The Temples at Heliopolis
SYRIA, Coele-Syria. Heliopolis. Septimius Severus.
|Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 846. Estimate $300.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007.
Sold For $1075. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
AD 193-211. Æ 25mm (10.40 g, 12h). Laureate and cuirassed bust right / Temple of Jupiter Heliopolitanus right, viewed from aerial perspective. SNG München 1031; cf. SNG Copenhagen 429; cf. Price & Trell p. 158. Good VF, black-green patina with traces of earthen overtones.
Located in the Beqaa Valley of modern-day Lebanon, the site of Heliopolis has been occupied since 2000 BC when the Phoenicians, settling the area, built a temple to Baal there. Refounded as Heliopolis in 15 BC, the city became renowned for its large complex of ornate temples. Constructed over the course of two centuries, they were dedicated in the time of Septimius Severus (at which time this coin was struck) to Jupiter Baal, known also as Zeus Heliopolitanus, Venus Ashtart, and Bacchus-Dionysus. The popularity of this complex was further celebrated in the numerous issue struck by the city under subsequent emperors. The ruins, which have been excavated in modern times beginning in the nineteenth century, are well-preserved and are some of the most recognizable features of antiquity.