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1__antiochus_IV__j_hyrcanus_I.jpg
Hendin-45186 viewsMinted under the joint authority of Antiochos VII and John Hyrcanus I
130/131 BCE
Struck as a transitional issue at the mint of Jerusalem
Called the earliest "Jewish" coin.
Obv- ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ
Seleucid anchor, upside down, date below
Rev- Lily,Symbol of Jerusalem and the Temple
Mint: Jerusalem
Meshorer: AJC 1,Supplement II,A2
1 commentsbrian l
63430q00.jpg
10 Vespasian and Titus29 viewsVespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Antioch, Syria

Silver tetradrachm, Prieur 113, McAlee 336, RPC II 1947, Wruck 86, aVF, Antioch mint, weight 13.89g, maximum diameter 24.3mm, die axis 0o, 70 - 71 A.D.; obverse ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤ ΚΑΙΣΑ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΥ, laureate bust right; reverse ETOYC Γ IEPOY (Holy Year 3), eagle standing left on club, wings spread, palm frond left; ex CNG auction 149, lot 286; ex Garth R. Drewry Collection, ex Harmer Rooke (26-28 March 1973), lot 488 (part of).

Struck to pay Titus' legions during and after the First Jewish Revolt. RPC notes c. 320 different dies indicate 6,500,000 Syrian tetradrachms might have been minted. This was the quantity Titus would have needed to pay his four legions. Hoard evidence finds many of these types in Judaea confirming they were used to pay the legions.

Purchased from FORVM!
RI0002
Sosius
VESPSE06-2.jpg
70 AD: Vespasian - Defeat of the Jewish revolt and fall of Jerusalem345 viewsSestertius (28.6g, 37mm, 6h). Roman mint. Struck AD 71.
IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TR P P COS III laureate head right
IVDAEA CAPTA / S C [in ex.] Judaea seated, in attidue of sorrow, at the foot of a palm tree; behind Vespasian standing in military dress holding spear and parazonium; left foot on a helmet.
RIC 427 (scarce); BMC 543; Cohen 239
1 commentsCharles S
Comb27022017021206.jpg
First Revolt AE Prutah (2,76 g) - Jewish War 68/9 AD year 3. 38 viewsObv. Amphora with broad rim, two handles, and decorated conical cover.
Rev. inscription (the freedom of Zion), vine leaf on small branch with tendril
Refernces: (Hendin 1363, AJC II 261,20) .
17mm, 2.8 grams.
2 commentsCanaan
00004x00~5.jpg
62 viewsROME
PB Tessera (16mm, 2.53 g, 12h)
Victory standing right, foot on helmet, inscribing shield set on palm tree
Apex; palm frond to left
M. & B. Overbeck, “Romische Bleimarken als Zeugnis des Ersten Jüdischen Krieges,” in Helas und der Grechen Osten, p. 211-216, 1; Rostovtsev 1840, pl. VII, 37; BMC 802-4

The similarities between the obverse of this piece and the Judaea Capta issues of Caesarea Maritima cannot be overstated. This type, as well as a few others that bear the portrait of Vespasian or palm trees, undoubtedly played some role in the triumph that followed the conclusion of the First Jewish War.
2 commentsArdatirion
V539.jpg
00 Domitian as Caesar RIC 53991 viewsAR Denarius, 3.17g
Rome mint, 73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAES AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No legend; Domitian on horse l.; cloak flying out behind, r. hand raised, sceptre in l.
RIC 539 (R). BMC 122. RSC 665. BNC -.
Acquired from NumisCorner, June 2018.

This is the first denarius struck at Rome for Domitian as Caesar. Fittingly, it commemorates Domitian's appearance at Vespasian and Titus' joint Jewish War Triumph - 'while taking part in the Judaean triumph, he rode on a white horse' (Suetonius, Domitian, ii), which was the normal conduct for a young prince on such occasions. The type was struck in three variants: firstly, with a clockwise obverse legend and DOMITIAN fully spelled out, as we see here. Secondly, it was shortened to DOMIT, with the legend still running clockwise. Lastly, the legend direction was changed to counter clockwise with DOMIT. The first two variants are quite rare, the last relatively common. On this coin we see a cloak flying out from behind Domitian. This interesting detail only appears on a few coins from the first variant and does not show up on subsequent issues of the type. Most likely this variant with the cloak was the earliest version of the type which was then quickly simplified by dropping the cloak all together.

Well centred in good early style.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
Marcus-Antonius_AR-Den_LEG-XV_ANT-AVG-III__VIR_R_P_C__Crafw-544-30_Syd-1235_RSC-30_Q-001_5h_16,8-17mm_2,72g-s.jpg
001a Marc Antony ( 83-30 B.C.), Crawf 544-30, AR-denarius, LEG-XV, ANT AVG III VIR•R•P•C•, Praetorian galley right,132 views001a Marc Antony ( 83-30 B.C.), Crawf 544-30, AR-denarius, LEG-XV, ANT AVG III VIR•R•P•C•, Praetorian galley right,
avers:- LEG-XV, legionary eagle (aquila) between two standards.
revers:- ANT-AVG-III-VIR•R•P•C•, Praetorian galley sailing right, mast with banners at prow.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: 16,8-17mm, weight: 2,72g, axes: 5h,
mint: Legionary Denarius, date: 32-31 B.C., ref: Crawford-544/30, Sydneham-1235, RSC-47,
Q-001
"Legion XV Apollinaris was raised by Caesar in Gallia Cisalpina in 53 BC. In the time of Augustus-Tiberius the legion was stationed in Ljubljana, then in Carnuntum and later in Alexandria and took part in the Jewish War and the capture of Jerusalem. In the 2nd and 3rd century the legion fought mainly in the East against the Parthians."
1 commentsquadrans
V669a.jpg
01 Domitian as Caesar RIC 66927 viewsÆ As, 11.05g
Rome mint, 73-74 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIAN COS II; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVST; S C in field; Pax stg. l., leaning on column, with caduceus and branch
RIC 669 (C). BMC -. BNC 699.
Acquired from Musa Numismatics, August 2019.

The propaganda value of Pax for the Flavian dynasty after the Civil War, the revolt of Civilis, and the Jewish War cannot be underestimated. In her various guises she is one of the most popular types on Vespasian's coinage and shows up quite frequently during the reign on the coins struck for both himself and his sons. This As struck for Domitian as Caesar shows Pax leaning on a column, which likely copies a well known cult image of the goddess.

Tellingly, less than a decade later, Pax would not feature so prominently on Domitian's own coinage as Emperor.

Fine style early portrait.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
coin214.JPG
010. Vespasian 69 AD - 79 AD36 viewsVespasian

The character of this emperor showed very little, if anything, of the pagan tyrant. Though himself a man of no literary culture, he became the protector of his prisoner of war, the Jewish historian Josephus, a worshipper of the One God, and even permitted him the use of his own family name (Flavius). While this generosity may have been in some degree prompted by Josephus's shrewd prophecy of Vespasian's elevation to the purple, there are other instances of his disposition to reward merit in those with whom he was by no means personally sympathetic. Vespasian has the distinction of being the first Roman Emperor to transmit the purple to his own son; he is also noteworthy in Roman imperial history as having very nearly completed his seventieth year and died a natural death: being in feeble health, he had withdrawn to benefit by the purer air of his native Reate, in the "dewy fields" (rosei campi) of the Sabine country. By his wife, Flavia Domitilla, he left two sons, Titus and Domitian, and a daughter, Domitilla, through whom the name of Vespasian's empress was passed on to a granddaughter who is revered as a confessor of the Faith.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century. In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!"

Denarius. IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right / VES-TA to either side of Vesta standing left, holding simpulum & scepter. RSC 574
ecoli
Vespasian-RIC-15.jpg
035. Vespasian.39 viewsDenarius, 69-71 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG / Laureate bust of Vespasian.
Reverse: IVDAEA / Jewish woman captive seated on ground, mourning; trophy behind her.
3.44 gm., 18 mm.
RIC #15; Sear #2296.

When the Jewish Revolt began in 66 AD, Nero appointed Vespasian supreme commander in the East to put down the uprising. In 69 AD Vespasian made his own bid for the throne and left his son Titus to finish up the Jewish War -- which he did in 70 AD by capturing Jerusalem and destroying the Temple. This victory of Vespasian and Titus was the major military event of the reign, and numerous coins were issued to commemorate it.
2 commentsCallimachus
Bar-Kochba-Hendin-734.jpg
053. 2'nd Jewish (bar Kokhba) Revolt.16 viewsZuz (denarius), attributed to Year 3 (134-35 AD).
Obverse: (Shim'on) / Bunch of Grapes.
Reverse: (For the Freedom of Jerusalem) / Lyre with three strings.
3.19 gm., 18.5 mm.
Mildenberg #205.19 (this coin); Hendin #734.

This coin likely started out as a denarius of one of the Roman emperors between Vespasian and Hadrian. Many coins of the Second Jewish Revolt show traces of the earlier Roman coin. This coin is no exception, and traces of the previous coin can be seen on the obverse in and around the bunch of grapes.

The bunch of grapes on the obverse is an ancient symbol of blessing and fertility. As such it occasionally appears on ancient coins of other areas besides this series. Given the messianic nature of the Bar Kokhba revolt, the bunch of grapes takes on added significance because in Jewish prophetic literature, grapes (and the vine or vineyard) are often symbolic of the restoration of Israel, or even symbolic of Israel itself.

