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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Roman Procurators| ▸ |Valerius Gratus||View Options:  |  |  | 

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

"And, as a further attestation to what I say of the dilatory nature of Tiberius, I appeal to this his practice itself; for although he were emperor twenty-two years, he sent in all but two procurator to govern the nation of the Jews. Gratus, and his successor in the government, Pilate." - Josephus, antiquities VIII, VI, 5.

Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
Julia on the obverse, refers to Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius. Livia took the name Julia Augusta after Augustus died.

In the book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and its derived films, Gratus is almost killed by a tile accidentally dropped by Judah Ben-Hur. This prompts all subsequent events of the story. In the novel Gratus is portrayed as a corrupt governor who acted against Ben-Hur's family in order to enrich himself.
JD97359. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1335, Meshorer TJC 321, Sofaer Collection pl. 219, 18; BMC Palestine p. 253, 16; RPC I 4961, aF, dark patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, weak strike, reverse off center, irregular flan with remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.571 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 16 - 17 A.D.; obverse IOY/ΛIA (Greek: Julia = Livia) in two lines within wreath; reverse three lilies in bloom, flanked by date L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius); $80.00 (73.60)


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
In 18 A.D., Germanicus Caesar arrived in Syria, as the new commander for the Roman East. Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, governor of Syria, ignored Germanicus' order to send Syrian-based legions to Armenia to back his planned coronation of Artaxias III. Some Roman sources of the period suggest that Tiberius gave Piso secret instructions to thwart and control Germanicus. The following year Germanicus died at Antioch. On his deathbed he accused Piso of poisoning him. Tiberius was forced to order an investigation and a public trial in the Roman Senate for Piso. Piso committed suicide, though it was rumored that Tiberius, fearing incriminating disclosures, had him put to death.
JD97363. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1339; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer Collection pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, F, porous, reverse slightly off center, edge split, obverse edge beveled, pre-strike casting sprue remnants, weight 1.788 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse TIB / KAI/CAP (Greek: Tiberius Caesar) in three lines within wreath tied at base with an X; reverse palm branch curving right, flanked by IOY-ΛIA (Greek: Julia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; from an Israeli collection; $70.00 (64.40)


|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
Julia on the obverse, refers to Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius. Livia took the name Julia Augusta after Augustus died.
JD83098. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1333, Meshorer TJC 317, RPC I 4959, Sofaer Collection 12, VF, bold, extraordinarily nice for the type, weight 1.812 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 15 A.D.; obverse IOY/ΛIA (Greek: Julia) in two lines within wreath; reverse palm frond, flanked by L - B (year 2 of Tiberius); SOLD







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THE PALM: THE PALM DEPICTED IS THE DATE PALM. THE TREE WAS A SYMBOL OF JUDEA WHERE PALM TREES GROW IN GREATER NUMBERS THAN THE SURROUNDING AREAS (THE ROMANS ALSO USED THE DATE PALM AS A SYMBOL OF JUDEA ON JUDAEA CAPTA COINS). THE PALM ALSO SYMBOLIZED ABUNDANCE AND PLENTY, DIGNITY, ROYAL HONOR, JUBILATION AND VICTORY, AND WAS USED IN RELIGIOUS PROCESSIONS.


THE GRAPE AND GRAPE VINE: GRAPES, THE VINE AND WINE WERE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ANCIENT ECONOMY AND RITUAL. GRAPES WERE BROUGHT TO THE TEMPLE AS OFFERINGS OF THE FIRST-FRUITS AND WINE WAS OFFERED UPON THE ALTAR. THE VINE AND GRAPES DECORATED THE SACRED VESSELS IN THE SANCTUARY AND A GOLDEN VINE WITH CLUSTERS OF GRAPES STOOD AT ITS ENTRANCE.

Catalog current as of Thursday, January 21, 2021.
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