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NEW Matthew (2:1-23) describes the Massacre of the Innocents. Wise men from the East visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts of "the one having been born king of the Jews," because they had seen his star. Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed. The chief priests, citing Micah 5:2, told Herod the anointed one would be born in Bethlehem. Herod sent the "wise men" to Bethlehem, instructing them to "report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." However, the Magi were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. Joseph was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so he and his family fled to Egypt. When Herod realized he had been outwitted, he gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Joseph and his family stayed in Egypt until Herod's death, then moved to Nazareth. Herod was guilty of many brutal acts, including killing his wife and two sons, but no other source from the period refers to the massacre. Bethlehem was a small village, the number of male children under the age of two might not have exceed 20, and this may be the reason for the lack of other sources for this history.JD98150. Copper eight prutot, Hendin 1169, Meshorer TJC 44, Meshorer AJC II 1, RPC I 4901, HGC 10 651, F, off center, uneven weak strike, pre-strike casting sprues, beveled obverse edge, weight 6.332 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, c. 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: of King Herod), tripod, ceremonial bowl (lebes) above, LΓ - P (year 3 of the tetrarchy = 40 B.C.) across fields; reverse military helmet facing, with cheek pieces and straps, wreathed with acanthus leaves, star above, flanked by two palm-branches; scarce; $160.00 (€131.20)
In 138 B.C., Antiochus VII besieged the Seleukid usurper Tryphon at the fortress-city of Dor. Tryphon escaped, only to be defeated later. Some sources say he was captured and executed, others that he committed suicide. In 134, Antiochus VII laid siege to Jerusalem. According to Josephus, the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulcher and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city.
This type has been traditionally attributed to Ascalon, however, no specimens have been found in the Maresha excavations east of that city. The type is acquired in Lower Galilee, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The types indicate it was likely a military coinage and the aphlaston points to a coastal mint. The evidence suggests it dates to Antiochus' campaign against Tryphon and may have been struck by a military mint attached to the army besieging Dor, perhaps in or around Joppa.JD98121. Bronze AE 13, Houghton-Lorber II 2122; Brett Ascalon 10; Houghton CSE 818; SNG Spaer 2095; HGC 9 1111 (R1), VF, highlighting earthen deposits, edge splits, reverse edge beveled, weight 1.094 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 180o, perhaps Joppa (Jaffa, Israel) mint, 138 - 129 B.C.; obverse crested Boeotian helmet with cheek-guards right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY, upright galley aphlaston (ship's stern ornament, also known as an apluster); from an Israeli Collection; rare; $140.00 (€114.80)
Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.
NEW Grapes, the vine and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ritual. Grapes were brought to the Temple as offerings of the first-fruits and wine was offered upon the altar. The vine and grapes decorated the sacred vessels in the sanctuary and a golden vine with clusters of grapes stood at its entrance.JD97701. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1196; Meshorer TJC 73; BMC Palestine p. 232, 10; SGICV 5539; RPC I 4917, aVF, rough, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 1.930 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆OY (of Herod), bunch of grapes, with leaf on left; reverse EΘNOPXOY (Ethnarch), tall helmet with crest and neck straps viewed from the front, small caduceus in lower left field; $90.00 (€73.80)
Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Koinon of Macedonia
The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and responsible for issuing coinage. Member cities sent representatives to participate in the popular assembly. The Koinon held celebrations and games annually at Beroea (modern Verria) in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor.RP97764. Bronze AE 23, RPC I 1612; Varbanov III 305; AMNG III 238; SNG Cop 1334; SGICV 425; BMC Macedonia p. 27, 145; Lindgren II 1354, F, scratches, pitting, reverse off center, weight 10.204 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, 41 - 54 A.D.; obverse TI KΛAY∆IOΣ KAIΣAP, bare head left; reverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ MAKE∆ONΩN, Macedonian shield; $70.00 (€57.40)