The lyre on the reverse is associated with temple worship, as are trumpets, which are also found on coins of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. King David is mentioned as playing a lyre, and there are numerous Biblical references to praising the Lord with the lyre and trumpets. (The word "kinnor," sometimes translated as "harp," is really a type of lyre.) Even today the lyre is an important Jewish symbol and the state of Israel has chosen to portray it on the half New Israeli Sheqel coin.
Callimachus
029.JPG
100 Titus83 viewsF/Fair, 3.002g, 18.2mm, 180o, Rome mint, as Caesar, 71 - 72 A.D.; obverse T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT, laureate head right; reverse NEP RED, Neptune standing left, foot on globe, acrostolium in right and scepter in left.

RIC II Vesp 155, Cohen 121, RIC 366 ex Forvm

"Titus was the very popular victor of the Judean rebellion. He ruled during the eruption of Vesuvius. Titus once complained he had lost a day because twenty-four hours passed without his bestowing a gift. He was, however, generous to a fault. Had he ruled longer, he might have brought bankruptcy and lost hist popularity."

This coin gives thanks to Neptune for the safe return of Titus after the Jewish War.
6 commentsRandygeki(h2)
VespDenSalus.jpg
1aw Vespasian44 views69-79

Denarius
Laureate head, right, IMP CAES VESP AVG CEN
Salus seated left with patera, SALVS AVG

RIC 513 (C2)

Suetonius wrote: The Flavians seized power, and the Empire, long troubled and adrift, afflicted by the usurpations and deaths of three emperors, at last achieved stability. True they were an obscure family, with no great names to boast of, yet one our country has no need to be ashamed of. . . . Vespasian was born in the Sabine country, in the little village of Falacrinae just beyond Reate (Rieti), on the 17th of November 9 AD in the consulship of Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus and Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus, five years before the death of Augustus. He was raised by his paternal grandmother Tertulla on her estate at Cosa. . . .

Under Claudius, he was sent to Germany (in 41 AD) to command a legion, thanks to the influence of Narcissus. From there he was posted to Britain (in 43 AD), where partly under the leadership of Aulus Plautius and partly that of Claudius himself, he fought thirty times, subjugating two powerful tribes, more than twenty strongholds, and the offshore island of Vectis (the Isle of Wight). This earned him triumphal regalia, and a little later two priesthoods and the consulship (in 51 AD) which he held for the last two months of the year. . . . He won, by lot, the governorship of Africa (in 63 AD), ruling it soundly and with considerable dignity. . . .

An ancient and well-established belief became widespread in the East that the ruler of the world at this time would arise from Judaea. This prophecy as events proved referred to the future Emperor of Rome, but was taken by the Jews to apply to them. They rebelled, killed their governor, and routed the consular ruler of Syria also, when he arrived to restore order, capturing an Eagle. To crush the rebels needed a considerable force under an enterprising leader, who would nevertheless not abuse power. Vespasian was chosen, as a man of proven vigour, from whom little need be feared, since his name and origins were quite obscure. Two legions with eight divisions of cavalry and ten cohorts of auxiliaries were added to the army in Judaea, and Vespasian took his elder son, Titus, along as one of his lieutenants. . . .

Yet Vespasian made no move, though his follower were ready and eager, until he was roused to action by the fortuitous support of a group of soldiers unknown to him, and based elsewhere. Two thousand men, of the three legions in Moesia reinforcing Otho’s forces, despite hearing on the march that he had been defeated and had committed suicide, had continued on to Aquileia, and there taken advantage of the temporary chaos to plunder at will. Fearing that if they returned they would be held to account and punished, they decided to choose and appoint an emperor of their own, on the basis that they were every bit as worthy of doing so as the Spanish legions who had appointed Galba, or the Praetorian Guard which had elected Otho, or the German army which had chosen Vitellius. They went through the list of serving consular governors, rejecting them for one reason or another, until in the end they unanimously adopted Vespasian, who was recommended strongly by some members of the Third Legion, which had been transferred to Moesia from Syria immediately prior to Nero’s death. . . .

Vespasian, an unheralded and newly-forged emperor, as yet lacked even a modicum of prestige and divine majesty, but this too he acquired. . . . Returning to Rome (in 70 AD) attended by such auspices, having won great renown, and after a triumph awarded for the Jewish War, he added eight consulships (AD 70-72, 74-77, 79) to his former one, and assumed the censorship. He first considered it essential to strengthen the State, which was unstable and well nigh fatally weakened, and then to enhance its role further during his reign. . . .
2 commentsBlindado
1st_jewish_revolt_com.JPG
1st Jewish revolt year 251 viewsPrutah year 2 (67-68 AD), AE 16-17 mm 2.2 grams
OBV :: Year 2 in Paleo-Hebrew characters Two-handled amphora with broad rim.
REV :: The Freedom of Zion in Paleo-Hebrew characters Wine leaf with tendril.
Hendin 661. Meshorer II, 12. SNG ANS 427.
Johnny
J15M-Eighth shekel.jpg
1st Jewish War, Æ Eighth Shekel, 66-70 CE298 viewsBronze Eighth Shekel of 20 mm, 2.5 gr, of the 1st Jewish war against Rome, Year 4 (69/70 CE).

During the fourth year of the Jewish War, the Romans had besieged the Jews in Jerusalem. There was a shortage of materials, and hence for the first time, fractions of the shekel were minted in bronze. These are among the earliest examples of "siege money."

Obverse: Omer Chalice with pearled rim and Hebrew inscription around לגאלת ציון 'To the Redemption of Zion'.
Reverse: Lulav flanked by an Etrog on either side surrounded by Hebrew inscription שנת ארבע ‘year four'

Reference: Hendin 670 TJC 214, AJC II, 30.

Added to collection: January 8, 2006
1 commentsDaniel Friedman
J15-Jewish War.jpg
1st Jewish War, Æ Prutah, 66-70 CE155 viewsBronze prutah of 1st Jewish War Against Rome, 66-70 CE, 1.72 grams, 16.8 mm. Minted Year 2 (67/68 CE).

Obverse: Amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew – שנת שתים) around;
Reverse: Vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew – חרת ציון) around.

Reference: Hendin 661, Sear CGI 5639, Madden R147, AJC 11, m260, 12.

Added to collection: May 7, 2005
1 commentsDaniel Friedman
J15G-War H-664.jpg
1st Jewish War, Æ Prutah, 66-70 CE88 viewsBronze prutah of 1st Jewish War Against Rome, 66-70 CE, 1.72 grams, 18 mm. Minted Year 3 (68/69 CE).

Obverse: Amphora with broad rim two handles and lid, year 3 (in Hebrew – שנת שלש) around;
Reverse: Vine leaf on small branch, inscription “The freedom of Zion” (in Hebrew – חרת ציון) around.

Reference: Hendin 664, SGIC 5640, AJC II, 261, 20, TJC 204-206

Added to collection: March 19, 2006
1 commentsDaniel Friedman
Jewish War, year II.jpg
2. Jewish War, year II79 views67 CE, Hendin 661a, irregular issue
"Shnat Shtayim" – year two
"harot tsion" – the freedom of Zion

Even though it is engraved with "Year Two" on the obverse, this coin may have been minted in Year Three under rebel detatchments outside of Jerusalem. The poor quality of the coin shows that it was probably not minted in the Jerusalem mint. One hypothesis is that it was minted by Simon Bar Giora in year three, while he reconquered Southern Judaea.
1 commentsZam
c5_1_b.jpg
2.01 Year Three Jewish War prutah50 viewsEF Hendin 664
"Shnat Shlosh" Year Three
amphora on the obverse
Zam
5b_1_b.jpg
2.02 Year Three Jewish War prutah62 viewsEF Hendin 664
Year Three
"Harot Tsion" – the freedom of Zion
reverse - vine leaf on branch
Zam
761Hadrian_RIC225var_.jpg
227 var. Hadrian Denarius Roma 134-38 AD Hadrian & Roma standing26 viewsReference.
Strack 218; RIC cf 227; C.cf 94; BMCR cf 584

Obv. HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P
Bare head right

Rev. ADVENTVS AVGVSTI
Roma standing left, holding spear, and parazonium on hip?? and clasping hands with Hadrian standing right, holding a roll.

3.35 gr
18 mm
7h

Note.
Strack saw two similar coins in Vienna and Sofia with same die pair.

