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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Judaea & PalestineView Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Greek coins of Judaea and Palestine

Coins of Judaea and Palestine are also presented in our Judean and Biblical catalog section. Here all coins of Judaea and Palestine are grouped together and listed from highest price to lowest. In our Judean and Biblical catalog section coins are organized by types and rulers and are presented with additional historical information and biblical references.


The Temple Tax Coin, KAP Tyrian Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 19 - 18 B.C.

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A KAP Temple Tax Coin - Important Transitional Year!

Some Tyrian shekels and all half shekels struck year 108 (19/18 B.C.) bear the Greek letters KAP. Years 109 - 111 all the coins bear the KAP ligature. In the following years until production ceased all the coins bear the Greek letters KP. Meshorer argued that the KAP and KP coins were actually struck at Jerusalem, initially by Herod. He based his opinion on a sudden stylistic and fabric degradation, find locations indicating the KP coins circulated mainly in Israel, and an end to production coinciding with the First Jewish Rebellion and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70. Under Augustus the cities in the east such as Kyzikos, Tyre and Sidon lost much of their autonomy. Perhaps Tyre lost the freedom to strike silver coins. Under Roman control the other traditional silver coinages of the area did disappear, with the exception of a debased Antioch coinage. Given Herod's influence with Augustus, it is conceivable that he successfully arranged minting Tyre type shekels in Jerusalem in order to fill the need for the accepted temple coinage. The letters KAP and KP likely abbreviate the Greek for Caesar perhaps indicating the approval of Rome.
JD79298. Silver shekel, BMC Phoenicia p. 252, 233; Cohen DCA 921 (R3); RPC I 4684; Hendin 1619; HGC 10 358, Baramki AUB -, F, toned, rough, die wear, weight 5.808 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 19 - 18 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOYIEPAΣ KAIAΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, date PH (year 108) over club and palm frond left, KAP (Kaisar?) monogram right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; rare date; $680.00 (605.20)


The Temple Tax Coin, KP Tyrian Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 44 - 45 A.D.

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At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were the only coins accepted by the temple. Some experts believe that after the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The "Jerusalem" shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.


JD79299. Silver half shekel, RPC I Supp. 4701A (1 spec.), Cohen DCA 921 (S), Hendin 1619, HGC 10 358, BMC Phoenicia -, Prieur -, RPC I -, Baramki AUB -, F, centered on a tight flan, toned, weight 6.358 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 44 - 45 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PO (year 170) over club left, KP over monogram (control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; $550.00 (489.50)


Tyre, Phoenicia, 54 - 55 B.C., The Temple Tax Coin

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Half Shekel - the currency of the Jerusalem Temple
At the Great Temple in Jerusalem the annual tax levied on Jews was 1/2 shekel per male. The 1/2 shekel and shekel were not always used in everyday commerce, but were the only coins accepted by the temple. Many taxpayers required a currency exchange, so money changers set up in the Temple court. Jesus found this business and their shouting (advertising rates) offensive, so he threw over their tables.
JD79300. Silver half shekel, Cohen DCA 921 (unreported date - no known specimens), HGC 10 358, Hendin 1619, RPC I -, Baramki AUB -, F, toned, slightly off center, shallow pitting, weight 6.719 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tyre, Phoenicia mint, 54 - 55 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY (of Tyre the holy and inviolable), eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, PΠ (year 180) over club left, AN (?, control) right, Phoenician letter beth (control) between legs; extremely rare date; $550.00 (489.50)


The Temple Tax Coin, KP Tyrian Type Half Shekel, Jerusalem or Tyre Mint, 18 B.C. - 69 A.D.

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The barbaric style with blundered legends and date are typical of the later coins attributed by some experts to Jerusalem.

