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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Antioch||View Options:  |  |  |   

Antioch, Syria (Antakiyah, Turkey)

Because of Egypt's isolated position, Antioch was a more suitable capital for the eastern empire than Alexandria, and to some extent the Roman emperors tried to make the city an eastern Rome. They built a great temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, a forum, a theater, a circus, baths and aqueducts. The city was, however, repeatedly damaged by earthquakes. Edward Gibbon wrote of Antioch: "Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capital of the East." Antioch was, paradoxically, also an important hub of early Christianity. The city had a large population of Jews and so attracted the earliest missionaries; including Peter, Barnabas, and also Paul during his first missionary journey. Antioch's converts were the first to be called Christians. Late in 311, an embassy from Antioch presented themselves before Maximinus and requested permission to banish Christians from their city. Maximinus initially agreed, but in May 313 restored privileges and property to Christians. Antioch struck coins for provincial Syria before becoming and imperial mint. Imperial mint dates of operation: 217 - 611 A.D. Mintmarks: AN, ANT, ANTOB, SMAN.

Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
This type is unpublished in the standard references, but we have handled another and we know of two more specimens from auctions. The style is certainly eastern and it was probably struck at the Antioch mint.
RS111585. Silver denarius, RIC IV 278 (S) var. (Antioch, EXERCIT, no bird); RSC IV 48 (same); BMCRE VI 1071 (irregular, EXERCIV, no bird) SRCV II -, Hunter III -, VF, tight flan, slightly off center, uneven toning, porous, flan crack, weight 2.589 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch or irregular mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse FIDES EXERCITVS (the loyalty of the army), Fides seated left on high backed throne, bird in right hand, flanked by two standards; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 986 (part of); unpublished, very rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00


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; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |286| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
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
RT110027. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Antiochia 54b, SRCV IV 13275, Cohen VII 184, Hunter V 95 var. (3rd officina), Choice EF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 10.441 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 300 - 301 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libation from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, K - V divided across lower fields, A upper right, ANT in exergue; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Eudoxia, Augusta 9 January 400 - Early October 404 A.D., Wife of Arcadius

|Eudoxia|, |Eudoxia,| |Augusta| |9| |January| |400| |-| |Early| |October| |404| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Arcadius||centenionalis|
The Christogram (also called a Monogramma Christi or Chrismon) is a ligature of Chi (X) and Rho (P), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. It was among the earliest symbols of Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
RL110194. Bronze centenionalis, Hunter V 4 (also 3rd officina), RIC X Arcadius 104 (S), LRBC II 2800, DOCLR 288, SRCV V 20895, VF, dark green patina, earthen encrustation, weight 3.216 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 135o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 401 - 403 A.D.; obverse AEL EVDOXIA AVG, diademed and draped bust right with hand of God holding wreath over her head; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Victory seated right on cuirass, inscribing Christogram on shield resting on cippus, ANTΓ in exergue; scarce; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||centenionalis|
After the defeat of Maximus, Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius' trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces (except Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, he even murdered Harmonius, Valentinian's friend, suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast. The latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was openly displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained that the emperor's death was suicide. Most sources agree, however, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Valentinian's Christian beliefs make suicide unlikely.
RL112089. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(d)3, LRBC II 2690, cf. SRCV V 20308 (controls), Hunter V 48 (same), VF, nice desert patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.624 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, helmeted, left leg bare, globe in right hand, reversed spear in left hand, Θ (control) left, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great

