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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ AntiochView 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.


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D., Judaea Capta Triumph

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On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D., Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date. Upon his arrival in Rome in 71, Titus was awarded a triumph. As depicted in the relief of the imperial triumph on the Arch of Titus in Rome, Titus rode into the city in a quadriga, enthusiastically saluted by the Roman populace and preceded by a lavish parade containing treasures and captives from the war. Josephus describes a procession with large amounts of gold and silver carried along the route, followed by elaborate re-enactments of the war, Jewish prisoners, and finally the treasures taken from the Temple of Jerusalem, including the Menorah and the Pentateuch. Simon Bar Giora was executed in the Forum, after which the procession closed with religious sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. Titus' Triumph

SH89759. Silver denarius, RIC II V1563, BMCRE V521, BnF III V324, RPC II 1935, RSC II 395, Hendin 1493, Hunter I -, VF, toned, tight flan, die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 72 - 73 A.D.; obverse T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT, laureate and draped bust right; reverse no legend, Titus driving right in a quadriga in his 71 A.D. Judaea victory triumph in Rome, branch and reins in right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $400.00 (352.00)


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

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In 5 A.D., Tiberius conquered Germania Inferior. The Germanic Cimbri and Charydes tribes sent ambassadors to Rome.
SH91289. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 187; Prieur 57; RPC I 4158; BMC Galatia p. 169, 147; SGICV 107; Cohen DCA 401, F, dark toning with bright silver areas, weight 14.947 g, maximum diameter 25.6 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, ∆N (year 54 Caesarian era) over (Antioch) monogram right; ex Numismatik Lanz; $360.00 (316.80)


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

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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.
RY89755. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 185; Prieur 55; RPC I 4156; BMC Galatia p. 168, 144; Cohen DCA 400, F, dark toning, rough areas, scratches, weight 10.953 g, maximum diameter 25.1 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 (Antioch) monogram in the right field; $240.00 (211.20)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RA91193. Silvered antoninianus, MER-RIC 4105 (17 spec.), RIC V-1 210, BnF XII 1827, Hunter IV 71, Venra -, Choice EF, full silvering, full border centering, nice portrait, weight 4.455 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, issue 3, Jan - Jun 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Emperor (on left) standing right, holding eagle tipped scepter, receiving globe from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, long scepter vertical in left hand, H in center, XXI in exergue; $220.00 (193.60)


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

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Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528.
BZ91701. Bronze follis, SBCV 533, DOC I 172c, Wroth BMC 196, Tolstoi 184, Sommer 7.63, Morrisson BnF 7/An/AE54, Ratto - (only SBCV lists reversed E), Choice aEF, well centered and well struck, weight 11.112 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 601 - 602 A.D.; obverse D N MAUΓI - CN P AUT (or similar), 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 XX (regnal year 20), cross above, E (reversed) below, THEUP' in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $200.00 (176.00)


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

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Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA91545. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3113, BnF XII 1259, Gbl MIR 353a8, Venra 10809, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Hunter IV -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, traces of silvering, areas of slight porosity, weight 3.437 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, H below, seen from front; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Pegasi Coins; $180.00 (158.40)


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RL88067. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1707e(1) (Samosata), RIC V-1 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95a (Antioch), Hunter IV 12, Cunetio 865 (3 spec.), SRCV III 10775, nice VF, attractive dark tone, porosity, weight 3.111 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Saloninus (on left) standing right, wearing military garb, holding spear, confronting Spes standing left, raising skirt with left hand, presenting flower to prince with right hand, wreath above; $175.00 (154.00)


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

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It seems Felicitas disregarded the reverse of this coin, which was dedicated to her in the hope of promoting the good fortune of the people. In 251 A.D., a fifteen-year plague began in the Roman Empire.
SL89814. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 34, RIC IV 82, SRCV III 9628, Hunter III - (p. cvi), NGC Ch AU, strike 5/5, surface 4/5 (2412807-062), weight 3.58 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, 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; reverse FELICITAS PVBL, Felicitas standing left, turreted, long grounded caduceus vertical in right hand, scepter in left hand; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $170.00 (149.60)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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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, Gbl 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; $160.00 (140.80)


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

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Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA87980. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3103, BnF XII 1241, Gbl MIR 353a2, Hunter IV 5, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Choice gVF, well centered, brown tone, areas of porosity, somewhat ragged edge, weight 3.112 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right, from the front, B below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Vabalathus right, from behind; $135.00 (118.80)




  



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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.

Catalog current as of Sunday, July 21, 2019.
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Antioch