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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Biblical & Judean Coins (Moderators: Salem Alshdaifat, Aarmale)  |  Topic: IVDAEA CAPTA minted from Temple Treasury? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: IVDAEA CAPTA minted from Temple Treasury?  (Read 1632 times)
goldenancients
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« on: August 15, 2011, 11:48:14 pm »

I noticed a Vespasian denarius issue with the trophy/jewess on the reverse for sale the other day with a note from the seller that it was minted from the silver taken from the treasury in Jerusalem. Being on the road, I can't reference any of my books, but I doing a search on the web, I see that there are more than a few people who make the same claim, yet with no references. Is there any supporting ancient texts or other evidence that any Judea Capta coins were minted from the plundered temple treasury?

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curtislclay
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 07:18:11 am »

I have never heard this assertion, and would be very surprised if any actual evidence can be cited for it. I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 08:29:35 am »

I have never heard this assertion, and would be very surprised if any actual evidence can be cited for it. I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.

I agree.  It seems likely that all (or most, at least) the precious items in the temple treasury went to Roman Temples and Treasuries.  It would be unlikely that the Roman would make such an effort to use the Temple treasury for coinage.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 08:32:56 am »

I have never heard this assertion, and would be very surprised if any actual evidence can be cited for it. I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.
I saw similar claims before. A while ago I tried to find an evidence, and failed. BTW, if it is true, Jewish collectors are in a big trouble, because one can not own or trade an object that was dedicated to the Temple  Shocked
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 02:49:07 pm »

Indeed this is a selling ploy. The amount of silver needed to mint those coins would be staggering, far more than the temple could hold. Most of the spoils from the temple went to pay for the restoration of Rome after the recent Civil War, the building of the Flavian Amphitheater, and Vespasian's Temple of Peace. The more valuable objects from the Jerusalem Temple went on display in the Temple of Peace after being paraded through the streets in 71 AD during Vespasian and Titus' joint triumph celebrating the Jewish War victory. The silver vestments on display during the parade could hardly have been melted down and minted for Judaea Capta denarii a full year before!

For further reading see: Flavius Josephus & Flavian Rome - Edmondson, Mason, & Rives, and God's Gold: A quest for the Lost Temple Treasures of Jerusalem by Sean Kingsley
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 03:18:43 pm »

The chronological argument is a very good one: Titus didn't capture Jerusalem until Sept. 70, so there was very little time to transport the captured silver to Rome and strike all of those comparatively common denarii before the end of that same year!

There is no consular date on the IVDAEA denarii, but their obv. legend IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG was only employed in 70 AD, changing to IMP CAES VESP AVG P M in 71.
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 04:18:14 pm »

I have never heard this assertion, and would be very surprised if any actual evidence can be cited for it. I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.
I saw similar claims before. A while ago I tried to find an evidence, and failed. BTW, if it is true, Jewish collectors are in a big trouble, because one can not own or trade an object that was dedicated to the Temple  Shocked

No possibility of redemption for those who own coins  ( if any) minted  in gold obtained from the Ark or Menorah.
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David Atherton
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 04:38:05 pm »

I have never heard this assertion, and would be very surprised if any actual evidence can be cited for it. I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.
I saw similar claims before. A while ago I tried to find an evidence, and failed. BTW, if it is true, Jewish collectors are in a big trouble, because one can not own or trade an object that was dedicated to the Temple  Shocked

No possibility of redemption for those who own coins  ( if any) minted  in gold obtained from the Ark or Menorah.

The "Ark" was not part of the spoils and the Menorah was prominently displayed in the Temple of Peace (Josephus, The Jewish War, 7. 158-162). Not to mention the relief on the Arch of Titus shows the Menorah on display during the Triumph, a full year after the gold Judaea Capta coins were minted.
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goldenancients
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 08:37:48 pm »

I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.

That brings up another topic... the ethics of dealers (even well respected ones) who use unsubstantiated claims to increase sales.

Indeed this is a selling ploy. The amount of silver needed to mint those coins would be staggering, far more than the temple could hold.

So where did the silver and gold come from to mint the millions of new coins which were issued each year? Did Rome have dedicated silver and gold mines for the mints? I'm not saying that the plundered temple treasure was added to the mint stock, but was it common practice to use war booty to replenish the coffers of Rome by tendering captured precious metal through official mints?

To play the devil's advocate here... wouldn't most of the captured temple treasury have been in the form of temple tax coinage (i.e. shekel's / half shekels, etc.) that could have been quickly and easily restruck?
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 11:40:39 pm »

I have never heard this assertion, and would be very surprised if any actual evidence can be cited for it. I think it's just a wild conjecture to make the type seem more interesting to prospective purchasers.
I saw similar claims before. A while ago I tried to find an evidence, and failed. BTW, if it is true, Jewish collectors are in a big trouble, because one can not own or trade an object that was dedicated to the Temple  Shocked

No possibility of redemption for those who own coins  ( if any) minted  in gold obtained from the Ark or Menorah.

The "Ark" was not part of the spoils and the Menorah was prominently displayed in the Temple of Peace (Josephus, The Jewish War, 7. 158-162). Not to mention the relief on the Arch of Titus shows the Menorah on display during the Triumph, a full year after the gold Judaea Capta coins were minted.

