Antioch

Antiochia (Diœcesis Orientis, province of Syria Cœle)

 

  • Coinage: 294–305
  • 305–313
  • 313–337
  • Civic coinage
  • About Antioch...
  • Map

I. The mint of Antioch under Diocletian

204-610
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Galerius caesar
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 293-294
obv.- GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES; radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
rev.- IOVI ET HERCVLI CONS CAES; Jupiter standing right, holding long sceptre and globe, facing Hercules standing left, holding Victory, club and lion's skin; • Γ in middle field; XXI in ex
RIC V.ii Ant 719
23mm; 4.2g; antoninianus
204-299
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Maximianus augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 294-295
obv.- MAXIMIANVS AVG; Laureate bust right
rev.- PROVIDENTIAE AVGG; four tetrarchs sacrificing in front of gateway of four-turreted enclosure; * Z in fields; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 31 [var]
18mm; 3.2g; argenteus
RIC lists this issue for Diocletian only (RIC 31); this coin should be cataloged as 31b. The Diocletian coin is only listed as being struck in officina Δ and H, not Z. This is noteworthy because Sutherland's whole cataloging scheme in RIC relies on the argentii for this issue being struck in officinae 2, 3, 4 & 8 (B, Γ, Δ, H), with the other officinae being used for bronze coins. Extremely rare (the Diocletian coin is rated R4). From White Mountain Collection; ex Ex Gorny & Mosch 118 (14 October 2002), lot 2388.
204-288
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Maximianus augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 294-295
obv.- MAXIMIANVS AVG; Laureate bust right
rev.- VICTORIAE SARMATICAE; four tetrarchs sacrificing in front of gateway of four-turreted enclosure; * A in fields; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 32 [var]
18mm; 3.3g; argenteus

Very rare—possibly only the second known speciman. RIC lists this issue for Diocletian (RIC 32), and Constantius / Galerius (RIC 33a/b), so one should assume that it was also struck for Maximianus; it should be cataloged as 32b. This is a logical companion coin to the previous one, 204-299; together they fill out the first Antioch issue of argentii to properly include Maximianus. Cf. Berk 110, lot 549 (Sept. 15, 1999), same dies.

As noted in 204-299, Sutherland's cataloging in RIC is based on his idea that Antioch used 8 officina, with 4 reseved for argentii and 4 for bronze coins. Like 204-299, this further disproves that notion by being struck in officina A, for which no other argentii are cataloged.

204-574
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 294-295
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left pouring libation from patera and holding cornucopiae; * B in fields, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 44a
26mm; 11.1g; nummus
First issue of reformed nummi from Antioch mint, and scarce thus. Not catalogued for this officina, which is only noteworthy because one of Sutherland's arguments for dating this issue (and consequent sequencing of the other issues) is the reduced number of officina for bronze and silver coins, with officina for silver and bronze segregated, which is clearly not the case.
104-888
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Galerius caesar
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 294-295
obv.- GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES; laur bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, patera in right, cornucopia in left, star left, Z right, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 45b
26mm; 10.2g; nummus
first issue from Antioch mint
204-667
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 297
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, holding patera from which liquid flows, and cornucopiae; crescent over A in right field, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 50
29mm; 10.1g; nummus
204-522
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 298
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, holding patera from which liquor flows and cornucopiae; * * in left field; crescent - Γ in right field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 50a
28mm; 9.7g; nummus
204-444
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Maximianus augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 299-300
obv.- IMP C MA MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left holding a patera and cornucopiae. Δ in fields, [ANT] in ex
RIC VI Ant 52b
27mm; 5.7g; half-nummus
This is a full-size nummus from which approximately half the material has been cut away to make small change. Notice how carefully the money-changer avoided cutting into the imperial portrait.
104-904
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 300-301
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG; laur bust r
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia; K | IV in field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 54a
26mm; 11.2g; nummus
104-721
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 300-301
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG; l-b-r
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing facing, head left, emptying patera; K|Δ-V infields, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 54a; Fail 006
29mm; 10.6g; nummus
204-705
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Maximianus augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 300-301
obv.- IMP C MA MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera from which liquid flows, and cornucopiae, K in left field, officina letter S over V in right field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 54b
28mm; 9.9g; nummus
204-263
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Constantius I caesar
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 302-303
obv.- FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES; Laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius; K-V A in field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 55a
28mm; 10.2g; nummus
The K-V in the fields signify the coin's value. K is the Greek numeral for 20, denoting the coin's value as 20 sestertii; V indicates the value as 5 denarii. This issue corresponds to the "Moneta" issues from other mints, that were issued in response to Diocletian's monetary and price reforms of 300/301. (The other letter, A, is the mint officina mark, similar to the mint marks commonly used on other coins of this era.)
204-456
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Galerius caesar
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 300-301
obv.- GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopiae, value mark K | V, officina Δ | Ε in fields; mintmark ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 55b
26mm; 8.1g; nummus
This was officina 9, which ought to have been represented by Θ, but this was not used because it was the first letter in the Greek word for death [ ΘΑΝΑΤΩΣ ]; so the two letters Δ Ε ( 4 + 5 = 9) were used instead.
104-858
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Constantius I caesar
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 302-303
obv.- FL VAL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES; laur bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius; A in field; ANT* in ex
RIC VI Ant 57a
27mm; 9.3g; nummus
104-513
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 304/305
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG;
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing Left holding Patera + Cornucopia
RIC VI Ant 58a; Fail 25
29mm; 8.8g; nummus
204-235
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Diocletian augustus
—struck by Diocletian
Antioch, 304-305
obv.- IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG; Laureate head right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing facing, modius on head left, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, liquors flowing from patera in right hand, cornucopiae in left H in field; ANT• in ex
RIC VI Ant 58a
30mm; 8.4g; nummus