|Fausta|, |Fausta,| |Augusta,| |8| |November| |324| |-| |Autumn| |326| |A.D.,| |Second| |Wife| |of| |Constantine| |the| |Great||centenionalis|
Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."
RL112542. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch p. 689, 69 (R5); LRBC I 1343; SRCV IV 16580; Cohen VII 17; Hunter V -, gF, centered on a tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 3.375 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX - FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIP-VBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II in her arms, SMANTH in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 129 (4 Jun 2023), lot 1002 (part of); rare; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|NEW
Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
RA112755. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1617e; RSC IV 1235a; RIC V-1 p. 189, S667; SRCV III 10402 var. (obv. leg.); Hunter IV - (p. lxix), gVF, near centered on an oval flan, bumps, scratches, areas of weak strike, weight 3.489 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing half left, head left, helmeted and wearing military garb, resting right hand on grounded oval shield, vertical spear with point up in left hand, star left; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

|Valentinian| |II|, |Valentinian| |II,| |17| |November| |375| |-| |15| |May| |392| |A.D.||centenionalis|
After the defeat of Maximus, Valentinian and his court were installed at Vienne, Gaul. Theodosius' trusted general, the Frank Arbogast, was appointed magister militum for the Western provinces (except Africa) and guardian of Valentinian. Acting in the name of Valentinian, Arbogast was actually subordinate only to Theodosius. Arbogast's domination over the emperor was considerable, he even murdered Harmonius, Valentinian's friend, suspected of taking bribes, in the emperor's presence. The crisis reached a peak when Arbogast prohibited the emperor from leading the Gallic armies into Italy to oppose a barbarian threat. Valentinian, in response, formally dismissed Arbogast. The latter ignored the order, publicly tearing it up and arguing that Valentinian had not appointed him in the first place. The reality of where the power lay was openly displayed. Valentinian wrote to Theodosius and Ambrose complaining of his subordination to his general. On 15 May 392, Valentinian was found hanged in his residence in Vienne. Arbogast maintained that the emperor's death was suicide. Most sources agree, however, that Arbogast murdered him with his own hands, or paid the Praetorians. Valentinian's Christian beliefs make suicide unlikely.
RL112090. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(d)3, LRBC II 2690, cf. SRCV V 20308 (controls), Hunter V 48 (same), Choice F, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.082 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, helmeted, left leg bare, globe in right hand, reversed spear in left hand, Θ (control) left, ANTΓ in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
After Probus left 400,000 barbarians dead in the fields of Germany and Gaul, all the tribes of the north were terrified to peace. He then marched east, defeating the Blemmyes with tremendous slaughter. Knowing he was next, the Persian king sued for peace and attempted to buy Probus' favor with splendid presents. Probus was dining upon the most common food when the ambassadors were introduced. Without even casting his eyes upon them, he said that if their master did not give proper satisfaction to Rome, he would lay Persia as desolate and as naked as the crown of his head. As he spoke the Emperor took off his cap and showed the baldness of his head to the ambassadors. His conditions were gladly accepted. Thus Probus earned the title Restitutor Orbis or "Restorer of the World."
RL94812. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 334 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 925C; Cohen VI 509; Pink VI, 2nd emission, p. 40; SRCV III 12021, VF, dark patina, heavy earthen deposits, weight 3.220 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORBIS (to the restorer of the world), woman on left, standing right, presenting wreath to Probus; Probus on right, standing left, globe in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, Γ in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In 280, Julius Saturninus, the governor of Syria, was made emperor by his troops. Probus besiege him at Apamea, where he was captured and executed.
RL94811. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 347C (also 5th officina); RIC V-2 921; SRCV III 11960; Cohen VI 87; Pink VI-1, p. 40, 2, aVF, well centered, heavy earthen deposits, porosity, weight 3.771 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Probus on left, standing right, in military garb, transverse eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, receiving globe from Jupiter with right hand, Jupiter on right, standing left, nude but for cloak, long scepter vertical in left hand, offering globe with right hand, E in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00




  



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REFERENCES|

Huvelin, H. "L'atelier d'Antioche sous Claude II" in NAC XIX (1990), pp. 251-271.
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
Van Heesch, J. "The last civic coinages and the religious policy of Maximinus Daza (AD 312)" in Numismatic Chronicle 1993, pp. 65 - 75, pl. 11.

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