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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Julius Marinus, Father of Philip the Arab

CNG 106, Lot: 621. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $1800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

ARABIA, Philippopolis. Divus Julius Marinus. Died circa AD 246/7. Æ (23mm, 5.60 g, 6h). Struck at Antioch, circa AD 247-249. Bareheaded bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder, supported by eagle standing right / Roma or Allat standing left, holding patera and spear, with shield at side; S C across field. Butcher, Philippopolis & Samosata, pl. 25, 11 (same dies); Spijkerman 2 (same obv. die); SNG ANS 1402 (same dies); Saulcy 2. VF, earthen green patina.

The father of Philip I, Julius Marinus hailed from a small town in the province of Arabia (modern day Shuhba, Syria; the original name of the ancient town is unknown). Following the death of Marinus, Philip deified his father and had a temple to him built in his newly aggrandized hometown – now renamed Philippoplis and elevated to the rank of colonia.

The neat fabric of the city’s coins is quite out of place for Arabia. This, combined with die links between the coins of Philippopolis, Zeugma, and Antioch, point to production at a central location, with Antioch being the likeliest candidate.