II. The mint of Antioch under Maximinus II

In 305, following the abdication of Diocletian, control of the mint passed to Maximinus II. Initially, Maximinus continued the conservative motfs of his predecessor, but beginning in 309, following the Carnuntum conference, the coinage reflects Maximinus' increasingly assertive programs.

204-662
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Maximinus II caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 305
obv.- MAXIMINVS CAESAR; laureate bust right
rev.- VIRTVS MILITVM; Camp gate with open arch and three turrets; *ANTH* in ex
RIC VI Ant --; SMB 243, September 2001, pl. 71, 7 (this coin)
19mm; 3.2g; argenteus
This coin comes from a very rare and obscure issue of silver from Antioch, minted very early in the Second Tetrarchy utilizing a mintmark that had last been used at the end of the 290s. In fact, aside from this exceptional issue under Galerius Augustus and Maximinus II Caesar, Antioch minted no silver at all between c.298 and 336. This coin is one of three known examples, all from different obverse dies. Right edge damaged from being exposed to fire in ancient times.
104-640
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Constantius I augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 305
obv.- IMP CFL V CONSTANTIVS PF AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius holding cornucopiae and patera; B in field; ANT• in ex
RIC VI Ant 70a; Fail 025
29mm; 10.0g; nummus
From the Father Wilbur B. Dexter Collection.
204-509
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Maximinus II caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 305
obv.- GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB CAES; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder (falls low), holding patera from which liquid flows, and cornucopiae; A in field; ANT• in ex
RIC VI Ant 71b
27mm; 10.3g; nummus
204-277
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Severus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 305-306
obv.- IMP C FL VAL SEVERVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, liquors flowing from patera in right hand, cornucopiae in left; HT-[gamma] in ex
RIC VI Ant 75 var
26mm; 10.3g; nummus

Unlisted in RIC. See King and Spear, "A Hoard of Folles from Northern Sinai," in NumChron 1977, 3981-3999. Group II in RIC lists this type for Severus as Caesar; Group III does not include "POPVLI ROMANI" at all for any, only CAESARIS and IMPERATORIS varieties. This issue should fall before RIC 81 in Group III.

Despite being technically uncatalogued in standard references, it is rather well-documented by Jan de Veen on this page (with both of my specimens referenced).

