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Home>Catalog>Judean&BiblicalCoins>HasmoneanDynasty>JohnHyrcanusII
John Hyrcanus II (Yonatan), King 67 B.C., Ethnarch 63 - 40 B.

Hyrcanus II was high priest during the rule of his mother, Salome Alexandra, 76 - 67 B.C. and was made king upon her death. Within a year he was deposed by his younger brother, Aristobulus II. Hyrcanus appealed to Nabataea and then to Rome for assistance. Pompey the Great took Jerusalem, inflicting heavy casualties (and entering, thus defiling, the Holy of Holies), and restored Hyrcanus. Hyrcanus was, however, denied the title of King and was a puppet of Rome. He was captured by the Parthians in 40 B.C. and was executed by Herod ten years later.

The coins struck in Hyrcanus' name may have been struck while his mother regent queen and he was high priest, 76 - 67 B.C., during his short reign as king and high priest, 76 B.C., or during his rule as ethnarch and high priest, 63 - 40 B.C. Types struck inscribed only Council of the Jews may have been struck during these periods or during the rule of his brother Aristobulus II.


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This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Some scholars believe this type was struck by Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The type is usually crude with illegible letters and incomplete inscriptions.
JD26577. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC type S (cf. S18), Hendin 1159, gVF, weight 1.406 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, crude and blundered, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Some scholars believe this type was struck by Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. As is typical for this type, many of the letters on this coin are crude and illegible and the inscription is incomplete.
JD59172. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1159, Meshorer TJC type S, gF, weight 2.028 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude, blundered Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
This type may have been struck during the rule of Hyrcanus' mother, Salome Alexandra, as queen regent, 76 - 67 B.C., or during his rule as king or ethnarch. Some scholars believe this type was struck by Alexander Jannaeus at the end of his reign. The type is usually crude with illegible letters and incomplete inscriptions.
JD35717. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC type S (cf. S33), Hendin 1159, VF, bold, weight 2.589 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, 76 - 67 or 63 - 40 B.C.; obverse crude Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Yonatan the High Priest and the Council of the Jews, crude and blundered, surrounded by wreath; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, pomegranate between horns; SOLD



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SYMBOLS ON HASMONEAN DYNASTY COINS

The Lily: The lily was regarded as the choicest among the flowers. It graced the capitals of the two main pillars which stood at the entrance to the sanctuary.

The Pomegranate: The pomegranate was one of the seven celebrated products of Palestine and among the fruits brought to the temple as offerings of the first-fruits. Two hundred pomegranates decorated each of the two columns in the temple and were an integral part of the sacred vestment of the High Priest, as bells and pomegranates were suspended from his mantle.

The Cornucopia: The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty."

The Anchor: The anchor was adopted from the Selukids, who used it to symbolize their naval strength. Anchors are depicted upside down, as they would be seen hung on the side of a boat ready for use.

The Star: The star symbolize heaven.

The Diadem: The diadem symbolized royalty.


Catalog current as of Saturday, May 23, 2015.
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John Hyrcanus II