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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ AntiochView 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.


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

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MON VRB stands for MONETA VRBIS. According to H. R. Baldus this initial issue of coins was minted in Rome. Indeed the portrait style is unmistakably that of the mint of Rome, and even if the coins were actually minted in Antioch, the dies were surely engraved by the Rome mint.
SH60149. Billon tetradrachm, McAlee 899, Prieur 304, BMC Galatia 507, EF, very sharp, handsome portrait and eagle, double strike evident in obverse legend, minor flan crack, small encrustations,, weight 13.825 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome or Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 244 or 246 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOY CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ∆HMAPX EΞOYCIAC (holder of Tribunitian power), eagle standing facing on ground line, wings open, head and tail left, wreath in beak, S - C (senatus consulto) below wings, MON VRB in exergue; FORVM paid $225 for this coin!; $200.00 (170.00)


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

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The same types with the same legends may have been minted for Macrinus at both Rome and Antioch. Some examples with a short beard and younger face are clearly of the style of Rome (and probably look little like Macrinus who was in the east). Some, but probably not all, examples with a longer beard and older features were probably minted at Antioch. RIC does not attempt to distinguish between the products of the two mints.
RS73902. Silver denarius, RIC IV 24b; RSC III 62; BMCRE V p. 501, 40; Hunter III 19; SRCV II 7347, VF, well centered, very dark thick toning, perhaps debased silver, weight 2.495 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (or Rome?) mint, Jan 217 A.D.; obverse IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power, consul, father of the country), Securitas standing facing, head left, legs crossed, long scepter vertical in right, resting left arm on column; $110.00 (93.50)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Antioch, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria

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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
RY86487. Bronze semis, McAlee 403(d); RPC II 2017; BMC Galatia p. 181, 251; Wruck 116; SNG Fitzwilliam 5878 var. (dot above S C); SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -, gVF, tight flan, light earthen deposits, slight porosity, weight 7.861 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 69 - 79 A.D.; obverse DOMITIANVS CAESAR, laureate head left; reverse large S C, no dot in field, within laurel wreath with eight bunches of leaves; $100.00 (85.00)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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In 327 A.D., when this coin was struck and in the city where this coin was struck, construction began on the Domus Aurea (Latin: golden house), the cathedral of Antioch. The cathedral is thought to have been located on an island where the Seleucid's Imperial Palace of Antioch had been located. The church became a major point of the controversy between Christians and Julian the Apostate when the latter closed the cathedral in response to the burning of an ancient temple to Apollo in the nearby suburb of Daphne. From 526 to 587 it suffered from a series of earthquakes, fires and Persian attacks, before being finally destroyed in another earthquake in 588, after which it was not rebuilt.
RL86837. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 78 (R3), LRBC I 1345, SRCV IV 16269, Cohen VII 454, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, brown tone, slight porosity, weight 3.323 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed head right, ladder-form diadem with two laurel leaves in every other division; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, no doors, no pellet under arch, star above, SMANTZ in exergue; ex Beast Coins, the Zachary "Beast" Beasley Collection of Camp Gates; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D.

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The Persians occupied part of Syria in 251 A.D. and took and burned Antioch in 256 A.D. and again in 260 A.D.
RS86825. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 108k (also IV both sides), RIC IV 89 (S), SRCV III 9647, Hunter III - (p. cvi), VF, well centered, toned, radiating flow lines, die wear, some porosity, weight 3.838 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 251 - 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, tiny IV (officina) below; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE AVG, Roma seated left on shield, Victory in right hand, spear in left hand; Victory is standing on globe, holding palm frond in left hand, and presenting wreath with right hand; IV (officina) in exergue; ex Beast Coins; scarce; $95.00 (80.75)


Carinus, First Half of 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

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A sum of Greek numerals E (5) and ∆ (4) is used to indicate the 9th officina in order to avoid using Θ (9). Because they sound alike, theta (Θ) was associated with Thanatos, the daemon personification of death. Theta 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 family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RA84211. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 325; Cohen VI 184; SRCV III 12362; Pink VI/2, p. 52; Hunter IV -, aEF, much silvering, well centered and struck on a tight flan, weight 3.684 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 4th emission, May - June 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Emperor standing right, short scepter in left hand, facing Jupiter (or Numerian) on right, standing left, with right hand offering Victory on globe, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, E∆ in lower center, XXI in exergue; $80.00 (68.00)


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

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of happiness, good fortune, and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS86824. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 235 (R), RSC 38, Bland 89 (33 spec.), SRCV III 9269, Hunter III - (xciv), gVF, bold full circles strike, light toning, surface flaws, weight 4.583 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 249 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P VI COS P P (high priest, holder of tribune power for six year, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Beast Coins; rare; $75.00 (63.75)


Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.

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In 395, after the death of Theodosius I, the Empire was re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The eastern half, centered in Constantinople, was under Arcadius, and the western half, centered in Rome, was under his brother Honorius. Also, in 395, Arcadius married Aelia Eudoxia, daughter of the Frankish general Flavius Bauto.
RL85612. Bronze centenionalis, Hunter V 51 (also 2nd officina), RIC X Arcadius 70, LRBC II 2791, SRCV V 20832, aEF, well centered on a broad flan, dark patina, edge cracks, edge chip, weight 2.124 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 300o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 395 - 401 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITI (courage of the army), emperor standing facing, head right, spear in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, Victory holding wreath and palm crowns him, ANTB in exergue; ex David Connors; $70.00 (59.50)


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

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In 231, Severus Alexander led a formidable army into the east. In a great battle Alexander defeated Artaxerxes and drove him back from the frontiers of Rome. He returned to Rome, where he received a triumph for his victory over the Persians.
RS73592. Silver denarius, RSC III 561, RIC IV 302, BMCRE VI 1020, Hunter III 190 var. (no cuirass), cf. SRCV II 7930 (obv legend, star right on rev, etc.), VF, well centered, interesting eastern style, weight 2.643 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 228 - 231 A.D.; obverse IMP SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, wreath raised in right hand, palm frond in left over shoulder; $65.00 (55.25)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RB71428. Billon follis, RIC VII Antioch 8 (R4), SRCV IV I5244, Cohen VII 108, gVF, nice portrait, well centered on a crowded flan, weight 4.105 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 313 - 314 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulders, Victory on globe in right offering wreath, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle at feet with wreath in beak, wreath over H over III in right field, ANT in exergue; $60.00 (51.00)




  



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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.

Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
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Antioch