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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Judean & Biblical Coins| ▸ |Roman Procurators| ▸ |Valerius Gratus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Prefect under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

"And, as a further attestation to what I say of the dilatory nature of Tiberius, I appeal to this his practice itself; for although he were emperor twenty-two years, he sent in all but two procurator to govern the nation of the Jews. Gratus, and his successor in the government, Pilate." - Josephus, antiquities VIII, VI, 5.

Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
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.
JD98803. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6365 (S); Meshorer TJC 326; Sofaer 23; RPC I 4963; BMC Palestine p. 254, 27 & pl. XXVII, 15, VF, well centered, ragged edge, pit on reverse, applied/enhanced patina, weight 1.925 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Jerusalem mint, 17 - 18 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA (Greek: Julia), tendrils, leaf, and small bunch of grapes on branch; reverse amphora with scroll handles flanked by date L - ∆ (year 4 of Tiberius); from an Israeli collection; scarce; $350.00 SALE PRICE $315.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D., Unofficial Imitative or Counterfeit

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.,| |Unofficial| |Imitative| |or| |Counterfeit||prutah|NEW
This specimen is so crude it seems unlikely that even a complete illiterate wouldn't notice it was a bit strange.
JD98801. Bronze prutah, cf. Hendin 6364a, Meshorer TJC 321a; Sofaer 18; SNG ANS 344; BMC Palestine p. 253, 16; RPC I 4961 (none this crude and blundered), VF, extremely crude, barbaric, irregular, weight 1.719 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial mint, c. 16 - 20 A.D.; obverse IOY/ΛIA (blundered illegible Greek: Julia) in two lines within wreath, closed with an annulet at top; reverse three formal lilies in bloom springing from a single base, L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius, Γ blundered) divided across field; this is the most barbaric crude specimen of the type known to FORVM; very rare; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
Julia on the obverse, refers to Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius. Livia took the name Julia Augusta after Augustus died.

In the book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and its derived films, Gratus is almost killed by a tile accidentally dropped by Judah Ben-Hur. This prompts all subsequent events of the story. In the novel Gratus is portrayed as a corrupt governor who acted against Ben-Hur's family in order to enrich himself.
JD98800. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6364, Meshorer TJC 321, Sofaer pl. 219, 18; BMC Palestine p. 253, 16 & pl. XXVIII, 11; RPC I 4961, VF, well centered, enhanced patina, weight 2.158 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 3.15o, Jerusalem mint, 16 - 17 A.D.; obverse IOY/ΛIA (Greek: Julia) in two lines within wreath; reverse three formal lilies in bloom springing from a single base, L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius) divided across field; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D., Lot of 5 Different Prutot

|Holyland| |Bulk| |Lots|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.,| |Lot| |of| |5| |Different| |Prutot||Lot|
The Roman province of Judaea was named after Herod Archelaus' Tetrarchy of Judaea, but encompassed a larger territory, parts of the former Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms, including Judea, Samaria and Idumea. The name "Judaea" was derived from the Kingdom of Judah of the 6th century B.C. After the deposition of Herod Archelaus in 6 A.D., Judea came under direct Roman rule. Roman governors began to tax the population and had authority to punish by execution. Unrest was endemic in Judaea under Roman rule. The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D., ended with the destruction of Second Temple of Jerusalem and the Fiscus Judaicus. The Bar Kokhba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D., ended with the Jewish diaspora. Hadrian renamed the province Syria Palaestina, and renamed Jerusalem, Aelia Capitolina.
LT98837. Bronze Lot, Lot of 5 prutot, F, all Valerius Gratus, each a different type, unattributed, no tags or flips, the actual coins in the photographs, 5 prutot; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D., Unofficial(?)

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.,| |Unofficial(?)||prutah|
The blundered obverse inscription indicates this specimen may be unofficial. Crude examples and even retrograde inscriptions are known for the type, and apparently official specimens. We were unable to find an example similarly as crude as this coin.

Julia on the obverse, refers to Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius. Livia took the name Julia Augusta after Augustus died.
JD98158. Bronze prutah, cf. Hendin 1333b, Meshorer TJC 317a, RPC I 4959, Sofaer 12 (all Jerusalem mint official specimens), VF, highlighting earthen deposits, ragged sprue cuts, edge split, weight 1.715 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 240o, Jerusalem (or unofficial?) mint, 15 A.D.; obverse OY/AIΛ (Greek: Julia, blundered) in two lines within wreath; reverse palm frond, flanked by L - B (year 2 of Tiberius); rare variant; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
In 18 A.D., Germanicus Caesar arrived in Syria, as the new commander for the Roman East. Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, governor of Syria, ignored Germanicus' order to send Syrian-based legions to Armenia to back his planned coronation of Artaxias III. Some Roman sources of the period suggest that Tiberius gave Piso secret instructions to thwart and control Germanicus. The following year Germanicus died at Antioch. On his deathbed he accused Piso of poisoning him. Tiberius was forced to order an investigation and a public trial in the Roman Senate for Piso. Piso committed suicide, though it was rumored that Tiberius, fearing incriminating disclosures, had him put to death.
JD99339. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, F, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse off center, obverse edge beveled, weight 2.360 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 18 - 19 A.D.; obverse TIB / KAI/CAP (Greek: Tiberius Caesar) in three lines within wreath tied at base with an X; reverse palm branch curving right, flanked by IOY-ΛIA (Greek: Julia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; from a private collector in New Jersey; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Judaea, Valerius Gratus, Roman Prefect Under Tiberius, 15 - 26 A.D.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
In 18 A.D., Germanicus Caesar arrived in Syria, as the new commander for the Roman East. Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, governor of Syria, ignored Germanicus' order to send Syrian-based legions to Armenia to back his planned coronation of Artaxias III. Some Roman sources of the period suggest that Tiberius gave Piso secret instructions to thwart and control Germanicus. The following year Germanicus died at Antioch. On his deathbed he accused Piso of poisoning him. Tiberius was forced to order an investigation and a public trial in the Roman Senate for Piso. Piso committed suicide, though it was rumored that Tiberius, fearing incriminating disclosures, had him put to death.
JD99341. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6369; Meshorer TJC 329; Sofaer pl. 219, 31; BMC Palestine p. 256, 46; RPC I 4966, aF, highlighting earthen deposits, obverse edge beveled, weight 1.826 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 24 - 25 A.D.; obverse TIB / KAI/CAP (Greek: Tiberius Caesar) in three lines within wreath tied at base with an X; reverse palm branch curving right, flanked by IOY-ΛIA (Greek: Julia) above L - IA (year 11 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; from a private collector in New Jersey; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00







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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).
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).

Catalog current as of Saturday, May 21, 2022.
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