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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Featured Collections| ▸ |J. Berlin Caesarea Collection||View Options:  |  |  | 

The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection

The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection includes a wide variety of ancient coin and artifact types including Judaean, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic. All the collection specimens have one thing in common - they were found in the vicinity of Caesarea, Israel.


Roman, Intaglio Engraved Gem Stone, 1st - 3rd century A.D.

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AS90832. Antike Gemmen Deutschen -, Marlborough -; Intaglio engraved translucent red carnelian, weight 0.406 g, maximum diameter 11.2 mm, Dioscuri standing facing, heads confronted, each holds a bow(?) in inner hand and spear in outer hand, star above each head, crescent moon with horns up above center, from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection, found at Caesarea, Israel; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.; Palestina Prima Countermark

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Due to new finds around Caesarea Maritima, Wolfgang Schulze re-attributed this countermark from Egypt to Palestina Prima. David Woods proposes that "Nicetas, the cousin of the future emperor Heraclius, ordered the countermarking of these coins as he advanced from Egypt into Palestine during the summer of 610 in order to signal the change of government from Phocas to the Heraclii." Another possible date is after the recovery of Syria from the Persians in 628. Schulze dates it to the Arab siege of 637 - 640 A.D., to which Caesarea succumbed. This is only the third example known of this eagle countermark applied to a coin of Maurice Tiberius. Woods identified the other examples, as "a careless accident."
SH77069. Bronze follis, Hahn MIB II 65b, DOC I 22 var. (no 4th officina), SBCV 494; for countermark see Schulze INR 2009, and Woods (Heraclius, Palestina Prima), countermark: VF, coin: aF, areas of corrosion, weight 11.287 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, coin c. 583 - 584, countermark c. 610 - 637; obverse DN mAV - RC P P AV, crowned bust facing, crown with cross and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield on left shoulder; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and II (regnal year 2), ∆ (4th officina) below, CON in exergue; countermark: in exergue, eagle standing facing, head right, wings raised, in a round punch; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (found at Caesarea, Israel); very rare countermark; SOLD


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

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In 351, Constantius Gallus built a new church in honor of Saint Babylas at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, and transferred the remains of the bishop to it to neutralize the pagan effects of the nearby temple of Apollo. In 362, Julian consulted the oracle of Apollo at the temple in Daphne, but received no answer, and was told that it was because of the proximity of the saint. He had the sarcophagus of the martyr exhumed and removed. A few days later, on October 22, a mysterious fire broke out consuming the roof of the temple and the statue of the god, copied from Phidias' statue of Zeus at Olympia. Julian, suspecting angry Christians, closed the cathedral of Antioch and ordered an investigation. Ammianus Marcellinus reports "a frivolous rumor" laid blame on candles lit by a worshipper late the previous night (XXII, 13). John Chrysostom claimed a bolt of lightning set the temple on fire. The remains of Babylas were reinterred in a church dedicated to him on the other side of the River Orontes.
RL77068. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 216, LRBC II 2640, Voetter 7, SRCV V 19162, Cohen VIII 38, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, toned bare metal, a few bumps and marks, some light corrosion, weight 8.672 g, maximum diameter 27.83 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 362 - 26 Jun 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVB (security of the Republic), Bull standing right, two stars above, ANTB between two palm fronds in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (found at Caesarea, Israel); SOLD


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.

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Reputedly a 1972 surface find from Caesarea Maritma, Israel; in as-found condition, this coin should never be cleaned.
RS66912. Silver denarius, RIC II 17, RSC II 79, BMCRE III 41, VF, uncleaned, thick dark toning/patina, weight 3.555 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, laureate head right; reverse FORTVNA P R, Fortuna seated left, heads of grain in right hand, scepter in left hand; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); scarce; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

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The destruction of Jerusalem in the First Jewish War made Caesarea, with a population above 125,000 and the hub of the road network, the economic and political hub of Palaestina. Caesarea was again the marshalling point for the Roman army during the reign of Hadrian for the Bar Kochba War, 132 - 136. Hadrian himself visited the city in 130 and again in 134. Hadrian, like Titus sixty-four years earlier, executed Jewish rebels in the city. By tradition, the condemned including Akiva, a leading Jewish sage and the rabbi who had greeted the rebel leader as the expected Messiah (Yer. Ta'anit, iv. 68d). By Hadrian's time Caesarea's outer harbor had deteriorated badly. The harbor had been wrecked by a tsunami in December 115. Tectonic activity had lowered the ocean floor and sunken parts of the breakwater were causing a hazard to shipping. Another earthquake struck in 132 when urban areas were again severely damaged. Much of the original city, including its celebrated harbor, had to be built anew, by Hadrian and his successor Antoninus Pius. At its height the rebuilt city covered an urban area of nearly a thousand acres - almost five-times the size of Jerusalem. -- Kenneth Humphreys
RS66913. Silver denarius, RIC II 256(d), RSC II 966, BMCRE III 680, Hunter II 223, Strack II 251, SRCV II 3507 var. (bare head, slight drapery), VF, weight 3.311 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 134 - 138 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, bare head right; reverse MONETA AVG, Moneta standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D., Palestina Prima Heraclian Countermark

