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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.

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

|Tacitus|, |Tacitus,| |25| |September| |275| |-| |June| |276| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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 emperors and kings, 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; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

|Philip| |I|, |Philip| |I| |the| |Arab,| |February| |244| |-| |End| |of| |September| |249| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
RIC and RSC list this type with the reverse legend ending AVGG and note that Cohen describes it as ending AVG in error. Cohen does list this reverse from Antioch, but with a bust left. While the AVG ending is rare, we do know of other examples.
RS92350. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8917, Tulln Hoard 894, vri 7A, Bland 16 (29 spec.), Cohen V 9, RIC IV 82 var. (bust l.); RSC IV 8 var. (same), Hunter III -, EF, excellent portrait, some mint luster, well centered, uneven strike resulting in parts of legends weak, flow lines, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.569 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, mid - end 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AEQVITAS AVG (equity of the emperor), Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00


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|
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; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


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|
Juno was the patron deity of Trebonianus Gallus. The epithet Martialis literally means "of or belonging to Mars" or "warlike," but the depictions of Juno Martialis on the coins are not warlike. The epithet may refer to Juno as the mother of Mars. Or perhaps she is Juno of March - her festival was on 7 March. Perhaps the title refers to her temple in the Campus Martius, the old "Field of Mars" down by the Tiber. She is sometimes equated with Juno Perusina, as Perugia was where Trebonianus Gallus came from, and as such is sometimes called Juno Martialis Perusina by modern scholars.
RS92349. Billon antoninianus, RIC IV 83 (S), Hunter 58 var. (1st officina), RSC IV 47 var. (4th officina), SRCV III -, Choice gVF, well centered, toned, flow lines, small edge crack, weight 4.891 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 251 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, no officina mark; reverse IVNO MARTIALIS (Juno Mother of Mars?), Juno seated left, stalks of grain downward in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, no officina mark; scarce; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


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

|Volusian|, |Volusian,| |c.| |November| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars was a father (pater) of the Roman people. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RS92352. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 219 (R), RSC IV 60, SRCV III 9755, Hunter III - (p. cix), gVF, broad flan, toned, porous, light deposits, weight 4.142 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 195o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 251 - 252 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB VOLVSIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MARTEM PROPVGNATOREM (Mars the defender), Mars striding right, wearing crested helmet and military garb, transverse spear in right hand, oval shield on left arm; rare; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


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

|Vabalathus|, |Palmyrene| |Empire,| |Aurelian| |and| |Vabalathus,| |270| |-| |275| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
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; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


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, 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; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


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

|Constantine| |II|, |Constantine| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |March| |or| |April| |340| |A.D.|, |reduced| |centenionalis|
In 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians. At age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of his half-brother Crispus. Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II initially became emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans, with the Empire divided between them and two of their cousins. This arrangement barely survived Constantine Is death, as his sons arranged the slaughter of most of the rest of the family by the army. The three brothers gathered together in Pannonia and there, on 9 September 337, divided the Roman world among themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania.
RL91853. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 59 (R4), SRCV IV 17203, Cohen VII 83, LRBC I 1325, Hunter V 90 var. (officina), Choice VF, highlighting green patina, weight 2.425 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 330o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, no legend; reverse CONSTAN/TINVS / CAESAR / SMANTH in four lines, star above, pellet below; rare; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00


Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

|Honorius|, |Honorius,| |23| |January| |393| |-| |15| |August| |423| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
The three emperors are Arcadius, Honorius and Theodosius II. Theodosius II, Arcadius' son, is the smaller junior emperor in the center.
RL92090. Bronze centenionalis, RIC X Arcadius 153, DOCLR 774, LRBC II 2802, SRCV V 21011, Cohen VIII 28, Hunter V 44 var. (4th officina), Nice VF, attractive near black patina with red earthen highlighting, well centered on a tight irregularly shaped flan, weight 2.325 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 406 - 1 May 408 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, star left; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), three emperors stand facing, two outer taller with heads toward center, holding spear and resting hand on shield, center holds spear in right and globe in left hand, ANTΓ in exergue; ex Dmitry Markov Coins and Medals; $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




  



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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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