Ex John A. Seeger Collection

204-031
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Constantine I caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 306-307
obv.- FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing facing, head left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, liquors flowing from patera in right hand, cornucopiae in left; Z in field; ANT: in ex
RIC VI 75 [var]
26mm; 10.6g; nummus
This group of nummi is recorded for all the members of the second tetrarchy, but not for Constantine as Caesar or Severus II as augustus (see 104-646 for an example of the unrecorded Severus II).
204-032
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Constantine I caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 306-307
obv.- FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius standing facing, head left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, liquors flowing from patera in right hand, cornucopiae in left; A in field; ANT: in ex
RIC VI 75 [var]
27mm; 10.5g; nummus
This group of nummi is recorded for all the members of the second tetrarchy, but not for Constantine as Caesar or Severus II as augustus. Despite being technically "uncatalogued" examples have been documented from 10(!) officina; Jan de Veen documents numerous examples here.
104-831
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Maximianus sr aug
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 306
obv.- DN MAXIMIANO BAEATISSIMO SEN AVG; Laureate and mantled Maximianus right, holding olive branch in right hand and mappa in left
rev.- PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG; Providentia standing right and extending hand to Quies standing left; H in field; ANT: in ex
RIC VI Ant 76b; Fail 052
28mm; 10.9g; nummus
rated R in RIC
204-081
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Maximinus II caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 308
obv.- GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB CAES; laur bust right
rev.- VIRTVTI EXERCITVS; Virtus advancing right with spear, shield and trophy; Z in field, ANT• in ex
RIC VI Ant 92
25mm; 6.1g; nummus
Rated S in RIC
104-773
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Diocletian sr aug
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 308
obv.- DN DIOCLETIANO BEATISSIMO SEN AVG; Laureate and mantled Diocletian right, holding olive branch in right hand and mappa in left
rev.- PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG; Providentia standing right and extending hand to Quies standing left; crescent-Δ in fields, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 96
25mm; 6.9g; nummus
rated S in RIC
104-792
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Galerius augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 308
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; Laureate head right
rev.- VIRTVTI EXERCITVS; Virtus advancing right in military dress, spear in right hand, shield and trophy over left shoulder in left hand ; crescent-A in right field; ANT • in ex
RIC VI Ant 99; Fail 212
24mm; 6.5g; nummus
rated S in RIC
204-210
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Constantine I fil aug
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 309
obv.- FL VAL CONSTANTINVS FIL AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO FIL AVGG; Genius standing left, modius on head, holding patera and cornucopiae; o E in right field; ANT• in ex
RIC VI Ant 111
23mm; 7.0g; nummus
This rare reverse legend was only used for a year, only at Antioch, and only for Constantine. Even though Maximinus also, technically, had the same title as Constantine, it is a measure of the distate with which the title was viewed that he only used it for Constantine. (Constantine, for his part, never used the title at all, either for himself or Maximinus.)
204-309
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Maximianus augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 309
obv.- IMP C M AVR VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
rev.- GENIO IMPERATORIS; Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia; OЄ in field; ANT• in ex
RIC VI Ant 112c
25mm; 6.3g; nummus
The existence of this coin is a puzzling anachronism. Struck long after the revolt of Maxentius, it nevertheless recognizes Maximianus as Augustus. One wonders why any eastern mint struck such coins in the first place, considering Maximianus' efforts to reclam power were a direct affront to Galerius, but what makes this coin even more puzzling is that the issue of which it is part was struck after the Carnuntum conference that formally stripped Maximianus of his title. The fact that coins from Constantine in this issue have the title of filius augustorum confirms that this issue is consistent with the Carnuntum edicts, so one wonders why any coins at all were struck for Maximianus.
The most intriguing possibility is that this coin was struck to support Maximianus' later revolt against Constantine, there being no love lost between Maximinus II and Constantine: this then would be the only coin that recognizes Maximianus' third bid as augustus. The fact that Maximimianus' first name is is present in the legendM AVRmakes it obvious that whoever struck this coin took pains to make sure that it was understood that this coin referred to Maximianus and not Galerius.
104-880
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Galeria Valeria augusta
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 309
obv.- GAL VALERIA AVG; Draped bust right; crested hairstyle with stephane
rev.- VENERI VICTRICI; Venus stg, head l, holding apple, raising drapery over shoulder; pellet-Γ in field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 115
26mm; 6.4g; nummus
204-634
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Constantine I caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 309-310
obv.- FL VAL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO CAESARIS *; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopia. Altar * in left field, I in right field, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 118b
25mm; 5.3g; nummus
Rare issue for Constantine as caesar; rated R2 in RIC. For this issue the Antioch mint operated 10 officina; only the last one struck coins for Constantine. It is not quite clear why this issue is struck with the title of "caesar," post-Carnuntum.
204-397
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Galerius augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 309-310
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS PF AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO IMPERATORIS; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder (falls low), holding patera from which liquid flows, and cornucopiae; altar in left field; Z in rt field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 119a
24mm; 6.3g; nummus
104-914
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Maximinus II caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310
obv.- MAXIMINVS NOB CAES; Laureate and mantled bust left, holding Victory on globe and shield decorated with riders and prisoners
rev.- MAXIMINVS NOBILISSIMVS CAESAR; Maximinus standing facing, head left, holding globe and scepter; altar with blob to left; Δ in field, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 120 [var]
25mm; 7.0g; nummus

