60-43 B.C. Philip I Philadelphus Silver Tetradrachm


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Beautifully detailed and hand struck, this scarce silver Tetradrachm is from the ancient city of Antioch. Once the capital of the Seleucid Empire and later, capital of the Roman province of Syria, Antioch became one of the ancient world's foremost cities, rivaling Alexandria and Rome. And these scarce silver coins with the portrait of Philip I Philadelphus, one of the last Seleucid kings, were struck there and circulated as local currency.

After Philip I's reign, civil war broke out as various family fractions fought for control. Because Antioch served as Rome's door to the world, stability in the region was important. So in 64 B.C., Pompey conquered the province and rebuilt the local economy. Beginning in 57 B.C., the Roman governors issued limited numbers of these thick, silver coins showing King Philip I on the obverse with Zeus seated on the reverse.

Although the Seleucid kingdom vanished, these ancients showing the king continued as Roman provincial coinage for decades. Hear the clash of swords – recall Rome's mighty generals – Pompey, Caesar and Augustus – and their battles for world supremacy with this scarce silver coin.