Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.
A Roman citizen, Herod took the throne of Judaea with Roman assistance. "Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him." (Matthew 2:13 RSV)
The eight prutot was Herod's largest denomination. JD64052. Copper eight prutot, Hendin 1169, Meshorer TJC 44, Meshorer AJC II 1, RPC I 4901, F, weight 7.360 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, 40 B.C.; obverse military helmet facing, with cheek pieces and straps, wreathed with acanthus leaves, star above, flanked by two palm-branches; reverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (of King Herod), tripod, ceremonial bowl (lebes) above, LΓ -
Herod the Great, a Roman client king of Judea, has been described as a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis, as prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition, and as the greatest builder in Jewish history. He is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (Herod's Temple), the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century Roman–Jewish historian Josephus.JD73440. Bronze 2 prutot, Hendin 1178a, Meshorer TJC 49, Sofaer Collection 19, RPC I 4905 var (closed diadem), VF, edge split, rough, porous, weight 2.809 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, obverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (of King Herod), cross surrounded by open diadem; reverse plate on tripod table, flanked by erect palm branches; $145.00 (€126.15)
Herod was granted the title of "King of Judea" by the Roman Senate, as such he was a vassal of the Roman Empire, expected to support the interests of his Roman patrons. Not long after he assumed control of Judea, after he had supported Augustus’ opponent Mark Antony, Herod needed to show his worthiness as king of Judea to the new emperor, Augustus (Octavian). Herod was able to win the support of Augustus and continue to rule his people as he saw fit. Despite the freedom afforded to Herod in his reign over Judea, restrictions were placed upon him in his dealings with other kingdoms.SH72632. Bronze 2 prutot, Meshorer TJC 46, Hendin 1171, VF/F, weight 3.014 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, winged caduceus, date LΓ on left and monogram
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