Roman administration of the province of Syria

Founded 27-Dec-2013
Last update 27-Dec-2013

Silver coin References

Identification Number RAP-AR-01

Authority: Roman administration of the province of Syria (under the governor Quintus Didius)
Mint: Antioch on the Orontes1
Period: 31/0 BC
Denomination: AR Tetradrachm
Weight: 15.54 g
Diameter: 25 - 26 mm
Obverse: Diademed head of Philip I right; fillet border
Reverse: ‘[ΒΑ]ΣΙΛΕ[ΩΣ] [Φ]ΙΛΙΠΠΟ[Υ]’ right, ‘ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΟ[Υ]’ left (“of King Philip, the Illustrious, Brother-Loving”); Zeus Nikephoros (“carrying victory”) seated left on throne, holding Nike in outstretched right hand and scepter in left hand; monogram in inner left field; ‘ΔΙ’ monogram under throne; Caesarean Era date ΘΙ (year 19, i.e. 31/0 BC)2 in exergue; partially visible thunderbolt beneath date; all within partially visible laurel wreath
Die axis:
References: Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2491.9
Note: Silver tetradrachms with the type and legend of Philip I was reinstituted by Roman governor Aulus Gabinius in 57 BC. These coins were produced, with some hiatuses, until 14/3 BC. See Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, Vol. I, pp. 622-626.



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 Caesarean era is counted from 1 October 49 BC. The occasion which is tought to have prompted this era was the battle of Pharsalos, which took place in the summer of 48 BC (thus, the first year of this era would not have been a full calendar year, for it began in the summer of 48 BC and ended on 1 October of the same year). The first year of this era to appear on coins is year 2 (48/7 BC). See Butcher, CRS, pp. 302-303 and p. 315 ff.


Butcher, Kevin:Coinage in Roman Syria: Northern Syria, 64 BC - AD 253. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication No. 34, London, 2004. (abbr. CRS)
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)