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Hanukkah Gift Suggestions

Our Hanukkah gift suggestions listed here are mostly coins and antiquities from Israel, and books about them. Of course any item in our shop could make a nice Hanukkah gift, but this page is intended to highlight some items related to Israel and Jewish history.

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. John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Hanukkah story. John Hyrcanus was the first Jewish ruler to issue coins in his own name.


Late Roman - Byzantine, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), Bi-Lanceolate Pottery Oil Lamp, c. 300 - 500 A.D.

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Adler notes these lamps are found throughout the northern part of Israel, especially in Beit Shean and Hamat Gader, and date to the fourth and fifth centuries. At this time, Beit Shean, was primarily Christian, but evidence of Jewish habitation and a Samaritan synagogue indicate established minority communities. Hamat Gader was already a well known health and recreation site in Roman times, mentioned in Strabo, Origen and Eunapius, as well as the Rabbinic literature. Construction of the bath complex began in the 2nd century by the 10th Roman Legion, which was garrisoned in nearby Gadara (modern Umm Qais). The ancient Hebrew name means hot springs of (the ancient city of) Gadara. The Arabic name El-Hamma preserves this, and the name of the tel located near the site, Tel Bani, is a corruption of the Latin word meaning "baths." The empress Aelia Eudocia composed a poem praising the qualities of the multiple springs which was inscribed so that visitors could see it as they went into the pool. The photo to the right is of the ancient Roman baths. Click the photo to see a larger image.Hammat Gader Baths
AL93918. Bi-lanceolate pottery oil lamp; Adler Collection (website) type N2; 8.0 cm (3 1/8") long, near Choice, complete and intact, light encrustation, wear, c. 300 - 500 A.D.; pink-buff clay, mold made with incised decoration, the body includes the entire lamp from tip of nozzle to tip of "tongue" handle, wide rim surrounds a large fill hole, incised herring-bone geometric wreath pattern on narrow convex shoulders, two incised lengthwise lines on the handle, incised lines between fill hold rim and nozzle; bi-lanceolate oil lamp similar condition to the lamp in the photo, limit one per customer please; $40.00 (€35.20)
 


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Struck by Agrippa II(?), Caesarea Maritima(?), Syria Palestina

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Julius Marcus Agrippa was a teenager studying in Rome when his father died. He was too young to rule and his father's kingdom was made a Roman province. About 6 years later, he was given the kingdom of his uncle Herod of Chalcis. Later more was added. It was before Herod Agrippa II that Saint Paul was tried. Agrippa sided with the Romans during the Jewish rebellion. Though he continued to rule until at least 95 A.D., the temple was destroyed and in the end his assigned territories were in Syria, not Judaea. The attribution to a mint at Caesarea Maritima under Agrippa II is traditional, and supported by recorded finds 90% of which are around Caesarea Maritima. Still, it may have been struck at Caesarea Paneas, which better fits the style, or it may have been struck by a Roman procurator.
SL89827. Bronze AE 24, RPC I 4848 (6 spec.); Hendin 1263; Meshorer TJC 356; SNG ANS 744; BMC Palestine p. 12, 3; Rosenberger 1; Kadman -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5, Agrippa II, 49 - 95, Caesarea (4283488-004), weight 8.78 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 45o, Caesarea Maritima (or Paneas?) mint, c. 49 - Oct 54 A.D.; obverse TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IM P P, laureate head of Claudius right; reverse inverted anchor with ring on each end, within oak wreath; scarce; $500.00 (€440.00)
 


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

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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.
JD91403. Bronze AE 20, Mildenberg, group 3b, 33 (O2/R12); Meshorer TJC 297 (same dies); SNG ANS 584 (same dies); Hendin 1436a, VF, toned, light earthen deposits, flan adjustment marks, tiny edge cracks, tight flan, weight 6.625 g, maximum diameter 19.8 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 and three strings, no horn-like projections on lyre (present on most dies); from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, ex Fairlane Collection; $450.00 (€396.00)
 


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 134 - 135 A.D.

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Simon Bar Kochba led a rebellion against Rome from 133 -135 A.D. This Second Jewish Revolt or "Bar Kochba" uprising ended with Hadrian's destruction of Jerusalem, the founding of "Aelia Capitolina" on the site, and dispersal of the Jews throughout the Roman Empire.
JD91433. Bronze AE 24, Mildenberg 113 (O10/R77), Meshorer TJC 289; Hendin 1437, Sofaer 141, SNG ANS 566, aVF, tight flan, light corrosion, light deposits, weight 11.837 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, year 3 (134 - 135 A.D.); obverse seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates, paleo-Hebrew inscription "Shimon" divided by trunk; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf, hanging from curved branch; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $440.00 (€387.20)
 


