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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.

Maximinus II Daia, May 310 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |May| |310| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|NEW
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 IMPERATORIS dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Imperators. 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.
RT113201. Billon follis, Hunter V p. 102, 60 (also 6th officina); RIC VI Antiochia p. 636, 133c; Cohen VII p. 147, 55; SRCV IV 14851, Choice gVF, well centered, attractive Syrian desert patina, weight 6.546 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 310 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), 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, altar at feet on left, star upper left, S right, ANT in exergue; from the Michael Arslan Collection, ex Sol Numismatik auction XVI (5 Aug 2023), lot 478; $110.00 (103.40)


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.

|Elagabalus|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
The Battle of Antioch. After Macrinus foolishly cut legionary pay, Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus as emperor on 16 May 218. Macrinus sent cavalry but they too joined Elagabalus. Macrinus finally abandoned his pay cut and paid a bonus, but it was too late. Legion II Parthica defected. General Gannys, the commander of Elagabalus' forces, decisively defeated Macrinus just outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Macrinus shaved off his hair and beard and fled, disguised as a member of the military police. He was recognized by a centurion at Chalcedon on the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
RS113777. Silver denarius, RIC IV 187, BMCRE V 275, RSC III 15, Hunter III 111, SRCV II 7505, gVF, well centered, toned, light deposits, light marks, weight 2.526 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CONCORDIA MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), two military standards between two legionary eagles; ex Jean Elsen auction 155 (16 Jun 2023), lot 1264 (part of); scarce; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00 ON RESERVE


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 (84.60)


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 (75.20)


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 (75.20)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
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 (75.20)


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; $70.00 (65.80)


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 (65.80)


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

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
The officina number is expressed as ΔE (4 + 5 = 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.
RT90838. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Antiochia 82 (S), SRCV IV 14519, Cohen VII 48, Hunter V 42 var. (4th officina), VF/F, well centered, reverse encrusted, weight 6.554 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, early - mid 308 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), 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, Δ - E across fields, ANT in exergue; scarce; $28.00 (26.32)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Antioch|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
"And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." -- Acts 11:26
SH60147. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 902, Prieur 371, EF, weight 11.716 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΔHMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠATO Γ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 3rd time), eagle standing facing, head and tail right, wreath in beak, wings spread, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; grainy areas of light corrosion, areas of mint luster, sharp detail, good portrait; SOLD




  



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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 Monday, December 4, 2023.
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