC Galatia p. 159, 65, VF, weight 6.32 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Legatus Augusti Pro Praetore Silanus, 13 - 14 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse EΠI ΣIΛANOY ANTIOCEΩN, ram running right, looking back, star above, ∆M (year 44 Actian Era) below; SOLD


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||as|
Gaius Licinius Mucianus (named on this coin) was governor of Syria. When he failed to put down the Jewish revolt, Vespasian was sent to replace him. After the death of Galba, Mucianus and Vespasian both swore allegiance to Otho. Mucianus persuaded Vespasian to take up arms against Vitellius, who had seized the throne. They agreed Vespasian would settle affairs in the East, while Mucianus made would attack Vitellius. On his way to Rome, Mucianus defeated a Dacian invasion of Moesia. Mucianus reached Rome the day after Vitellius' death. Mucianus never wavered in his allegiance to Vespasian and was appointed consul for the third time in 72. As no mention is made of Mucianus during the reigns of Titus or Domitian, he probably died during the reign of Vespasian.
RP85562. Bronze as, McAlee 319 (ex. rare, same dies), cf. RPC 4316 (not specifying obverse legend direction), aVF, nice portrait, dark patina with buff earthen highlighting, spots of light corrosion, obverse legend mostly weak or off flan, weight 11.757 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 15 Jan 69 - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse [IMP M OT]-HO - [CAE AVG] (counterclockwise from upper left), head laureate right, dot in field behind; reverse EΠI / MOYKIA/NOY AN/TIOXEΩ/N ET ZIP (legate Mucianus, of Antioch, year 117) in five lines within a linear circle in a laurel wreath; this variant with a counterclockwise obverse legend is extremely rare; ex Gemini auction XIII (6 Apr 2017), lot 158, ex Jyrki Muona Collection; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Coele-Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Coele-Syria||tetradrachm|
SH21683. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 1163, superb EF, weight 13.375 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 209 - 211 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI CEOVHPOC CE, laureate and draped bust right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC TO Γ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 3rd time), eagle standing facing, looking left, wreath in beak, star between legs; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Most biblical scholars believe Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C.
SH08019. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 180, Prieur 50, RPC I 4151, BMC Galatia -, EF, beautiful high relief portrait boldly struck with sharp dies, weight 14.97 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 5 B.C.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head right; reverse ETOYΣ ϖK NIKHΣ (year 26 Actian victory era), Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm branch, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, YΠA monogram and IB (12th consulship) over ANT (Antioch) monogram in the right field; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
In 5 A.D., Agrippina the Elder married Germanicus, her second cousin; and Livilla married Drusus Julius Caesar, Tiberius' son.
SH75367. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 187; Prieur 57; RPC I 4158; BMC Galatia p. 169, 147; SGICV 107; Cohen DCA 401, VF, masterpiece portrait, weight 15.028 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 5 - 6 A.D.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, Augustus laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠOΛEΩΣ, city goddess seated on rock, palm in right, river-god Orontes swimming right below, ςΛ (year 36 Actian era) above, ANT (Antioch) monogram and ∆N (year 54 Caesarian era) right; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria

|Augustus|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
In 2 B.C. Augustus was proclaimed Pater Patriae (father of the country) by the Roman Senate. The title was the logical consequence and final proof of Augustus' supreme position as princeps, the first in charge over the Roman state. His personal life did not go so well. His daughter, Julia the Elder, was exiled to Pandateria on charges of treason and adultery; her mother Scribonia accompanied her.
SH76295. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 185; Prieur 55; RPC I 4156; BMC Galatia p. 168, 144; Cohen DCA 400, VF, excellent portrait, well centered, dark hoard toning, light porosity, weight 14.642 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 2 - 1 B.C.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head right; reverse ETOYΣ Λ NIKHΣ (year 30 Actian victory era), Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm branch, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, YΠA monogram IΓ (13th consulship) over ANT (Antioch) monogram in the right field; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |26|
Laodikea 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. Laodikea flourished under Rome and was second only to Antioch in the region. Herod the Great, king of Judaea, furnished Laodikea with an aqueduct, the remains of which stand to the east of the town. The Legio VI Ferrata was probably based in Laodicea.
SH71299. Bronze AE 26, cf. RPC Online 8590; SNG Cop 349, BMC Galatia 66, SNG Munchen 912, SNG Hunterian II 3202 (all with date in right field, vice end of legend), Choice aEF, weight 9.345 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 140 - 141 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAI TI AI A∆PI ANTΩNEINO, laureate and draped bust left, from behind; reverse IOYΛIEN TΩN KAI ΛAO∆IKEΩN HΠP, turreted and draped bust of Tyche left; ΦO before neck; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Laodicea ad Mar, Syria

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mar,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
Laodicea ad Mar was founded by Seleukos Nikator. The 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.
RY10731. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 1149, Choice EF, weight 14.59 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 208 - 209 A.D.; obverse AYT•KAI• - CEOYHPOC• - •CE•, laureate and draped bust right seen from the front; reverse DHMARX•EΞ•YΠATOC•TO•Γ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 3rd time), eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, star between legs; SOLD


Seleukeia Pieria, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 99 - 98 B.C.

|Syria|, |Seleukeia| |Pieria,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |99| |-| |98| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Seleucia Pieria, also known in English as Seleucia by the Sea, was the capital of Seleucus I Nicator, in Syria Prima. The city was built, slightly to the north of the estuary of the river Orontes, between small rivers on the western slopes of the Coryphaeus, one of the southern summits of the Amanus Mountains. The Macedonians called the landscape Pieria, after a district in their homeland that was also between the sea and the Olympus mountains.
SH79675. Silver tetradrachm, Callatay Production p. 74; HGC 9 1382; Cohen DCA 697; BMC Galatia p. 271, 18 var. (rev. Γ vice Θ); SNG Cop -, EF, very light rose toning, tight flan, obverse die wear, light marks, weight 14.971 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia Pieria mint, 99 - 98 B.C.; obverse turreted and veiled head of Tyche right, wearing earring, bead and reel border; reverse ΣEΛEYKEIAΣ / THΣ IEPAΣ / KAI / AYTONOMOY, fulmen (thunderbolt), taenia (ribbon) and cushions on the pulvinar (symbolic empty throne) of Zeus, AI (year 11) between the legs Θ lower inner right; all within a laurel wreath; ex Hess Divo auction 327 (22 Oct 2014), lot 65; ex Freeman & Sear stock list 8 (2003), lot 197; rare; SOLD


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

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antioch,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Syria,| |Autumn| |48| |-| |Autumn| |47| |B.C.,| |Cleopatra| |Countermark||tetrachalkon|
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."
CM25063. Bronze tetrachalkon, McAlee 43; RPC I 4216; BMC Galatia p. 155, 35; Cohen DCA 384; HGC 9 1366; SNG Cop -; countermark: McAlee p. 74, note 25, VF/F, countermark VF, weight 14.149 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Autumn 48 - Autumn 47 B.C.; c/m: c. 36 - 30 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust of Cleopatra right in an incuse oval; reverse ANTIOXEΩN THΣ MHTPOΠOΛΩΣ, 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; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

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