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Off the Beaten Path: Flaviopolis

David Atherton

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My latest addition is another Domitianic provincial, this time from far off Cilicia.




Æ23, 6.97g
Flaviopolis (Cilicia) mint, 89-90 AD
Obv: ΔΟΜƐΤΙΑΝΟϹ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: ƐΤΟΥϹ ΖΙ ΦΛΑΥΙΟΠΟΛƐΙΤWΝ; Veiled Tyche seated on throne, r., holding two corn-ears; at her feet, river god
RPC 1758 (20 spec.).
Acquired from Ephesus Numismatics, December 2022.

Flaviopolis was founded under Vespasian in 72-73 AD to help further Roman interests in the region. A small issue of coins were struck under Domitian in 89-90, this Tyche with river god being the most common type. The depiction of a river god at the feet of the city goddess Tyche was a common motif on coins from the Greek east during the early Roman imperial period.

The river god depicted on this coin is Pyramus, whose tragic love affair is told in Ovid's Metamorphoses.



Feel free to post your coins depicting river gods.

Thank you for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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  • David Atherton changed the title to Off the Beaten Path: Flaviopolis

The city name makes this a must have for every Flavian collector. :classic_cool:

Another Domitian from Flaviopolis:



Cilicia, Flaviopolis
AE17, dated Dated CY 17 (89/90 AD).
Obv.: ΔΟΜЄΤΙΑΝΟC ΚΑΙCΑΡ, laureate head right
Rev.: ЄΤΟVC ΖΙ ΦΛΑVΙΟΠΟΛЄΙΤωΝ, veiled head of Kronos right, harpa at his shoulder
AE, 2.60g, 17mm
Ref.: SNG Levante 1531, RPC II 1760, SNG von Aulock 5558.

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I have only one coin of this city. I like how they are dated. This one was issued quite late, in 166/7 CE, more than 5 years after the death of Antoninus Pius.

Faustina I, AD 138-140.
Roman provincial Æ 19.0 mm, 4.90 g, 1 h.
Cilicia, Flaviopolis, CY 94 = AD 166/7.
Obv: ΦΑΥСΤЄΙΝΑ CЄBACTH, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΦΛΑOΥΙΟ-ΠOΛЄΙΤΩΝ ЄΤOYC / Ϟ - Δ, Dionysos standing front, head to left, holding kantharos over panther in his right hand and thyrsos in his left.
Refs: RPC IV.3 online 10281 (temp); SNG Levante 1541 v. (year); Ziegler 1246-7; BMC --; SNG Paris --.
Notes: Double die-match to the specimen in the Ashmolean Museum (RPC example).

As far as river gods go, my river gods tend to be small and swimming below Tyche near the bottom of the coins.

Claudius, AD 41-54.
Roman provincial Æ 23.2 mm, 7.13 g, 12 h.
Cilicia, Caesarea (formerly Mopsuestia), AD 50/1.
Obv: ΤΙΒЄΡΙΟϹ ΚΛΑΥΔΙΟϹ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ; bare head of Claudius, right.
Rev: ΚΑΙⳞΑΡΕΩΝ ΕΤΟΥⳞ Ε; veiled Tyche, seated right, on rocks and holding ears of corn; below, river god.
Refs: RPC I 4086; SNG von Aulock 6348 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); SNG Copenhagen 177 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); SNG Schweiz II (Righetti) 1759 (Caesarea in Cappadocia); SNG Österreich (Caesarea in Cappadocia) 2759-60; RG 4744-45; BMC 21.31,4 (Anazarbus?).

Philip II, AD 244-249.
Roman provincial Æ 23.8 mm, 8.42 g, 11 h.
Mesopotamia, Nisibis, AD 244-49.
Obv: ΑVΤΟΚ Κ Μ ΙΟVΛΙ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC CЄB, radiate and cuirassed bust left
Rev: IOV CЄΠ KOΛΩ NЄCIBI MHT, tetrastyle temple; statue of Tyche within, ram above Tyche's head, river god below.
Refs: BMC 22-23*; Sear GIC 4157; SNG Cop 240*; SNG Hunterian 2.
*BMC and SNG Cop erroneously attribute this coin to Philip I.

Anonymous issue under Maximinus II.
Roman billon quarter follis, 1.35 g, 16.3 mm, 11 h.
Antioch, officina 6, AD 311-312.
Obv: GENIO ANTIOCHENI, Tyche of Antioch seated facing; river god Orontes swimming below.
Rev: APOLLONI SANCTO, Apollo standing left holding patera and lyre; S in right field, SMA in ex.
Refs: RCV 14927; Vagi 2954; Van Heesch 3(a); McAlee 170f.

Gordian III and Tranquillina, AD 241-244.
Roman provincial Æ 31.3 mm, 20.16 g, 12 h.
Mesopotamia, Singara.
Obv: AVTOK K M ANT ΓOPΔIANON CAB TPANKVΛΛINA CЄB, confronted busts of Gordian, laureate, draped and cuirassed on left, and Tranquillina, draped and wearing stephane on right.
Rev: AVP CЄΠ KOΛ CINΓAPA, Tyche seated left on rock, holding branch; the centaur Sagittarius above to left, discharging arrow, river god swimming left below.
Refs: BMC 8-12; SNG Copenhagen 256; Lindgren 2627, Sear 3804.
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