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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Greek Imperial| ▸ |Mesopotamia & Babylonia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins from Mesopotamia and Babylonia

Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Edessa(?), Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Edessa(?),| |Mesopotamia|, |drachm|
This coin is from of a series of rare drachms with portraits of Marcus Aurelius, Faustina II, Lucius Verus, and Lucilla, along with a small bronze of Commodus, struck in Mesopotamia, c. 165 A.D. The series commemorated the Roman victory, as this coin does with the reverse legend VΠEP NIKHC RΩMAIΩN. All have Roma reverse types, but for many, like this coin, the goddess intended and her attributes are uncertain. They were most likely struck at Edessa, but Carrhae or another mint is possible. All the types are very rare. This is the only example of this variety known to FORVM and the only coin known to Forum from this series with obverse legend ending in APM (Armeniacus - victor over the Armenians).
RS94121. Silver drachm, unpublished variety, cf. BMC Arabia p. 137, 3 and pl. XIX, 7 (AVT K M AV...NTΩNIN...), RPC online IV.3 T10747 (...ANTΩNINOC CEB), aF, toned, slightly off center, legend not fully struck, scratches, edge split, weight 2.561 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa(?) mint, c. 165 A.D.; obverse AVTO K M AVPHΛ ANTΩNINOC APM, bare-headed, bearded bust right, drapery on shoulder; reverse VΠEP NIKHC RΩMAIΩN (for the victory of the Romans), goddess standing facing, head left, wearing tunic and mantle, globe or apple in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; extremely rare and possibly unique - the only specimen with this obverse legend known to FORVM; SOLD


Julia Mamaea, Augusta 13 March 222 - February or March 235 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Julia| |Mamaea,| |Augusta| |13| |March| |222| |-| |February| |or| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |24|
Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RB57028. Bronze AE 24, Babelon 84; BMC Arabia p. 105, 123; cf. Lindgren 2585 (no altar, four stars); SNG Cop -; SNG UK -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Leipzig -, F, weight 8.595 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, obverse IOVL MAMEA CEBACT, draped bust right; reverse MHT KOΛ E∆ECCHNΩN, Tyche seated left on rock, wearing turreted crown, river-god swimming at her feet, altar before her, two stars flanking in field; rare; SOLD


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

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |26|
Although the site of Urfa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the modern city was founded in 304 B.C by Seleucus I Nicator and named after the ancient capital of Macedonia. In the late 2nd century, as the Seleucid dynasty disintegrated, it became the capital of the Arab Nabataean Abgar dynasty, which was successively a Parthian, Armenian, and Roman client state and eventually a Roman province. Its location on the eastern frontier of the Empire meant it was frequently conquered during periods when the Byzantine central government was weak, and for centuries, it was alternately conquered by Arab, Byzantine, Armenian, Turkish rulers. In 1098, the Crusader Baldwin of Boulogne induced the final Armenian ruler to adopt him and then seized power, establishing the first Crusader State known as the County of Edessa and imposing Latin Christianity on the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic majority of the population.Edessa
RP09695. Bronze AE 26, BMC Arabia 57 (obverse type) and BMC Arabia 64 (reverse type legend var), SGICV 3141 var. (bust left), Lindgren -, VF, weight 12.18 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, obverse CEB AYT K M A ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MP AV K E∆ECCA (or similar), Tyche seated left on rocks, crowned by flying Nike, river-god swimming below; possibly unpublished variety; SOLD