This denarius was Rome struck during the latter part of Hadrian’s reign, and which fall into three classes or categories: 1) a series of coins commemorating the visit or arrival (adventus) of the emperor to each province; 2) another series which commemorates the restoration (restitutor) of the province by the emperor; and 3) an additional series which commemorates the military strength (exercitus) of province, for those provinces which had legions stationed within them. In addition to these three categories of commemorative issues that are collectively known as Hadrian’s ‘travel’ series, there are a further two related groups of coins. The first is quite extensive and simply commemorates the various provinces, with the provinces of Egypt, Africa, Hispania and Gallia being the most common. Then there is a much smaller issue which commemorates the emperor’s final return (adventus) to Rome, after his subjugation of the Jewish zealots under Simon Bar Kochba led to the pacification of the province of Judaea, of which this coin is a particularly handsome specimen. After spending more than half his reign on the road, and especially after having just inflicted such a crushing defeat on the recalcitrant Jews, Hadrian’s homecoming was a momentous occasion in the capital which was warmly welcomed by the citizens. The reverse shows the city of Rome personified as the goddess Roma, helmeted and draped in military attire, holding a spear and clasping the hand of the now elderly emperor who is depicted togate and holding a roll in the guise of a citizen, standing before her. The legend which appears on the obverse of this coin was only employed ca. A.D. 134-138. As Hadrian returned to Italy during A.D. 136 and died not two years later, this coin belongs to the very last issue of coinage struck at Rome during his principate.
1 commentsokidoki
jbk107.jpg
3.0 Bar Kokhba small bronze, year 3 (134-135 CE)172 viewsBar Kokhba rebellion (second Jewish Revolt against Rome)
Year 3 (134-135 CE)
small bronze (19.5 mm)
VF+/VF
Hendin 739

obv. seven branched palm tree, symbolizing Judaea (like Menorah?)
SHIMON (Simon [Bar Kokhba]) in field below tree
rev. Bunch of grapes L'CHAROT YERUSHALAYIM (For the Freedom of Jerusalem) around
5 commentsZam
3d_1_b.JPG
3.4 Vespasian IVDAEA denarius85 views69 - 70 AD
Rome Mint
rev. IVDAEA captive Jew seated at the base of a Roman trophy
commemorates Vespasian and Titus' conquest of the rebellious Jewish state following an four year uprising.
This was the springboard for Vespasian in his ambition for the throne. It made him very popular, and this Judaea Capta series was meant to cement that popularity.

i had been looking for one for quite a while!
Zam
21755q00.jpg
4.4 Hadrian denarius58 views132-134 CE
Rome Mint
18.8 mm, 2.841 g

obv. HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS
rev. TRANQUILLITAS AVG COS III PP Tranquillitas, goddess of tranquillity, is closely associated with Peace, and is often depicted in the same way.
Ironically, this coin was minted during the height of the Second Jewish War (132-135), a disastrous event for the Romans, who suffered severe losses, including the elimination of the entire legion XXII. 12 legions were needed to subdue the rebellion over the course of three years.
1 commentsEcgþeow
233_P_Hadrian__Spijkerman_3.JPG
4100 ARABIA, Petra. Hadrian Tyche26 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4100; Spijkerman 3; SNG ANS 1360-3 var. (bust type)

Issue Petra metropolis

Obv. ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ ΚΑΙСΑΡ ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟС ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟϹ СƐΒΑϹΤΟС
Laureate and draped bust of Hadrian (seen from rear), r.

Rev. ΠƐΤΡΑ ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙС
Turreted and veiled Tyche seated l. on rock, l., her r. hand extended, holding trophy in l.

13.35 gr
26 mm
6h

Note.
The Decapolis ("Ten Cities"; Greek: deka, ten; polis, city) was a group of ten cities on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire in Jordan, Israel and Syria. The ten cities were not an official league or political unit, but they were grouped together because of their language, culture, location, and political status, with each possessing a certain degree of autonomy and self-rule. The Decapolis cities were centers of Greek and Roman culture in a region that was otherwise Semitic (Nabatean, Aramean, and Jewish). With the exception of Damascus, Hippos and Scythopolis, the "Region of the Decapolis" was located in modern-day Jordan.

Petra (GreekΠέτρα, Petra, meaning "stone";
okidoki
423-1_Servilia2.jpg
423/1. Servilia - denarius (57 BC)31 viewsAR Denarius (Rome, 57 BC)
O/ Head of Flora right; lituus behind; FLORAL PRIMVS before.
R/ Two soldiers facing each other and presenting swords; C SERVEIL in exergue; C F upwards on right.
3.87g; 18mm
Crawford 423/1 (99 obverse dies/110 reverse dies)
- ROMA Numismatics, E-Sale 42, lot 484.
- Artemide Aste, 11-12 June 2016, lot 253.

* Gaius Servilius C.f. (Brocchus?):

The gens Servilia was originally patrician, but our moneyer was most likely a plebeian because at this time, the only remaining patrician branch of the gens was the Caepiones. The Servilii Gemini, likewise patricians at first, lost their status during the Second Punic War for an unknown reason and their descendants had erratic cognomina, making it difficult to reconstruct the genealogical tree of the gens. The one given by Crawford for RRC 239 is dubious, although possible.

Crawford also says that our moneyer was perhaps a brother of Marcus Servilius C.f., Tribune of the Plebs in 43 BC. He was possibly the Gaius Servilius Brocchus, son of Gaius, mentioned as Military Tribune by Flavius Josephus (Jewish Antiquities, xiv. 229), who tells that he served under the Consul L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus in Asia. It would match a career started in the 50, during which the Pompeian party was dominating, and continued as Pompey's supporter during the Civil War.

The meaning of his denarius has been debated. According to Crawford, the obverse legend refers to the priesthood of Flora, probably held by the gens, contradicting the view of Mommsen, who thought it was celebrating the establishment of the Ludi Florales in 173. This view has been in turn challenged by Robert Palmer, but without giving an explanation of his own*. It should also be mentioned that Pliny the Elder tells that there were statues of Flora, Triptolemus and Ceres by Praxiteles in the "Servilian gardens" (Natural History, xxxvi. 4), which obviously belonged to the gens, showing that Flora was of special importance for the Servilii.

The reverse reuses a common theme on Servilii's denarii: the duels of Marcus Servilius Pulex Geminus, Consul in 202, who was famous for his 23 victories in single combats (Plutarch, Aemilius Paullus, 31). The scene was depicted with variations on RRC 264 (horseback duel), RRC 327 (duel on foot), and RRC 370 (rider charging). It is also possible that RRC 239 shows another duel on horse, but disguised as the Dioscuri riding apart. The fact that our moneyer used this theme links him to the other direct descendants of Servilius Pulex Geminus, thus supporting Crawford's theory that he was a grandchild of Gaius Servilius, Praetor in 102.

* "Flora and the Sybil", in Ten Years of the Agnes Kirsopp Lake Michels Lectures at Bryn Mawr College, edited by Suzanne B. Faris, Lesley E. Lundeen, Bryn Mawr, 2006, pp. 58-70.
3 commentsJoss
coin599.JPG
501. Constantine I Alexandria Posthumous23 viewsAlexandria

The city passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC, according to the will of Ptolemy Alexander but after it had been previously under Roman influence for more than a hundred years. Julius Caesar dallied with Cleopatra in Alexandria in 47 BC, saw Alexander's body (quipping 'I came to see a king, not a collection of corpses' when he was offered a view of the other royal burials) and was mobbed by the rabble. His example was followed by Marc Antony, for whose favor the city paid dearly to Octavian, who placed over it a prefect from the imperial household.

From the time of annexation onwards, Alexandria seems to have regained its old prosperity, commanding, as it did, an important granary of Rome. This fact, doubtless, was one of the chief reasons which induced Augustus to place it directly under imperial power. In AD 215 the emperor Caracalla visited the city and for some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. This brutal order seems to have been carried out even beyond the letter, for a general massacre ensued.

Even as its main historical importance had formerly sprung from pagan learning, now Alexandria acquired fresh importance as a centre of Christian theology and church government. There Arianism was formulated and where also Athanasius, the great opponent of both Arianism and pagan reaction, triumphed over both, establishing the Patriarch of Alexandria as a major influence in Christianity for the next two centuries.

As native influences began to reassert themselves in the Nile valley, Alexandria gradually became an alien city, more and more detached from Egypt and losing much of its commerce as the peace of the empire broke up during the 3rd century AD, followed by a fast decline in population and splendour.

In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by Christians had reached new levels of intensity. Temples and statues were destroyed throughout the Roman empire: pagan rituals became forbidden under punishment of death, and libraries were closed. In 391, Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples, and the Patriarch Theophilus, complied with his request. It is possible that the great Library of Alexandria and the Serapeum was destroyed about this time. The pagan mathematician and philosopher Hypathia was a prominent victim of the persecutions.

The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were desolate in the 5th century, and the central monuments, the Soma and Museum, fell into ruin. On the mainland, life seemed to have centred in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both which became Christian churches. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and left intact.

veiled head only
DV CONSTANTI-NVS PT AVGG
RIC VIII Alexandria 32 C3

From uncleaned lot; one of the nicer finds.
ecoli
coin555.JPG
501. CONSTANTINE I Siscia SOLI INVICTO COMIT14 viewsSol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was a religious title applied to three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire, El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol.

Unlike the earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges ("the native sun" or "the invoked sun" - the etymology and meaning of the word "indiges" is disputed), the title Deus Sol Invictus was formed by analogy with the imperial titulature pius felix invictus ("dutiful, fortunate, unconquered").

A festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated when the duration of daylight first begins to increase after the winter solstice,—the "rebirth" of the sun.

Christianity adopted some of the attributes of the Sol Invictus religion, as apparent in the first examples of Christian iconography, depicting Christ with solar attributes such as the radiated crown or, in a few instances, a solar chariot.

Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Church of Rome as evidenced by Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum discovered under St. Peter's Basilica and dated to 250[1], and, from the beginning of the third century, "Sun of Justice" was used as a title of Christ[2].

The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelth century:

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." (cited in "Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries", Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155])
Christianity designated Sunday as the "Lord's Day" and the day of rest, rather than Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.


CONSTANTINE I

RIC VII Siscia 32 R3

ecoli
coin233~0.JPG
504. CONSTANTIUS II GLORIA EXERCITVS Antioch18 viewsAntioch

Under the empire we chiefly hear of the earthquakes which shook Antioch. One, in AD 37, caused the emperor Caligula to send two senators to report on the condition of the city. Another followed in the next reign; and in 115, during Trajan's sojourn in the place with his army of Parthia, the whole site was convulsed, the landscape altered, and the emperor himself forced to take shelter in the circus for several days. He and his successor restored the city; but in 526, after minor shocks, the calamity returned in a terrible form; the octagonal cathedral which had been erected by the emperor Constantius II suffered and thousands of lives were lost, largely those of Christians gathered to a great church assembly. We hear also of especially terrific earthquakes on November 29, 528 and October 31, 588.

