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Collecting History through Ancient Coins

Holding an ancient coin is holding history in your hands. Some coins actually depict historical events. Many include the image of a historic king or emperor. Every ancient coin relates to the people and events of the time and place it was struck. Every ancient coin relates to an interesting historical story. The stories on this page are a primary source of our ancient coin obsession. We hope you enjoy them.

Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |27|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99312. Bronze AE 27, Mildenberg 132 (O10/R96); cf. Meshorer TJC 292a; BMC Palestine p. 312, 80; SNG ANS 572; Hendin 6464, gVF, green patina, earthen deposits, slightly off center, weight 8.558 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon", seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $1000.00 SALE PRICE $900.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |21|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99307. Bronze AE 21, Mildenberg 112 (O10/R76); SNG ANS 570 - 572 (same dies); cf. BMC Palestine p. 307, 31; Sofaer 144; Meshorer TJC 292a; Hendin 6464, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan, small edge cracks, weight 7.709 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon", seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $900.00 SALE PRICE $810.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |23|
In 134, the Romans captured Jerusalem. Simon bar Kokhba was killed in 135, at Betar, a fortress where he had taken refuge. Jerusalem, largely destroyed, was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in the city and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. Although, resistance continued in Galilee, the Jewish diaspora began as Emperor Hadrian barred Jews from Jerusalem and had survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many were sold into slavery. The Jews remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.

Obverse legend:      Reverse legend:
JD99309. Bronze AE 23, Mildenberg 31 (O2/R10); SNG ANS 580; BMC Palestine p. 3, 93; Meshorer TJC 297a; Sofaer p. 283, & pl. 236, 16; Hendin 6463 (S), VF, well centered on a tight flan, thin blue-green patina, earthen deposits on reverse, light marks, weight 6.840 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, undated, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription counterclockwise from lower right: for the freedom of Jerusalem, upright palm branch within laurel wreath, wreath with four groups of three leaves on each side, a medallion at the top and ribbon ties at the bottom; reverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription counterclockwise from lower right: Shimon, kithara-lyre with a long soundbox, three strings, and horn-like protrusions; from a private collector in New Jersey; scarce; $900.00 SALE PRICE $810.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |25|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99314. Bronze AE 25, Mildenberg 114 (O10/R78); SNG ANS 569 (same dies); cf. BMC Palestine p. 311, 70; Meshorer TJC 292; Sofaer 82; Hendin 6464, VF, green patina, light corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 9.817 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon" (possibly due to die break, mem irregular with two horizontal parallel strokes), seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $900.00 SALE PRICE $810.00


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |26|
The Bar Kokhba revolt, led by Simon bar Kokhba, was the last of the major JewishRoman wars. The Roman army suffered heavy losses. It took six full legions, auxiliaries, and elements from as many as six more legions three years to crush the revolt. The Romans annihilated much of the Judean population. In 134, the they captured Jerusalem and Simon bar Kokhba was killed in 135. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in Jerusalem and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. The Jewish diaspora began as Hadrian barred Jews from Jerusalem and had survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many were sold into slavery. The Jewish people remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
JD99313. Bronze AE 26, Mildenberg 62 (04/R26); BMC Palestine p. 309, 53 (same dies); cf. SNG ANS 538; Meshorer TJC 260a; Hendin 6436, aVF, well centered, dark green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 9.586 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, year 2, 133 - 134 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "SMA" (abbreviating Simon), seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Year 2 of the freedom of Israel", vine leaf on tendril; from a private collector in New Jersey; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Stobi, Macedonia, The Rape of Persephone

|Stobi|, |Julia| |Domna,| |Augusta| |194| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Stobi,| |Macedonia,| |The| |Rape| |of| |Persephone||AE| |25|
Beautiful Persephone lived a peaceful life far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. She was innocently picking flowers when Hades, god of the Underworld, burst through a cleft in the earth and abducted her. While Demeter searched desperately for her daughter she neglected the earth and caused nothing to grow. Zeus, pressed by the cries of hungry people, determined to force Hades to return Persephone. However, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds, and because anyone who consumes food or drink in the Underworld is doomed to spend eternity there, she is forced return to the underworld for a period each year. Explaining the seasons, when Demeter and her daughter are reunited, the Earth flourishes with vegetation and color, but for the months each year when Persephone returns to the underworld, the earth becomes barren.
RP97760. Bronze AE 25, Josifovski Stobi 151 ff., Varbanov III 3934 (R6), Mionnet Sup. III 691, AMNG III -, SNG Cop -, BMC Macedonia -, gF, broad flan with full legends, corrosion, scratches, central depressions, weight 7.661 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, Stobi (Gradsko, Macedonia) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AVGVSTA IVLIA, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, chignon at back of head; reverse MVNICIPI STOBEN, Hades driving quadriga right, holding the abducted Persephone with his right arm, scepter in his left hand; scarce; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00


