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594480. SOLD $4500

SELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Galba. AD 68-69. AR Tetradrachm (28mm, 15.05 g, 12h). Dated RY 2 (AD 68/9). [AYTOKPAT]ωP CЄPOYIOC ΓΑΛBAC CЄBACTOC, bare head right / Eagle standing left on wreath, with wings displayed, holding wreath in beak; palm frond to left, ЄTOYC B (date) in exergue. McAlee 310; RPC I 4197; Prieur 99. Struck on a broad flan, good metal, off center obverse. Near EF. Exceptional portrait.

Considering the distance from Rome to Syria, it seems remarkable that Syrian mints were able to produce coin portraits of exceptional quality despite the brevity of reigns seen during the Year of the Four Emperors, AD 68-69. Galba, for example, ruled only a little more than seven months, only three of these from Rome. Yet in this time proper effigies of the elderly new Caesar were prepared and transported to widely dispersed imperial mints. McAlee attributes the Galba coinage normally assigned the Antioch to three different subsidiary mints. This issue, with the reverse of an eagle standing on a wreath, he assigns to a “wreath mint,” probably Tripolis, of which he notes the portraits “compare favorably with the best portraits of Galba on the coinage of Rome.”