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

Ancient Coins of Syria
Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Demetrius| |III,| |c.| |96| |-| |87| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
The inscription on the reverse of this coin translates, "King Demetrios, the god, father-loving, savior." He was nicknamed Eucaerus ("the Timely") by the Syrian Greeks but was called Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean priest king Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SL94920. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 2450(2); HGC 9 1305; cf. BMC Seleucid p. 101, 1 (SE 217, same controls); SNG Spaer 2863 (SE 219, different controls), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5771210-005), weight 16.501 g, maximum diameter 30.10 mm, die axis 0o, Damaskos (Damascus, Syria) mint, 97 - 96 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Demetrios III right, fringe of curly beard at jawline, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ, cult image of Atargatis standing facing, holding flower, barley stalk behind each shoulder, two monograms (controls) outer left, date CIS (Seleucid Era year 216) in exergue, ∆H monogram (control) in exergue on right, laurel wreath border; from the Ray Nouri Collection, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $900.00 SALE PRICE $810.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $630.00 SALE PRICE $567.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
There are many control symbol variations for Philip I tetradrachms, some are identified as lifetime issues, some as posthumous, and some as imitatives, including posthumous imitatives struck by the Romans. None of the published variations list this ∆I monogram exergue control symbol, without any other symbols outer left or inner left. Houghton-Lorber II 2464 is most similar, with this type of portrait and no controls left, but only N, Π and T exergue controls are listed. Also, this coin was part of a Leu auction lot that included other specimens of Houghton-Lorber II 2464 all in very similar condition, indicating the coins may have been found together.
GY97102. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished control monogram; Houghton-Lorber II 2464 var. (control); SNG Spaer 2817 var. (control); HGC 9 1320 (R1); BMC Seleucid -, aVF, field cracks, weight 15.244 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, uncertain (Antioch?) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Philip I Philadelphos right, bulging eye, pouting lips, pronounced aquiline nose, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛIΠΠOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, no controls left, below throne, ∆I monogram (control) in exergue, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); unpublished control variant of a rare type; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |27|
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins, NGC| Lookup; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Philip I Philadelphos, c. 94 - 83 or 75 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |I| |Philadelphos,| |c.| |94| |-| |83| |or| |75| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Philip I Philadelphus was the fourth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus. He took the diadem in 94 B.C. together with his twin brother Antiochus XI Epiphanes, after the eldest son Seleucus VI Epiphanes was killed by their cousin Antiochus X Eusebes. The next year Antiochus X killed Antiochus XI. Antiochus X was probably killed in 88 B.C. Philip's younger brother Demetrius III turned on Philip I and took the capital, but the Philip I prevailed and took Antioch. Their youngest brother Antiochus XII took Damascus. Philip I tried to take Damascus, after which he disappears from the historical record, which does not tell us how or when he died. His death is traditionally dated 83 B.C. but Numismatic evidence and clues in ancient literature indicate that Philip I might have died in 75 B.C. His coins remained in circulation when the Romans conquered Syria in 64 B.C. Roman authorities in Syria continued to issue coins modeled on Philip I's coins, including his portrait, until 13 B.C.
GY97101. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber II 2463; HGC 9 1319, VF, tight flan as typical for the type, surface a bit rough from corrosion, obverse off center, weight 15.389 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 88/7 - 83/75 B.C.; obverse diademed head right, fillet border; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΦIΛIΠΠOY in two lines downward on right EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛA∆EΛΦOY in two lines downward on left, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, (frozen control monogram) below throne, monogram below throne, uncertain controls off flan, all within laurel wreath; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (16 Aug 2020), lot 2121 (part of); $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Laodicea ad Mare, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Laodicea| |ad| |Mare,| |Seleukis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||tetradrachm|
McAlee interprets ∆ - E as "∆ EΠAPXEIΩN," meaning "of the four eparchies" and 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." McAlee also notes that Severan era coins of Laodicea have a star between the eagles legs, perhaps referring to the beacon of Laodicea's lighthouse.
RY93150. Billon tetradrachm, cf. McAlee 763, Prieur 252 (1 spec.), SNG Righetti 996, SNG München -, aVF, dark brown patina, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, slight porosity, weight 12.296 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 219 A.D.; obverse AVT K M A ANTWNEINOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC TO B (holder of Tribunitian power, consul for the 2nd time), eagle standing facing, wings spread, head and tail right, wreath in beak, ∆ - E flanking above wings, star between legs; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00


