The last time I did this, it was fun, so I thought it would be fun to do it again. I used a random number generator to pick a coin for me to post today. It chose: Diadumenian, Caesar AD 217-218. Roman provincial Æ 16.5 mm, 4.63 g, 11:00. Syria: Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch ad Orontem. Obv: ΚΑΙ Μ Ο ΔΙA ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟC CЄ, bare-headed and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Large SC, Δ/Є above and beneath; all within laurel wreath interrupted by star above. Refs: SGI 3017; BMC 20. 201,408; SNG Cop. 235; McAlee 745a. Notes: Reverse die match to McAlee plate coin. What is so interesting this coin? The main mint of Syria was Antioch, which produced vast numbers of bronze coins with the letters S C in a wreath on the reverse. These issues begin with Augustus and continue down to Philip I (244-249). There is scholarly disagreement as to what the abbreviation S C means on the reverse of these coins. Wayne Sayles believes this abbreviation "is probably for the same Senatus Consulto that is a common feature on Roman Imperial coins and signifies that the Roman Senate had given its approval for the issue." However, Metcalf notes that "the senate had no authority in the province of Syria,which was under the direct control of the emperor. One possible explanation is that the Senate had issued a Senatus Consultum approving a decision of Augustus to begin issuing this type of "anonymous" bronze coinage ... Another possibility is that S C on this Syrian coins is an abbreviation for something other than Senatus Consulto, although nothing obvious suggests itself." Similarly, Noreña subscribes to the Senatus Consulto theory as well. Against the notion that SC stands for Senatus Consulto on coins of this city is the fact that the abbreviation occurs also on silver coinage of the region, whereas on Roman imperial issues, SC almost never occurs except on bronze issues. Some on this and other numismatic boards have suggested that the abbreviation stands for "Syria Coele," but I am skeptical about this for several reasons. First, Syria Coele is situated next to the province of Syria where Antioch is located. Seleucis ad Piera was the harbor of Antiochia ad Orontes. Secondly, were this reverse inscription an abbreviation for the province, I'd expect it to read CS, not SC, for in antiquity, the region was known as Κοίλη Συρία, transliterated into Latin as Coelosyria and Celesyria. Lastly, I'm unable to find a numismatic or historical reference that supports the notion the abbreviation means "Syria Coele." For now, I'm willing to accept that we simply don't know for sure what this iconic reverse legend means on coins of this city. At any rate, this coin is an example of a long and important series of Roman provincial issues from this city. It's a nice example, too; many issues from this series are poorly centered, with important design elements often falling off the flan. I bought this as a companion piece to an issue from this city of Diadumenian's father, Macrinus, with the same reverse design: Macrinus, Augustus AD 217-218. Roman provincial Æ 19 mm, 3.80 g, 12:00. Syria: Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch ad Orontem. Obv: ΑVΤ Κ Μ Ο C ΜΑΚΡΙΝΟC CЄ, laureate and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Large SC, Δ/Є above and beneath; all within laurel wreath interrupted by star above. Refs: SGI 2949; BMC 20. 198,385; SNG Cop. 233; McAlee 728. I wish I knew what the Δ and the Є represented on these two coins. Denomination? Officina marks? If anyone knows, I'd appreciate hearing from you. Does anyone have a link to: Lichocka, Barbara, "Delta-Epsilon issues of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander," in Classica Orientalia: Essays Presented to Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski on his 75th Birthday (Polish Center of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw)? Post your Diadumenians, Antiochene coins, a randomly chosen coin, comments -- anything you feel is relevant! ~~~ 1. Richard McAlee. The Coins of Roman Antioch. Lancaster, Penn./London: Classical Numismatic Group, Ltd., 2007. 2. Sayles, Wayne G. Ancient Coin Collecting IV: Roman Provincial Coins. Krause Publications, 1998, p. 69. 3. Metcalf, William E. The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage. Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 470. 4. Noreña, Carlos F. "Heritage and Homogeneity: The Civic Coinage of Roman Antioch," in S. Alcock, M. Egri, and J. Frakes (eds.), Beyond Boundaries: Connecting Visual Cultures in the Provinces of Ancient Rome (Getty Publications, 2016), p. 298.