At Antioch Germanicus died in AD 19, and his body was burnt in the forum. Titus set up the Cherubim, captured from the Jewish temple, over one of the gates. Commodus had Olympic games celebrated at Antioch, and in 266 the town was suddenly raided by the Persians, who slew many in the theatre. In 387 there was a great sedition caused by a new tax levied by order of Theodosius, and the city was punished by the loss of its metropolitan status. Zeno, who renamed it Theopolis, restored many of its public buildings just before the great earthquake of 526, whose destructive work was completed by the Persian Chosroes twelve years later. Justinian I made an effort to revive it, and Procopius describes his repairing of the walls; but its glory was past.

The chief interest of Antioch under the empire lies in its relation to Christianity. Evangelized perhaps by Peter, according to the tradition upon which the Antiochene patriarchate still rests its claim for primacy (cf. Acts xi.), and certainly by Barnabas and Paul, who here preached his first Christian sermon in a synagogue, its converts were the first to be called Christians

004. CONSTANTIUS II Antioch

RIC VII Antioch 88 C3

From Uncleaned Lot

ecoli
titus RIC208.jpg
69-79 AD - TITUS (Caesar) AR denarius - struck 1Jan-23June 79 AD91 viewsobv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS (laureate head right)
rev: TR POT VIII COS VII (captive kneeling right in front of trophy of arms)
ref: RIC II 208(Vespasian) (S), C.334(6 francs)
3.32gms, 18mm
Rare

This reverse probably commemorating another Agricola's victory in Britannia or reminder of the successful Jewish War. I think it's belong to the Judea Capta series, because the captive wearing a typical jewish cap, and in ancient times both jewish men and women are wearing dresses covering most of their body (arms and legs). Celtic warriors had a long hair to scary the enemy (and they wearing pants).
4 commentsberserker
TiberiusHierapolis.jpg
703b, Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia107 viewsBronze AE 16, RPC I 2966 (1 specimen), F, Phrygia, Hierapolis, 3.300g, 15.6mm, 0o; Obverse: TIBEPIOC KAISAR, laureate head right; Reverse: IERAPOLEITWN ZOSIMOS [...], Apollo Archegetes (Lairbenos) standing left, playing lyre; reverse countermarked with star of six rays, in oval punch, 2.5 x 3.5 mm, Howgego 445 (3 pcs, 1 of which from this magistrate); dark patina; very rare. Ex FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

TIBERIUS (A.D. 14-37)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

The reign of Tiberius Claudius Nero (b. 42 B.C., d. A.D. 37, emperor A.D. 14-37) is a particularly important one for the Principate, since it was the first occasion when the powers designed for Augustus alone were exercised by somebody else. In contrast to the approachable and tactful Augustus, Tiberius emerges from the sources as an enigmatic and darkly complex figure, intelligent and cunning, but given to bouts of severe depression and dark moods that had a great impact on his political career as well as his personal relationships. His reign abounds in contradictions. Despite his keen intelligence, he allowed himself to come under the influence of unscrupulous men who, as much as any actions of his own, ensured that Tiberius's posthumous reputation would be unfavorable; despite his vast military experience, he oversaw the conquest of no new region for the empire; and despite his administrative abilities he showed such reluctance in running the state as to retire entirely from Rome and live out his last years in isolation on the island of Capri. His reign represents, as it were, the adolescence of the Principate as an institution. Like any adolescence, it proved a difficult time.

. . . .

It is all but inevitable that any historical assessment of Tiberius will quickly devolve into a historiographical assessment of Tacitus. So masterful is Tacitus's portrayal of his subject, and so influential has it been ever since, that in all modern treatments of Tiberius, in attempting to get at the man, must address the issue of Tacitus's historiographical methods, his sources, and his rhetoric. The subject is too vast to address here, but some points are salient. Tacitus's methods, especially his use of innuendo and inference to convey notions that are essentially editorial glosses, makes taking his portrayal of Tiberius at face value inadvisable. Further, his belief in the immutable character of people -- that one's character is innate at birth and cannot be changed, although it can be disguised -- prevents him from investigating the possibility that Tiberius evolved and developed over his lifetime and during his reign. Instead, Tacitus's portrayal is one of peeling back layers of dissimulation to reach the "real" Tiberius lurking underneath.

Overall, Tiberius's reign can be said to show the boons and banes of rule by one man, especially a man as dark, awkward, and isolated as Tiberius. For the people of the provinces, it was a peaceful and well-ordered time. Governors behaved themselves, and there were no destructive or expensive wars. In the domestic sphere, however, the concentration of power in one person made all the greater the threat of misbehavior by ambitious satellites like Sejanus or foolish friends like Piso. Furthermore, if the emperor wished to remain aloof from the mechanics of power, he could do so. Administrators, who depended on him for their directions, could operate without his immediate supervision, but their dealings with a man like Sejanus could lead to disaster if that man fell from grace. As a result, although he was not a tyrant himself, Tiberius's reign sporadically descended into tyranny of the worst sort. In the right climate of paranoia and suspicion, widespread denunciation led to the deaths of dozens of Senators and equestrians, as well as numerous members of the imperial house. In this sense, the reign of Tiberius decisively ended the Augustan illusion of "the Republic Restored" and shone some light into the future of the Principate, revealing that which was both promising and terrifying.

[For the complete article please refer to http://www.roman-emperors.org/tiberius.htm]

By Garrett G. Fagan, Pennsylvania State University.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.


Hierapolis in History

Usually said to be founded by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum (197-159 BC), Hierapolis may actually have been established closer to the 4th century BC by the Seleucid kings.

The name of the city may derive from Hiera, the wife of Telephus (son of Hercules and grandson of Zeus), the mythical founder of Pergamum. Or it may have been called the "sacred city" because of the temples located at the site. (The name Pamukkale is sometimes used just to refer to the white terraces, but the modern name of the whole area is also Pamukkale.)

With Colossae and Laodicea, Hierapolis became part of the tri-city area of the Lycus River valley. Hierapolis was located across the river from the other two cities and was noted for its textiles, especially wool. The city was also famous for its purple dye, made from the juice of the madder root.

The hot springs at Hierapolis (which still attract visitors today) were believed to have healing properties, and people came to the city to bathe in the rich mineral waters in order to cure various ailments.

Hierapolis was dedicated to Apollo Lairbenos, who was said to have founded the city. The Temple of Apollo that survives in ruins today dates from the 3rd century AD, but its foundations date from the Hellenistic period.

Also worshipped at Hierapolis was Pluto, god of the underworld, probably in relation to the hot gases released by the earth (see the Plutonium, below). The chief religious festival of ancient Hierapolis was the Letoia, in honor of the the goddess Leto, a Greek form of the Mother Goddess. The goddess was honoured with orgiastic rites.

Hierapolis was ceded to Rome in 133 BC along with the rest of the Pergamene kingdom, and became part of the Roman province of Asia. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD but rebuilt, and it reached its peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

Famous natives of Hierapolis include the Stoic philosopher Epictetus (c.55-c.135 AD) and the philosopher and rhetorician Antipater. Emperor Septimus hired Antipater to tutor his sons Caracalla and Geta, who became emperors themselves.

Hierapolis had a significant Jewish population in ancient times, as evidence by numerous inscriptions on tombs and elsewhere in the city. Some of the Jews are named as members of the various craft guilds of the city. This was probably the basis for the Christian conversion of some residents of Hierapolis, recorded in Colossians 4:13.

In the 5th century, several churches as well as a large martyrium dedicated to St. Philip (see "In the Bible," below) were built in Hierapolis. The city fell into decline in the 6th century, and the site became partially submerged under water and deposits of travertine. It was finally abandoned in 1334 after an earthquake. Excavations began to uncover Hierapolis in the 19th century.

Hierapolis in the Bible

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the Bible, when St. Paul praises Epaphras, a Christian from Colossae, in his letter to the Colossians. Paul writes that Epaphras "has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis" (Colossians 4:12-13). Epaphras was probably the founder of the Christian community at Hierapolis.

Ancient tradition also associates Hierapolis with a biblical figure, reporting that Philip died in Hierapolis around 80 AD. However, it is not clear which Philip is menat. It could be Philip the Apostle, one of the original 12 disciples, who is said to have been martyred by upside-down crucifixion (Acts of Philip) or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree.

Or Philip could be Philip the Evangelist, a later disciple who helped with administrative matters and had four virgin-prophetess daughters (Acts 6:1-7; 21:8-9). Early traditions say this Philip was buried in Hierapolis along with his virgin daughters, but confusingly call him "Philip the Apostle"! In any case, it seems a prominent person mentioned in Acts did die in Hierapolis.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/hierapolis-pamukkale.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CaligulaSmyrnaRPC2473.jpg
704a, Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.101 viewsCaligula, 37 - 41 AD, Ionia, Smyrna. AE 17mm. Klose, Smyrna 27a. RPC 2473. 2.89 gm. Fine. Menophanes, Aviola, Procos, 37-38 AD. Obverse: AION, laureate head right; Reverse: Nike holding wreath right. Ex Tom Vossen.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

GAIUS (CALIGULA) (A.D. 37-41)

Garrett G. Fagan
Pennsylvania State University

Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula) was born on 31 August, A.D. 12, probably at the Julio-Claudian resort of Antium (modern Anzio), the third of six children born to Augustus's adopted grandson, Germanicus, and Augustus's granddaughter, Agrippina. Caligula was the Roman Emperor between A.D. 37-41). Unfortunately, his is the most poorly documented reign of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The literary sources for these four years are meager, frequently anecdotal, and universally hostile.[[1]] As a result, not only are many of the events of the reign unclear, but Gaius himself appears more as a caricature than a real person, a crazed megalomaniac given to capricious cruelty. Although some headway can be made in disentangling truth from embellishment, the true character of the youthful emperor will forever elude us.

