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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.


Saloninus, Summer 260 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Saloninus, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
RL88067. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1707e(1) (Samosata), RIC V-1 36 (Antioch), RSC IV 95a (Antioch), Hunter IV 12, Cunetio 865 (3 spec.), SRCV III 10775, nice VF, attractive dark tone, porosity, weight 3.111 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, as caesar, Jan - summer 260 A.D.; obverse SALON VALERIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Saloninus (on left) standing right, wearing military garb, holding spear, confronting Spes standing left, raising skirt with left hand, presenting flower to prince with right hand, wreath above; $175.00 (148.75)


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

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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; $150.00 (127.50)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RA86673. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1684m (Samosata), RSC IV 792b (Antioch), Hunter IV J68 (uncertain Eastern), RIC V-1 J447 (Asia), SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), EF, white metal, mint luster, areas of light porosity, weight 3.925 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 256 - 258 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronting each other, facing center, sacrificing at flaming altar in center, togate, on left holding eagle-tipped scepter, on right hand on parazonium on left side; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $140.00 (119.00)


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

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Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL88038. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 5 ff. var. (officina), EF, attractive highlighting desert patina, light marks, tight flan, weight 1.705 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, Sep 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, star above, SMANΘ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


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

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Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL88039. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 5 ff. var. (officina), EF, attractive desert patina, light marks, part of obverse legend off flan, scattered tiny spots of slightest porosity, weight 1.432 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 270o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, Sep 337 - 347 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven; star above, SMANΓ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


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

Click for a larger photo
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL88040. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 37, LRBC I 1372, SRCV V 17488, Voetter 33, Cohen VII 760, Hunter V -, Choice EF, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits, light marks, weight 1.476 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 330o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, Sep 337 - 347 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven; star above, SMANΓ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


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

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Manus Dei, the hand of God, reaches down to take Constantine up to heaven. Constantine is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
RL88042. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 5 ff. var. (officina), EF, highlighting desert patina, die break reverse right side, weight 1.654 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, SMANZ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


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

Click for a larger photo
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL88041. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 37, LRBC I 1372, SRCV V 17488, Voetter 33, Cohen VII 760, Hunter V -, gVF, dark patina, earthen highlighting, areas of light porosity, small edge cracks, weight 1.351 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, star above, SMANΘ in exergue; $130.00 (110.50)


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.

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In 542, the Plague of Justinian, the Bubonic plague, spread from Egypt, killed at least 230,000 in Constantinople (before counting stopped) and perhaps two million or more in the rest of the empire. Justinian I contracted the disease but recovered.
BZ87969. Bronze pentanummium, large module; DOC I 269, Wroth BMC 155, Morrisson BnF I 87, Sommer 4.110, Hahn MIB I 142, Berk 159, SBCV 242, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Choice gVF, excellent centering, dark brown patina, weight 2.257 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 537 - 551 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large E (5 nummi) with cross at center made with center horizontal; rare; $110.00 (93.50)


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

Click for a larger photo
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.
RA87978. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3103, BnF XII 1241, Gbl MIR 353a2, Hunter IV 5, RIC V-2 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, VF, well centered, some corrosion, part of edge a little ragged, weight 2.694 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 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; $100.00 (85.00)




  



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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 Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
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Antioch