Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins

Tribute Penny

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--- Quote from: Steve Minnoch on April 07, 2008, 07:38:13 pm ---Whether it is the exact type or even denomination referenced in the bible isn't too relevant to me as I am here for the coins not a bible study... I'm more likely to get annoyed by situations where speculation or misattributions obscure facts relevant to the coins ("the portrait on the Blasio issue is Scipio Africanus!!!!").

But as an aside, is anything known on when was the connection between this coin and the bible story made?  Does it come up in Eckhel, for instance?


--- End quote ---

The Tribute Penny ID is not mentioned in Eckhel, or in any other early numismatic work that I can recall, doubtless because these works concentrated on the chronology of the coinage and the explication of the types and legends, not on where the coins circulated and identifying the coins meant whenever the Bible or another ancient literary work mentioned a coin.

However, the question of what coin was handed to Jesus certainly did arise centuries ago, and I presume that the PONTIF MAXIM denarius of Tiberius must have been one of the favorite candidates right from the start!

Rasche's Lexicon of Ancient Coinage, c. 1790, article Census, refers to the following treatises on the question, all in Latin, none of which I have read or had even heard of: 

Marq. Freherus, A treatise on the census coin that the Pharisees asked about, date not given.

Hermanson, A treatise on the denarius of the census [i.e. the Tribute Penny], 1733.

Io. Lor. Moschem, Observations on the story of the census coin, 1725.

Io. Nic. Schulin, A treatise on the census coin, 1685.

for more on this and closely allied topics see the concurrent discussion at:


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