As a baby he accompanied his parents on military campaigns in the north and was shown to the troops wearing a miniature soldier's outfit, including the hob-nailed sandal called caliga, whence the nickname by which posterity remembers him. His childhood was not a happy one, spent amid an atmosphere of paranoia, suspicion, and murder. Instability within the Julio-Claudian house, generated by uncertainty over the succession, led to a series of personal tragedies.

When Tiberius died on 16 March A.D. 37, Gaius was in a perfect position to assume power, despite the obstacle of Tiberius's will, which named him and his cousin Tiberius Gemellus joint heirs. (Gemellus's life was shortened considerably by this bequest, since Gaius ordered him killed within a matter of months.) Backed by the Praetorian Prefect Q. Sutorius Macro, Gaius asserted his dominance. He had Tiberius's will declared null and void on grounds of insanity, accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by the Senate, and entered Rome on 28 March amid scenes of wild rejoicing. His first acts were generous in spirit: he paid Tiberius's bequests and gave a cash bonus to the Praetorian Guard, the first recorded donativum to troops in imperial history.

The ancient sources are practically unanimous as to the cause of Gaius's downfall: he was insane. The writers differ as to how this condition came about, but all agree that after his good start Gaius began to behave in an openly autocratic manner, even a crazed one. The sources describe his incestuous relations with his sisters, laughable military campaigns in the north, the building of a pontoon bridge across the Bay at Baiae, and the plan to make his horse a consul. Their unanimous hostility renders their testimony suspect, especially since Gaius's reported behavior fits remarkably well with that of the ancient tyrant, a literary type enshrined in Greco-Roman tradition centuries before his reign. Further, the only eye-witness account of Gaius's behavior, Philo's Embassy to Gaius, offers little evidence of outright insanity, despite the antagonism of the author, whom Gaius treated with the utmost disrespect.

The conspiracy that ended Gaius's life was hatched among the officers of the Praetorian Guard, apparently for purely personal reasons. It appears also to have had the support of some senators and an imperial freedman. As with conspiracies in general, there are suspicions that the plot was more broad-based than the sources intimate, and it may even have enjoyed the support of the next emperor Claudius, but these propositions are not provable on available evidence. On 24 January A.D. 41 the praetorian tribune Cassius Chaerea and other guardsmen caught Gaius alone in a secluded palace corridor and cut him down. He was 28 years old and had ruled three years and ten months.

Whatever damage Tiberius's later years had done to the carefully crafted political edifice created by Augustus, Gaius multiplied it a hundredfold. When he came to power in A.D. 37 Gaius had no administrative experience beyond his honorary quaestorship, and had spent an unhappy early life far from the public eye. He appears, once in power, to have realized the boundless scope of his authority and acted accordingly. For the elite, this situation proved intolerable and ensured the blackening of Caligula's name in the historical record they would dictate. The sensational and hostile nature of that record, however, should in no way trivialize Gaius's importance. His reign highlighted an inherent weakness in the Augustan Principate, now openly revealed for what it was -- a raw monarchy in which only the self-discipline of the incumbent acted as a restraint on his behavior. That the only means of retiring the wayward princes was murder marked another important revelation: Roman emperors could not relinquish their powers without simultaneously relinquishing their lives.

Copyright © 1997, Garrett G. Fagan.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Ancient Smyrna

The 5,000 year-old city of Izmir is one of the oldest cities of the Mediterranean basin. The original city was established in the third millennium BC (at present day Bayraklı), at which time it shared with Troy the most advanced culture in Anatolia.


Greek settlement is attested by the presence of pottery dating from about 1000 BC. In the first millennium BC Izmir, then known as Smyrna, ranked as one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation. During this period, it is believed that the epic poet Homer resided here.

Lydian conquest of the city around 600 BC brought this golden age to an end. Smyrna was little more than a village throughout the Lydian and subsequent sixth century BC Persian rule. In the fourth century BC a new city was built on the slopes of Mt. Pagos (Kadifekale) during the reign of Alexander the Great. Smyrna's Roman period, beginning in the first century BC, was its second great era.

In the first century AD, Smyrna became one of the earliest centers of Christianity and it was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Both Revelation and the Martyrdom of Polycarp indicate the existence of a Jewish community in Smyrna as early as the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The letter to the church at Smyrna in Revelation indicates that the Christians were spiritually "rich" and apparently in conflict with the Jews (2:9).

The origins of the Christian community there, which was established in the 1st century, are unknown. Ignatius of Antioch stopped at Smyrna on his way to martyrdom in Rome in 107 AD, and he sent a letter back to the Christians there from later in his journey. Smyrna's bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in Smyrna's stadium around 156 AD.

Byzantine rule came in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest in 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmed Çelebi, Smyrna became part of the Ottoman Empire.

The city earned its fame as one of the most important port cities of the world during the 17th to 19th centuries. The majority of its population were Greek but merchants of various origins (especially Greek, French, Italian, Dutch, Armenian, Sephardi and Jewish) transformed the city into a cosmopolitan portal of trade. During this period, the city was famous for its own brand of music (Smyrneika) as well as its wide range of products it exported to Europe (Smyrna/Sultana raisins, dried figs, carpets, etc.).

Today, Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and is nicknamed "the pearl of Aegean." It is widely regarded as the most Westernized city of Turkey in terms of values, ideology, gender roles, and lifestyle.
© 2005-08 Sacred Destinations. All rights reserved.
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/izmir-history.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.135 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





Cleisthenes
TitusCommColosseum.jpg
711a, Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D. 110 viewsTITUS AUGUSTUS AR silver denarius. Struck at Rome, 80 AD. IMP TITVS CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right. Reverse - TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. Fully legible legends, about Very Fine, nice golden toning. Commemmorates the completion and dedication of the Colosseum and the opening of games. SCARCE. RCV 2512, valued at $544 in EF. 17mm, 3.1g. Ex Incitatus.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 79-81)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born on December 30, 39 A.D. He was the oldest of the three children of the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian. Beginning in the year 70 Titus was named Cæsar and coregent; he was highly educated and a brilliant poet and orator in both Latin and Greek. He won military fame during the Jewish Revolt of 69-70. In April, 70, he appeared before the walls of Jerusalem, and conquered and destroyed the city after a siege of five months. He wished to preserve the Temple, but in the struggle with the Jews who rushed out of it a soldier threw a brand into the building. The siege and taking of the city were accompanied by barbarous cruelties. The next year Titus celebrated his victory by a triumph; to increase the fame of the Flavian dynasty the inscription on the triumphal arch represented the overthrow of the helpless people as a heroic achievement. Titus succeeded his father as Emperor in 79.

Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. What is clear, however, is that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius. In A.D. 80 Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which cult (the first that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians) was housed, was completed by Domitian and was known as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.
Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater, popularly known as the Colosseum. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. He also constructed new imperial baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome after a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city in A.D. 80. As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. For these reasons he gained the honourable title of "amor et deliciæ generis humani" (the darling and admiration of the human race). Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure." In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office. Suetonius recorded that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors in the same villa as his father. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother and successor, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove. Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified. He also built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian Dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well. Titus was used as a model by later emperors, especially those known as the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius).

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14746b.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Titus_Colosseum_Commem_AR_denarius.jpg
711a, Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.136 viewsTitus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D. AR denarius, RCV 2512, aVF, struck at Rome, 80 A.D., 17.5mm, 3.4g. Obverse: IMP TITVS CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right; Reverse: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, elephant walking left. Fully legible legends; nice golden toning. This coin was struck in order to commemorate the completion and dedication of the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Colosseum) and its opening games. Very scarce. Ex Incitatus; photo courtesy Incitatus.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 79-81)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Titus Flavius Vespasianus was born on December 30, 39 A.D. He was the oldest of the three children of the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Vespasian. Beginning in the year 70 Titus was named Cæsar and coregent; he was highly educated and a brilliant poet and orator in both Latin and Greek. He won military fame during the Jewish Revolt of 69-70. In April, 70, he appeared before the walls of Jerusalem, and conquered and destroyed the city after a siege of five months. He wished to preserve the Temple, but in the struggle with the Jews who rushed out of it a soldier threw a brand into the building. The siege and taking of the city were accompanied by barbarous cruelties. The next year Titus celebrated his victory by a triumph; to increase the fame of the Flavian dynasty the inscription on the triumphal arch represented the overthrow of the helpless people as a heroic achievement. Titus succeeded his father as Emperor in 79.

