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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.

|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
Valerius Gratus was the Roman Prefect of Judaea province under Tiberius from 15 to 26 AD. He succeeded Annius Rufus in 15 and was replaced by Pontius Pilate in 26. The government of Gratus is remarkable chiefly for the frequent changes he made in the appointment of the high-priesthood. He deposed Ananus, and substituted Ishmael ben Fabus, then Eleazar, son of Arianus, then Simon, son of Camith, and lastly Joseph Caiaphas, the son-in-law of Ananus.
JD113022. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6361; BMC Palestine p. 251, 2; Meshorer AJC II, Supp. V. 6; Meshorer TJC 316; RPC I 4958, Choice VF, well centered, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, obv. edge beveled, sprue cuts, weight 2.003 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 15 - 16 A.D.; obverse KAI/CAP (Greek: caesar) in two lines within wreath; reverse TIB over LB (year 2 of Tiberius) within two crossed cornucopia; very scarce; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
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.
JD113024. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, Choice VF, well centered, nice green patina, highlighting earthen fill, obv. beveled, weight 2.099 g, maximum diameter 16.3 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 = Tiberius' mother Livia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
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.
JD113025. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, Choice VF, dark green patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, reverse edge beveled, weight 2.231 g, maximum diameter 15.7 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 = Tiberius' mother Livia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


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

In 17 A.D., Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, founded the city of Tiberius on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, in honor of the Roman emperor.
JD113026. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6367; Meshorer TJC 327; Sofaer 26; RPC I 4964; BMC Palestine p. 254, 31 & pl. XXVIII, 17, VF, green patina, scratches, rev. edge beveled, rev. off center, weight 2.485 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 17 - 18 A.D.; obverse TIB / KAI/CAP (Greek: Tiberius Caesar) in three lines within wreath tied at base with an X; reverse palm frond, flanked by IOY-ΛIA (Greek: Julia = Tiberius' mother Livia) over L - Δ (year 4 of Tiberius); scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


|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.
JD111318. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, VF, dark green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, slightly off center, reverse edge beveled, remnants of casting sprues, weight 2.233 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 180o, 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 = Tiberius' mother Livia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


|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.
JD111320. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, VF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, rev. edge beveled, weight 2.206 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 315o, 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 = Tiberius' mother Livia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


|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.
JD111322. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6364, Meshorer TJC 321, Sofaer pl. 219, 18; BMC Palestine p. 253, 16 & pl. XXVIII, 11; RPC I 4961, F, dark patina with highlighting earthen deposits, porosity, ragged sprue cuts, weight 1.550 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, 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; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


|Valerius| |Gratus|, |Judaea,| |Valerius| |Gratus,| |Roman| |Prefect| |Under| |Tiberius,| |15| |-| |26| |A.D.||prutah|
The government of Gratus is chiefly remarkable for the frequent changes he made in the appointment of the high-priesthood. He deposed Ananus, and substituted Ismael, son of Fabi, then Eleazar, son of Arianus, then Simon, son of Camith, and lastly Joseph Caiaphas, the son-in-law of Ananus.
JD111323. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6363; Meshorer TJC 320; Sofaer 15; RPC I 4960; BMC Palestine p. 252, 10, pl. XXVIII, 9, weight 1.754 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 225o, Jerusalem mint, 16 - 17 A.D.; obverse KAI/CAP (Greek: Caesar) in two lines within wreath; reverse TIBEPIOY (Greek: of Tiberius), two crossed cornucopia with caduceus between them, L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius) across fields; very scarce; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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|
The government of Gratus is chiefly remarkable for the frequent changes he made in the appointment of the high-priesthood. He deposed Ananus, and substituted Ismael, son of Fabi, then Eleazar, son of Arianus, then Simon, son of Camith, and lastly Joseph Caiaphas, the son-in-law of Ananus.
JD111324. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6363; Meshorer TJC 320; Sofaer 15; RPC I 4960; BMC Palestine p. 252, 10, pl. XXVIII, 9, F, dark patina, highlighting deposits, obv. edge beveled, edge ragged, scratches, weight 2.111 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 16 - 17 A.D.; obverse KAI/CAP (Greek: Caesar) in two lines within wreath; reverse TIBEPIOY (Greek: of Tiberius), two crossed cornucopia with caduceus between them, L - Γ (year 3 of Tiberius) across fields; very scarce; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


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.
JD111442. Bronze prutah, Hendin 6368; Meshorer TJC 328; Sofaer pl. 219, 28; BMC Palestine p. 255, 38; RPC I 4965, VF, green patina, highlighting earthen deposits, sprue remnants, weight 1.934 g, maximum diameter 15.0 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 = Tiberius' mother Livia) above L - E (year 5 of Tiberius) in two lines across field; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00




  



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REFERENCES

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Kogon, Z. "Countermarks on Small Judean Coins" in INR 7 (Jerusalem, 2012), pp. 93 - 106.
Lnnqvist, K. "New Vistas on the Countermarked Coins of the Roman Prefects of Judea" in INJ 12 (Jerusalem, 1992 - 1993), pp. 56 - 70. 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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