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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|
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS96928. Silver denarius, RIC IV 298 var. (star rev. left), RSC III 535c var. (same), BMCRE VI 1014 var. (same); SRCV II 7926 var. (same), Hunter III -, VF, superb portrait, light toning, flow lines, spotty dark deposits, die wear, off center, flan split/cracks, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS PVBLICA (health of the public), Salus seated left on throne, feeding snake coiling up from altar from patera in right hand, left elbow resting on throne; Salus without star from Antioch (limited 223 A.D. issue) is missing from all the primary references but we know of a few other specimens from auctions; very rare; $170.00 (139.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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
RA93339. Billon antoninianus, Hunter V 344 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 922; Cohen VI 99; Pink p. 40, emission 2; SRCV III 11961, gVF, much silvering remains, full legends, unusually crude portrait, flow lines, rev. die wear, weight 3.300 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), emperor standing right, short scepter in left hand, receiving Victory on globe presenting wreath from Jupiter, Jupiter standing left, holding long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Γ in center, XXI in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 (73.80)


Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

|Numerian|, |Numerian,| |February| |or| |March| |283| |-| |October| |or| |November| |284| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Virtus was a specific virtue in ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths (from Latin vir, "man"). Virtus applied exclusively to a man's behavior in the public sphere, that is to the application of duty to the res publica in the cursus honorum. Private business was no place to earn virtus, even when it involved courage or feats of arms or other good qualities. There could be no virtue in exploiting one's manliness in the pursuit of personal wealth, for example. It was thus a frequently stated virtue of Roman emperors and was personified as the deity Virtus.
RA93345. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 378 (S); Cohen VI 115; SRCV III 12225; Pink p. 55, emission 2; Hunter IV 14 var. (9th officina), VF, well centered, highlighting light deposits and encrustations, scattered porosity, minor edge flaw, weight 3.946 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as Caesar, Nov/Dec 282 - Feb/Mar 283 A.D; obverse IMP C M AVR NVMERIANVS NOB C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGGG (valor of the three emperors), emperor, on left, standing right, scepter in left hand, with right hand receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter (or Carus), Jupiter (or Carus) standing left, offering Victory on globe with right hand, long scepter in left hand, star above center, Z low center, XXI in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 (73.80)


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

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||reduced| |follis|
The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "Jupiter the Protector of the Two Emperors." The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own. 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 was therefore the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RL93366. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII Antioch 24 (R5) var. (2nd officina not listed), SRCV IV 15238 var. (same), Hunter V -, Cohen VII -, VF, reverse double struck, thin flan, minor encrustations, light corrosion, flan crack, weight 2.157 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 316 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate consular bust left, mappa in right hand, globe and scepter in left hand; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak on left shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in his right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, star left, B right, ANT in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $90.00 (73.80)


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; $90.00 (73.80)


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; $80.00 (65.60)


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.
RL94821. Billon antoninianus, Hunter V 327 (also second officina); RIC V-2 922; Cohen VI 99; Pink p. 40, emission 2; SRCV III 11961, Choice VF, nice portrait, well centered, heavy highlighting earthen deposits, reverse die wear, weight 4.067 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Probus on left, standing right, in military garb, scepter in left hand, receiving Victory on globe presenting wreath from Jupiter with right hand, Jupiter on right, standing left, nude but for cloak, long scepter vertical in left hand, B in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $80.00 (65.60)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.
RL94806. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 337 (also 7th officina); RIC V-2 925; Cohen VI 509; Pink VI, 2nd emission, p. 40; SRCV III 12021, VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, porous, marks, weight 3.783 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 7th 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 presenting wreath to Emperor standing left holding globe and scepter, Z in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 (57.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.
RL94810. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 925; Cohen VI 509; Pink VI, 2nd emission, p. 40; SRCV III 12021; cf. Hunter IV 340 (...P F AVG), gF, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, broad flan, weight 3.810 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd 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 presenting wreath to Emperor standing left holding globe and scepter, B in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 (57.40)


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.
RL94827. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 922; Cohen VI 99; Pink p. 40, emission 2; SRCV III 11961; Hunter V 344 var. (3rd officina), gF, dark patina, well centered, weight 3.703 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CLEMENTIA TEMP (time of peace and calm), Probus on left, standing right, in military garb, scepter in left hand, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter with right hand, Jupiter on right, standing left, nude but for cloak, long scepter vertical in left hand, B in center, XXI in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $70.00 (57.40)




  



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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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