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

Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.

Herod Archelaus (a name meaning "leading the people") was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, including the cities Caesarea and Jaffa, c. 4 B.C. to A.D. 6. Jerusalem was his capital. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, and was the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod II. His father had modified his will, naming his younger brother, Antipas, king. Archelaus appealed to Rome and was awarded a large share of the kingdom. Augustus denied him the title king, but gave him the title ethnarch, with a promise to name him king if he governed well. He was so unpopular with his subjects that Augustus deposed him, banished him to Gaul and annexed his territory. Judea, Samaria, and Idumea became the Roman province of Judaea.

Archelaus is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew (2:1323). An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to get up and take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt to avoid the Massacre of the Innocents. When Herod the Great died, Joseph was told by an angel in a dream to return to the land of Israel (presumably to Bethlehem). However, upon hearing that Archelaus had succeeded his father as ruler of Judaea he "was afraid to go there" (Matthew 2:22), and was again warned in a dream by God "and turned aside to the region of" Galilee. This is Matthew's explanation of why Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea but grew up in Nazareth.
Ethnarchy of Herod Archelaus

Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.

|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|
Herod's most famous and ambitious project was his magnificent expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 20 - 19 B.C. Although work on out-buildings continued another eighty years, the new Temple was finished in a year and a half. To comply with religious law, Herod employed 1,000 priests as masons and carpenters. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Today, only the four retaining walls of the Temple Mount remain standing, including the Western Wall.
JD98786. Bronze prutah, cf. Meshorer TJC 68f, Hendin 6223 (S), RPC Online I 4912, Sofaer 62 (cruder than published specimens), VF, crude style, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan, uneven strike, remnant of pre-strike casting sprue, weight 0.844 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 135o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆ (or similar, Greek abbreviation: of King Herod), anchor; reverse double cornucopia, caduceus between horns, N(?) (blundered Greek, abbreviating Ethnarch) above; from an Israeli collection; rare crude variant; $240.00 SALE PRICE $192.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
The beginning and conclusion of Jesus' parable of the minas in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 19, may refer to Archelaus' journey to Rome.

A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return ... But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, "We do not want this man to reign over us." ... "But as for these enemies of mine," [said the nobleman,] "who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me." (Luke 19:12, 19:14, 19:27)
JD110306. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6226a (S); Meshorer TJC 71; RPC I 4915; BMC Palestine p. 231, 1, Choice VF, broad flan, green patina, earthen highlighting, sprue remnants, small edge split, weight 1.000 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω (Greek: of Herod), double cornucopia, adorned with grapes, horns parallel tops to right; reverse EΘN/[P?]A/HX (or similar, Greek: Ethnarch), war galley facing left with aphlaston, oars, and ram; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $220.00 SALE PRICE $176.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|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.
JD110301. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6227; Meshorer TJC 73; BMC Palestine p. 232, 10; SGICV 5539; RPC I 4917, VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, prominent sprue cuts, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.272 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆OY (Greek: of Herod), bunch of grapes, leaf on left; reverse EΘNOPXOY (Greek: Ethnarch), tall helmet with crest and neck straps viewed from the front, small caduceus in lower left field; from an Israeli collection; $200.00 SALE PRICE $160.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
The anchor was adopted from the Selukids, who used it to symbolize their naval strength. Anchors are often depicted upside down, as they would be seen hung on the side of a boat ready for use.
JD110305. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 69b; BMC Palestine p. 235, 39; Meshorer AJC II p. 239, 2b; Hendin 6224 (S); RPC I 4912, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, centered, edge a little ragged, casting sprue remnant, weight 1.306 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆OY (Greek: of Herod), anchor with long slender arms; reverse EΘ/AN (Greek abbreviation: Ethnarch) in two lines, surrounded by oak wreath; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $160.00 SALE PRICE $128.00 ON RESERVE


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|
The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty."
JD110308. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 68 (same obv. die), Hendin 6223 (S) var. (HPω∆OY), Sofaer 61 var. (HPω∆), RPC Online I 4912 var. (legends), VF, broad flan, green patina, earthen deposits, sprue cuts, reverse edge beveled, weight 1.324 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆H (Greek: of Herod, clockwise, first three letters on right, last two on left), anchor; reverse double cornucopia with caduceus between horns, EΘN (Greek abbreviation: Ethnarch) counterclockwise from lower right with N between the horns; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $160.00 SALE PRICE $128.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|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.
JD110302. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6227; Meshorer TJC 73; BMC Palestine p. 232, 10; SGICV 5539; RPC I 4917, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, broad flan, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.413 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆OY (Greek: of Herod), bunch of grapes, leaf on left; reverse EΘNOPXOY (Greek: Ethnarch), tall helmet with crest and neck straps viewed from the front, small caduceus in lower left field; from an Israeli collection; $150.00 SALE PRICE $120.00 ON RESERVE


Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.

|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|
A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.

