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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ SamosataView Options:  |  |  | 

Samosata, Commagene, Syria (Adiyman Province, Turkey)

Samosata was an ancient city on the right (west) bank of the Euphrates whose ruins existed at the modern city of Samsat, Adiyaman Province, Turkey until the site was flooded by the newly constructed Atatrk Dam. The founder of the city was Sames, a Satrap of Commagene who made it his capital. The city was sometimes called Antiochia in Commagene and served as the capital for the Hellenistic Kingdom of Commagene from c. 160 BC until it was surrendered to Rome in 72. A civil metropolis from the days of Emperor Hadrian, Samosata was the home of the Legio VI Ferrata and later Legio XVI Flavia Firma, and the terminus of several military roads. Seven Christian martyrs were crucified in 297 in Samosata for refusing to perform a pagan rite in celebration of the victory of Maximian over the Sassanids. It was at Samosata that Julian II had ships made in his expedition against Sapor, and it was a natural crossing-place in the struggle between Heraclius and Chosroes in the 7th century. Imperial mint dates of operation: c. 253 - 258 A.D. Mintmarks: none.


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)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RA87012. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1699m (Samosata), RIC V-1 S447 (Asia), RSC IV 792a, SRCV III 10312 (uncertain Syrian), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous, light pitting, weight 3.985 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 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 confronted, sacrificing over altar between them, each togate and holding short scepter, pellet in wreath above; $40.00 (34.00)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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Gallienus was the first Roman emperor to commission primarily cavalry units, the Comitatenses, that could be dispatched anywhere in the Empire in short order. He also forbade senators from becoming military commanders. These policies undermined senatorial power, as equestrian commanders rose to prominence. These reforms and the decline in senatorial influence not only helped Aurelian to salvage the Empire, but they also make Gallienus one of the emperors most responsible for the creation of the Dominate, along with Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine I.
RA87019. Billon antoninianus, AHG 250 (this coin), Gbl MIR 1687m (Samosata), RIC V-1 J456 (Antioch), Cohen V 1310, SRCV III 10414 var. (obv legend), VF, well centered, porous, edge cracks, weight 3.393 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian (on left) and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian holds scepter in right, globe in left; Gallienus offering Victory in right, transverse spear in left; $35.00 (29.75)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In 256 A.D., the cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers collapsed. The Goths invaded Asia Minor, Dacia was lost, and they appeared at the walls of Thessalonica. The Franks crossed the Rhine. The Alamanni penetrated to Milan. In Africa, the Berbers massacred Roman colonists. King Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia and Syria and plundered Antioch, Zeugma, and Dura-Europos.
RA79727. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1703m (Samosata), RSC IV 1310a (Antioch), RIC V-1 J456 (Antioch), Hunter IV J70, SRCV III 10414 var. (obv. leg., no wreath), F, well centered on a broad flan, porous, earthen encrustations, weight 3.172 g, maximum diameter 22.65 mm, die axis 0o, Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Valerian and Gallienus standing confronted; Valerian on left, scepter in right hand, globe in left hand; Gallienus on right offering Victory to Valerian, transverse spear in left hand, pellet in wreath above; $30.00 (25.50)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

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This ironic reverse utterly failed to foresee Valerian's fate. In 260 A.D., after four years of great losses in battle and to plague, Valerian arranged for talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian (Parthian) Emperor Shapur but was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown. In Rome, it was rumored that Shapur used his stuffed body as a footstool.
RA87017. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1700l(3) (Samosata), RSC IV 190a (Antioch), RIC V-1 287 var. (no officina mark, Antioch), SRCV III 9967 var. (same, uncertain Syrian), VF, well centered on a broad flan, porous, edge cracks, weight 3.331 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, uncertain Syrian mint, 255 - 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, two pellets below; reverse RESTITVT ORIENTIS (to the restorer of the East), turreted female (Oriens) standing right, presenting wreath to Valerian, standing left, wearing military attire, spear vertical in left hand, pellet within wreath above; scarce with officina mark on obverse; $27.00 (22.95)


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
This ironic reverse utterly failed to foresee Valerian's fate. In 260 A.D., after four years of great losses in battle and to plague, Valerian arranged for talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian (Parthian) Emperor Shapur but was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown. In Rome, it was rumored that Shapur used his stuffed body as a footstool.
RA87014. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1700l(1), RIC V-1 287, SRCV III 9967, RSC IV 190 var. (no pellet in wreath), aVF, well centered, white metal, light deposits, light corrosion, weight 3.152 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Syrian mint, 258 - 260 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORIE-NTIS (to the restorer of the East), turreted female (the Orient) presenting wreath to the Emperor standing left holding spear, pellet in wreath above; $25.00 (21.25)







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Catalog current as of Monday, September 24, 2018.
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Samosata