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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Provincial| ▸ |Roman Syria||View Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Provincial Coins of Syria

In 63 B.C., Syria was incorporated into the Roman Republic as a province following the success of Pompey the Great against the Parthians. In 135 A.D., after the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, Roman Syria and Judaea were merged into the province Syria Palaestina. The province Coele-Syria was split from Syria Palaestina in 193. Syria became part of the splinter Palmyrene Empire for a brief period from 260 to 272, when it was restored to Roman central authority. In the 3rd century, with the Severan dynasty, Syrians even achieved imperial power.


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Antioch, Syria

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Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Most biblical scholars believe Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C.
SL91533. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 182; Prieur 52; RPC I 4153; BMC Galatia p. 167, 137; Cohen DCA 400, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (2490384-005), weight 13.664 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 4 - 3 B.C.; obverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣE−BAΣTOY, laureate head right; reverse ETOYΣ HK NIKHΣ (year 28 Actian Era), Tyche of Antioch seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm branch, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right below, his head turned facing, YΠA monogram and IB (12th consulship) over ANT (Antioch) monogram in the right field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


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

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Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins; $225.00 (€198.00)
 


Gadara, Decapolis, 64 - 63 B.C.

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This type and another similar anonymous year one of Rome type, have traditionally been attributed to Gadara. In 64/3 BC Roman troops under Pompey "liberated" the Greek cities conquered by the Judaean king Alexander Jannaeus. Pompey personally supervised reconstruction in Gadara. Commemorating these events, Gadara established the year 64/3 B.C. as the beginning of a new Pompeian era, replacing the previous Seleukid era. Hoover says the attribution to Gadara is in error; that the fabric and style suggest a mint in southern Syria. For now, at least, we retain the traditional attribution.
RP91034. Bronze AE 23, Meshorer City-Coins 217, Spijkerman 1, Rosenberg IV 1, HGC 10 381 (S), RPC I -, aVF, weight 11.043 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 64 - 63 B.C.; obverse bust of Herakles left, draped with lion's skin, club on left shoulder, anepigraphic; reverse galley ram right, L A / PΩMHS (year 1 of Rome [Pompeian Era]) in two lines above, all within wreath; rare; $225.00 (€198.00)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Samosata, Commpagene

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Sear (SRCV I) and Mattingly (BMCRE II) identify the mint as at Samosata in Commagene. Commagene was a "buffer state" between Armenia, Parthia, Syria, and Rome. Emperor Vespasian made it part of the Roman Empire in 72 A.D.
RY92940. Orichalcum as, RPC II online 2003 (2 spec.), RIC II-1 Vesp. 1578 (R2), BMCRE II Vesp. 884, SRCV I 2666, McAlee 86 (corr.), BnF III -, Wruck -, Cohen I -, Hunter I -, F, highlighting green patina, porous, edge crack, weight 4.556 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Minted for Syria at Rome mint, as caesar, 74 A.D.; obverse CAESAR DOMIT COS II, laureate head right; reverse large S C within laurel wreath; very rare; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


16 Roman Provincial Coins of Antioch

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LT87182. 16 Roman provincial coins, mostly or all of Antioch, 20.7mm - 25.9mm, F or better, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, the actual coins in the photograph, no tags or flips, as-is, no returns; $155.00 (€136.40)
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Abila, Decapolis

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Abila in the Decapolis, also known for a time as Seleucia, and ancient Raphana, is now called Quwaylibah, a site occupied by two tells (Tell al-Abila and Tell Umm al-Amad). Tell in Arabic means only "hill." The archaeological connotation of "hill of accumulated debris" in this case does not apply. The city was built over two natural hills on the left bank of Wadi ("valley") Qweilibeh, which is, in fact, delineated by hills and escarpments. The largest site is located amidst verdant agricultural fields near the modern Ain Quweilbeh spring. Roman temples, Byzantine churches and early mosques lie amidst olive groves and wheat fields.
RP91008. Bronze AE 24, RPC IV online T6512 (3 spec.), Sofaer 10, Rosenberger IV 9, Spijkerman 9, SNG ANS -, VF, well centered, tight flan, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 9.675 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 45o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, 162 - 163 A.D.; obverse AYT KAICAP Λ AYPOYHPΩC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CE ABIΛHNW-N I A A I KOI CY (of the people of Seleucia Abila in Coele-Syria), nude Herakles seated left on rocks, right hand resting on grounded club, left hand on rocks behind, ϖKC (year 226) in exergue; rare; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Lucius Verus, 7 March 161 - February 169 A.D., Abila, Decapolis

