Featured Roman Provincial Coin Cities-- How many can we cover?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TIF, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Redditor Lucis Aeternae

    I had a nice time in Alexandria a few years back, it's a great place to shake off the heat of the Nile Valley in the summertime. Happened to see the remains of the hippodrome and the city's theatre.

    Most of the old stuff lies under the modern city, so no real chance for more excavation. Who knows? Alexander's tomb might lay undiscovered under the modern day buildings.
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  3. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    A couple of types of Alexandria (sometimes spelled Alexandreia), Troas have already been posted. I'll add a pseudo-autonomous type, issued during the reign of Gallienus. Although the city enjoyed a great deal of self determination during this period, it was nevertheless a Roman colony - notice the reverse legend COL AVG TROA.

    These civic issues present a very interesting interpretation of Tyche, only nominally similar to classical Greek models. This Tyche appears on several different types, and looks very similar on all of them. It makes me wonder if a specific person was used as a model, perhaps some local princess. This is the type with Marsyas on the reverse, standing on a pedestal with a wineskin over his shoulder. He is raising his right hand and appears to be imploring someone for something. Perhaps he is challenging Apollo to their famous musical duel, or perhaps he's begging the god to spare his life after losing the duel...

    alex troas marsyas 6.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  4. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Amastris was one of the coastal cities of Paphlagonia, a region of northern Asia Minor, on the southern coast of the Black Sea...

    anatolia ancient.jpg

    The younger Pliny, when he was governor of Bithynia and Pontus, describes Amastris, in a letter to Trajan, as a handsome city, with a very long open place (platea), on one side of which extended what was called a river, but in fact was a filthy, pestilent, open drain. Pliny obtained the emperor's permission to cover over this sewer. On a coin of the time of Trajan, Amastris has the title Metropolis. It continued to be a town of some note to the seventh century of our era.

    Here is a bronze of Lucius Verus from Amastris, Salus reverse. The coin is quite worn and patinated, but also quite rare. As another collector noted, sometimes you have to take what you can get from the more obscure cities. It does have the virtue of showing the complete name of the city on the reverse, AMACTPIANΩN...

    verus amastris 6.jpg
  5. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    The city of Attaleia was founded by Attalus II of Pergamon, around 150 BC. It is now Antalya, the fifth most populous city of Turkey.


    Attaleia became part of the Roman Republic in 133 BC and continued to flourish through the Imperial era. It was visited by Paul of Tarsus and Barnabas as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. "Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch." Acts 14:25–26

    Here's a really beautiful bronze of Commodus, with a eagle that's clearly inspired by Syrian tetradrachm designs...

    attaleia 6.jpg
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Nice additions, John!
    red_spork and John Anthony like this.
  7. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Achaea, Argos. Antoninus Pius, 138-161 AD. 18.18g 25mm
    Obv: laureate head of Antoninus Pius, r.
    Rev: ΑΡΓΕΙωΝ; Perseus standing facing, head r., holding head of Medusa in extended r. hand and harpa in l.
    Note: Unpublished emperor/reverse combination. Not in RPC online, BCD -.
  8. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Here's a case where coin evidence gives us information that we would not otherwise have about a very obscure, forgotten city. This is an issue of Nero's from Acmoneia, Phyrigia, modern-day Ahat in central Turkey.


    There appears to be nothing of substance known about this town, as far as my research goes anyway. Here is the coin...

    acmoneia 6.jpg

    But we do get some information from these coins. The reverse tells us that a certain L. Servinius Capito was the magistrate, and it also mentions the name of his wife, Julia Severa.
  9. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    What's better than one coin from an obscure, forgotten city? Two coins from an obscure, forgotten city. Here is Hadrian, also from Acmoneia, Artemis reverse...

    hadrian acmoneia 6.jpg
  10. Smojo

    Smojo dreamliner

    Really cool coins there @John Anthony. I know I have several just that I got from you that fall in with this thread.
    My next few days are gonna be extremely busy for me. Need to find the time to choose what coins that partain to this thread and get some presentable photos.
    I'm gonna hold TIF to her "if you fall behind post it anyway and get caught up" rule,
    This thread will go 40 plus pages. Great idea @TIF
    John Anthony and TIF like this.
  11. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Of course! I'm not going to slap you with a ruler if you post an A city next week :D

    ... B time!

    All I have for Bs are a couple of client kingdom coins from the Bosporus. Since the city isn't known (or is it just unknown to me?), for this and similar instances where the kingdom or province is known but the exact city isn't, we'll file the coin under the province.

    KINGS OF BOSPORUS, Sauromates II
    Bosporan Era 495 (CE 198/9)
    EL stater, 19 mm, 7.72 gm, 12h
    Obv: BACIΛЄωC CAVPOMATOV; diademed and draped bust of Sauromates right
    Rev: laureate head of Septimius Severus right; pellet to right; ЄЧV (date) below
    Ref: Frolova p. 177 and pl. XXXIII, 9-10 (same dies as illustrations); Anokhin 576a; MacDonald 506/2
    ex Dr. Lawrence A. Adams collection
    ex Buddy Ebsen Collection (Superior, 7 June 1987, lot 4114)

    Map showing location of the Bosporus, from RPC Online:

    Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 6.10.23 AM.png
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  12. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Phoenicia, Berytus, 100 BC to Imperial Times, 1.36g, AE12
    Obv: CO-L; Marsyas
    Rev: BER; Prow
    BMC 27

    Although the dating of this coin is uncertain it must be Roman Provincial because the inscriptions indicate a COLony and are in Latin.

