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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Roman Procurators| ▸ |Marcus Ambibulus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

Marcus Ambivulus was Roman Prefect of the province of Judea and Samaria. Originally a cavalry officer, he succeeded Coponius in 9 AD and ruled the area until 12 or 13 A.D. when he was succeeded by Annius Rufus. Josephus noted his tenure in Jewish Antiquities 18.31.

Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
Date cultivation in Judea declined after the Roman period, especially during the Crusades, and completely collapsed due to climate change around the 14th century. The Judean Date Palm fell extinct. Excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in 1963-1965 uncovered a cache of date palm seeds preserved in an ancient jar. Radiocarbon dating confirmed the seeds were from 155 B.C. to 64 A.D. In 2005, three of the seeds were planted. Eight weeks later one of the seeds sprouted. The palm, a male, named Methuselah, was grown from the oldest known successfully germinated tree seed. After that success, additional palms from were sprouted from the seeds found at Masada. A female, Hannah, was pollinated by Methuselah and the Judean Date Palm has been recovered.
JD99334. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6358; Meshorer TJC 313; RPC I 4955; Sofaer, pl. 219, 3; BMC Palestine p. 248, 9, F, highlighting earthen deposits, irregularly shaped flan, weight 1.891 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 9 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), head of barley curved right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - ΛΘ (year 39) across field divided by trunk; from a private collector in New Jersey; $90.00 (85.50)


Judaea, Marcus Ambibulus, Roman Prefect under Augustus, 9 - 12 A.D.

|Marcus| |Ambibulus|, |Judaea,| |Marcus| |Ambibulus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |under| |Augustus,| |9| |-| |12| |A.D.||prutah|
When the Romans invaded ancient Judea, thick forests of date palms up to 80 feet (24 m) high and 7 miles (11 km) wide covered the Jordan River valley from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the shores of the Dead Sea in the south. The tree so defined the local economy that Emperor Vespasian celebrated the conquest by minting the "Judaea Capta", a special bronze coin that showed the Jewish state as a weeping woman beneath a date palm. The Qur'an describes how Maryam (the Islamic parallel of Mary (mother of Jesus)) was advised to eat dates to ease her labor pains; presumably, this would have been a Judean date.
JD99333. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6359; Meshorer TJC 314; RPC I 4956; Sofaer, pl. 219, 6; BMC Palestine p. 249, 20, F, tight squared flan, green patina, earthen deposits, porous, reverse off center, edge crack, weight 2.154 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 9 - 10 A.D.; obverse KAICAPOC (of Caesar), barley head curved to right; reverse eight-branched date palm tree, bearing two bunches of dates, L - M (year 40 of Augustus) divided across lower field; from a private collector in New Jersey; $70.00 (66.50)







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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).
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).
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).

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