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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.


Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta

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"Judaea Capta" issue. The reverse depicts Vespasian riding in the Judaea Capta triumph of 71 A.D. The Jewish historian Josephus was present at the festivities and noted, "It is impossible to do justice in the description of the number of things to be seen and to the magnificence of everything that met the eye...The greatest amazement was caused by the floats. Their size gave grounds for alarm about their stability, for many were three or four stories high..On one float the army could be seen pouring inside the walls, on another was a palace running with blood. Others showed defenseless men raising their hands in entreaty, firebrands being hurled at temples or buildings falling on their owners. On yet others were depicted rivers, which, after the destruction and desolation, flowed no longer through tilled fields providing water for men and cattle, but through a land on fire from end to end. It was to such miseries that the Jews doomed themselves by the war..Standing on his individual float was the commander of each of the captured cities showing the way he had been taken prisoner...Spoil in abundance was carried past. None of it compared with that taken from the Temple in Jerusalem...The procession was completed by Vespasian, and, behind him, Titus."
RS86443. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 1559; RPC II 1931; RSC II 643; BMCRE II 512; BnF III 320; Hendin 1491; SRCV I 2279, VF, toned, bumps and marks, tight flan, areas of light corrosion, coppery areas, reverse a little off center, edge cracks, weight 3.170 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 72 - 73 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right; reverse no legend, Vespasian driving triumphal quadriga right, branch and reins in right hand, scepter in left hand; $580.00 (493.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck 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.
RS75697. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 75A (R); RSC IV 130, SRCV III 8945, Hunter III -, EF, superb strike with sharp dies, nice metal, weight 4.966 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 247 - 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for four years, consul, father of the country), Felicitas standing left, long caduceus in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $315.00 (267.75)


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!; $225.00 (191.25)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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In April 248, Philip combined the celebration of Rome's 1000th anniversary with the Ludi Saeculares. Festivities included spectacular games and theatrical presentations. In the Colosseum, more than 1,000 gladiators were killed along with hundreds of exotic animals including hippos, leopards, lions, giraffes, and one rhinoceros. At the same time, Philip elevated his son to the rank of co-Augustus. Undoubtedly the festivities included elephants, as advertised by this coin.
RS77602. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 5, RIC IV 246A(a) (S) corr. (elephant right), Mazzini 5, Hunter III -, SRCV III -, Choice VF, well centered, porous, light scratches, weight 2.066 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 248 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse AETERNITAS AVGG, elephant walking left, ridden by mahout guiding it with rod and goad; scarce; $225.00 (191.25)


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

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The reverse legend is an error and should read ADVENTVS AVG, announcing the arrival of the emperor.
RA85651. Silver antoninianus, cf. RSC IV 2, RIC IV 79, SRCV III 9622 (all with normal ADVENTVS AVG reverse legend), Choice VF, weight 4.568 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 30o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 251 - 252 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VIB TREB GALLVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind, nothing below; reverse ADVNTVS AVG (sic!), Emperor on horseback left, raising right in salute, transverse scepter in left hand, nothing in exergue; scarce; $180.00 (153.00)


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

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The Battle of Antioch. After Macrinus foolishly cut legionary pay, Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus as emperor on 16 May 218. Macrinus sent cavalry but they too joined Elagabalus. Macrinus finally abandoned his pay cut and paid a bonus, but it was too late. Legion II Parthica defected. General Gannys, the commander of Elagabalus' forces, decisively defeated Macrinus was just outside Antioch on 8 June 218. Macrinus shaved off his hair and beard and fled, disguised as a member of the military police. He was recognized by a centurion at Chalcedon on the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
RS84623. Silver denarius, RIC IV 187, BMCRE V 275, RSC III 15, Hunter III 111, SRCV II 7505, VF, lustrous fields, excellent portrait, toned, tight flan, weight 2.093 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 16 May 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CONCORDIA MILIT (harmony with the soldiers), two military standards between two legionary eagles; ex Numismatik Naumman (Vienna), auction 47, part of lot 873; scarce; $165.00 (140.25)


Aelia Flaccilla, Augusta 19 January 379 - 386 A.D., Wife of Theodosius I

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Aelia Flaccilla, like her husband Theodosius, was of Hispanian-Roman descent. She may have been the daughter of Claudius Antonius, Prefect of Gaul, who was consul in 382. Her marriage with Theodosius probably took place in the year 376, when Theodosius' father fell into disfavor and he withdrew to Cauca in Gallaecia.
RL84859. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Antioch 62 (S), LRBC II 2760, SRCV V 20621 corr. (mislabeled Cyzicus), Cohen VIII 6, VF, nice portrait, attractive patina, light porosity, weight 4.522 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 135o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 25 Aug 383 - 386 A.D.; obverse AEL FLACCILLA AVG, draped bust right with an elaborate head dress, necklace and mantle; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Aelia Flaccilla standing facing, head right, arms folded on breast, ANTE exergue; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; scarce; $160.00 (136.00)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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RIC and RSC list this type with the reverse legend ending AVGG and note that Cohen describes it as ending AVG in error. Cohen does list this reverse from Antioch, but with a bust left. While the AVG ending is rare, we do know of other examples.
RA75211. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8917, Tulln Hoard 894, vri 7A, Bland 16 (29 spec.), Cohen V 9, RIC IV 82 var. (bust l.); RSC IV 8 var. (same), Hunter III -, Choice EF, some light marks, small edge cracks, weight 3.863 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, mid - end 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse AEQVITAS AVG (equity of the emperor), Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare; $155.00 (131.75)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.

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"Peace founded with Persis" - after murdering young Gordian III, Philip needed a quick return Rome to secure his spot, so he made peace with Shapur and ended the campaign. The "P M" on the obverse possibly means "Persicus Maximus" boasting total victory, rather than the traditional "Pontifex Maximus".
RS84988. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 69 (S), RSC IV 113, Hunter III 120, SRCV III 8941, VF, broad flan, light toning, a few light marks, edge cracks, mild porosity, weight 3.849 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 1st issue, Feb 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP C M IVL PHILIPPVS P F AVG P M, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS, Pax advancing left, branch in right hand, scepter in left; scarce; $140.00 (119.00)


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

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When Philip visited Antioch, Saint Babylas refused to let him enter the gathering of Christians at the Easter vigil (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, VI, 34). Later legend elaborates, stating that Babylas demanded that he do penance for his part in the murder of the young Gordian III before he would allow Philip to celebrate Easter. Saint Babylas died in prison in 253 during the Decian persecution. He asked to be buried in his chains.
RS85645. Silver antoninianus, Bland 64 (5 spec., also bust from front), RIC IV 240a (R), RSC IV 1, SRCV IV 9259, Hunter III - (p. xciv), Choice aEF, light toning, nice portrait, light marks, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 345o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 245 - 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing half left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; rare; $140.00 (119.00)




  



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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, December 12, 2017.
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Antioch