How you choose to attribute this depends on whether you interpret the blob next to the altar (the blob is clearly metal, btw, not dirt or other encrustation). If it is the remains of a *, then this coin belongs to the Group V.i issue of 310 and is a variant of RIC 135 (rarity R3), distinguished from that coin by the absence of Victory standing on the globe on the reverse. One problem with this attribution is that in the only other example I've seen, the * was above the altar, not to the left.

If you interpret the blob as simply a die defect or similar irregularity, then the coin is from Group IV.iii, and is a variant of RIC 120 (rarity R2). In this case, RIC 120 is only catalogued for a helmeted bust type F, while this is clearly unhelmeted bust type E.

Neither RIC 120 nor RIC 135 is listed with officina Δ. For that matter, neither is the reverse die break.

104-582
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Galerius augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG; laur b r
rev.- GENIO IMPERATORIS; Genius over altar; ANT in ex; * | B in fields
RIC VI Ant 133a; Fail 197d
24mm; 7.0g; nummus
204-635
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Licinius I augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310
obv.- IMP C LIC LICINNIVS PF AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO IMPERATORIS; Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera and cornucopia. Altar * in left field, I in right field, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 133b
24mm; 6.7g; nummus
Rare issue for Licinius; rated R2 in RIC
104-755
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- SOLE INVICTO; Sol, radiate and in long robe, holding globe, right hand raised, standing in quadriga galloping left; C in field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 142; Fail 208e
23mm; 7.2g; nummus
rated R in RIC
204-342
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Maximinus II caesar
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310
obv.- MAXIMINVS NOB CAES; Helmeted and cuirassed bust l., holding spear over r. shoulder, wearing on l. arm a shield depicting two horsemen riding down four enemies
rev.- SOLI INVICTO; Sol standing in facing quadriga, raising r. hand and holding globe in l.; beneath, S; in exergue, ANT
RIC VI Ant 145b
24mm; 4.9g; nummus
listed as R3 in RIC
104-936
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310-311
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO EXERCITVS; Genius standing left, naked except for chlamys over shoulder, holding cornucopia and patera from which liquor flows; altar in lower left field; crescent in upper left field; Γ in right field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 147c [var]; Fail 195
23mm; 6.1g; nummus
minor unlisted variant; RIC description has no crescent in field.
204-665
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Constantine I augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310-311
obv.- IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO EXERCITVS; Genius standing right, holding patera & cornucopia, altar below, crescent in left field; E in r field, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 147d
23mm; 8.2g; nummus
204-101
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Galeria Valeria augusta
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 309-310
obv.- GAL VALERIA AVG; Draped bust right; crested hairstyle with stephane
rev.- VENERI VICTRICI; Venus standing facing, head left, lifting dress and holding apple; lighted altar to left; crescent | H in fields, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 151 [var]
22mm; 7.5g; nummus
Unpublished with both crescent and altar in fields. The Group V.iii issue includes an altar in the left field; Group V.iv replaces the altar with the crescent; so it is unclear where this coin fits.
204-699
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Galerius augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 310-311
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINIANVS PF AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter standing left, cloak spread behind, holding Victory on globe, leaning on sceptre, eagle at feet; crescent | S in fields; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 153a
23mm; 7.0g; nummus
rated R2 in RIC
204-523
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Galerius commem
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 311
obv.- DIVO MAXIMIANO MAXIMINVS AVG FIL; laureate head right
rev.- AETERNAE MEMORIAE GALERI MAXIMIANI; lighted altar decorated with eagle standing left on garland, head right, with wreath in beak; S in field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant [--]
23mm; 6.2g; nummus
This reverse type -- a posthumous commemoration of Galerius following his death in 311 -- is completely uncatalogued for the Antioch mint (in RIC--Bastien, and several others, note this type). Similar types were struck at Cyzicus and Alexandria, so an issue from Antioch should certainly be expected.
104-967
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 311-312
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO AVGVSTI; Genius standing left holding Victory in right hand, cornucopia in left, ANT in ex., ? in left field, I in right field
RIC VI Ant 162b; Fail 190o
23mm; 4.2g; nummus
plate coin for Failmezgar "Roman Bronze Coins" (Plate 10). ex Tory Failmezgar collection; ex Ed Waddell, 1996
204-019
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Licinius I augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- IMP C LIC LICINNIVS P F AVG; Laur bust right
rev.- GENIO AVGVSTI; Genius standing left, holding head of Sol and cornucopiae; * in left field, I in right field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 164a
20mm; 4.2g; nummus
204-642
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- GENIO AVGVSTI; Genius standing facing, modius on head left, naked but for chlamys over left shoulder, head of Sol in right hand, cornucopiae in left; * | B across fields; ANT in exergue
RIC VI Ant 164b
21mm; 4.7g; nummus
204-659
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on globe and scepter; * | E in fields; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 166b
21mm; 4.5g; nummus
104-793
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; l-b-r
rev.- SOLI INVICTO; Sol, radiate and in long robe, right hand raised, holding head of Serapis; B|* in field; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 167b; Fail 208d
21mm; 4.8g; nummus
104-801
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Constantine I augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG; laur bust right
rev.- SOLI INVICTO; Sol, radiate, in long robe, r hand raised, left hand holding head of Serapis; epsilon-I in left field, * in right; ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 167c; Fail 208d
21mm; 4.2g; nummus
Listed S in RIC. Officina epsilon-I is unlisted.
104-774
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Maximinus II augustus
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 313
obv.- IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; laur bust right
rev.- HERCVLI VICTORI; Hercules standing right, leaning on club with lion's skin; S in field, ANT in ex
RIC VI Ant 170b; Fail 201
21mm; 4.8g; nummus
rated S in RIC. Last Antioch issue, BTW

