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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 1182. Estimate $7500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

JOTAPIAN. Circa 249 AD. AR Antoninianus (3.01 gm). Nicopolis in Seleucia mint. IM C M F RV IOTAPIAN[VS], radiate and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / VI[CT]ORIA AVG, Victory walking left holding wreath and palm. RIC IV 2c; Bland 6 (same dies); RSC 2. Toned VF/Fine, typical rough surfaces. Extremely rare. ($7500)

Jotapian led a short-lived revolt in Syria in the autumn of 249 while Philip I was still emperor. Little is known of Jotapian’s background. It was said that he boasted of a relationship to Severus Alexander, and his unusual name, although otherwise unknown for a man, is attested in its feminine form "Jotape" in the royal houses of Commagene and Emisa. The extreme rarity of his coins indicates that the revolt was brief, and the crude style proves that the revolt was geographically confined, for Jotapian plainly did not control a major Roman mint. His head was brought to Rome and shown to Trajan Decius "as was customary, although Decius had not asked for it"(Aurelius Victor, Historiae Abbreviatae, 29.4). In his corpus of Jotapian's coins, Bland cites 18 antoniniani in total.