SYRIA, ANTIOCH, Trajan, 98-117 AD, bronze


SYRIA: SELEUCIS & PIERIA, ANTIOCH, Trajan, 98-117 AD, minor, date missing, Obverse: laureate head R, AUTOKR KAIS NER TRIANOS SEB GERM DAK, Reverse: SC in wreath, bronze, 26mm, 14.54g, SGI1078, some of obverse legend is weak, F

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Antioch on the Orontes was a major hub of the caravan and sea trades in ancient times. During the Roman period it thrived and was the major administrative center in the East before the building of Constantinople. The bronze coins with the SC reverse advertise the direct control by the Imperium and continued to be used for more than two centuries.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience. The main catalog reference for these coins on this web site is Greek Imperial Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.