III. The Antioch mint under Licinius

In 313, control of the mint passed to Licinius following his victory over Maximinus II in their war. Licinius immediately replaced the coin designs with the Jupiter motifs typical of his other mints.

204-666
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Constantine I augustus
—struck by Licinius I
Antioch, 313-314
obv.- IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS PF AVG; laureate bust right
rev.- IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG; Jupiter standing left holding victory on globe and scepter, eagle at feet left, holding wreath; wreath - AI - III in field; ANT in ex
RIC VII Ant 7
19mm; 3.1g; nummus
104-530
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Licinius II caesar
—struck by Licinius I
Antioch, 317-320
obv.- DN VAL LICIN LICINIVS NOB C; Consular bust left holding mappa and globe
rev.- IOVI CONSERVATORI CAESS; Jupiter stg left holding Victory and sceptre, captive at feet; SMANT in ex, epsilon in field
RIC VII Ant 29
19mm; 3.1g; AE3
listed as R2 in RIC
204-289
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Licinius I augustus
—struck by Licinius I
Antioch, 318
obv.- DD NN IOVII LICINII INVICT AVG ET CAES; Facing laureate busts of Licinius I and Licinius II; Licinius I draped, Licinius II cuirassed, trophy between
rev.- I O M ET VIRTVTI D NN AVG ET CAES; Jupiter tanding left, leaning on scepter,with trophy and captives, SMATΔ in ex
RIC VII Her 50 [var]; Fail 277
23mm; 4.6g; nummus

Licinius struck three varieties of this fascinating type with the distinctive facing busts of himself and his son. Most likely these were struck in 318 to reinforce Licnius' dynastic claims and hold on power following his defeat by Constantine in his civil war. RIC catalogues these coins from Heraclea, Nicomedia, and Cyzicus, but Bastien demonstrated (Numismatic Chronicle 1973—"Coins with a double effigy issued by Licinius at Cyzicus, Nicomedia, and Antioch") that the RIC cataloging is completely incorrect, and that the coins thought to be from Heraclea were actually struck at Antioch.

