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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Syria||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Syria
Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |22|
Alexander Balas, of humble origin, claimed to be Antiochus IV's son and heir to the Seleukid throne. Rome and Egypt accepted his claims. He married Cleopatra Thea, daughter of King Ptolemy Philometor of Egypt. With his father-in-law's help, he defeated Demetrius Soter and became the Seleukid king. After he abandoned himself to debauchery, his father-in-law shifted his support to Demetrius II, the son of Demetrius Soter. Balas was defeated and fled to Nabataea where he was murdered.
GY99020. Bronze serrated AE 22, Houghton-Lorber II 1793(3)d; BMC Seleucid p. 55, 37; SNG Spaer 1438 var. (controls); SNG Cop 258 var. (same); HGC 9 900 (R1), gF, dark green patina, obv. off center, light deposits, areas of light corrosion, edge split, weight 6.909 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 152 - 145 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander I right; reverse Athena standing left, helmeted and draped, Nike in right hand offering wreath, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear leaning against left arm, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on left, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, KA monogram over Πo monogram (controls) inner left; $870.00 SALE PRICE $783.00


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D., Philadelphia, Cilicia Trachea

|Cilicia|, |Maximinus| |I| |Thrax,| |20| |March| |235| |-| |late| |May| |238| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Cilicia| |Trachea||AE| |34|
Philadelphia (Greek: brotherly love) in ancient Cilicia Trachea (later of Isauria) was on the river Calycadnus, above Aphrodisias. Its site is tentatively located near Imsi ren in Asiatic Turkey. Neither Philadelphia in Lydia (Alasehir, Turkey today) nor Philadelphia, in the Decapolis, later Arabia Petraea (Amman, Jordan today) struck coins for Maximinus Thrax.
RB98739. Bronze AE 34, SNG BnF 760, SNG Levante 580, SNGvA 5804, SNG Leypold 2580, Lindgren-Kovacs 786, RPC Online VI T6889, EF, dark patina, pitting, a little off center, weight 14.930 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Philadelphia (near Imsi ren, Turkey) mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse AVT K Γ IOVH MAΞIMEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ΦILALELFFEΩN KHTIΛOC, Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, grounded rudder in right hand held by tiller, cornucopia in left hand; from the CEB Collection, ex Edward J. Waddell, big 34mm!; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


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

|Antioch|, |Volusian,| |c.| |November| |251| |-| |July| |or| |August| |253| |A.D.||tetradrachm|
Gaius Vibius Afinius Gallus Vedumnianus Volusian was the son of Trebonianus Gallus and was given the rank of Caesar when his father became emperor. After emperor Hostilian was killed, he was raised to the rank of Augustus. He was assassinated along with his father in 253 A.D.
RY99417. Silver tetradrachm, RPC online IX 1795; McAlee 1187b; Prieur 695 (rare); SNG Hunterian 3125; BMC Galatia p. 230, 658; Dura 614, gVF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion/porosity, weight 10.901 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, late 251 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K Γ AΦIN ΓAΛ OYEN∆ OYOΛOYCCIANOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front, (2nd officina) below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing slightly right on line, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, B (2nd officina) between legs, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
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
RY110552. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 1045b (scarce); Bland Hoards III 576; RPC Online VIII U29067; BMC Galatia p. 218, 559; Prieur 466 var. (only r. pteryx visible); SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, well centered, small spots of corrosion, weight 11.318 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, both pteryges visible; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠA TO ∆ (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 4th time), eagle standing left, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, ANTIOXIA over S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex R. Basler International Numismatics (Irvine, CA); scarce; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


Trajan Decius, September 249 - June or July 251 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |September| |249| |-| |June| |or| |July| |251| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|NEW
In 256 A.D., about six years after this coin was struck, the Persian King Shapur conquered and plundered Antioch.
RY110642. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online IX 1708; McAlee 1125(b); Prieur 579; Dura Coins 515; BMC Galatia p. 221, 591; McClean 9414, gVF, centered, excellent portrait, toned, slight porosity, weight 10.854 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse AYT K Γ ME KY TPAIANOC ∆EKIOC CEB (Imperator Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius Augustus), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from behind, four pellets below; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing right on palm, head right, wings open wreath in beak, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 519 (29 Jun 2022), lot 302; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 128 - 129 A.D.

|Antioch|, |Antioch,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |128| |-| |129| |A.D.||trichalkon|
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem." We think it is unlikely; nevertheless, the type is very popular and somewhat expensive.
GB90244. Bronze trichalkon, RPC Online III 3729, Butcher CRS 266, McAlee 125(d), SNG Hunterian II 2950, F, dark near black patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 5.145 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, reign of Hadrian, 128 - 129 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN THC MHTPOΠOΛEWC, veiled and turreted head of Tyche right, weak countermark at chin; reverse ram leaping right, looking back, star within crescent above, ET ZOP (year 177 of the Caesarean Era) below; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Antioch|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Antioch,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
From the Ray Nouri Collection.

