The coinage of Gordian III from Antioch and Caesarea
This thesis attempts to present for the first time a detailed corpus and
die-study of two major Roman coinages of the third century AD, the issues of
the mints of Antioch in Syria and Caesarea in Cappadocia from the reign of
Gordian III (AD 238-44). The coinage of Antioch consisted of two series of
radiates with Roman legends and three series of tetradrachms with Greek
legends and 1000 specimens of the former and 318 of the latter are included
in the die-study. The die-study of Caesarea includes 113 silver tridrachms,
didrachms and drachms and 191 bronze coins in three denominations. There
is a full discussion of the types, legends, weights, die-axes and metallic content
of each issue and of the methodology used in the die-studies.
The study starts by showing how the radiates of Antioch can be
distinguished from those of Rome, something that has not been satisfactorily
done before. The lack of a clearly explained method of distinguishing the
products of these two mints has bedevilled all existing publications of these
coins. The thesis also looks for the first time at the relationship between the
striking of radiates and tetradrachms at Antioch, the former coins having
traditionally been classed as `Roman' and the latter as `Greek imperial'. It is
argued that the Greek legend issues of both mints should be regarded as much
an imperial coinage as the radiates of Antioch. It is also shown that the dies
for the coinage of Caesarea were produced by the same engravers as worked
at Antioch, something that had not been noticed before.
Further chapters examine chronological problems, the metal content of
the silver coins of Gordian's reign, the evidence for their circulation in hoards
and site finds and the historical events of Gordian's reign. These findings are
summarized in the conclusion, which sets the coinages of Antioch and
Caesarea in their historical context.
The 50 plates illustrate all the obverse dies, except for the second series
of radiates from Antioch.