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Coinage in Roman Syria: 64 BC - AD 253

Butcher, KET; (1991) Coinage in Roman Syria: 64 BC - AD 253. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The thesis examines the production, circulation and significance of coinage in northern Syria during the first three centuries of Roman control of the province. The coinages of the region are distinct and share features which justify their study as a group. The thesis includes a catalogue of the issues produced by the thirteen cities in the region which minted coins, and the coinage of the Kingdom of Commagene. A study of site finds, drawn from published excavations and first-hand examination of unpublished material in the middle east, hoards, and countermarks, highlights features of the patterns of circulation of these coinages in Syria, as well as 'foreign' issues circulating in the region. The distribution of Syrian issues outside Syria, the longevity of coins in circulation, and the effects of debasements of the silver coinage upon the circulating medium are also considered. Central to the study is the coinage of Antioch, one of the major imperial mints in the Roman Empire whose coinage has been largely neglected, and has never been fully catalogued until now. Separate sections study the metrology and denominational structure of sequences of issues, and broader surveys cover the relationship of Syrian coinage to that of other provinces and to that of Rome itself. The thesis considers ways in which the Syrian coinage can be used to understand better aspects of other provincial and Roman imperial coinages, such as to what extent the Roman provinces had a consistent 'monetary' policy in the eastern provinces, and whether the coinage of Rome was viewed as a 'preferred currency' in the east, as some scholars have suggested. The survey ends in AD 253, when it is suggested that imperial policy regarding Syrian coinage might have changed, and when coinage of a Greek type ceases in the region.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Coinage in Roman Syria: 64 BC - AD 253
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121055
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