This type is traditionally assigned to Antioch but McAlee identifies Laodicea as the most likely mint. McAlee notes, "After Septimius stripped Antioch of its privileges and conferred them on Laodicea-ad-Mare, some coins of Laodicea bear the legend 'Metropolis of the Four Provinces,' and others have a representation of four Tyches. The letters ∆ - E also regularly appear on the coins of Laodicea from the time of Elagabalus to that of Trebonianus Gallus." We attribute the type to Antioch, but clearly that is not certain.
RY94937. Billon tetradrachm, Bellinger Syria 42, SNG Cop 236, McAlee 758, Prieur 249 var. (both ties behind neck), Dura Coins -, F, toned, tight flan cutting off part of legends, reverse legend weak, weight 12.920 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 219 A.D.; obverse AVT K M A ANTWNEINOC CEB, laureate bust right, drapery on left shoulder, one wreath tie on neck; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC YΠ B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the second time), eagle standing facing, wings spread, head left, wreath in beak, ∆ - E (∆ EΠAPCEIΩN - of the four eparchies) flanking eagle's head, star between legs; from the Ray Nouri Collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander II Zabinas, 128 - 122 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |II| |Zabinas,| |128| |-| |122| |B.C.||AE| |21|
Zabinas claimed to be an adoptive son of Antiochus VII, but may have been the son of an Egyptian merchant. He was used as a pawn by the Egyptian king Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon). Zabinas managed to defeat Demetrius II and thereafter ruled parts of Syria, but soon ran out of Egyptian support and was defeated by Demetrius' son Antiochus VIII Grypus. As a last resort, Zabinas plundered the temples of Antioch. He is said to have joked about melting down a statuette of the goddess of victory, Nike, which was held in the hand of a Zeus statue, saying "Zeus has given me Victory." Enraged by his impiety, the Antiochenes expelled Zabinas, who was captured and executed soon after. "Zabinas" is a derogatory name meaning "the bought one," implying he was Ptolemy's slave.
GY98887. Bronze AE 21, Houghton-Lorber II 2237(1)f, Babelon Rois 1309, SNG Spaer 2343, HGC 9 1164 (C-S), aVF, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, weight 8.254 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 45o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 125 - 122 B.C.; obverse radiate and diademed head of Zabinas right, one diadem end flying up behind, the other falling forward over shoulder; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, double cornucopia bound with fillet, A over star in inner left, Π in inner right; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Samosata, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.,| |Samosata,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |21|
Samosata, meaning "sun," was an ancient city whose ruins existed at the modern city of Samsat, Adiyaman Province, Turkey until the site was flooded by the Atatrk Dam. -- wikipedia.org
RP99004. Bronze AE 21, RPC III 3419; SNG Hunt 2590; SNG Munchen 376; SNG Cop Cyprus 17; Butcher p. 470, 12; BMC Galatia p. 118, 22, gVF, dark patina, uneven strike with flat areas, part of edge ragged, light earthen deposits, weight 5.450 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Samosata (site now flooded by the Atatrk Dam) mint, c. 132 - 133 A.D.; obverse A∆PIANOC CEBACTOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from rear; reverse ΦΛA / CAMO / MHTPO / KOM (Flavia Samosata Metropolis Commagene), inscription in four lines within oak wreath; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VI Dionysus, 144 - c. 142 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |VI| |Dionysus,| |144| |-| |c.| |142| |B.C.||AE| |23|
After his father was deposed by Demetrius II, the general Diodotus Tryphon nominated Antiochus VI as king. He gained the allegiance of most of the Seleucid domain, including Judaea, but was actually only a puppet of the general. He died after "ruling" for two years. He was likely assassinated under orders from Tryphon, who then made himself king.
GY99029. Bronze serrated AE 23, Houghton-Lorber II 2006(c), SNG Spaer 1774, Houghton CSE 249, Babelon Rois 1011, SNG Cop 304 var. (control), HGC 9 1043 (C-S), aVF, attractive portrait, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 8.086 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. mid-143 - 142 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse elephant walking left holding torch in trunk, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines above, EΠIΦANOYΣ ∆IONYΣOY in two lines in exergue, ΣTA above star (controls) right; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  






REFERENCES|

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