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Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.
In 40 B.C. the Parthians took Syria, Phoenicia, and Judaea. The Parthians installed Mattathias Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus II, as their vassal King of Judaea. He sent his uncle Hyrcanus II to Babylon in chains (after biting off his ears to render him ineligible for the office of High Priest). Herod the Great fled to Rome where Mark Antony declared him King. Herod returned with Roman assistance in 39 B.C., took most of the kingdom in 38 B.C. and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Antigonus was taken to Antioch where Antony had him executed. Dio Cassius says he was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.
|Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. Antigonus bit off Hyrcanus II's ears to render him ineligible for High Priest and sent him to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded. |
On this type the inscription is almost always retrograde. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, in two retrograde lines, from left to right: MTT/YH (Mattatayah). The last letter blundered. See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.