Lot of 16 Judaean and Related Ancient Coins, Some Rare

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1) Vespasian, Judaea Capta, fourrée denarius, aVF, core exposure.
2) Gabinius, AE18, head of the proconsul Gabinius right. / GAB NY, Dionysos standing left, cantharos in right, thyrsus in left, uncertain date, RPC 4827, F.
3) Claudius, AE22, Judaea, Anchor, RPC 4848, F, rough, Very rare.
4) Agrippa II, AE20, Nike and shield on palm, Hendin 743, F.
5) Iliya (Jerusalem), AE fals, c. 740’s A.D., Album 1632, VF / Fair.
6 - 16) Herod I, Alexander Jannaeus, Herod Agrippa, Marcus Ambibulus, Antonius Felix, Herod Archelaus, Coponius, Pontus Pilate, Valerius Gratus (11 coins), Fair to Fine.
LT91388. Mixed Lot, Lot of 16 coins, some rare, includes Judaea Capta fourrée denarius, no flips or tags, consignor's description beside the photo is not guaranteed to be accurate - FORVM did not verify the descriptions or attributions, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph, as-is no returns; $310.00 (€272.80)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus.
JD93012. Bronze AE 32, Hendin 836, SNG ANS 766, Rosenberger 24, Kadman Caesarea 27, F, green patina, grainy, earthen deposits, weight 18.384 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, obverse IMP TRA HADRIANO CAES AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL I FL AVG, Hadrian, as priest-founder, plowing right with oxen, Nike flying left above holding wreath, CAESAREN in exergue; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection (surface find, Caesarea, Israel, 1972); $300.00 (€264.00)
 


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

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"and you shall take of yourselves on the first day [of Sukkot] the fruit of a goodly tree [etog], a palm branch, the myrtle branch, and the willow of the brook [lulav]; and you shall rejoice before the L-rd your G-d seven days" -- Leviticus 23
JD91412. Bronze 1/8 shekel, Kadman III 37, Hendin 1369, Meshorer TJC 214, aF/aVF, obverse rough and porous, reverse edge beveled with traces of flan casting sprues, weight 6.030 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 69 - 70 A.D. mint, Year 4, 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew counterclockwise inscription: year four, Lulav (myrtle, palm and willow branches tied together) flanked by an etrog (citron - small lemon like fruit) on each side; reverse Paleo-Hebrew counterclockwise inscription: To the redemption of Zion, chalice with a pearled rim; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $280.00 (€246.40)
 


Late Roman, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), Jewish "Candlestick" Oil Lamp, c. 350 - 500 A.D.

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The pattern on the nozzle, branches issuing from a central ridge, is often called a "candlestick," meaning it is a representation of the menorah. A more menorah-like variation has the "candlestick" on a tripod base. Some authorities believe it is a palm branch and it is sometimes indecisively called a a palm-menorah. The strongest evidence that the palm-menorah actually is a menorah is a variation of this lamp with a cross on the nozzle. This suggests that Jews and Christians used the same type of lamp, differentiated only by their respective religious symbol, a phenomenon also encountered on North African Red-Slip Lamps. The type is found across Israel but most commonly in Jerusalem and within 50 kilometers of Jerusalem.
AL21763. Jewish Small "Candlestick" Oil Lamp; cf. Schloessinger 477, Menzel 657, Adler 905, Bailey BMC Q2300; 8.0 cm (3 1/8") long, Choice, complete and intact, some bumps, light deposits, small earlier variety, c. 350 - 500 A.D.; pink-buff light clay, traces of a cream slip, tear drop shape from above, no handle, double rim around filling hole, decorative radiating pattern around shoulder continues on the nozzle with six branches from a central ridge (palm-menorah), ring base; $270.00 (€237.60)
 


Judaean Kingdom - Roman Judaea, Herodian Oil Lamp, c. 25 B.C. - 100 A.D.

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This simple but elegant lamp design was developed during the reign of Herod, and thus they are called Herodian Lamps today. The type is found throughout all of Israel, especially in Jewish towns and areas, such as Jerusalem and Judea. Some have been found in Jordan. It is believed to be a type used mainly by Jews. They remained in common use until the end of the first century. The latest examples, from the middle of the second century, have been found in Judean Desert caves. Attempts have been made to more precisely date some of these lamps based on variations, however, excavations indicate the variations occur simultaneously.
AL93890. Herodian oil lamp; cf. Adler 3.1.HER.3, 96; Hayes ROM 53; Schloessinger 331 - 332; 9.3 cm (3 5/8") long, 5.7 cm (2 1/4") wide, Choice, complete and intact, slightest chipping in nozzle, minor encrustations, c. 25 B.C. - 100 A.D.; finely made, pink-orange clay, buff-cream slip, rounded wheel made body with flat top, sharp carination to vertical sides, nozzle with a splayed shape with nearly straight sides hand-formed separately and attached, joint between the nozzle and body smoothed with a knife, rim around filling hole; $270.00 (€237.60)
 


Roman Syro-Palestinian, Glass Sprinkler Jug, 4th - 5th Century A.D.

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This opaque buff-yellow-brown enamel-like weathering is common on glass vessels found in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Syria-Palaestina was a Roman province between 135 and about 390 A.D. It was established by the merger of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba revolt. Shortly after 193, the northern regions were split off as Coele Syria in the north and Phoenice in the south, and the province Syria Palaestina was reduced to Judea.
AG21147. Choice, complete, intact, thick yellowish brown enamel-like weathering, weathering chipped in spots on rim and near base exposing rough glass surfaces, sprinkler jug, free-blow, thick green glass, 11.1 cm (4 3/8") tall, 6.1 cm (2 3/8") maximum diameter, small funnel mouth, rolled and folded in rim, short tubular neck, washer-like dropper diaphragm inside the base of neck, glass trail handle attached below rim and below neck; piriform body, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from a New Jersey dealer; $250.00 (€220.00)
 




  



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