After the coinage of Tyre was debased under Roman control, some experts believe Herod the Great began to strike "Tyre" shekels in Jerusalem. These coins were of cruder fabric and style, but maintained the silver purity required to pay the temple tax. The Jerusalem shekels have the letters KP or KAP to the right of the eagle and dates range from PH (18/17 B.C.) to PKE (69/70 A.D.). The Greek letters KP or KAP are probably an abbreviation for KAICAP, Greek for Caesar.
JD79301. Silver half shekel, HGC 10 358; Cohen DCA 922; Hendin 1621; BMC Phoenicia p. 252, 235 ff.; RPC I 4681 ff.; Prieur 1455 ff., F, toned, bumps and marks, light corrosion, weight 6.336 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem or Tyre mint, 18 B.C. - 69 A.D.; obverse laureate head of Melqart right, lion's skin knotted around neck; reverse TYPOY IEPAΣ KAI AΣYΛOY, eagle standing left, right foot on ship's ram, palm frond behind, uncertain date & club left, KP and monogram right, Aramaic letter between legs; $550.00 (489.50)


Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Syria Palestina

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After the First Jewish Revolt, the Jews were disbursed from Jerusalem and prohibited even from visiting. About 130 A.D. Hadrian established a colony on the site and built a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the temple mount. His actions prompted the Second Jewish Revolt or Bar Kochba Rebellion.
SH90827. Bronze AE 27, Kadman Aelia Capitolina 170 (same dies), Sofaer Collection 141, Meshorer Aelia 154, Rosenberger 89, F, weight 13.132 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Aelia Capitolina mint, obverse IMP C G MES Q TRA DECIVS AVG, laureate bust right; reverse COL AEL KAP COM P F, Serapis seated left on throne, kalathos on head, reaching right hand toward Cerberus at feet on left, long scepter vertical behind in left; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection; extremely rare; $480.00 (427.20)


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D., Extremely Rare Hybrid

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SH40205. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 319 (hybrid of 316 obverse and 317 reverse), Hendin - (hybrid of 1332 obverse and 1333 reverse), F, weight 1.426 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, Caesarea mint, 15 - 16 A.D.; obverse [KAI]/CAP (sic), legend within wreath; reverse palm frond flanked by L - B (year 2); extremely rare; $320.00 (284.80)


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria

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Neapolis, Samaria, the biblical Shechemis, is now Nablus, Israel. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. The city was refounded as Flavia Neopolis after the suppression of the Jewish Revolt. Nablus is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.
JD72682. Bronze AE 20, Sofaer pl. 53,122; Rosenberger 59; BMC Samaria p. 62, 111; Lindgren III 1510, gVF, nice green patina with earthen highlighting, typical tight flan, weight 7.492 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis mint, obverse IOYΛIA MAICA CEB, draped bust right wearing stephane; reverse ΦΛ NEAC-ΠOΛE CVP, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; rare; $250.00 (222.50)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Judaea Capta issue minted at Caesarea, Judaea. After Herod's death, Caesarea was the seat of the Roman procurator and capital of Roman Palestine for about 500 years. A riot in 66 A.D. between Syrians and Jews in the city led to the First Jewish Revolt. Paul was delivered to Caesarea when his life was threatened in Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). From Caesarea, Paul departed to Tarsus, his birthplace. Paul met the church in Caesarea (Acts 18:22; 21:8,16). Finally, Paul was taken prisoner (Acts 23:23,33) and returned to Caesarea where he was tried before Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25:1-4; 24:6-13)
JD75361. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 1454, Meshorer TJC 391, RPC II 2304, F, red earthen encrustation, some corrosion, weight 10.803 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 83 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITIANVS CAES AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head left; reverse Minerva standing right on galley with owl on prow, shield in left, spear downward in right, trophy behind, palm frond right, no legend; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection (a surface find from an agricultural field near Caesarea Paneas in 1972); $200.00 (178.00)


Persian Empire, Arabia, Gaza, Samaria or Judaea, c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

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A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Middle East.
JD66401. Silver obol, cf. Hendin 1011, Meshorer TJC 4 ff., SNG ANS 15 ff., VF, toned, weight 0.576 g, maximum diameter 8.1 mm, die axis 270o, obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘE, owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, within incuse square; $180.00 (160.20)


Judaea (Yehudah), Ptolemaic Rule, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

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Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by seventy Jewish scholars hired for the purpose, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text.
SH54977. Silver quarter ma'ah, Meshorer TJC 32; Mildenberg Yehud pl. 21, 24; Hendin 1087, gF, weight 0.192 g, maximum diameter 6.4 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem(?) mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Ptolemy I right; reverse eagle standing half left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, Aramaic YHDH (Yehudah) on left; $175.00 (155.75)




  



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REFERENCES

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van Alfen, P. "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17. (2004-2005).

Catalog current as of Saturday, June 25, 2016.
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Judaea and Palestine