Antiochos IX

Founded 19-Nov-2006
Last update 28-Aug-2011

Bronze coins References

Identification Number A09-AE-01

Mint: Tarsos1
Period: c. 114 - 112 BC (first reign)
Denomination: AE Double Unit
Weight: 8.55 g
Diameter: 22 - 23 mm
Obverse: Diademed, lightly bearded head of Antiochos IX right; dotted border
Reverse: ‘[Β]ΑΣΙΛΕ[ΩΣ] ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ’ right, ‘ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟ[Σ]’ left (“of King Antiochos, the Father-loving”); Dionysos in short chiton standing left, holding kantharos2 in outstretched right hand and thyrsos3 with left hand; ‘Ε’ above ‘Π’ in outer left field
Die axis: c. 5º
References: Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2352b; Hunterian Coll. III, p. 107, No. 31; Houghton, CSE, 498-499 var. (different control mark in the lower left field); SNG Spaer, 2725 var. (different control mark in the lower left field); BMC 4, p. 93, No. 22 var. (Plate XXV, 5, different control mark in the lower left field)



Identification Number A09-AE-02

Mint: uncertain mint in Northern Syria, Phoenicia or Coele Syria
Period: 114/3 - 95 BC
Denomination: AE Unit
Weight: 3.99 g
Diameter: 17 - 19 mm
Obverse: Filleted head of Zeus right
Reverse: ‘ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ’ right, ‘[Φ]ΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟ[Σ]’ left (“of King Antiochos, the Father-loving”); Tyche, wearing polos,4 standing left on rudder and facing right, resting right hand on tiller of rudder and holding cornucopiae5 with left arm
Die axis:
References: Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, 2380; Houghton, CSE, 357-358; SNG Spaer, 2715; BMC 4, p. 93, No. 26 (Plate XXV, 8); Hunterian Coll. III, p. 107, Nos. 34-35
Note: According to Houghton, Lorber and Hoover, SC II, Vol. 1, p. 540, this bronze variety was probably a one-time emission of coinage from a city that was not a regular Seleukid mint.



1 The most important city of ancient Cilicia. Located near the Mediterranean Sea coast on the Tarsus river (ancient Kydnos), present-day Mersin Province, Turkey.

Strabo, Geography, 14.5.12-15: As for Tarsus, it lies in a plain; and it was founded by the Argives who wandered with Triptolemus in quest of Io; and it is intersected in the middle by the Cydnus River, which flows past the very gymnasium of the young men. Now inasmuch as the source of the river is not very far away and its stream passes through a deep ravine and then empties immediately into the city, its discharge is both cold and swift; and hence it is helpful both to men and to cattle that are suffering from swollen sinews, if they immerse themselves in its waters.

The people at Tarsus have devoted themselves so eagerly, not only to philosophy, but also to the whole round of education in general, that they have surpassed Athens, Alexandria, or any other place that can be named where there have been schools and lectures of philosophers. But it is so different from other cities that there the men who are fond of learning, are all natives, and foreigners are not inclined to sojourn there; neither do these natives stay there, but they complete their education abroad; and when they have completed it they are pleased to live abroad, and but few go back home. ... Further, the city of Tarsus has all kinds of schools of rhetoric; and in general it not only has a flourishing population but also is most powerful, thus keeping up the reputation of the mother-city.

The following men were natives of Tarsus: among the Stoics, Antipater and Archedemus and Nestor; and also the two Athenodoruses, one of whom, called Cordylion, lived with Marcus Cato and died at his house; and the other, the son of Sandon, called Cananites after some village, was Caesar’s teacher and was greatly honored by him; ...

Among the other philosophers from Tarsus, “whom I could well note and tell their names,” (Homer, Illiad iii.235) are Plutiades and Diogenes, who were among those philosophers that went round from city to city and conducted schools in an able manner. Diogenes also composed poems, as if by inspiration, when a subject was given him – for the most part tragic poems; and as for grammarians whose writings are extant, there are Artemidorus and Diodorus; and the best tragic poet among those enumerated in the “Pleias” was Dionysides. But it is Rome that is best able to tell us the number of learned men from this city; for it is full of Tarsians and Alexandrians. Such is Tarsus.

2 A drinking-cup, furnished with handles. It was sacred to Dionysos, who is frequently represented on ancient vases holding it in his hand. (Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities)

3 A staff (originally a spear) carried by Dionysos and his attendants, and wreathed with ivy and vine-leaves, terminating at the top in a pine-cone. (Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities)

4 A type of headdress recorded as either tall and crownlike and associated with Hera, or shorter and associated with priestesses or Demeter figures. In archaic art, all great goddesses may wear the polos, however.

5 The horn of plenty signifying prosperity and unlimited abundance. Its origin is connected with the events surrounding the birth of Zeus. According to ancient authors, Zeus was cared for by nymphs who fed him milk and honey. A nymph named Amaltheia owned a bull’s horn that could magically produce food or drink in limitless supply. According to another version of the myth, her goat named Aix (whose milk she fed the infant Zeus) accidentally broke off one of its horns and this became the cornucopiae. According to yet another version, Amaltheia was the goat from whom Zeus suckled milk and one of Amaltheia’s horns flowed with nectar and the other with ambrosia. After Zeus had matured, he honored Amaltheia by placing her in the sky as a constellation. In gratitude to the nymphs who had nurtured him, he presented them with a horn from Amaltheia that had the power to provide food and drink in limitless supply. (Bitner, The Cornucopia - A Horn of Plenty)

The cornucopiae is usually depicted overflowing with fruits and other agricultural produces. The depicted horns belonged to an ancient breed of wild goats known for their large horns. The word cornucopiae (plural cornuacopiae) is a combination of two Latin words, cornu (horn) and copiae (plenty). (Bitner, The Cornucopia - A Horn of Plenty)


Bitner, John W.:The Cornucopia - A Horn of Plenty. The Celator, Vol. 14, No. 11 (November 2000), pp. 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16.
Gardner, Percy:Catalogue of the Greek coins in the British Museum, Volume 4: The Seleucid Kings of Syria. London, 1878 (reprint, Arnaldo Forni, Bologna, 1963). (abbr. BMC 4)
Houghton, Arthur:Coins of the Seleucid Empire from the Collection of Arthur Houghton. The American Numismatic Society, New York, 1983. (abbr. CSE)
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)
Houghton, Arthur; Spaer, Arnold (with the assistance of Catharine Lorber):Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. Israel I. The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins. Italo Vecchi Ltd., London, 1998. (abbr. SNG Spaer)
MacDonald, George:Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow. Volume 3. Further Asia, Northern Africa, Western Europe. Elibron Classics, Adamant Media Corporation, 2003. Replica edition of the edition published by James Maclehose and Sons, Glasgow, 1905. (abbr. Hunterian Coll. III)
Peck, Harry Thurston:Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898. (The Perseus Digital Library,
Strabo:Geography. Translated and ed. by H. C. Hamilton and W. Falconer. William Heinemann, Ltd., London, 1924. (The Perseus Digital Library,