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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical Coins ▸ Cities in the BibleView Options:  |  |  |   

Cities in the Bible

The coins below were minted by cities that are mentioned in the bible. Click here to read about the travels of Paul.


Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown. Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.

Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $900.00 (765.00)


Arados, Phoenicia, Uncertain King, c. 400 - 384 B.C.

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Early coins of Arados have the Aramaic letters mem aleph (read from right to left) above the galley, abbreviating Melech Arad (meaning King of Arados), sometimes followed by the king's initial, and sometimes by the Phoenician regnal year date.
GS87352. Silver stater, Elayi-Elayi Arwad group III.2.1; HGC 10, 32 (R1), VF, typical compact flan, bumps and marks, weight 10.308 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 270o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 400 - 384 B.C.; obverse laureate head of bearded Ba'al Arwad right, with profile eye; reverse galley right, figure of Pataikos right on prow, row of shields on bulwark, Phoenician letters mem aleph (abbreviating Melech Arad - King of Arados) from right to left above, three waves below; ex CNG e-auction 424 (11 Jul 2018), lot 252; rare; $235.00 (199.75)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Judaea Capta issue minted at Caesarea, Judaea. After Herod's death, Caesarea was the seat of the Roman procurator and capital of Roman Palestine for about 500 years. A riot in 66 A.D. between Syrians and Jews in the city led to the First Jewish Revolt. Paul was delivered to Caesarea when his life was threatened in Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). From Caesarea, Paul departed to Tarsus, his birthplace. Paul met the church in Caesarea (Acts 18:22; 21:8,16). Finally, Paul was taken prisoner (Acts 23:23,33) and returned to Caesarea where he was tried before Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25:1-4; 24:6-13)
RP86862. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 1454, Meshorer TJC 391, RPC II 2304, Sofaer 25, F, scratches, earthen encrustations, weight 16.331 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 83 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITIANVS CAES AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head left; reverse Minerva standing right on galley with owl on prow, shield on left arm, brandishing spear downward in right hand, trophy of captured arms behind, palm frond right, no legend; $180.00 (153.00)


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea, Judaea

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This Judaea Capta type was minted at Caesarea Maritima, Judaea. Caesarea, built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 B.C., was named to flatter Augustus Caesar. It became the capital of Iudaea Province and the residence of the Roman procurators and governors including Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix. In 66 A.D., the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt. After the revolt was suppressed, 2500 Jewish captives were slaughtered at Caesarea in Gladiatorial games held by Titus to celebrate his victory. Today, Caesarea's ruins lie on Israel's Mediterranean coast about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Straton's Tower").
RP86864. Bronze AE 20, RPC II 2309, Hendin 1460, Meshorer TJC 390, SNG ANS 499, F, bumps and scratches, a little rough, weight 6.731 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 92 - 93 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse VICTOR AVG (the victory of the Emperor), trophy of captured arms; scarce; $140.00 (119.00)


Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria

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Neapolis, Samaria, the biblical Shechemis, is now Nablus, Israel. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. The city was refounded as Flavia Neopolis after the suppression of the Jewish Revolt. Nablus is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.
JD72682. Bronze AE 20, Sofaer pl. 53,122; Rosenberger 59; BMC Samaria p. 62, 111; Lindgren III 1510, gVF, nice green patina with earthen highlighting, typical tight flan, weight 7.492 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis mint, obverse IOYΛIA MAICA CEB, draped bust right wearing stephane; reverse ΦΛ NEAC-ΠOΛE CVP, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; rare; $135.00 (114.75)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175 - 164 B.C.

