Phoenicia, Tyre AE 26 civic issue dated (321 = 195/196 AD) time of Septimius Severus

Obv: Laureated bust of Melkart right

Rev: Octastyle temple KOINOV OINIKHC dated AKT (321 = 195/196 AD

14.20 Grams, 26 mm diameter. Condition: VF, dark green patina under some light earthen encrustation, light roughness



Ruins of Main Road of Tyre "as is"


Septimus Severus in Phoenicia

After establishing his position in Rome,Septimius Severus had to deal with Pescennius Niger, the govenor of Syria, who had been declared emperor by the eastern legions. Niger fortified the passes across the Taurus mountains, which protected his capital of Antioch. He also seized Byzantium to control the crossing of the Bosphorus. Nonetheless, Severus's forces crossed from Thrace into Asia and in 193 won two victories (Cyzicus and Nicaea) over Niger's army. Severus forced his way through the passes of the Taurus mountains and advanced into Syria. At this time, Tyre switched its support to Serverus. Unfortunately, Niger had not yet been defeated and after hearing of the revolt he sent some of his troops to Tyre who plundered the city and slaughtered many citizens. The final battle took place in March or April 194 near Issus on the same plain where Alexader the Great defeated Darius III. Niger's forces were routed and cut down as they fled. Niger fled, but was caught outside Antioch and beheaded.

Severus gave the city of Tyre many great honors for its help against Pescennius Niger. In 201 AD, Septimius Severus, for Tyre's support, made the city a "COL" or "COLO" (colony), a preferred position in the Roman empire, which gave Tyrians similar Roman rights as citizens of Italian cities.