I was writing in very general terms.The Ark was taken by the Babylonians,and as you say the Menorah by the Romans. No one can say for certain that its metal was not used sooner or later to mint coins or other decorative objects.
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 09:09:08 am »

To play the devil's advocate here... wouldn't most of the captured temple treasury have been in the form of temple tax coinage (i.e. shekel's / half shekels, etc.) that could have been quickly and easily restruck?

The shekels would have needed to be debased in Rome (as the shekels were of high purity, unlike Roman silvers), recast and restruck.  If they were melted for Roman coinage at some point, it would have not been likely that they were used explicitly for the mintage of IVDAEA CAPTA coins.  Have any First Revolt coins been found in Rome

As well, a 5 year long siege is not an efficient way to get precious metals.
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היינו דאמרי אינשי: טבא חדא פלפלתא חריפתא ממלי צני קרי
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 07:00:59 pm »

Indeed this is a selling ploy. The amount of silver needed to mint those coins would be staggering, far more than the temple could hold.

So where did the silver and gold come from to mint the millions of new coins which were issued each year? Did Rome have dedicated silver and gold mines for the mints? I'm not saying that the plundered temple treasure was added to the mint stock, but was it common practice to use war booty to replenish the coffers of Rome by tendering captured precious metal through official mints?

To play the devil's advocate here... wouldn't most of the captured temple treasury have been in the form of temple tax coinage (i.e. shekel's / half shekels, etc.) that could have been quickly and easily restruck?

I can only say what the ancient sources tell us, namely that the Temple treasures went to rebuilding Rome, the Flavian Amphitheater, the Temple of Peace, ect... anything else would be pure speculation.

As far as mining goes, Pliny in his Natural History (book 33, 67-79) goes into some detail about mining. Duncan-Jones in his Money and Government In The Roman Empire (p. 103) gives a few figures on the output of these mines in relation to coin production.
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2011, 07:23:48 pm »

I can only say what the ancient sources tell us, namely that the Temple treasures went to rebuilding Rome, the Flavian Amphitheater, the Temple of Peace, ect... anything else would be pure speculation.

But surely the treasures had to be converted into Roman coin, all foreign coins and other bullion accordingly being melted down, before they could be used for those purposes?
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2011, 07:43:45 pm »

I can only say what the ancient sources tell us, namely that the Temple treasures went to rebuilding Rome, the Flavian Amphitheater, the Temple of Peace, ect... anything else would be pure speculation.

But surely the treasures had to be converted into Roman coin, all foreign coins and other bullion accordingly being melted down, before they could be used for those purposes?

I would assume that to be the case. Certainly some of the treasure was used in this way, but again I cannot find any direct evidence that it was. The original claim that the Judaea Capta coins were minted from looted Temple silver does indeed have a major timing issue, which isn't the case for those silver coins minted after 70 AD!
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 03:46:55 pm »

Doubtless much of the captured metal was reminted into coin, and some of that coin then used to pay for the rebuilding. It's a bit farifetched to claim it was used for specific coin types!
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2011, 07:31:24 pm »

Interesting article I came across by the eminent Josephan scholar Louis H. Feldman on the financing of the Colosseum http://www.plu.edu/~315j06/doc/financing-colosseum.pdf .



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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2011, 10:01:59 pm »

The same reference is mentioned by David Hendin in his 5th edition of Guide to Biblical Coins. The reconstructed inscription by Alfoldy points to the sale of the temple treasure to fund the construction of the Colosseum. It reads: IMPERATOR TITVS CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVGVSTVS AMPHITHEATRVM NOVVM EX MANVBIIS VACAT FIERI IVSSIT. Translated, it reads, "The emperor Titus Caesar Vespasian Augustus ordered the new amphitheater to be made from the proceeds of the sale of the booty."

The photo below is of the Arch of Titus depicting the Romans carrying away the Jerusalem temple treasures. The major fixtures made their way to the Temple of Peace in Rome. Other treasures included over 8000 talents (approx. 264,000 lbs) of gold, and tens of millions of silver coins. According to this article, it would have been sold, not necessarily tendered at the mint. This leads to the question - who bought all this gold and silver? Of course, we may never know.

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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2011, 02:20:00 pm »

What would it have been bought with? These days you buy gold or silver with bank credit or notes; in those days you'd have been buying it with those exact metals. I'm wondering about the translation, as it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2011, 04:08:01 pm »

It doesn't  say "from the proceeds of the sale of the booty", just "from the booty".

There's a curious"VACAT" in the middle of the Latin, apparently an addition of the editor to indicate an unrestorable gap in the text.
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2011, 07:49:43 pm »

ex manubiis, or "from the booty/spoils" would infer the translation that Professor Alfoldy gave. You are correct that it does not technically say "...the proceeds of the sale" but necessary inference would almost certainly require that rendition. As noted in a footnote of the aforementioned article, the Oxford Classical Dictionary states that manubiae refers to funds "raised by an official sale of war booty."
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2011, 09:29:40 pm »

Perhaps the sale of slaves?  Slaves would have been sold for coin.  The coin in turn paid out to the workers and skilled artisans and architects who would have built the Colosseum.
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2011, 01:44:00 am »

Reading the classics ,sales of prisoners as slaves took place after the first revolt. But they were so abundant that the price was minimal (1). On the other hand
thousands were sent to the mines in Egypt,to work on the Corynth Canal,and to die in games celebrated in the Provinces.
In fact it would appear that few sales of slaves were held in Rome.

(1) The equivalent  of the price of a horse. After the second revolt even cheaper : four slaves for a measure of  barley.
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