Before becoming emperor, tradition records that Titus was feared as the next Nero, a perception that may have developed from his association with Berenice, his alleged heavy-handedness as praetorian prefect, and tales of sexual debauchery. Once in office, however, both emperor and his reign were portrayed in universally positive terms. The suddenness of this transformation raises immediate suspicions, yet it is difficult to know whether the historical tradition is suspect or if Titus was in fact adept at taking off one mask for another. What is clear, however, is that Titus sought to present the Flavians as the legitimate successors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Proof came through the issuing of a series of restoration coins of previous emperors, the most popular being Augustus and Claudius. In A.D. 80 Titus also set out to establish an imperial cult in honor of Vespasian. The temple, in which cult (the first that was not connected with the Julio-Claudians) was housed, was completed by Domitian and was known as the Temple of Vespasian and Domitian.
Legitimacy was also sought through various economic measures, which Titus enthusiastically funded. Vast amounts of capital poured into extensive building schemes in Rome, especially the Flavian Amphitheater, popularly known as the Colosseum. In celebration of additions made to the structure, Titus provided a grand 100-day festival, with sea fights staged on an artificial lake, infantry battles, wild beast hunts, and similar activities. He also constructed new imperial baths to the south-east of the Amphitheater and began work on the celebrated Arch of Titus, a memorial to his Jewish victories. Large sums were directed to Italy and the provinces as well, especially for road building. In response to the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79, Titus spent large sums to relieve distress in that area; likewise, the imperial purse contributed heavily to rebuilding Rome after a devastating fire destroyed large sections of the city in A.D. 80. As a result of these actions, Titus earned a reputation for generosity and geniality. For these reasons he gained the honourable title of "amor et deliciæ generis humani" (the darling and admiration of the human race). Even so, his financial acumen must not be under-estimated. He left the treasury with a surplus, as he had found it, and dealt promptly and efficiently with costly natural disasters. The Greek historian of the third-century A.D., Cassius Dio, perhaps offered the most accurate and succinct assessment of Titus' economic policy: "In money matters, Titus was frugal and made no unnecessary expenditure." In other areas, the brevity of Titus' reign limits our ability to detect major emphases or trends in policy. As far as can be discerned from the limited evidence, senior officials and amici were well chosen, and his legislative activity tended to focus on popular social measures, with the army as a particular beneficiary in the areas of land ownership, marriage, and testamentary freedom. In the provinces, Titus continued his father's policies by strengthening roads and forts in the East and along the Danube.

Titus died in September, A.D. 81 after only 26 months in office. Suetonius recorded that Titus died on his way to the Sabine country of his ancestors in the same villa as his father. A competing tradition persistently implicated his brother and successor, Domitian, as having had a hand in the emperor's demise, but the evidence is highly contradictory and any wrongdoing is difficult to prove. Domitian himself delivered the funeral eulogy and had Titus deified. He also built several monuments in honor of Titus and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus, changing the name of the structure to include his brother's and setting up his cult statue in the Temple itself.

Titus was the beneficiary of considerable intelligence and talent, endowments that were carefully cultivated at every step of his career, from his early education to his role under his father's principate. Cassius Dio suggested that Titus' reputation was enhanced by his early death. It is true that the ancient sources tend to heroicize Titus, yet based upon the evidence, his reign must be considered a positive one. He capably continued the work of his father in establishing the Flavian Dynasty and he maintained a high degree of economic and administrative competence in Italy and beyond. In so doing, he solidified the role of the emperor as paternalistic autocrat, a model that would serve Trajan and his successors well. Titus was used as a model by later emperors, especially those known as the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius).

Copyright (C) 1997, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14746b.htm

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
3 commentsCleisthenes
Hendin1240web.jpg
Agrippa I170 viewsAgrippa I. 37-44 AD. AE 23, 11.45g. Caesarea Paneas Mint, Year 5, 40/1 AD.
O: [ΓΑΙΩ ΚΑΙΣΑΡΙ ΣΕΒΑΣΤΩ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΩ] (For Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus), Laureate head of Caligula left.
R: [ΝΟΜΙΣΜΑ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΓΡΙΠΠΑ] (coin of King Agrippa). LE (Year 5=40/41) in exergue; Germanicus stands in triumphal quadriga in honor of his recovery of the standards lost by Varus, car decorated with Nike standing right.
- Hendin 1240. TJC 230-1,116. AJC II 2. RPC 4976.

One of the rarest coin types of Agrippa I (26 listed?).

The grandson of Herod I, Agrippa I, so-named in honor of the victor of Actium, spent much of his youth in the Roman imperial court. Popular with the imperial family, including the emperor Tiberius, Agrippa passed much of his time in the home of Antonia Minor, the mother of Germanicus and the future emperor Claudius.

There, the boys became great friends, and as an older man, Agrippa became attached to the future emperor Gaius, being appointed governor of the territories of Batanaea and Trachonitis upon Gaius’ accession. Unfortunately contemporary politics placed a significant strain on the relationship between the king and Rome.

In AD 39 Agrippa’s uncle, Antipas, was accused of plotting with the Parthians and was exiled. Agrippa’s loyalty gained him his uncle’s forfeited territories. In AD 40 renewed riots between Greeks and Jews broke out in Alexandria, and Gaius, clearly unhappy with his Jewish subjects, provocatively ordered the installation of a statue of himself within the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem.

Agrippa, who had been unsuccessfully involved in trying to quell similar riots in Alexandria before, sought to emphasize his loyalty to local Roman officials by striking coinage which commemorated his long-standing friendship with Gaius and, especially, Germanicus.

Based on the dupondii struck in honor of the emperor’s father Germanicus, this coin includes the great general riding in his triumphal car in honor of his recovery of the standards lost by Varus, rather than portraying Agrippa himself, an identification emphasized by the specific inclusion of the word NOMISMA (Coin) in the legend.

By avoiding self promotion, Agrippa hoped to successfully navigate the treacherous waters which might result in his own removal from power.
4 commentsNemonater
Alexander Jannaeus TJC K17.jpg
Alexander Jannaeus (103-76BC) Hendin 470, TJC K17108 viewsPrutah, 15mm, 1.26g.

Obverse: ALEXANDROU BASILEWS around anchor.

Reverse: 8-pointed star within diadem, HMLK CHN followed by a symbol, between rays.

Hendin 470

Treasury of Jewish Coins K17

A rare variant known from a single die. The significance of the reverse inscription, 'The King [and] Priest' isn't known.
3 commentsRobert_Brenchley
fake.jpg
Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan)63 views103 - 76 B.C.
Widow’s Mite
Bronze prutah (or lepton)
1.55 g, 19 mm
Obv.: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ AΛEΞANΔPOY around inverted anchor
Rev.: star surrounded by diadem

Modern replica received in advertisement for
The Jewish Voice Ministries
Jaimelai
hendin_469.jpg
Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C. Bronze prutah, Hendin 4699 viewsJudean Kingdom, Alexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), 103 - 76 B.C. Bronze prutah, Hendin 469, F, Jerusalem mint, 1.365g, 14.5mm, 95 - 76 B.C.; obverse “BASILEWS ALEXANDROU” (of King Alexander), around anchor; reverse , eight ray star surrounded by diadem (or wheel), Hebrew inscription 'Yehonatan the king' between rays. Jannaeus' anchor coins were probably struck after the conquest of the coastal cities (with the exception of Ashkelon) in 95 B.C. The anchor probably publicized the annexation of these areas. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Yaakov Meshorer. Ex FORVMPodiceps
Hendin-1360.jpg
Ancient Judaea, The Jewish War: Anonymous (66-70 CE) Æ Prutah, Jerusalem, RY 2 (Hendin 1360; TJC 196)13 viewsObv: amphora with broad rim and two handles
Rev: vine leaf on small branch with tendril
Quant.Geek
AntiochosVII H451.jpg
Antiochos VII AE15 Hendin 45157 viewsAe15, 15mm, 2.70g.

Obverse: BASILEWS ANTIOXOS EUERGETOI, Upside-down anchot.

Reverse: Lily in dotted circle.

BPR (131-130 BC)

Hendin 451.

Despite being struck in Antiochos' name, this is dated to the time when Hyrcanus I had actually gained control of Jerusalem, where they seem to have been struck. There is thus a good case for the claim that they were minted by Hyrcanus, and in a very real sense, constitute the first clearly 'Jewish' coins, since they inaugurate the tradition of coins without images. The earlier Yehud coins are probably better seen as 'Israelite' rather than 'Jewish'; they use images, and it's uncertain how far the term 'Judaioi' was in use at the time, or to whom it applied.
Robert_Brenchley
Antiochus_XII.jpg
Antiochos XII 87-84 BC21 viewsAntiochus XII 87–86/5 BC, Damascus mint Ae 22mm, Weight 7.1g. Obv: Beardless diademed bust of Antiochus XII right. Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΟΠΑΤΟΡΟΣ ΚΑΛΛΙΝΙΚΟΥ – Tyche standing left with palm branch in right hand and cornucopia in left, dotted border. Reference: SC 2, 2476; SNG Israel I, Nos. 2900–2902. SPAER 2897

Antiochus XII Dionysus (Epiphanes/Philopator/Callinicus), a ruler of the Greek Seleucid kingdom who reigned 87–84 BC, was the fifth son of Antiochus VIII Grypus and Tryphaena to take up the diadem. He succeeded his brother Demetrius III Eucaerus as separatist ruler of the southern parts of the last remaining Seleucid realms, basically Damascus and its surroundings.

Antiochus initially gained support from Ptolemaic forces and was the last Seleucid ruler of any military reputation, even if it was on a local scale. He made several raids into the territories of the Jewish Hasmonean kings, and tried to check the rise of the Nabataean Arabs. A battle against the latter turned out to be initially successful, until the young king was caught in a melee and killed by an Arab soldier. Upon his death the Syrian army fled and mostly perished in the desert. Soon after, the Nabateans conquered Damascus.

