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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Herodian Dynasty| ▸ |Herod the Great||View Options:  |  |  | 

Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

A Roman citizen, Herod took the throne of Judaea with Roman assistance. "Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him." (Matthew 2:13 RSV)

Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

|Herod| |the| |Great|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |the| |Great,| |37| |-| |4| |B.C.||prutah|
Herod the Great, a Roman client king of Judea, has been described as a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis, prepared to commit any crime in order to gratify his unbounded ambition, and as the greatest builder in Jewish history. He is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century Roman-Jewish historian Josephus.
JD98783. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6207 (R); RPC Online I 4904; Meshorer TJC 47; HGC 10 655 (S); BMC Palestine p. 222, 18; Cohen DCA 807, F, obverse off center, earthen deposits, porous, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.951 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, 37 B.C.; obverse palm frond, uncertain objects (leaves?) on both sides; reverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: of King Herod), aphlaston, LΓ (year 3) left, P right; from an Israeli collection; rare; $180.00 (163.80)


Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

|Herod| |the| |Great|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |the| |Great,| |37| |-| |4| |B.C.||lepton|
This was the first Jewish coin type to feature a graven image - the golden eagle Herod erected above the gate of the Temple. After their Pharisee teachers declared it was idolatrous, a group of young men tore down and smashed the golden eagle. Forty of them, along with their teachers, were captured and brought before Herod. They confessed, explaining they were upholding the laws of Moses. Herod had teachers and leaders burned alive, and all the participants were executed.
JD98790. Bronze lepton, Hendin 6221, Meshorer TJC 66, RPC I 4909, Sofaer 56, HGC 10 669, F, off center, struck with a broken obv. die (diagonal line lower right), small edge cracks, obv. edge beveled, casting sprue remnant, weight 0.851 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 270o, Jerusalem mint, c. 22 - 12 B.C.; obverse BACIΛ HPW∆ (Greek abbreviation: of King Herod), cornucopia; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed; scarce; $160.00 (145.60)


Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

|Herod| |the| |Great|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |the| |Great,| |37| |-| |4| |B.C.||lepton|
This was the first Jewish coin type to feature a graven image - the golden eagle Herod erected above the gate of the Temple. After their Pharisee teachers declared it was idolatrous, a group of young men tore down and smashed the golden eagle. Forty of them, along with their teachers, were captured and brought before Herod. They confessed, explaining they were upholding the laws of Moses. Herod had teachers and leaders burned alive, and all the participants were executed.
JD98791. Bronze lepton, Hendin 6221, Meshorer TJC 66, RPC I 4909, Sofaer 56, HGC 10 669, F, centered on a tight ragged edged flan, flatly struck, highlighting earthen deposits, obverse edge beveled, weight 0.920 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, c. 22 - 12 B.C.; obverse BACIΛ HPW∆ (Greek abbreviation: of King Herod), cornucopia; reverse eagle standing right, head right, wings closed; scarce; $130.00 (118.30)


Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

|Herod| |the| |Great|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |the| |Great,| |37| |-| |4| |B.C.||two| |prutot|
Very rare in this condition with such a bold strike.

The caduceus is the wing-topped staff, with two snakes winding about it, carried by Hermes. According to one myth it was given to him by Apollo. The caduceus was carried by Greek heralds and ambassadors and became a Roman symbol for truce, neutrality, and noncombatant status. The Herodians were friends to Rome and the caduceus was an appropriate symbol of that relationship.
JD98782. Bronze two prutot, Hendin 6206 (R); Meshorer TJC p. 221, 46; Sofaer p. 257, 12; HGC 10 653 (S); BMC Palestine p. 222, 17; RPC I 4903, aF/F, highlighting earthen deposits, flan split, slightly rough, weight 3.119 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Samaria mint, 37 B.C.; obverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: of King Herod), winged caduceus, date LΓ on left and monogram P on right; reverse poppy pod on stem with leaves, fillet left and right; from an Israeli collection; rare; $120.00 (109.20)


Judean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C.

|Herod| |the| |Great|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Herod| |the| |Great,| |37| |-| |4| |B.C.||2| |prutot|
Two prutot was equal to a Roman quadrans. -- Talmud Jerus., Kedushin 58d, written c. 200 A.D.
JD97695. Bronze 2 prutot, Meshorer TJC p. 222 & pl. 44, 48a; Sofaer p. 258 & pl. 207, 20; Hendin 6211 (S); RPC Online I 4905; HGC 10 654, aF, off center, uneven strike, edge cracks, reverse edge beveled, weight 3.846 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, c. 30 B.C.; obverse HPΩ∆OY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: of King Herod), cross surrounded by closed diadem; reverse dish on tripod table, flanked by two straight upright palm branches; from an Israeli collection; $110.00 (100.10)







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REFERENCES

Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripolls. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 & supplements).
Fontanille, J. Menorah Coin Project, website: http://menorahcoinproject.com/
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins, 6th Edition. (Amphora, 2021).
Hill, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Palestine. (London, 1914).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Maltiel-Gerstenfeld, J. 260 Years of Ancient Jewish Coinage. (Tel Aviv, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. Ancient Jewish Coinage. (New York, 1982).
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
Roman Provincial Coins (RPC) Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/.
Samuels, C., P. Rynearson & Y. Meshorer. The Numismatic Legacy of the Jews as depicted by a distinguished American Collection. (New York, 2000).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2: Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).

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