    Berytus (modern Beirut) was the capital of Roman Phoenicia.

    As I learned from the Marsyas thread, Roman Provincial coins depicting Marsyas typically had Latin--not Greek--inscriptions and were Roman colonies.
  13. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Bizya is now the modern city of Vize in the Marmara region of Turkey. In ancient times, it served as capital for the ancient Thracian Kingdom. The remains of several ancient buildings still stand on the acropolis section on the hill above the town. On the slope of the acropolis stand the remains of its ancient theater. Across the plain from the town are many burial mounds built for the rulers of Thracian Kingdom.


    Otacilia Severa Bizya.jpg
    Otacilia Severa AD 244-249
    Roman provincial AE 24 6.89 gm, 23.5 mm
    Thrace, Bizya, AD 244-249
    Obv: M WTAKEIΛIA CEBHPA CEB, diademed and draped bust, r.
    Rev: ΒΙΖVΗΝΩΝ, Artemis standing r., holding arrow and torch; stag at her feet.
    Refs: Moushmov 3514; SGI 3991; Varbanov 1592; Lindgren I 759; Youroukova 148; Milano IV/3 --; BMC Thrace --; SNG Tubingen --; SNG Copenhagen --; Mionnet --
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Bostra, the modern (Arabic) Buṣrā al-Shām, is a ruined Syrian city, 67 miles (108 km) south of Damascus. First a Nabataean city, it was conquered by Trajan, who made it the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, and served as a key Roman fortress east of the Jordan River. The city eventually achieved the title metropolis under the Roman emperor Philip I "the Arab," who was a native of the city.


    Considerable ruins still stand at the site, which has been declared a World Heritage Center by the United Nations.


    Bostra theater.jpg

    Mamaea Bostra.jpg
    Julia Mamaea, AD 222-235
    Roman provincial AE 23
    Arabia, Bostra; 4.86 g, 22.45, 5:00
    Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVGVSTA, diademed and draped bust, right
    Rev: COLONIA BOSTRA, turreted and draped bust of Tyche left, cornucopia over shoulder
    Refs: SNG ANS 1231; Kindler 40; Spijkerman 54; Rosenberger 46
  15. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    I love that unusual portrait of Tyche. Look at the funky spread turrets. That is very interesting.
    Deacon Ray likes this.
  16. Smojo

    Smojo dreamliner

    Someone already beat me to Bostra but here it is
    Provincia Arabia, Trajan, AD 98-117
    AR Drachm, 18mm, 3.2g, 6h; Bostra mint AD 114-116.
    Obv.: Obv: ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΚΑΙΣ ΝЄΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝ ΣЄΒ ΓЄΡΜ ΔΑΚ; Laureate bust right, with slight drapery.
    Reverse: ΔHMAPX ЄΞ IZ YΠAT ς; Arabia standing left holding branch and bundle of cinnamon sticks; at feet, camel left.
    Reference: Metcalf 16; Sydenham 185 (Caesarea).
  17. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Byzantium(Constantinople, Istanbul) was founded by King Byzas of Megara in 657BC.

    Thrace, Byzantium. Pseudo-autonomous AE17. Hercules/Club of Hercules
    Obv: Hercules bust r.
    Rev: Club of Hercules. BYZANTIWN.
    E. Schönert-Geiss. Griechisches Münzwerk: Die Münzprägung von Byzantion dates this coin to the second century AD.
  18. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter


    3370266 Diadumenian.jpg

    AE22. 11.08g, 22mm. PHOENICIA, Byblus, 217 AD, Cf. Rouvier 699; BMC 40-3. O: M OΠ ΔIAΔVMENIANOC KAI, bareheaded and cuirassed bust right. R: BYB - ΛOV IEPAC, Astarte wearing a polos standing facing, carrying a spear, foot on prow, being crowned by Nike on short column to right; all within distyle temple with a fancy arched roof.

    Byblus was one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and was the religious center of Phoenicia. In one telling of the the myth of Egyptian deities Isis and Osiris, the malevolent god Set murdered the mortal Osiris by shutting him up in a trunk which he threw into the sea. The trunk came to shore near the city of Byblus, and it was here that Isis finally recovered the body of her dead husband and brought him back to life.

  19. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Well-Known Member

    Thank you, TIF, for a very interesting and educational thread! I’ve been enjoying all of the fascinating contributions by CT forum members and wanted to contribute also, so I purchased this one this morning. I’m using the dealer’s photo in this collage.


  20. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Here is one that I finally photoed. Marcus Aurelius, Cilicia, Anazarbus. I have many more thought not all photoed as of yet.

    Attached Files:

  21. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    I was very busy with my work, and only now I discover this thread, great! I can't add any A's or B's that are so far not present. I only have Alexandria, Antiochia in Pisidia and same ad Orontem, plus Anazarbus and Bosporus.

    This is my Bosporus, technically too late for the Greek provincial era, it's a small and thick coin of Rheskouporis V, with Constantine I (314-343). Dated year BKX = 622 Bosporan Era = 325/6 AD. Obv.: Diademed and draped, long-haired bust of Rheskouporis to the right; wreath before. Rev.: Laureate and draped bust of Constantine I to the right. 18.5 mm, 7.95 gr. In my pic Constantine is left and Rheskouporis right.

    3402 Bosporus.jpg
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