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Antiochus IV took the name "Epiphanes," meaning "Select of God." His subjects made a pun on his name, calling him "Epimanes" or "madman." In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Temple in Jerusalem was seized and dedicated to Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of fighting, Judah Maccabee defeated the Seleukid army. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 B.C. According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, enough time to prepare and consecrate fresh oil.
GY87387. Bronze AE 21, Houghton-Lorber 1453d; BMC Seleucid p. 39, 51; Rouvier, JIAN V, p. 122, 1208; HGC 9 665 (R1), F, well centered, light corrosion, weight 5.456 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Quasi-municipal, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, c. 168 - 164 B.C.; obverse diademed and radiate head of Antiochos IV right, ∆ (control) behind; reverse galley left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY in two lines above, ΣI∆ΩNIΩN over Phoenician script (of the Sidonians) below; rare; $100.00 (85.00)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.

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Ptolemy IV's surname Philopator means father lover, ironic since according to some authorities he poisoned his father. Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria. He was a cruel and evil monarch.
GP88102. Bronze obol, Lorber CPE B456, Svoronos 1153 (4 spec.), BMC Ptolemies -; Weiser -; SNG Cop -, Noeske -, SNG Milan -, Malter -, aVF, scratches, weak reverse strike, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, slightly beveled obverse edge, central depressions, weight 10.556 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, club left, ΣE monogram between legs; scarce; $100.00 (85.00)


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Apamea, Phrygia

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Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). Christianity was very likely established early in the city. Saint Paul probably visited the place when he went throughout Phrygia.
GB87135. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 3127 (7 spec.); SNGvA 3486; Imhoof-Blumer KM p. 209, 13a; Waddington 5700, VF, dark patina, some corrosion, light earthen deposits, obverse a little off center, weight 7.090 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, magistrates Dionysios Apolloniou & Meliton, 5 B.C.; obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate head right, aphlaston to right; reverse ∆IONYΣIOΣ AΠOΛΛΩNIOY MEΛITΩN AΠAMEΩN, facing cult statue of Artemis (with arm supports), meander pattern below; $95.00 (80.75)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Philadelphia, Decapolis, Syria

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In Greek mythology, Asteria (Greek: "Aστερια, "of the stars, starry one") is the Titan goddess of nocturnal oracles and falling stars. She is the daughter of the Titans Coeus (Polus) and Phoebe and the sister of Leto. Asteria is the mother of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and, in one account, the mother of Heracles. Asteria lived on Olympus, and like her sister Leto was beloved by Zeus. When Zeus pursued her in the form of an eagle, to escape his amorous advances, she transformed herself into a quail (ortux), flung herself into the Aegean Sea, and metamorphosed into the island Ortygia (quail island). In another version, after Asteria jumped into the sea, Poseidon pursued her. To escape him she transformed herself into the desert island of Delos.
RP86849. Bronze AE 19, RPC IV online 6648.3 (same dies, 6 spec.); SNG ANS 1395 (same dies); Sofaer 34 (same dies); Rosenberger IV 35; BMC Arabia, p. 40, 17; Spijkerman 32, VF, centered on a tight flan, a little rough, porous, edge cracks, weight 7.549 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia (Amman, Jordan) mint, as caesar, c. 175 A.D.; obverse Λ AYP KOMMO∆OC KAIC, bare headed and draped bust right; reverse ΦIΛ K CY ΘEA ACTEPIA, draped and veiled bust of Asteria, star above; ; rare; $90.00 (76.50)


Pergamon, Mysia, c. 2nd Century B.C.

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Pergamon, Mysia was located to the northwest of the modern city of Bergama, Turkey, 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the Caicus (Bakircay) River. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon under the Attalid dynasty, 281-133 B.C. Pergamon is cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.
GB87748. Bronze AE 16, SNG BnF 1885 ff.; SNG Tb 2429; SNG Cop 396; BMC Mysia p. 131, 179 var. (monogram), SNGvA 1374 var. (same), aVF, green patina, tight flan, porous, light earthen deposits, weight 6.640 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, c. 2nd century B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right; reverse AΘHNAΣ NIKHΦOPOY, trophy of captured arms, ΘA monogram inner left, Pergamon monogram lower right; $60.00 (51.00)




  



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Biblical City Coins