Antiochus' titles - apart from Dionysos - mean respectively (God) Manifest, Father-loving and Beautiful Victor. The last Seleucid kings often used several epithets on their coins.
ddwau
J06-Antiochus VII.jpg
Antiochus VII Euergetes, "Sidetes" (Seleucid King) / Hyrcanus I, (Hasmonean King) 131-130 BCE, Jerusalem53 viewsBronze prutah of Hyrcanus I under Antiochus VII (131 – 130 BCE), 14.9 mm, 2.41 grams. This is first Jewish bronze coin struck in Jerusalem, as a transitional issue, dated 131/130 BCE.

Obverse: Jerusalem Lily
Reverse: Anchor, upside down, flanked by Greek ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΞΟΨ (on right) ΕΨΕΠΓΕΤΟΨ (on left) (of King Antiochus, Benefactor), date AΠP (Year 181) or BΠP (Year 182) below anchor.

References: Hendin 451, BMC 69, SNG. Isr. 2139, AJC-I Supplement II, #2, Sear 7101, Houghton CSE 831.

Added to collection: April 12, 2005
Daniel Friedman
PIUS_BI__TETRA.png
ANTONINUS PIUS / SERAPIS , Alexandria BILLION TETRADRACHM40 viewsMINTED IN ALEXANDRIA , EGYPT FROM 138 - 161 AD
OBVERSE : ANTwNINO C CEBEUC CEB Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE : Draped bust of Serapis right,modius on head. L K
References : SNG Cop 426 ( No, L K ?)

22.2 MM AND 13.15 GRAMS.

Alexandria ( of Egypt ) issued billon tetradrachms in large numbers between the reign of Augustus and the closing of the Alexandrian mint during the reign of Diocletian. These coins were no doubt mainly intended to pay the salaries of government officials, of the permanent garrison, and of the temporary troops stationed in Alexandria for purposes of war. They were probably also the form in which taxes in money were received, and were used for trade among the people within the city of Alexandria and other Graeco-Roman cities in Egypt. They also served the purpose of providing a subsidiary coinage with Greek legends which formed the vehicle for Roman imperial propaganda throughout Egypt. On the reverse of these coins were placed the Egyptian Hellenized deities, as an indication of the goodwill of the Roman emperors towards Egypt.
The greater part of the agricultural population of Egypt had scarcely any need for coins except to pay their taxes. The real currency and measure of value in the agricultural settlements was grain, wine or oil. The chief export of Egypt was grain, and this did not bring much money to the cultivators, for most of the grain was collected as tribute, not in trade, and they got nothing in return. Consequently, there is reason to suppose that considerably fewer coins circulated in Egypt generally than the region of Alexandria.
From the reign of Nero onwards, Egypt enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, particularly in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD become the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Egypt, founded Antinoöpolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onwards buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country. Under Marcus Aurelius, however, oppressive taxation led to a revolt (139 AD) of the native Egyptians, which was suppressed only after several years of fighting.

From The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
J12N-Felix H-651.jpg
Antonius Felix, procurator under Claudius, Æ Prutah, 52-59 CE106 viewsBronze prutah of Antonius Felix, procurator under Claudius, 52-59 CE, 2.50g, 17mm.

Obverse: TI KΛAVΔIOC KAICAP ΓEPM. Two crossed palm-branches; around, legend (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Germanicus); date below, LIΔ = Year 14 = 54 C.E.
Reverse: IOY/ΛIAAΓ/PIΠΠI/NA (Julia Agrippina - wife of Claudius) within a wreath tied at bottom with an X.

Reference: Hendin 651, Treasury of Jewish Coins 342. AJC II, Supp. V, 32

Added to collection: November 17, 2005
1 commentsDaniel Friedman
0521175.jpg
Augustus silver denarius RIC 4325 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 43; RSC II 43; BMCRE II 50;
BnF III 36; Hunter I 21, weight 3.3 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm,
Rome mint, Jul - Dec 71 CE.
Obverse: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right.
Reverse simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus, AVGVR above, TRI POT below
Roman emperor Vespasian was most famous for building the Flavian
Amphitheater, also known as the Colosseum. Like many Roman emperors,
Vespasian rose in prominence because of his military skills and work ethics.
Following his ten year rule, he left behind a record of restored order,
stability and good government. He was succeeded by his son Titus in 79 CE,
who had been sent to quell the Jewish revolt of 66-70 CE.
2 commentsNORMAN K
JCT_B_S_S___N_Z__Home_for_the_Aged.JPG
B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)198 viewsAE token, 34 mm., 15.78 gr., undated (but probably minted ca. 1927).

Obv: B & S.S & N.Z. HOME FOR THE AGED, and • MONTREAL •, within border around rim, 25¢ to left and right of building in center, SOUVENIR below building.

Rev: KEEP ME and GOOD LUCK within border in upper and lower rim, “תשליכנו / לצת זקנה אל„ [Do not cast us off in our old age. (Psalm 71:9)] and DO NOT CAST US / OFF AT OUR OLD AGE, in center, between profiles of elderly man and woman facing left and right, respectively.

Ref: Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 2.

Note: The B & S. Steinhouse Old People’s Home opened in Montreal in 1923 and soon merged with the Nachlass Zkainim Home. In 1927, encouraged by the newly formed Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of Montreal, the combined B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged amalgamated with the Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home, a/k/a Moshav Zkainim (which was founded in 1910, and then housed six residents on Evans Street). The institution raised funds for the construction of a larger building on land owned by the Montreal Sheltering Home on Esplanade Street. By 1945, the average age of new residents was over eighty, and increased medical and nursing staff were required. The institution changed its name to Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged to reflect this expanded role. The institution still exists, as the Maimonides Geriatric Center of McGill University.

Note: The token was issued sometime between 1923 (when B & S. Steinhouse Old People’s Home opened) and 1945 (when the amalgamated institution changed its name to Maimonides Hospital and Home for the Aged), and probably no later than 1927 (when the combined B & S. Steinhouse/Nachlass Zkainim Home For the Aged) amalgamated with the Montreal Hebrew Sheltering Home, a/k/a Moshav Zkainim). It may even have been issued in connection with the fund drive that was initiated in 1927 to build the larger building on Esplanade Street.
Stkp
Rith_Home___Hospital.JPG
B'nai B'rith Home & Hospital for the Aged (Memphis, Tennessee)75 viewsFE token, 32 mm., 1952.

Obv: B’NAI B’RITH HOME & HOSPITAL FOR THE AGED / MEMPHIS – TENN. around rim, SILVER JUBILEE above building in center and 1927 – 1952 below building.

Rev: GOOD • LUCK • PIECE / CAST • US • NOT • AWAY • IN • OUR • OLD • AGE around rim, candelabra in center with Stars of David to its sides and below, אל תשליכני לעת זקנה [“Cast us not away in our old age” [Psalm 71:9]), beneath candelabra.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged, it became a non-profit corporation independent of the B’nai B’rith organization under the name B’nai B’rith Home & Hospital for the Aged, Inc. in December 1954. It also began to do business under the name Memphis Jewish Home in 1992, and under the name Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in 2008.
Stkp
JCT_B__nai_B__rith_Home_for_the_Aged_1937.jpg
B'nai B'rith Home & Hospital for the Aged (Memphis, Tennessee) 20 viewsAE token, 32 mm., 180°.

Obv: B’NAI • B’RITH • HOME • FOR • AGED • MEMPHIS, TENN. / TENTH ANNIVERSARY, around rim, building in center and 1927 • 1937, below building.

Rev: GOOD • LUCK • PIECE / CAST • US • NOT • AWAY • IN • OUR • OLD • AGE around rim, candelabra in center with Stars of David to its sides and below, אל תשליכני לעת זקנה [“Cast us not away in our old age” [Psalm 71:9]), beneath candelabra.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged, it became a non-profit corporation independent of the B’nai B’rith organization under the name B’nai B’rith Home & Hospital for the Aged, Inc. in December 1954. It also began to do business under the name Memphis Jewish Home in 1992, and under the name Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in 2008.
Stkp
BCC_m52.jpg
BCC m5234 viewsCaesarea Minima BCC m52
Mint: unknown. Possibly
Jerusalem or Caesarea?
Revolt Imitation or
Jewish Prutah minima.
Obv: Amphora with two
handles, no lid? in wreath
Rev:Grape vine leaf. Scratched in antiquity.
AE11.5mm.0.77g.Axis:0
v-drome
BCC_m53.jpg
BCC m5350 viewsCaesarea Minima BCC m53
Mint: unknown. Possibly
Jerusalem or Caesarea?
Revolt Imitation or
Jewish Prutah minima
Obv:Uncertain object with-in border of dots.
Rev:Grape vine leaf with-in border of dots.
AE12mm.0.92g.Axis:?
1 commentsv-drome
BCC_m54.jpg
BCC m5452 viewsCaesarea Minima BCC m54
Mint: unknown. Possibly
Jerusalem or Caesarea?
Revolt Imitation or
Jewish Prutah minima.
Obv:Three ears of wheat
Rev:Grape vine leaf.
AE11.5mm.0.82g.Axis:0
1 commentsv-drome
BCC_m55.jpg
BCC m5548 viewsCaesarea Minima BCC m55
Mint: unknown. Possibly
Jerusalem or Caesarea?
Revolt Imitation or
Jewish Prutah minima
Obv: Pomegranate?
Rev:Three ears of wheat
AE12.5mm.1.22g.Axis:270
v-drome
JCT_Beth_El_Talmud_Torah.JPG
Beth El Talmud Torah of Flatbush (Brooklyn, New York)65 viewsAE token (holed, perhaps as minted), 32 mm.

