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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.

Pescennius Niger, April to 1 June 193 - March, April or May 194 A.D.

|Pescennius| |Niger|, |Pescennius| |Niger,| |April| |to| |1| |June| |193| |-| |March,| |April| |or| |May| |194| |A.D.||denarius|
Pescennius Niger was declared emperor by his troops after the murder of Pertinax. Septimius Severus, after consolidating his own forces and taking Rome, marched upon Niger and defeated him three times. After a fourth in a final defeat at Issus, Niger fled towards Parthia but was overtaken and executed.
SH99218. Silver denarius, RIC IV 5b (R3) var. (BONI EVENTVS), BMCRE V 299 var. (same), RSC III 10b var. (same), Hunter III 2 var. (same), SRCV II 6102 var. (same), aVF, toned, off center, light deposits, porosity, small edge splits, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Apr/1 Jun 193 - Mar/May 194 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES C PESC NIGER IVST AVG, laureate head right; reverse BONI EVENT (sic), Bonus Eventus or Fides standing half left, head left, raising plate of fruit in right in right hand, two stalks of grain downward in left hand; ex Noble Numismatics auction 121 (20 Jul 2019), lot 4796; ex Dr. C. Haymes Collection; ex Spink & Sons; unpublished variety of very rare type; $1000.00 SALE PRICE $900.00


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|NEW
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; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||centenionalis|
Constantine reorganized the Roman army to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers - the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians - even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the turmoil of the previous century.
RL99323. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 78, LRBC I 1345, SRCV IV 16269, Cohen VII 454, Choice VF, nice portrait, flow lines, weight 3.109 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, rosette-diademed head right, square "rosettes"; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, star above, no door, no pellet in gateway, SMANTΓ in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.

|Maurice| |Tiberius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Maurice| |Tiberius,| |13| |August| |582| |-| |22| |November| |602| |A.D.||follis|NEW
Tiberius II and Maurice both issued similar folles of this type. Tiberius II has a cross on his crown; Maurice has a trefoil ornament. Also, the obverse legends for Tiberius II are mostly recognizable, the obverse legends for Maurice are completely blundered illiterate nonsense, as on this coin. Many older references failed to distinguish between them.
BZ99034. Bronze follis, DOC I 163b, Morrisson BnF 7/An/AE/30, Wroth BMC 173, Sommer 7.63, Hahn MIB II 96C, SBCV 533, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, nice dark green patina, weight 11.502 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch as Theoupolis (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 592 - 593 A.D.; obverse d N mAUΓI - CN P AUT, bust facing, crown with trefoil ornament, consular robes, mappa in right, eagle-tipped scepter in left; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and X/I (regnal year 11), cross above, Γ (3rd officina) below, THEUP' (Theoupolis) in exergue; $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|
The officina number is expressed as E∆ (5 + 4 = 9) because Θ, theta, the Greek numeral nine, was considered unlucky. Theta (Θ), was used as an abbreviation for Thanatos (death) and used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians voting for the death penalty. Also, after a funeral "Nine Days of Sorrow" were solemnly observed by the Roman family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RL94868. Billon follis, Hunter V 68 (also 9th officina), SRCV IV 14845, Cohen VII 47, RIC VI Antiochia 147c var. (no crescent), Choice VF, well centered, black patina with highlighting red earthen "desert patina", weight 6.809 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO EXERCITVS (to the guardian spirit of the army), 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, flaming altar at feet on left, crescent horns up upper left, E over ∆ (5+4=9) right, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||light| |maiorina|
The reverse legend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!"
RL99001. Billon light maiorina, Hunter V 125 (also 8th officina), RIC VIII Antioch 132, LRBC 2625, SRCV V 18171, Cohen VII 46, VF, green patina, centered on a tight flan, light earthen deposits, porous, weight 4.549 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Soldier standing left in military attire, shield on left arm, spearing diademed and bearded fallen horseman turned to face him and raising arm, Γ (control) in upper left field, ANH in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL99008. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 37, LRBC I 1372, SRCV V 17488, Voetter 33, Cohen VII 760, Hunter V -, gVF, well centered, scattered minor pitting, weight 1.571 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, star above, SMANE in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.||post-reform| |radiate|
In theory, the Roman Empire was not divided by the dual imperium of Diocletian and Maximian. Each emperor had his own court, army, and official residences, but these were matters of practicality, not substance. Imperial propaganda insisted on a singular and indivisible Rome, a patrimonium indivisum. Legal rulings were given and imperial celebrations took place in both emperors' names, and the same coins were issued in both parts of the empire. Diocletian sometimes issued commands to Maximian's province of Africa; Maximian could presumably have done the same for Diocletian's territory.
RL94844. Copper post-reform radiate, RIC VI Antiochia 62a, SRCV IV 12835, Cohen VI 34, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, heavy earthen deposits, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Diocletian holding scepter, standing left, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter holding spear, crescent over S in center, ANT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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

|Antioch|, |Nerva,| |18| |September| |96| |-| |25| |January| |98| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Syria||AE| |27|
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
RY94883. Bronze AE 27, McAlee 421(c); RPC Online III 3481(8 spec.); Butcher 186; Wruck 128; SNG Hunter 2906, BMC Galatia -, aF, thick earthen deposits, some corrosion, weight 12.786 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Jan - Sep 97 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR NER-VA AVG III COS, laureate head right; reverse large S C (senatus consulto), Γ (3rd officina) below, all within laurel wreath closed at the top with an annulet; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RT97968. Billon follis, Hunter V 197 (10th officina), RIC VII Antioch 8 (R3), SRCV IV I5244, Cohen VII 108, EF/VF, sharp portrait, bumps, flan crack, slightest porosity on reverse, edge crack, weight 3.025 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 10th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 313 - 314 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulders, Victory on globe in right offering wreath, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle at feet with wreath in beak, wreath over I over III in right field, ANT in exergue; ραρε; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00 ON RESERVE




  



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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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