RIC catalogs this type from Heraclea, supposing the mintmark to be SMHTA, and documenting only the single officina A. Bastien demonstrates that what the RIC editors supposed to be H was actually A, and identifies coins from 8 different officina, conclusively pointing to Antioch (while it is not unusual for A, H, and Δ to look very similar on coins from this era, this mintmark is clearly A instead of H, and Δ instead of A). One of the problems with this theory is that nowhere else is Antioch abbreviated AT instead of ANT, but one could surmise that the shorter abbreviation was necessitated by the unusually long reverse legend and limited exergual area. No other coin types are known with this mintmark. In this respect, this Antioch coin is consistent with the Cyzicus and Nicomedia varieties; these coins also were the only types struck in their respective issues.

Bastien notes another problem with these coins, which is that they are noticeably larger and heavier than the coins in the immediately preceding and subsequent issues for each mint. This raises the question of precisely what denomination these were intended to represent. It is possible that each type was struck for only a limited period of time, perhaps in conjunction with an imperial visit. This would explain why they were only struck at certain mints, for seemingly a short period of time, and for that time were the only coins struck. Perhaps their larger size and weight indicated a ceremonial importance in connection with the imperial visit??

This particular coin is from Victor Failmezger's collection and is the plate coin for Roman Bronze Coins #277.


IV. The Antioch mint under Constantine

In 324 the mint again changed hands, passing into Constantine's control following his final defeat of Licinius. Constantine immediately integrated the Antioch mint coin types with his other mints.

204-155
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Constantine I augustus
—struck by Constantine I
Antioch, 324-325
obv.- Laureate bust facing right; no legend
rev.- CONSTANTINVS AVG; wreath and below legend ; SMANT Z in ex, dot below
RIC VII Ant 57; Fail 335
17mm; 2.2g; nummus
Listed as R5 in RIC, which means that at the time of its publication, the authors knew of only one example (in the collection at Oxford University). Obviously more have turned up since then, but it is still relatively scarce. Antioch coins from this era often have much nicer style than other mints; this is a wonderful Constantine portrait from this period.
204-223
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Constantine II caesar
—struck by Constantine I
Antioch, 324-325
obv.- [none]; laureated head facing right - no legend
rev.- CONSTANTINVS CAESAR; SMANTS in ex
RIC VII Ant 54
19mm; 2.1g; nummus
204-375
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Constantius II caesar
—struck by Constantine I
Antioch, 324-325
obv.- [none]; laureate draped cuirassed bust left
rev.- CONSTANTIVS CAESAR; * above legend; SMANTA • in ex
RIC VII Ant 60
18mm; 2.4g; nummus
rated R3 in RIC
204-495
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Constantius II caesar
—struck by Constantine I
Antioch, 326-327
obv.- FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left
rev.- PROVIDENTIAE CAESS; camp-gate with no doors and two turrets, star above; • in arch; SMANTH
RIC VII Ant 74
19mm; 3.6g; nummus
104-911
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Constantine I commem
—struck by Constantius II
Antioch, 337-340
obv.- CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG; veiled bust right
rev.- IVST VEN MEM; Aequitas in long dress standing facing, head turned l., holding scales in her r. hand; SMANH in ex
RIC VIII Ant 64; Fail 390
15mm; 1.5g; AE4
104-844
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Constantine I commem
—struck by Constantius II
Antioch, 337-340
obv.- DN CONSTANTINVS P F AVGG; veiled bust right
rev.- Deified Constantine driving quadriga right, hand of God reaching down from above; SMANA in ex
RIC VII Ant 37
16mm; 1.7g; AE4

Around 312 Maximinus struck a series of small bronze fractions at the eastern mints of Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch, and Alexandria. These coins echo the tradition of locally minted bronze coinage, intended for local commerce, that existed in the Roman empire for centuries. Such coinage died out in the general economic malaise that preceded Diocletian.

