Last update 30-Jan-2011
Identification Number A06-AR-01
|Mint:||Antioch on the Orontes1|
|Period:||c. 144 - 142 BC|
|Diameter:||17 - 19 mm|
|Obverse:||Diademed, radiate head of Antiochos VI right; dotted border|
|Reverse:||‘ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ’ right, ‘ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ’ left (“of King Antiochos, the Manifest Dionysos”); nude Apollo, slight drappery on right thigh, seated left on omphalos,2 holding arrow in outstretched right hand and resting left hand on bow; Seleukid date ΟΡ (year 170 of the Seleukid Era, i.e. 143/2 BC)3 in exergue, ‘ΣΤΑ’ on right; control mark between Apollo’s feet|
|References:||Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2002.2f; BMC 4, p. 64, No. 13; Newell, SMA, 246; Houghton, CSE, 237-238 var. (different control marks between Apollo’s feet); Hunterian Coll. III, p. 73, Nos. 8-12 var. (different control marks between Apollo’s feet); SNG Spaer, 1764-1767 var. (different control marks between Apollo’s feet)|
|Notes:||(1)||Antiochos VI was around 3 to 7 years old when this coin was struck (for biographical data on Antiochos VI, see the page devoted to his genealogy).|
|(2)||Gardner, BMC 4, p. xxxiii, speculates about the monogram ΣΤΑ: By the letters ΤΡΥ and Sigma;ΤΑ, which continually occur on the coins of Antiochus VI., mints are not signified. ΤΡΥ probably stands for Tryphon, and ΣΤΑ for Staphylus, a name which Tryphon may perhaps have assumed as friend and guardian of the young Dionysus, borrowing the name from the King of Assyria who received the god at his court (Nonnus, Dionysiaca, XVIII).|
Identification Number A06-AE-01
|Mint:||Antioch on the Orontes1|
|Period:||c. 144 - 142 BC|
|Denomination:||AE Serrated Double Unit|
|Diameter:||20 - 21 mm|
|Obverse:||Diademed, radiate head of Antiochos VI right, wreathed with ivy; dotted border|
|Reverse:||‘[Β]ΑΣΙΛΕ[ΩΣ] ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ’ in two lines above, ‘ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ’ in two lines below (“of King Antiochos, the Manifest Dionysos”); elephant walking left, holding torch in raised trunk; ‘ΣΤΑ’ above star in right field|
|References:||Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2006c; Houghton, CSE, 249-250; Hunterian Coll. III, p. 76, No. 38; SNG Spaer, 1774-1776; BMC 4, p. 66, Nos. 42-44 (Plate XIX, 12); Gorny & Mosch, Auction 160 (October 9, 2007), Lot 1640 (same obverse die)|
|Notes:||(1)||The elephant on the reverse might be an allusion to war elephants which were, according to Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, 13.144) and 1 Maccabees (11.54-56), taken away from Demetrios II.4|
|(2)||See notes attached to the description of coin A06-AR-01 above for Antiochos VI’s age and for the monogram ΣΤΑ.|
Gorny & Mosch, Auction 160, Lot 1640
|Mint:||Antioch on the Orontes|
|Period:||144 - 142 BC|
|Denomination:||AE Serrated Unit|
|Obverse:||Diademed, radiate head of Antiochos VI right wreathed with ivy; dotted border|
|Reverse:||‘[Β]ΑΣΙΛΕΩ[Σ] ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ’ in two lines above, ‘[Ε]ΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ[Σ] [ΔΙ]ΟΝΥ[ΣΟΥ]’ in two lines below (“of King Antiochos, the Manifest Dionysos”); elephant walking left, holding torch in raised trunk; ‘ΣΤΑ’ above star in right field|
|References:||Houghton, CSE, 249-250; Hunterian Coll. III, p. 76, No. 38; SNG Spaer, 1774-1776|
|Source:||Photo courtesy of Gorny & Mosch – Auction 160 (October 9, 2007), Lot 1640|
1 Antioch was founded about 300 BC by Seleukos I Nikator, the founder of the Seleukid Dynasty, and it became the principal capital of the Seleukid Empire. The city was named after a family name Antiochos, passed from his father to his son (Antiochos I Soter). There were a number of other cities by the same name and this Antioch was known as Antioch on the Orontes (i.e. the Orontes River, along which it was located).
