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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.

Valens, 28 March 364 - 9 August 378 A.D.

|Valens|, |Valens,| |28| |March| |364| |-| |9| |August| |378| |A.D.||solidus|
Valens ruled the Eastern Roman Empire from the Danube to the Persian border. He allowed Goths, who were driven from their home by the Huns, to settle in the Danube provinces. The Goths were so badly treated by Romans that they rebelled. Valens was defeated and killed by the Goths at the battle of Hadrianople.
SH94513. Gold solidus, RIC IX Antioch 2(c)i3, Depeyrot 30/2, SRCV V 19566, Cohen VIII 32, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, bumps, marks, scratches, slight bend, weight 4.345 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Oct 367 - end 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENS PER F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, vexillum with cross on flag in right hand, Victory standing on globe presenting wreath in left hand, ANTS (S recut over Z) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $1250.00 SALE |PRICE| $1125.00
 


Volusian, c. November 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

|Volusian|, |Volusian,| |c.| |November| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
RS93314. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 224(a) (R), RSC IV 2b, SRCV III 9738, Hunter III - (p. cviii), VF, attractive style, well centered, darkened bronze and turquoise encrustations, flan cracks, weight 2.800 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch mint, 252 A.D.; obverse IMP C V AF GAL VOLVSIANO AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, three pellets below; reverse ADVENTVS AVG (arrival of the Emperor), Trebonianus Gallus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, paludamentum flying behind, horse's right foreleg raised; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D., Antioch, Syria, Civic Christian Persecution Issue

|Antioch|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria,| |Civic| |Christian| |Persecution| |Issue||quarter| |follis|
In 311, after the death of Galerius in late April or May, representatives from Nicomedia presented themselves before Maximinus, bringing images of their gods and requested that Christians not be allowed to live in their city. Late in 311, an embassy from Antioch, led by their curator Theotecnus, also requested permission to banish Christians from their city and its territory. Other cities followed with the same request. Maximinus support for Antioch's requests is advertised by this coin type. Fearing his co-emperors, however, Maximinus changed his mind. His edict in May 313 restored privileges and property to Christians. Later in 313, Licinius captured Antioch and executed Theotecnus.
RL93284. Billon quarter follis, McAlee 171(d), Van Heesch 2, Vagi 2955, SRCV IV 14932, gVF, dark patina, earthen highlighting deposits, weight 1.560 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 - May 313 A.D.; obverse IOVI CONS-ERVATORI, Jupiter seated left, globe in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left, ∆ in right field, ANT in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules
RA89689. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1616i, RSC IV 1320d, SRCV III 10415, RIC V-1 S673 var. (draped and cuirassed not listed), Choice EF, sharp detail, excellent centering, toned silvering, weight 3.843 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 264 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTI (to the valor of the Emperor), Hercules standing right, right hand on hip, left hand holding lion skin and resting on a club set on rock, star in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RB93239. Billon follis, RIC VI Antiochia 55b, SRCV IV 14380, Cohen VII 78, Hunter V 58 var. (4th officina), Choice gVF, well centered, attractive brown patina, weight 10.442 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 300 - 301 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ANT in exergue, K in left field, E / V in right field; attractive chocolate patina; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

|Constantine| |II|, |Constantine| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |March| |or| |April| |340| |A.D.||centenionalis|
In 327, construction of the Domus Aurea, the cathedral of Antioch, began on an island between two branches of the Orontes River, where the Imperial Palace was located. It was dedicated on 6 January 341, in the presence of Constans, Constantius II and ninety-seven bishops. In the following centuries, it was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and fires and rebuilt. It was finally destroyed in 588 after a major earthquake left the dome resting on a pile of rubble. Today the site of the cathedral is uncertain.
RL89942. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 54 (R3), SRCV IV 17203, Cohen VII 83, LRBC I 1325, Hunter V -, Choice aVF, well centered, weight 2.194 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse CONSTAN/TINVS / CAESAR / SMANTA (in four lines), star above; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Upon his father's capture by Parthia, Gallienus assumed the throne and began numerous reforms and military campaigns against usurpers and barbarians. He presided over a late flowering of Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists, and philosophers. He was assassinated while besieging Milan.
RA93319. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1566d (Antioch), SRCV III 10397 (Antioch), RIC V-1 300 (Viminacium), AHG 234, Cohen V 1196, Hunter IV -, VF, nice portrait, flow lines, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, minor encrustations, some die wear, weight 3.693 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 254 - 255 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped bust right; reverse VICTORIAE AVGG (victories of the two emperors), soldier standing right, vertical spear in right hand, resting left on shield; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT92754. Billon follis, RIC VI Antiochia 164b, SRCV IV 14840, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V 91, Choice aEF, well centered, dark patina, traces of silvering, slightest porosity, weight 4.715 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genio standing left, nude but for paludamentum over shoulders and left arm, radiate head of Sol in extended right hand, cornucopia in left, * in left field, S in right field, ANT in exergue; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


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

|Trebonianus| |Gallus|, |Trebonianus| |Gallus,| |June| |or| |July| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In Roman Coins and their Values III, David Sear notes, "Under Trebonianus Gallus the fineness of the antoninianus is generally around 35% whilst the average weight is about 3.4 grams."
RS93263. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 2e, RIC IV 79 (S), Hunter III 56, SRCV III 9622, VF, toned, uneven strike with parts of legends unstruck, weight 3.178 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 251 - 252 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, two pellets below; reverse ADVENTVS AVG (arrival of the Emperor), Emperor on horseback left, paludamentum on shoulders flying behind, raising right hand in salute, transverse scepter in left hand, two pellets in exergue; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Oriens is Latin for "east." Literally, it means "rising" from orior, "rise." The use of the word for "rising" to refer to the east (where the sun rises) has analogs from many languages: compare the terms "Levant" (French levant "rising"), "Anatolia" (Greek anatole), "mizrahi" in Hebrew (from "zriha" meaning sunrise), "sharq" in Arabic, and others. The Chinese pictograph for east is based on the sun rising behind a tree and "The Land of the Rising Sun" to refers to Japan. Also, many ancient temples, including the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, were built with their main entrances facing the East. To situate them in such a manner was to "orient" them in the proper direction. When something is facing the correct direction, it is said to have the proper "orientation."
RS93268. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1698b2 (Samosata), RSC IV 705a, Hunter IV 71, SRCV III 10298 (uncertain Syrian mint), RIC V-1 J445 (S, Antioch), gVF, toned, flow lines, obverse well centered, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.934 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Syrian mint, 259 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, pellet below back; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun of the Emperor), Oriens and Gallienus standing facing, heads turned confronted; Oriens on left, wearing turreted crown, offering wreath to Gallienus on right, spear vertical in left hand, wreath above; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
 




  



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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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