SYRIA: SELEUCIS & PIERIA, ANTIOCH, Philip I, 244-249 AD, billon, tetradrachm, year 3 (248 AD)


SYRIA: SELEUCIS & PIERIA, ANTIOCH, Philip I, 244-249 AD, tetradrachm, year 3 (248 AD), Obverse: laureate bust L, AUTOK K M IOULI FILIPPOS KESAR, Reverse: eagle standing, head L, DIMARC EXOUSIAS UPATO G, ANTIOCIA S C, billon, 24-26mm, 8.33g, Prieur-361, rough edge, corroded, year weak, VF

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SKU: s2952a5619 Categories: ,


Seleucis and Pieria was an ancient region of “greater Syria” that inclued the northwestern part of modern Syria and southeastern Anatolia in modern Turkey. Pieria is the land surrounding the town of Seleucia, which was built around 300 BC by Seleukos (Seleucus) I Nikator, a general of Alexander the Great. Briefly conquered by Tigranes II of Armenia, Seleucia was then taken by the Roman general Pompey the Great, who gave it to Antiochos I Theos of Commagene, at which time the city was renamed Antioch. Antioch thrived for centuries as an emporium where the Arabian caravans met the Silk Road caravans met the Mediterranean maritime trade. Philip I (the Arab) came to power in a coup against the previous emperor, Gordian III, who had been young and popular. His entire reign was fighting. He died with his son during a campaign against one of his generals, the future Trajan Decius, who had been acclaimed Emperor by his troops.

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.

This category 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.