Instead of an imperial portrait and legend, each coin has the image of a local deity or civic motif. It is not clear whether these were struck as normal coins, intended for local circulation as small change, or whether they were struck for a ceremonial purpose. These perhaps might be connected with the renewed Christian persecutions that Maximinus—a fanatical anti-Christian—enforced following the death of Galerius and the Christian toleration practiced by Constantine.

While the coins from Antioch are common, coins from the other cities are rare.

104-531
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Antioch civic issue
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter seated on throne, holding globe and scepter
rev.- VICTORIA AVGG; Victoria standing left holding wreath and cornucopia; ANT in ex
Fail 231
16mm; 1.1g
104-566
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Antioch civic issue
—struck by Maximinus II
Antioch, 312
obv.- GENIO ANTIOCHENI; Tyche seated facing; river-god Orontes swimming below
rev.- APOLLONI SANCTO; Apollo standing left, holding patera and lyre; SMA in ex
Vagi 2954; Fail 229
15mm; 1.53g
The obverse of this coin shows the classic traditional iconography of Antioch: a turreted Tyche, as city-goddess, seated above a swimming river-god, representing the Orontes river. Higher-res version of this same tableau.

The great city of Antioch was the 3rd-largest city in the Roman world, after Rome and Alexandria. It was properly known as Antiochia ad Orontem (Αντιόχεια η επί Ορόντου), referring to its location on the Orontes river, to distinguish itself from the 15 other cities of that name founded by Seleucus I in honor of his father, Antiochus.

In the first Tetrarchy, Antioch found itself in Diocletian's sphere of control. As such, the coinage was extremely orthodox, striking only the GENIO POPVLI ROMANI type of follis until Diocletian's abdication. The other characteristic of the Antioch mint was the sheer quantity of issues and coinage. Vast quantities of coinage were struck to support the wars against Persia that Galerius ultimately concluded with great success in 298.

Maximinus introduced more typographic variety when he took control of the mint in 305. Like the other eastern mints, he continued to strike coins with the Genius reverse, but with GENIO CAESARIS and GENIO IMPERATORIS legends, celebrating the Genius of the emperors personally, rather than the Roman people generally. Later issues were more specifically focused on his political programmes, featuring elaborate bust types and active military and pagan themes — perhaps in reaction to Constantine's increasing tolerance of Christianity in the western part of the empire.

After the death of Galerius in 311, Sol was prominently featured on the coinage in a variety of guises, along with Hercules to a lesser extent. During this time, Maximinus was gearing up for war with Licinius, and so these types may have been intended to distinguish his coinage from the Jupiter types of Licinius.

Locator map of city

 

Timeline

300 BC—City is founded by Seleucus I Nicator.

148 BC — Damaged in severe earthquake — the first of many.

64 BC — Passes to Roman control with rest of Syria. Administered as a civitas librera, or free city. Population reaches 500,000.

~35 AD — Antioch becomes early Christian center. The word "Christians" is first used in Antioch (Acts 11:26).

47 — Paul begins missionary journeys in Antioch.

67 AD — St. Ignatius appointed 3rd bishop of Antioch by Peter. Martyred in Rome in 110.

~85 — Matthew composes his Gospel in Antioch.

260 — City is captured and sacked by Persians under Shapur I while Roman empire is in disarray.

266 — Queen Zenobia rules breakaway Palmyrene Empire from Antioch. Aurelian retakes city for Rome, 272.

325 — Constantine visits Antioch for church council and delivers Oration on the Saints.

341 — Great Church Antioch, begun by Constantine, is completed and consecrated.

349 — St. John Chrysostom born in Antioch.

459 — St. Simeon dies after living 39 years on top of a column in the desert outside Antioch, spawning legions of stereotypes.

526, 538 — Major earthquake in 526; captured and sacked again by Persians in 536; combine to leave city virtually destroyed.

540 — Justinian recaptures city for Byzantine Empire. Rebuilt and renamed Theopolis, but never regains its former importance.

638 — Conquered by Arabs.

969 — Reconquered by Byzantine Empire.

1084 — Conquered by Seljuk Turks.

1098 — Taken by Crusaders in the First Crusade, who found Principality of Antioch.

1268 — Conquered by Mamluks. Eventually subsumed into Ottoman Empire. Name morphs into its current Turkish form, Antakya.