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Abila in the Decapolis, also known for a time as Seleucia, and ancient Raphana, is now called Quwaylibah, a site occupied by two tells (Tell al-Abila and Tell Umm al-Amad). Tell in Arabic means only "hill." The archaeological connotation of "hill of accumulated debris" in this case does not apply. The city was built over two natural hills on the left bank of Wadi ("valley") Qweilibeh, which is, in fact, delineated by hills and escarpments. The largest site is located amidst verdant agricultural fields near the modern Ain Quweilbeh spring. Roman temples, Byzantine churches and early mosques lie amidst olive groves and wheat fields.
RP91009. Bronze AE 24, RPC IV online T6512 (3 spec.), Sofaer 10, Rosenberger IV 9, Spijkerman 9, SNG ANS -, VF, well centered on tight flan, sage green patina, earthen deposits, weight 11.291 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Abila in Decapolis (Quwaylibah, Jordan) mint, 162 - 163 A.D.; obverse AYT KAICAP Λ AYPOYHPΩC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CE ABIΛHNW-N I A A I KOI CY (of the people of Seleucia Abila in Coele-Syria), nude Herakles seated left on rocks, right hand resting on grounded club, left hand on rocks behind, ϖKC (year 226) in exergue; rare; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Lot of 5 Roman Provincial Bronze Coins of Antioch Syria, c. 200 - 250 A.D.

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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. Antioch was renamed Theoupolis after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake on 29 November 528. 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
LT88499. Bronze Lot, 5 Roman provincial coins of Antioch, Syria, 17.1mm - 23.0mm, Nice VF, desert patinas with highlighting earthen deposits, no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Damascus, Coele-Syria

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Damascus was an important caravan city with trade routes from southern Arabia, Palmyra, Petra, and silk routes from China all converging on it delivering eastern luxuries to Rome. Saul (later known as Paul) was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when he was blinded by a light from the presence of Jesus. He spent three days in Damascus, blind, until Jesus sent a disciple named Ananias to Saul. Damascus was the city in which Paul began his work as a great evangelist. Hadrian promoted Damascus to the Metropolis of Coele-Syria about 125 A.D. Severus Alexander upgraded it to a colonia in 222 A.D.
RY89578. Bronze AE 28, SNG Cop 421, Rosenberger V 20, SNG München -, aF/VF, crude style, inscriptions blundered and mostly off flan (normal for the type), weight 9.608 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse CEYΠECV - AVTOK KAI (or similar), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse ∆MACKHNΩ - MHTPΠOΛ... (or similar), turreted and draped bust of city goddess Tyche left within an arched tetrastyle shrine; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); very rare; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria

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On 8 June 218, at the Battle of Antioch, Elagabalus, with support of the Syrian legions, defeated the forces of Macrinus. Macrinus fled but was captured near Chalcedon and later executed in Cappadocia. Diadumenian, son of Macrinus, escaped to the Parthian court, but was captured at Zeugma and was also put to death.
RP89899. Bronze as, McAlee 784(a) (rare, same dies); BMC Galatia p. 203, 432; Waage 591 var. (wreath closed with star); cf. SNG Cop 247 (legend uncertain), SNG München -, Choice VF, highlighting red earthen fill "desert" patina, well centered, nice youth portrait with Elagabalus' distinctive cheeks, well centered and struck, weight 4.833 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT KAI MAP AVP ANTΩNEINOC (clockwise from 12:00), laureate head left; reverse large S • C, ∆ E above, eagle wings open and head right below, all in laurel wreath closed at the top with a garland; rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Monday, January 20, 2020.
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Roman Syria