AR Tetradrachm. 13.32g, 27.3mm
MINTED: PHOENICIA, Aradus, AD 215-217
REF: Prieur 1240
OBVERSE: AYT•K•M•AY ANTONЄINOC, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind.
REVERSE: ΔHMAPX ЄΞ YΠATOC TO / Δ, Eagle with spread wings standing facing, head to right; between the eagle's legs, head of a bull to right.
Very Fine. Lightly toned. A couple of minor scratches on reverse.
A very rare variety (six known to Prieur).
Aradus was one of a number of Syrian mints that began striking provincial tetradrachms for a short period between AD 214/5 to 218. This large output by the mints was in preparation and support of Caracalla's military campaign against the Parthians, and was ended by the new emperor Macrinus after Caracalla was assassinated.
Aradus (Greek: Arados) was a very ancient Phoenician city that existed as early as 15th century BC, as a vassal-state of the Egyptian kingdom. It possessed a large fleet of ships, enjoyed an enviable position along an important sea route, and was situated on a heavily fortified island. During the Greco-Persian wars (499-449 BC), Aradus supported the Persians, and they sent ships in support of Xerxes I at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. When Alexander the Great of Macedonia fought against the Persian Empire, however, the Aradian king turned against them and fought on the side of Alexander when he beseiged nearby Tyre. After the death of Alexander, Aradus was an independent city under the control of the Seleukid Empire, and remained so until it was beseiged and forced into submission by Mark Antony in 38 BC.
CARACALLA . PHOENICIA, Aradus . AR Tetradrachm . *Very Rare Variety*
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