Nisibis (Νίσιβις; modern Nusaybin in southeastern Turkey, along the Syrian border) was ancient even in the Roman period, having been founded as an Aramean settlement before 900 BCE. It is situated in the region of Mygdonia, in northern Mesopotamia, on the frontier between the Greek and Roman empires and the empires of the east: Babylon, Achaemenid Persia, Parthia, and the Sasanians. The city was conquered by by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE and coin production first began in the Seleucid period, with the first issues struck under Antiochus IV. Being on the crossroads between the great empires of the west and east, Nisibis was often taken and retaken. It was captured by Lucullus in 68 BC; however, this first Roman occupation was exceedingly brief. During the reign of Nero, Corbulo seized Nisibis during his Armenian campaign, but this second Roman occupation was also of short duration. The city was captured again by Trajan in 115 CE, then lost and regained against the Jews during the Kitos War. Lost in 194, it was again conquered by Septimius Severus, who made it his headquarters and re-established a colony there, which he named Septimia. The first coins struck in the name of the city under Roman rule were issued under Caracalla, and feature his youthful bust on the obverse and a turreted, veiled and draped figure of the city goddess seated on a rock, holding what appear to be ears of corn (MacDonald p. 315, no 1). The last battle between Rome and Parthia was fought in the vicinity of the city in 217 between the forces of Macrinus and the Parthian army of Artabanus V. It lasted for three days and ended with a Parthian victory, with both sides suffering large casualties. As a result of the battle, Macrinus was forced to seek peace, paying the Parthians a huge sum and abandoning the invasion of Mesopotamia that Caracalla had begun a year before. Nisibis, however, remained under Roman control and continued to mint coins. The coins of this era feature the right-facing bust of Macrinus on the obverse and the right-facing, turreted and veiled bust of the city goddess on the reverse. The city goddess -- often called Tyche or Fortuna in the numismatic literature -- remained a constant feature on the reverses of coins minted in this city. Twenty years after the Parthian victory at Nisibis, the city came under siege by the first Sasanian King, Ardasir, after his failure to conquer Armenia. It was relieved by the Roman Emperor Severus Alexander in 233 CE. From then on the city was given the title of metropolis in addition to colonia. Its coins thereafter bear the legend CЄΠ KOΛΩ NЄCIBI MHT -- "Septimian colony at the metropolis of Nisibis" (Head, HN ii, p. 815). Beginning with the reign of Severus Alexander, the zodiac figure of Ares and a star was typically added to the reverse design of coins issued in the city. Five years later, it was lost again to the Persians during the brief reign of Maximinus in 238. Gordian III re-conquered it after his victory at Rhesaina over Sapur I. Under Gordian III, the figure of the local river god, Mygdonius, became a common reverse motif, in addition to featuring the city goddess, the zodiac sign Ares, and a star. According to the treaty signed between Philip the Arab and Sapur, Nisibis together with the rest of Upper Mesopotamia were left in Roman hands and to her official title was now added the name "Julian" to signify the honors bestowed on her by Philip whose full name was Julius Philippus (cf. Head, HN ii, p. 815). Coins issued under Philip bear the reverse inscription IOY CЄΠ KOΛΩ NЄCIBI MHT to reflect this change in the city's titulature. Arabic sources note the city was recaptured by Sapur ca. 250 CE. The numismatic record indicates that no further coinage was produced there by the Romans after the reign of Philip I (244-249 CE). This coin -- a new acquisition -- was one of the last Roman provincials issued by the city. Otacilia Severa, AD 244-249. Roman provincial Æ 24 mm, 14.34 g. Mesopotamia, Nisibis, AD 244-249. Obv: MAP ΩTAKIΛ CЄOYHPAN CЄB, diademed and draped bust right, on crescent. Rev: IOY CЄΠ KOΛΩ NЄCIBI MHT, tetrastyle temple containing statue of city goddess seated facing; above her head, ram (Aries) leaping right; below, river god Mygdonius swimming right. Refs: BMC 27; SNG Copenhagen 244; Sear GIC 4065; SNG Hunterian 2447; MacDonald 4. Here's the BMC plate coin for a clearer look at the reverse details: Bibliography: Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, New York, 1996-. Nisibis (Samuel Lieu). MacDonald, George. Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow. J. Maclehose and Sons, 1905. Head, Barclay Vincent. Historia Numorum a Manual of Greek Numismatics. Durst, 1983. Available online thanks to CT's own @Ed Snible here. Hill, George Francis. Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Arabia, Mesopotamia & Persia. British Museum, 1922.