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Rhesaena, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Trajan| |Decius,| |July| |249| |-| |First| |Half| |of| |June| |251| |A.D.,| |Rhesaena,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |26|
Rhesaena (numerous other variations of the ancient name include Rhesaina, Resaena) in the Roman province of Mesopotamia Secunda, was an important town in the far north of Mesopotamia, was on the way from Carrhae to Nicephorium, about eighty miles from Nisibis and forty from Dara, near the sources of the Chaboras (Khabur) River. Today, it is Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria. Gordian III fought the Persians nearby in 243, at the battle of Resaena. The city's coins show that it was a Roman colony from the time of Septimius Severus. The Notitia dignitatum (ed. Boecking, I, 400) lists it under the jurisdiction of the Dux of Osrhoene. Hierocles (Synecdemus, 714, 3) also locates it in Osrhoene but it was renamed Theodosiopolis. It was fortified by Justinian. In 1393, it was nearly destroyed by Tamerlane's troops.
RB90731. Bronze AE 26, Castelin Rhesaena 87; SNG Cop 248; BMC Arabia p. 130, 30 var. (bust left), VF, attractive portrait, interesting reverse, porous, weight 12.10 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rhesaena (Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria) mint, obverse AYT K Γ MEKY ∆EKIOC TPAIANOC CEB, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse XEΠ KOΛ PHCAINHCIWN LIIIP, two Tyches clasping hands over lit altar; Aquarius on short column to left; centaur Sagittarius on right, advancing right, drawing bow; eagle above, open wings, head left, wreath in beak, river-god Chaboras swimming right in exergue; rare; SOLD


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nisibis, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Nisibis,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |28|
Nisibis is the city of Netzivin in the Talmud. The Jews of Nisibis resisted the Roman conqueror, Trajan, to maintain Parthian rule. The city was taken only after a lengthy siege. After the it fell, Nisibis was laid waste and the massacre was so great that the houses, streets, and roads were strewn with corpses.
JD11788. Bronze AE 28, SNG Cop 234; BMC Arabia p. 120, 5; SNG Righetti 2618 var. (no star behind, etc.); SNG Milan 118 var. (same); SNG Hunterian -, VF, nice patina, flat strike in centers, weight 12.809 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nisibis mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI MAP AV C AΛEΞAN∆POC CE-B, laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse CEΠ KOΛO NECIBI MHT, bust of Tyche right, turreted, draped and veiled, ram (Aries) leaping right above with head turned back, star before and star behind; scarce; SOLD


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia|, |tetradrachm|
In Roman times, Harran was known as Carrhae, and was the location of the Battle of Carrhae in 53 B.C., in which the Parthians, commanded by general Surena, defeated a large Roman army under the command of Crassus, who was killed. Centuries later, the emperor Caracalla was murdered here, probably at the instigation of Macrinus. In the 3rd century A.D. the region was a frontier province of the Roman Empire, being the location for major wars between Rome and Persia. The emperor Galerius was defeated nearby by the Parthians' successors, the Sassanid dynasty of Persia, in 296 A.D. The city remained in Roman hands until 609 or 610 A.D., when the Persian general Shahrbaraz completed conquered Oshroene. The city returned to Roman control after the successful offensive of emperor Heraclius in the 620s. In 640 A.D. it was conquered by the Muslim Arab general 'Iyad b. Ghanm.
RP33814. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 836, VF, grainy, coppery undertones, weight 11.607 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K M OΠ CE MAKPINOC CE, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPXEΞYΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), eagle standing front, wings spread, head right, between legs crescent, star in left field, two pellets in exergue (off-flan); SOLD


Caracalla and Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Caracalla| |and| |Geta,| |209| |-| |c.| |26| |December| |211| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |19|
This type was probably never struck with complete legends.
RP17133. Bronze AE 19, BMC Arabia p. 87, 45 - 48; Lindgren 2566; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Leipzig -; SNG Righetti -; Weber -; McClean -, aVF, brown tone, weight 4.229 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 209 - 211 A.D.; obverse AYTOK ANTWNEINC ΓETAC CE (or similar), confronted busts of Caracalla, on left, and Geta Caracalla laureate, draped, and cuirassed, Geta bare-headed and draped only; reverse KΛΩ NEI Λ MHTPOΠO KAPP (or similar), star of eight rays within crescent with horns up; very rare; SOLD