The First Jewish Revolt 66 - 70 AD

|First| |Jewish| |Revolt|, |The| |First| |Jewish| |Revolt| |66| |-| |70| |AD||prutah|
In 69 A.D., Vespasian began to lay siege to Jerusalem, the city was captured the following year by his son Titus. On 4 August 70 A.D. Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date.
JD98827. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6392; Meshorer TJC 204; SNG ANS 446; Sofaer pl. 223, 31, VF, well centered on a tight flan, green patina, light porosity/pitting, weight 2.383 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Jerusalem mint, year 3, 68 - 69 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew: Year three, amphora with fluted body, narrow neck, broad rim, two handles, and conical fluted lid decorated with tiny globule at peak and row of tiny globules around edge; reverse Paleo-Hebrew: The freedom of Zion, vine leaf on small branch with tendril; from an Israeli collection; $250.00 SALE PRICE $225.00


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||eight| |prutot|
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.

This coin was "professionally cleaned and conserved" in Israel. Although it is beautiful, to the educated eye, the patina does not look natural. It is "enhanced" or "applied." Enhanced or applied patinas are not tragic. Coins with enhanced or applied patinas often sell for very high prices. We prefer a beautiful natural patina, but mother nature does not always comply. At Forum Ancient Coins, if we believe a patina has been enhanced or applied, we will include that in the coin's description.
JD97652. Bronze eight prutot, Meshorer TJC 36; Hendin 6197; Sofaer 418; BMC Palestine p. 212, 2; SNG ANS 183; SNG Cop 64; HGC 10 646 (S), VF, enhanced/applied desert patina, reverse a little off center and weakly struck, weight 13.727 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, around and between the horns of a double cornucopia; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus), ivy wreath tied at the top with ribbons hanging down; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $240.00 SALE PRICE $216.00


Parthian Empire, Mithradates II, c. 121 - 91 B.C.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Mithradates| |II,| |c.| |121| |-| |91| |B.C.||drachm|
Mithradates II was the eighth and one of the greatest Parthian kings. He defeated all Seleukid attempts to reclaim their Eastern territories and made Parthia a formidable, unified empire. He adopted the title Epiphanes, "god manifest" and introduced new designs on his extensive coinage. Late in his reign he exerted influence in Armenia, taking as hostage a prince who would become Tigranes the Great. -- www.parthia.com
GS96013. Silver drachm, Sellwood 28.3; Sunrise 298; Shore 97; SNG Cop 44; BMC Parthia p. 34, 106, VF, toned, flow lines, light die wear, weight 4.133 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, c. 96/95 - 93/92 B.C.; obverse bust left wearing diadem and tiara ornamented with three rows of pearls around six-rayed star in center and ear flaps, long pointed beard, wearing ornate robe and spiral torc ending in a ball; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ − BAΣIΛEΩN − MEΓAΛOY − APΣAKOY / EΠHANOYΣ, archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated right on throne, bow in right, squared legend in five lines around, the first three lines clockwise, the last two downward on left; from the Errett Bishop Collection, ex Alex G. Malloy; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

|First| |Jewish| |Revolt|, |The| |First| |Jewish| |Revolt,| |66| |-| |70| |A.D.||prutah|
By 68, Jewish resistance in the north had been crushed. Vespasian made Caesarea Maritima his headquarters and methodically proceeded to clear the coast. In the winter of 68, Titus set up camp at Jericho and cut off escape routes toward Jerusalem.
JD98826. Bronze prutah, Kadman III 12; Meshorer TJC 196a, Hendin 6389; SNG ANS 427; Sofaer pl. 222, 11, VF, tight flan, reverse off center, applied patina, pre-strike casting sprue remnant, weight 3.163 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 150o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew: Year two, amphora with fluted body, narrow neck, broad rim, and two small curved handles; reverse Paleo-Hebrew: The freedom of Zion, vine leaf on small branch with tendril; from an Israeli collection; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00




  



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