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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. Antioch is called "the cradle of Christianity,Ē 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. The Antioch mint reopened after Anastasius' reform of 498 to assist the metropolitan mint at Constantinople in issuing the new denominations of copper coinage. The city was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. Antioch was the first major mint lost in the slow decline of the Byzantine Empire. The last coinage was issued during the reign of Phocas and the city was lost to the Arabs in 636. 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.
Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.
Justin, unable to handle the burden of his failures, fell into madness. He ordered an organ be played continuously to soothe his frenzied mind. He was pulled through the palace on a wheeled throne, biting attendants as he passed, and there were rumors that he had devoured a number of them. In 574, General Tiberius was adopted as his caesar, regent and heir. Tiberius received the diadem on his knees before the assembly. Justin, in a moment of sanity, addressed the new monarch saying: "If you consent, I live; if you command, I die: may the God of heaven and earth infuse into your heart whatever I have neglected or forgotten." The assembly applauded with sympathy, silence, and in tears for their prince. Sophia and Tiberius ruled as joint regents for four years, while Justin sank into growing insanity.BZ65909. Bronze decanummium, DOC I 175, Wroth BMC 226; Hahn MIB 63a, Morrisson 33, Tolstoi 236, Ratto 905, Sommer 5.45, SBCV 383, VF, nice desert patina, weight 3.954 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 569 - 570 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AV, Justin II seated on left and Sophia seated on right facing on double throne, both are nimbate, they each hold a scepter and hold between them a long cross on globe; reverse large I (mark of value) between ANNO and II/III (year 5), cross above, THEUP' in ex; $36.00 (Ä30.60)
Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.
In 538, the Persians led by Khusro I sacked the city of Antioch.BZ57478. Bronze follis, DOC I 210c, Wroth BMC 273 - 276, Morrisson BnF I 4/Cp/AE/14 - 16, Ratto 645, Hahn MIB I 126, SBCV 216, weight 16.301 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 165o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Theoupolis) mint, 533 - 537 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS PP AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverse large M (40 nummi) between two stars, cross above, Γ below, +THEuįp+ in exergue; SOLD
Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.
Tiberius II and Maurice each issued folles of this type. The only difference is Tiberius has a cross on his crown; Maurice has a trefoil ornament. The obverselegend on this coin is completely blundered illiterate nonsense, as is typical for the type. The engraver did not appear to even know the alphabet.BZ84694. Bronze follis, DOC I 153, Hahn MIB II 95b, Wroth BMC 82 (Tiberius II), Ratto 960, Tolstoi 58 (Tiberius II), SBCV 532, VF, green patina, broad flan, light corrosion, weight 12.228 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 180o, Theoupolis (Antioch) mint, 583 - 584 A.D.; obverse PyTΛTII-TSPCCTΛSVC (blundered), bust facing, crown with trefoil ornament, consular robes, mappa in right, eagle-tipped scepter in left; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II (regnal year 2), cross above, THEUP' in exergue; SOLD