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |20|
This coin may refer to an eclipse at Carrhae on 4 September 164. Carrhae is the Haran of the Bible. Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians near Carrhae in 53 B.C. Emperor Galerius was defeated on the same site in 296 A.D.
RP92089. Bronze AE 20, RIC IV-3 Online T8037 (2 spec.), BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, earthen encrustations, scratches, weight 6.171 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI[...], laureate head left; reverse KARHNWN ΦIΛOPWMEW, crescent horns upward, resting on a globe with fillets hanging from each side, star with six points above between the horns; ex Gerhard Rohde (9 Feb 2010); extremely rare; SOLD


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Macrinus,| |11| |April| |217| |-| |8| |June| |218| |A.D.,| |Edessa,| |Mesopotamia|, |tetradrachm|
Although the site of Urfa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the modern city was founded in 304 B.C by Seleucus I Nicator and named after the ancient capital of Macedonia. In the late 2nd century, as the Seleucid dynasty disintegrated, it became the capital of the Arab Nabataean Abgar dynasty, which was successively a Parthian, Armenian, and Roman client state and eventually a Roman province. Its location on the eastern frontier of the Empire meant it was frequently conquered during periods when the Byzantine central government was weak, and for centuries, it was alternately conquered by Arab, Byzantine, Armenian, Turkish rulers. In 1098, the Crusader Baldwin of Boulogne induced the final Armenian ruler to adopt him and then seized power, establishing the first Crusader State known as the County of Edessa and imposing Latin Christianity on the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic majority of the population.Edessa
RP00282. Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 854, VF, weight 14.3 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT KAI M OΠEΛ CEV - MAKPEINOC CEB, laureate head right; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞ YΠATOC (holder of Tribunitian power, consul), eagle facing, wings spread, head right, wreath in beak, shrine with pediment between legs; scarce; SOLD


Gordian III and Tranquillina, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nisibis, Mesopotamia

|Roman| |Mesopotamia|, |Gordian| |III| |and| |Tranquillina,| |May| |241| |-| |25| |February| |244| |A.D.,| |Nisibis,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |33|
In 242 A.D., Gordian III, along with his praetorian prefect and father-in-law Timesitheus, began a campaign against the Sasanian king, Shahpur I. After freeing Syria, a decisive battle secured all of Mesopotamia, including Singara and Nisibis. But after Timesitheus died in 243 the Roman advance stalled and they suffered a major defeat. In February 244, Gordian died and Philip was proclaimed emperor. Philip negotiated a truce in order to return to Rome for his Senate confirmation.
RP83076. Bronze AE 33, SNG Hunterian 2445, BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, Lindgren -, aVF, weight 22.891 g, maximum diameter 33.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nisibis mint, 242 - 25 Feb 244; obverse AVTOK K M AN ΓOP∆IANON CAB TPANKVΛΛINAN CEB (or similar), confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse CEΠ KOΛO NECIBI MHTP, turreted and veiled head of Tyche right, flanked by stars, ram (Aries) leaping right above; double struck, very big bronze; very rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

Alram, M. Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Nomina Propria Iranica In Nummis. (Vienna, 1986).
Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des mdailles. (1897-1898).
Babelon, E. Numismatique d'Edessa. (Paris, 1904).
Bellinger, A. The Syrian Tetradrachms of Caracalla and Macrinus. ANSNS 3. (New York, 1940).
Castelin, K. The Coinage of Rhesaena in Mesopotamia. ANSNNM 108. (New York, 1946).
Hill, G. Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Nelson, B., ed. Numismatic Art of Persia. The Sunrise Collection, Part I: Ancient - 650 BC to AD 650. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, Univ. of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, XII. Syria-Bactria et India. (Milan, 1991-1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II, Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
Tyler-Smith, S. "A parcel of Persis drachms, half drachms and obols" in Numismatic Chronicle 164 (2004), pp. 253-271, pls. 29 - 33.
van't Haaff, P. Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage, ca. 147 B.C. - A.D. 228. (Lancaster, PA. 2007).

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