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"Heraclian countermarks on Byzantine copper coins in seventh-century Syria" by Wolfgang Schulze, Ingrid Schulze and Wolfgang Leimenstoll discusses finds near Caesarea Maritima, where this example was found, and concludes, "During the military conflict between the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Arabs in Syria in the years 633-36 Byzantine coins were countermarked by the Byzantine military with a Heraclius monogram. Countermarking most probably was exercised predominantly in Palestine I and was carried out to revalue the few circulating copper coins in order to remedy the general supply gap and disastrous shortage of cash."
CM77067. Bronze cut follis, countermark: Schulze HCM type 1b; on uncertain Heraclian follis (SBCV 810, year 20 or 21?) overstruck on Phocas follis, coin Fair, c/m VF; 5.186g, 31.9x23mm, coin c. 629 - 631, countermark c. 633 - 636 A.D.; obverse ...HERCL..., probably standing figures of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine (legend and type obscured by cutting and countermarking); reverse countermark: Heraclius' HRC cruciform monogram ; large M (40 nummi), cross above, AN.. left (date and mintmark off flan but most with this countermark are year 20 or 21); undertype remnant: XXXX (40 nummi, Phocas follis); from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (found at Caesarea, Israel); SOLD


Sasanian Empire, Khusro II, Occupation of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D.

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During his temporary domination of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D., Khusru allowed the Alexandria mint to continue issuing the normal Byzantine coinage, but substituted his portrait for the Byzantine emperor's. The sun and moon replaced the obverse legend, just as on contemporary Sasanian coinage. It may seem strange that a Persian king would wear a crown surmounted by a cross; however, his wife Sira was a Christian, he was a benefactor of the church of St. Sergius in Edessa, he honored the Virgin, and he sometimes wore a robe embroidered with a cross which he had received as a gift from the Emperor Maurice Tiberius. The Byzantine emperors resumed the imperial coinage of Alexandria after their recapture of Egypt in 628 A.D.
WA77071. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II part 1, 191; Hahn MIB 202b; Wroth BMC 277; Tolstoi 109; Ratto 1316; Morrisson BnF 10/Al/AE/32; SBCV 855; Sommer 11.92, aVF, as-found slightly rough near black patina, well centered, weight 10.428 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, 618 - 628 A.D.; obverse bust of the Sassanid King Khusru II wearing a crown with pendilia and surmounted by a cross, star left, crescent moon right; reverse large I B with cross potent on globe between, AΛEZ in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel); SOLD








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Caesarea began as Straton's Tower, a small naval station founded by the king of Sidon, c. 360 B.C. Alexander Jannaeus captured it in 90 B.C. The Romans declared it an autonomous city in 63 B.C.

Herod renamed the the pagan city Caesarea in honor of Caesar Augustus. He built there one of the most impressive harbors of its time, storerooms, markets, roads, baths, temples, public buildings and a palace. When Judea became a Roman province in 6 A.D., Caesarea Maritima replaced Jerusalem as its capital and was the residence of governors, including the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate.

It was at Caesarea that Peter baptized Cornelius the Centurion, the first Christian baptism of Gentiles. Paul visited Caesarea several times and was a prisoner there for two years before being sent to Rome. In 70 A.D., after the Jewish Revolt was suppressed, about 2,500 Jewish captives lost their lives in gladiatorial games at Caesarea.

Caesarea became the capital of Byzantine Palaestina Prima in 390. It fell to Sassanid Persia in in 614, was re-conquered by Byzantium in 625, then lost for good by the Byzantines to the Muslim conquest in 640. The population fell and the harbor silted up and was unusable by the 9th century.

By 1047 the town was redeveloped, when Nasir-i-Khusraw described it as, "a fine city, with running waters, and palm-gardens, and orange and citron trees. Its walls are strong, and it has an iron gate."Caesarea was taken by Baldwin I in the First Crusade, in 1101. Saladin retook the city in 1187, but it was recaptured by the Europeans during the Third Crusade in 1191. In 1265, the Mamluks destroyed it completely to prevent its re-emergence as a Crusader stronghold.

In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea was established near the ruins. The ruins of the ancient city, on the coast about 2 km south of modern Caesarea, were excavated in the 1950s and 1960s and the site was incorporated into the new Caesarea National Park in 2011.

Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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J. Berlin Caesarea