2 The omphalos (“navel” in Greek) was a sacred stone at Delphi. It was supposed to mark the center of the earth. Similar stones were erected in several areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
3 The Seleukid Era is based on a lunar calendar, beginning with the autumn of 312 BC. It means that if x is a Seleukid year (and x<312) then the corresponding BC time interval is from 313–x to 312–x.
The beginning of the Seleukid Era was set as follows: In 311 BC, shortly after capturing Babylon, Seleukos I Nikator began the enumeration of his satrapal years there. However, after his decisive victory over Antigonos Monophthalmos in 307/6 BC, he backdated his “fictitious” first regnal year to coincide with Nisanu 1, 311 BC (New Year’s Day in the Babylonian calendar). This marked the antedated epoch of the Seleukid calendar according to the Babylonian reckoning. Later in 305/4 BC, when Seleukos I took the diadem and assumed the royal title “King”, he retained the numbering of his regnal years in Babylon but employed the Makedonian calendar and thus pushed his accession year back to Dios, 312 BC (Dios was the first month of the Makedonian calendar; it corresponds to October-November). This became the antedated epoch of the Seleukid era on the Macedonian calendar. (Assar, Recent Studies in Parthian History, Part I, p. 6)
The Seleukid Era was used at least until the first century AD in some Eastern countries.
4 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 13.144: Trypho (Diodotos Tryphon) ... returned out of Arabia into Syria, with the child Antiochus (Antiochos VI), for he was yet in age but a youth, and put the diadem on his head; and as the whole forces that had left Demetrius (Demetrios II), because they had no pay, came to his assistance, he made war upon Demetrius, and joining battle with him, overcame him in the fight, and took from him both his elephants and the city Antioch (Antioch on the Orontes).
1 Maccabees, 11.54-56: After this Trypho (Diodotos Tryphon) returned, and with him the young boy Antiochus (Antiochos VI) who began to reign and put on the crown. All the troops that Demetrius (Demetrios II) had cast off gathered around him, and they fought against Demetrius, and he fled and was routed. And Trypho captured the elephants and gained control of Antioch (Antioch on the Orontes).
- Assar, Gholamreza F.:Recent Studies in Parthian History, Part I. The Celator, Vol. 14, No. 12 (December 2000), pp. 6-22.
- Gardner, Percy:Catalogue of the Greek coins in the British Museum, Volume 4: The Seleucid Kings of Syria. London, 1878 (reprint, Arnaldo Forni, Bologna, 1963). (abbr. BMC 4)
- Houghton, Arthur:Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. The American Numismatic Society, New York, 1983. (abbr. CSE)
- Houghton, Arthur; Lorber, Catharine; Hoover, Oliver:Seleucid Coins, A Comprehensive Catalogue. Part II, Volumes 1 and 2. The American Numismatic Society, New York, in association with Classical Numismatic Group, Inc., Lancaster/London, 2008. (abbr. SC II)
- Houghton, Arthur; Spaer, Arnold (with the assistance of Catharine Lorber):Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. Israel I. The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. Italo Vecchi Ltd., London, 1998. (abbr. SNG Spaer)
- Josephus, Flavius:Antiquities of the Jews. Translated by William Whiston. John E. Beardsley, Auburn - Buffalo, 1895. (The Perseus Digital Library, http://www.perseus.org/cgi-bin/ptext?lookup=J.+AJ+toc)
- 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees (Apocrypha). Revised Standard version, Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library, http://etext.virginia.edu (1 Maccabees: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/Rsv1Mac.html, 2 Maccabees: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/Rsv2Mac.html).
- MacDonald, George:Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow. Volume 3. Further Asia, Northern Africa, Western Europe. Elibron Classics, Adamant Media Corporation, 2003. Replica edition of the edition published by James Maclehose and Sons, Glasgow, 1905. (abbr. Hunterian Coll. III)
- Newell, Edward T.:The Seleucid Mint of Antioch. Chicago, 1978 (Obol International reprint of the New York 1918 original edition). (abbr. SMA)