In his will, his father named his younger brother king. Archelaus sailed to Rome to appeal and was awarded a share of the kingdom. The galley reminded those that thought to challenge him that he had the backing of Rome.
JD98793. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6228; Meshorer TJC 72; Meshorer AJC 5; SNG ANS 243; RPC Online I 4916; BMC Palestine p. 233, 27, VF, brockage, scratches, green patina, weight 1.070 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω (counterclockwise from below, Greek: of Herod), prow of war galley left; reverse incuse of obverse (brockage, normal reverse: EΘN (Greek: Ethnarch), surrounded by wreath); from an Israeli collection; $140.00 SALE PRICE $112.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
The galley refers to Archelaus' voyage to Rome at the beginning of his reign. His father had modified his will, naming Archelaus' younger brother, Antipas, king. Archelaus appealed to Rome and was awarded a large share of the kingdom and the title ethnarch. The galley reminded those that thought to challenge him that he had the backing of Rome. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Ya'akov Meshore
JD110336. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6228; Meshorer TJC 72; Meshorer AJC 5; SNG ANS 243; RPC Online I 4916; BMC Palestine p. 233, 27, Choice VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, sprue cuts, obverse edge beveled, weight 1.277 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse H P W (counterclockwise from below), prow of galley left; reverse EΘN (Ethnarch), surrounded by wreath; from an Israeli collection; $120.00 SALE PRICE $96.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|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.
JD110303. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6227; Meshorer TJC 73; BMC Palestine p. 232, 10; SGICV 5539; RPC I 4917, aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, squared flan, obv. double struck, rev. off center, weight 3.126 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 45o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆OY (Greek: of Herod), bunch of grapes, leaf on left; reverse EΘNOPXOY (Greek: Ethnarch), tall helmet with crest and neck straps viewed from the front, small caduceus in lower left field; from an Israeli collection; $90.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


|Herod| |Archelaus|, |Herod| |Archelaus,| |Ethnarch| |of| |Samaria,| |Judea,| |and| |Idumea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |6| |A.D.||prutah|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.
JD110304. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6227; Meshorer TJC 73; BMC Palestine p. 232, 10; SGICV 5539; RPC I 4917, F, ragged rectangular flan, earthen encrustation, porosity, weight 1.876 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 150o, Jerusalem mint, 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.; obverse HPω∆OY (Greek: of Herod), bunch of grapes, leaf on left; reverse EΘNOPXOY (Greek: Ethnarch), tall helmet with crest and neck straps viewed from the front, small caduceus in lower left field; from an Israeli collection; $60.00 SALE PRICE $48.00







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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).
Kindler, A. Coins of the Land of Israel. (Jerusalem, 1974).
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).
Reinach, S. Jewish Coins. (London, 1903).
Rogers, E. Handy Guide To Jewish Coins. (London, 1914).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
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).

SYMBOLS ON THE COINS OF HEROD ARCHELAUS

Anchor: The anchor was adopted from the Seleukids, who used it to symbolize their naval strength. On ancient coins, anchors are often depicted upside down, as they would be seen hung on the side of a boat ready for use.

Cornucopia: The cornucopia was a hollow animal horn used as a container. One of the most popular religious symbols of the ancient world, the cornucopia is also know as the "horn of plenty." The cornucopia symbolizes abundance and the prosperity of the nation.

Caduceus: 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.

Galley: The galley refers to Archelaus voyage to Rome at the beginning of his reign. His father had modified his will, naming Archelaus younger brother, Antipas, king. Archelaus sailed to Rome to appeal and was awarded a large share of the kingdom and the title ethnarch. The galley reminded those that thought to challenge him that he had the backing of Rome.

Grapes: 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.


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