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Roman Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

Marcus Ambivulus was Roman Prefect of the province of Judea and Samaria. Originally a cavalry officer, he succeeded Coponius in 9 AD and ruled the area until 12 or 13 A.D. when he was succeeded by Annius Rufus. Josephus noted his tenure in Jewish Antiquities 18.31.

Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
Marcus Ambibulus was Roman Prefect of the province of Judea and Samaria. Originally a cavalry officer, he succeeded Coponius in 9 A.D. and ruled the area until 12 or 13 A.D. when he was succeeded by Annius Rufus. Josephus noted his tenure in Jewish Antiquities 18.31.
JD98157. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1331; Meshorer TJC 315; RPC I 4957; Sofaer Collection, pl. 219, 7; BMC Palestine p. 249, 21, F, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits (desert patina), porosity, edge ragged with flan cracks, weight 1.647 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 11 - 12 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), barley head curved to right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - MA (year 41 of Augustus) divided across lower field; from an Israeli collection; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
Date cultivation in Judea declined after the Roman period, especially during the Crusades, and completely collapsed due to climate change around the 14th century. The Judean Date Palm fell extinct. Excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in 1963-1965 uncovered a cache of date palm seeds preserved in an ancient jar. Radiocarbon dating confirmed the seeds were from 155 B.C. to 64 A.D. In 2005, three of the seeds were planted. Eight weeks later one of the seeds sprouted. The palm, a male, named Methuselah, was grown from the oldest known successfully germinated tree seed. After that success, additional palms from were sprouted from the seeds found at Masada. A female, Hannah, was pollinated by Methuselah and the Judean Date Palm has been recovered.
JD97325. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1329; Meshorer TJC 313; RPC I 4955; Sofaer Collection, pl. 219, 3; BMC Palestine p. 248, 9, gVF, full inscription and date, dark green patina with lighter green highlighting deposits, reverse edge beveled, irregular flan shape with traces of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 2.240 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 9 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), head of barley curved right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - ΛΘ (year 39) across field divided by trunk; from an Israeli collection; SOLD


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
The palm depicted is, of course, 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 it 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.
JD97706. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1329; Meshorer TJC 313; RPC I 4955; Sofaer Collection, pl. 219, 3; BMC Palestine p. 248, 9, gF, highlighting earthen deposits (desert patina), nice clear date, reverse edge beveled, remnant of pre-strike casting sprue, weight 2.384 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 9 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), head of barley curved right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - ΛΘ (year 39) across field divided by trunk; SOLD










REFERENCES

Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 & supplements).
Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.com/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 5th Edition. (Amphora, 2010).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Palestine. (London, 1914).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).

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