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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Greek Imperial| ▸ |Mesopotamia & Babylonia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Provincial Coins from Mesopotamia and Babylonia

Kingdom of Persis, Nambed (Namopat), 1st Century A.D.

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Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS92018. Silver hemidrachm, cf. Alram IP 601; Sunrise 625; BMC Arabia p. 226, 6; Tyler-Smith -, Choice aEF, light marks, die wear, uneven toning, tiny edge cracks, weight 1.625 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing Persepolitan crown with stepped battlements, diadem, torque and robe; reverse king standing right, holding scepter, before him, star and crescent with horns left, blundered inscription around; ex FORVM (2003), ex Stephen Album; $110.00 (Ä96.80)


Kingdom of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Abgar X with Gordian III, 242 - 243 A.D.

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Abgar X Frahad bar Manu was raised to the throne when Gordian III recovered Mesopotamia from the Persians. His rule and the Kingdom of Edessa both ended with Gordian's assassination and a Sassanid takeover in 244 A.D.
GB88990. Bronze AE 24, BMC Arabia p. 115, 148; Babelon Edessa 97; cf. SNG Cop 225 (draped and cuirassed), SNG Hunterian 2579 (same), aVF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, porous, weight 9.952 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate bust of Gordian III right, slight drapery on left shoulder, star lower right; reverse ABΓAPOC BACIΛEYC, draped bust of Abgar right, bearded, wearing a diademed Parthian-style tiara, star behind; ex Dmitry Markov Coins & Medals; $100.00 (Ä88.00)


Gordian III and Tranquillina, May 241 - 25 February 244 A.D., Singara, Mesopotamia

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In the winter of 114, Trajan's eastern campaign captured Singara, located at the northern extremity of Mesopotamia, without a fight. Rome withdrew from all Mesopotamia in 117, but Septimius Severus took city again in his the Parthian campaign of 197. He made it a strongly fortified Roman colony and the home of Legio I Parthica. Extremely arid surroundings aided its defense. During the reign of Constantius II, despite a gallant defense by the townspeople and two legions, in 360 it was captured and sacked by the Sassanids.
RP91455. Bronze AE 31, SNG Cop 256; SNG Righetti 2646; BMC Arabia p. 135, 8; Lindgren-Kovacs 2627, VF, well centered, brown patina, a couple corrosion pits at 6:00 on obverse, weight 21.738 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 180o, Singara (Sinjar, Iraq) mint, 242 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AVTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANON CAB TPANKVΛΛINA CEB, confronted busts of Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Tranquillina on right, draped and wearing stephane; reverse AVP CEΠ KOΛ CINΓAPA (Aurelia Septimia Colonia Singara), Tyche seated left on rock, wearing turreted crown, veil, mantle, and chiton, branch in right hand, left hand on rocks behind, half-length figure of river-god Mygdonius swimming left at her feet, Centaur Sagittarius shooting arrow left above; big 31mm bronze!, from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $100.00 (Ä88.00)


Kingdom of Persis, Nambed (Namopat), 1st Century A.D.

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Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
GS89568. Silver hemidrachm, cf. Alram IP 601; Sunrise 625; BMC Arabia p. 226, 6; Tyler-Smith -, VF, toned, a little rough, weight 1.119 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing Persepolitan crown with stepped battlements, diadem, torque and robe; reverse king standing right, holding scepter, before him, star and crescent with horns left, blundered inscription around; ex Ancient Imports; $70.00 (Ä61.60)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia

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Even before 190 A.D. Christianity had spread vigorously within Edessa and its surroundings and that shortly after the royal house joined the church. Under Abgar IX (179Ė214) Christianity became the official religion of the kingdom. A Christian council was held at Edessa as early as 197. In 201 the city was devastated by a great flood, and the Christian church was destroyed. Many martyrs suffered at Edessa under Decius and Diocletian. Atill‚ti‚, Bishop of Edessa, assisted at the First Council of Nicaea. The Peregrinatio Silviae (or Etheriae) gives an account of the many sanctuaries at Edessa about 388.
RP91396. Bronze AE 26, cf. BMC Arabia p. 108, 112 (bust), SNG Cop 217 var. (bust), Babelon Edessa 75 (bust), aVF, well centered, light corrosion (removed PVC damage?), weight 10.648 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa (Urfa, Sanliurfa, Turkey) mint, 232 - 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M A CEV AΛEΞA∆POC CEB, laureate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse MHT KOΛ E∆ECCHNWN (Metropolis Colony of the Edessans), Tyche seated left on seat on rocks, wearing turreted crown, veil, mantle, and chiton, holding fruits in right hand, left hand resting on seat behind, half-figure of river-god swimming at her feet, flanked by star over small flaming altar both before and behind; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $60.00 (Ä52.80)







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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. La collection Waddington au cabinet des mťdailles. (1897-1898).
Babelon, E. Numismatique d'Edessa. (Paris, 1904).
Bellinger, A. The Syrian Tetradrachms of Caracalla and Macrinus. ANSNS 3. (New York, 1940).
Castelin, K.O. The Coinage of Rhesaena in Mesopotamia. ANSNNM 108. (New York, 1946).
Hill, G.F. Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. (London, 1922).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Prieur, M. & K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, Univ. of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, XII. Syria-Bactria et India. (Milan, 1991-1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II, Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).

Catalog current as of Saturday, August 17, 2019.
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Roman Mesopotamia & Babylonia