Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins

Mattathias Antigonus' double thick flans


Antigonus, during his war against Herod, minted three denominations of coins.  there was the prutah, but there were also two much larger coins, one with a double cornucopia, and one with a single cornucopia, both struck on double thick flans.  Hendin just describes them as AE 22-23, and AE 20 (H481, H482).    I think that the AE 20 is half of the AE 22.  Does anyone know the relation to the prutah that these coins had?  How many prutot were in one AE 22?

 :Judean_kaf_2: :Judean_alef_1: :Judean_tsad_3:

Hi Zam,

Meshorer speculates a little about the relative values of the Antigonus coins, stating that the larger coin with the double cornucopia represents double the value of the smaller coin with a single cornucopia.  The following is taken from Treasury of Jewish Coins:

"The smallest monetary unit at the end of the Hellenistic period was the lepton, a small bronze coin. The value of a good Hasmonean prutah (in contrast to the underweight ones of Jannaeus) was that of a dilepton. The drachm, a silver coin unit in circulation in the first century B.C.E., whose weight was approximately 3.5g. of pure silver, served as the basis for evaluating the denominations. The drachm was divided into six small units, obols, which at that time were merely units for reckoning. Each obol was divided into eight large bronze coins termed chalkoi (i.e., "copper" coins). Each chalkos was divided into seven leptons. Thus the drachm contained 336 leptons or 168 prutot. There were 672 (4x168) prutot in a Tyrian shekel.

According to the weight relationship between the three bronze coin denominations of Mattathias Antigonus, it can perhaps be suggested that the large coin was a chalkos (1/48 of a drachm), the medium one was a half-chalkos (1/96 of a drachm), and the prutah was, as mentioned, 2/7 of a chalkos. However, this is only an assumption and is possibly incorrect due to the lack of data. The large coins of Mattathias Antigonus perhaps represent much larger denominations, because in the case of bronze coins, their weight was not of fundamental significance (even then bronze was of only symbolic value)."

Hope this helps!



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