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Roman Provincials: Cilicia-Tarsos


Autonomous Issue, AE21, 1st Century BC, Cilicia-Tarsos
(No legend)
Turreted, veiled, draped bust of Tyche right, countermark of radiate bust right on cheek, border of dots
AP / AP / DI / Q | TARSEWN
Pyre of Sandan in the form of a pyramidal structure containing figure of Sandan on lion, surmounting garlanded square basis, eagle perched on apex
20mm x 21mm, 6.54g
Sear GCV 5672


Roman Provincial, Cilicia-Tarsos, Augustus (27 BC-14 AD), AR Tetradrachm, c.1 BC-10 AD
KAIΣAPOΣ-ΣEBAΣTOY
Laureate head right
MHTPO-ΠOΛEΩΣ
Fortuna seated right on rocky outcropping, holding palm frond; below, half-length figure of river-god Cydnus swimming right; monogram in right field
25mm x 27mm, 13.08g
RPC I 4004; Prieur 748; SNG Levante 988
Ex David Cannon Collection


Roman Provincial, Cilicia-Tarsos, Severus Alexander (222-235), AE36, c.231-235
A K M A CEOY AΛEIANΔPOC CEB
Draped bust right, wearing crown of demiurgus, Π | Π across fields
ΔωPE-ATAPCω MH-T-P-OΠO
Galley sailing left, two dolphins below, Γ Π / B in left field, A / M / K below left
36mm x 37mm, 26.23g
SNG Levante 1090; SNG France 1579; SNG PfPs 1380

Note on traditional cataloging: A rare reverse type struck to celebrate the gift of grain given by Severus Alexander to Tarsus on the occasion of his visit to the city in 231/232. The emperor and his army were passing through Cilicia on campaign against the Sassanid Persians.

Notes and comments from consignor: Two fish holding a wreath below the ship. In Roman times, the wreath signified victory. It is also well established that the fish was an early sign of Christianity. Alexander was a Christian, so this coin may have been covertly minted to represent "Christian Victory". It was meant for circulation in Tarsus, home of Paul. Acts 9:11 "The Lord told him, "Get up! Go to Judas' house on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He's praying."