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; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Marcus Aurelius, 7 Mar 161 - 17 Mar 180 A.D., Hierapolis, Cyrrhestica, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |Mar| |161| |-| |17| |Mar| |180| |A.D.,| |Hierapolis,| |Cyrrhestica,| |Syria||AE| |24|
The modern name Manbij is very similar to the original Aramean name, Mnbg. It was part of the kingdom of Bit Adini before it was annexed by the Assyrians in 856 B.C. It fell to Alexander and later prospered under the Seleucids who made it the chief station between Antioch and Seleucia on the Tigris. It was refounded as Hieropolis by Eumenes II of Pergamon in 190 B.C. Crassus sacked the temple on his way to meet the Parthians in 53 B.C. In the 3rd century, the city was the capital of Euphratensis province and one of the great cities of Syria. It was, however, in a ruinous state when Julian gathered his troops there before marching to his defeat and death in Mesopotamia. Sassanid Emperor Khosrau I held it for ransom after the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I failed to defend it. The Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid restored it at the end of the 8th century, making it the capital of al-Awasim province. Afterward, the city became a point of contention between the Byzantines, Arabs, and Turks. The crusaders captured it from the Seljuks in the 12th century, but Ayyubid Sultan Saladin retook it in 1175. Manbij later became the headquarters of Hulagu and his Mongols, who destroyed it. The remains of ancient Manbij are extensive, but almost wholly of late date, as is to be expected in the case of a city which survived into Muslim times. The walls were built by the Arabs, and no ruins of the great temple survive.
RP98023. Bronze AE 24, cf. BMC Galatia p. 142, 30; SNG Righetti 1877; SNG Hunterian II 2680; SNG Cop 58; Butcher p449, 46a; RPC Online IV.3 T6987, VF, attractive portrait, slightly off center, light deposits, light corrosion, weight 10.073 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Hierapolis-Bambyce (Manbij, Syria) mint, 161 - 180 A.D.; obverse AY K M AYPHΛI - ANTWNEINOC (or similar, right side off flan), laureate, bearded head right; reverse ΘEAC CYPI/AC IEPOΠO / Θ (Holy City of the Syrian Goddess) in three lines within laurel wreath; ex Naville Numismatics auction 32 (18 Jun 2017), lot 207; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Gabala, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Gabala,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria||AE| |24|
Gabula was important enough in the Roman province of Syria Prima to be a Metropolitan Archdiocese in the sway of the Patriarchate of Antioch (the provincial capital Antioch on the Orontes), but was to fade, presumably at the advent of Islam.
RY92570. Bronze AE 24, SNG Cop 316; SNG Hunterian II 3244; Lindgren III 1192; SNG Munchen 835; BMC Galatia p. 246, 20 var. (laureate head), VF, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off much of legends, porous, weight 8.847 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 15o, Gabala (Jableh, Syria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218 A.D.; obverse AV K M O C MAKPEINOC CE, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΓABAΛEWN, Tyche seated left, wearing chiton, peplos and modius, rudder held by tiller on right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Seleukid Kingdom, Alexander I Balas, 152 - 145 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |I| |Balas,| |152| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |19|
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. Apamea, on the right bank of the Orontes River, was an ancient Greek and Roman city. It was located at a strategic crossroads for Eastern commerce and became one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. Seleucus also made it a military base with 500 elephants, and an equestrian stud with 30,000 mares and 300 stallions.
GY93775. Bronze AE 19, Houghton-Lorber II 1805(1)b; SNG Spaer 1450; BMC Seleucid p. 55, 44; HGC 9 565 (R1); Babelon Rois 812; SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina, earthen deposits, central cavities, weight 7.137 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 150 - 149 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Apollo standing left, arrow in right hand, resting left hand on grounded bow, palm outer left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on left, ∆E monogram (control) right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00




  






REFERENCES|

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