Obv: BETH EL TALMUD TORAH OF FLATBUSH around rim, GOD / WILL HELP above American Flag. GREEN DUCK CO. CHI. in small letters around rim.

Rev: 2131 EAST THIRTEENTH – BROOKLYN, N.Y., around rim, LOOSE NOT / THIS LUCKY PIECE / AND THY FORTUNE / WILL INCREASE, beneath horseshoe surrounding Jewish Star.

Ref: None known.

No information available.

The Green Duck Company was founded by Greeburg and Duckheisel in Chicago in 1906 and remained there until it relocated to Mississippi in 1962, closing in 2004.
Stkp
JCT_Beth_El_Talmud_Torah_of_Flatbush.jpg
Beth El Talmud Torah of Flatbush (Brooklyn, New York)48 viewsAE token, 32 mm., 10.96 g. (holed, probably as minted)

Obv: BETH EL TALMUD TORAH OF FLATBUSH around rim, GOD / WILL HELP beneath American flag, GREEN DUCK CO., CHI. in small letters around rim.

Rev.: 2131 EAST THIRTEENTH --BROOKLYN, N.Y. around rim, LOSE NOT / THIS LUCKY PIECE / AND THY FORTUNE / WILL INCREASE beneath Jewish star within horseshoe.

Ref.: None known.

No information available.

The Green Duck Company was founded by Greeburg and Duckheisel in Chicago in 1906 and remained there until it relocated to Mississippi in 1962, closing in 2004.
Stkp
notgeldG.JPG
Beverungen, 1 Mark, Notgeld233 viewsBeverungen, 1 mark notgeld piece, depicting a Jewish 'potseller'.2 commentsMolinari
aCb6M9k3jgJ2f5iB7XbTn9K83ReXzA.jpg
Bronze prutah of Herod Archelaus, mint of Jerusalem. 7 viewsObv.: Vine branch with bunch of grapes and small leaf. Above it, a Greek inscription HPWΔOY (of Herod). Rev.: Crested helmet with two cheek pieces. Below it, a small caduceus and inscription EΘNAPXO (of the Ethnarch). The letter Y (of EΘNAPXOY) is missing.

4 B.C.E. – 6 C.E. 2.40 grams, 17 mm, axis 12. Cf. Ya'akov Meshorer, A Treasury of Jewish Coins (New York 2001), pl. 48, no. 73a
Antonivs Protti
JCT_Brooklyn_Hebrew_Home_and_Hospital.JPG
Brooklyn Hebrew Home & Hospital for the Aged (Brooklyn, New York)87 viewsWhite metal token, 27 mm., undated.

Obv: BROOKLY HEBREW HOME & HOSPITAL/FOR THE AGED, above Jewish star above, above ברוקלינ ??ש לזקבים (Brooklyn _____ for the Elderly) above row of buildings, above HOWARD & DUMONT/AVENUES/BROOKLYN, N.Y.

Rev: FIFTY CENTS WILL BUY along rim above, ONE/MEAL/FOR in center above wheat ears, AN AGED COUPLE, along rim below, AM.EMB. CO UTICA NY in tiny letters along rim at bottom.

Ref: None known.

Note: Incorporated in 1907 as Brooklyn Ladies’ Home for the Aged, its name changed to Brooklyn Hebrew Home for the Aged in 1913 and to Brooklyn Hebrew Home and Hospital for the Aged in 1918. By then it was already located at 813 Howard Avenue, at the intersection of Howard and Dumont Avenues, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. It relocated in 1953 to the former Half Moon Hotel at West 29th Street and the Boardwalk, in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. In 1968 it changed its name to Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center, and currently operates as Metropolitan Jewish Health System Foundation.

Note: Manufactured by the American Emblem Co., Utica, New York.
Stkp
DomitianLXF.jpg
Domitian Sebaste, Samaria Countermark LXF85 viewsDomitian Ae 25mm, 14.02 g. Sebaste, Samaria. O: Laureate head of Domitian IMP DOMITIANVS CAESAR; Countermark: LXF, of the Tenth Legion Fretensis in rectangular punch. R: Tyche standing to left resting foot on rock(?) holding spear and globe, [CEBAC]THNWN (of the people of Sebaste); in l. field, date: LΘΡ (year 109 = 81/2 AD). Host coin - RPC II 2226, with LXF - Hendin 1613a.

The Tenth Legion probably acquired its name, Fretensis, from the Fretum Siculum, the straits where the legion fought successfully against Sextus Pompey.

It is undoubtedly most famous for its part in the destruction of Jerusalem under General Titus. Starting in 66 CE, Roman armies began fighting their way from the northern parts of Israel, down to Jerusalem.

Titus advanced on Jerusalem near Passover 70 C.E., trapping the residents and pilgrims inside the city. His forces stripped the Judean countryside of trees to build a 4.5-mile-long wall of pointed stakes around the capital.

In that year X Fretensis, in conjunction with V Macedonica, XII Fulminata, and XV Apollinaris, began the five month siege of Jerusalem that would result in what Jewish Bible scholar Alfred Edersheim described as a, “tribulation to Israel unparalleled in the terrible past of its history, and unequalled even in its bloody future.”

What was the Tenth Legion doing in Sebaste, Samaria? According to some scholars it was perhaps to defend against the appearance of a pseudo-Nero, who had garnered the support of the Parthians.
1 commentsNemonater
IMG_3774.JPG
Dora Vespasian Struck During Jewish WAr 52 viewsVespasian, 69-79 AD, bronze of 22.6 mm. Struck at the mint of Dora, during the Jewish War, dated to 69/70 AD. Bust of Vespasian to right/Astarte standing lft. Rosenberger 23.
amibosam
EB0253b_scaled.JPG
EB0253 Wreath / Palm branch4 viewsJUDAEA, Porcius Festus, AE 17 prutah, 59-62 AD.
Obverse: NEP/WNO/C in wreath.
Reverse: Palm-branch surrounded by KAICAPO & date LE.
References: Hendin 653; Mesh2, Pl. 33, 35.
Diameter: 16mm, Weight: 1.918g.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/coins-from-the-procurators: Ya’akov Meshorer indicates that “Festus apparently assumed office in 59 CE. His only issue ... was struck immediately upon his arrival in Judaea.”
EB
JCT_Federation_of_Jewish_Philanthropic_Societies.jpg
Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City (New York, New York)17 viewsAE gilded with only residual guilding remaining, 38.4 mm., 0°

Obv: FEDERATION // FOR THE / SUPPORT OF // JEWISH PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETIES // OF NEW / YORK CITY, surrounding "FOR THE POOR WILL NEVER CEASE OUT OF THE LAND" / 1926, surrounding candelabra flanked by 91 IN -- ONE, צדקה‎ ( = tzedakah = charity) rising from base. W. & H. CO. NEWARK, N. J. in tiny letters along rim at 6:00.

Rev: CHARITY / MY SHARE / FOR / 1926 / LUCKY TOCKEN, 1916 -- 1926 on ribbon above.

Beginning at the end of the 19th century the federation model was adopted by Jewish communal leaders around the country as a successful way to bring together affiliated social service agencies, consolidate their administrative functions, reduce duplication in services, raise funds efficiently and better serve the needs of the community. A Committee on Federation was convened by Felix M. Warburg and first met on February 26, 1916 to sort through the various plans that had been proposed for a federation of philanthropic agencies, and to appoint a Special Committee of Seven for this work. The Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City was formally chartered by the State of New York on January 10, 1917. The foundational year of 1916 indicated on this token presumably alludes to the convening of the Committee on Federation and Special Committee of Seven.

It was then affiliated with 42 institutions. In 1944, when the Federation merged with The Brooklyn Federation of Jewish to form the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the Federation was affiliated with 91 institutions. The Federation was presumably already affiliated with 91 institutions by 1926, as the obverse bears the slogan, "91 in One."

As a result of increased fund raising after the Yom Kippur War of 1973, in 1974 the Federation and United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York began to combine their fundraising campaigns. They remained separate but conducted a joint campaign, the UJA-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Joint Campaign, from 1974 through 1986. The two organizations were fully merged as UJA-Federation of New York as of July 1, 1986.

Note: Minted by The Whitehead & Hoag Company, Newark, NJ (1880-1955).
Stkp
prutah_2.jpg
First Jewish War, AD 66-7013 viewsAE Prutah, 17mm, 3g, 6h; Jerusalem, AD 68/9.
Obv.: שנת שלוש (Year Three); Amphora with broad, fringed rim and two handles.
Rev.: חרות ציונ (Freedom of Zion); Grape leaf on vine.
Reference: Hendin 1363.
Notes: ex-Zuzim, electronic sale 3/16/15, 46.
John Anthony
Juive 3.jpg
First Revolt - "Eighth" of 69-70 AD26 viewsLG’LT SYWN : "For the Redemption of Zion" , chalice with pearled rim.
SNT ‘RBY : Year 4 , "lulav" between two "etrogs".

bought in Jerusalem
1 commentsGinolerhino
Juive 2 Year2 67 AD.jpg
First revolt. Small bronze minted in 67 AD49 viewsHebrew legend , footed amphora
Hebrew legend, vine leaf.
2 commentsGinolerhino
byzseal_.jpg
Fragment of Amulet36 viewsTypically one side has PEFAHL (ie Raphael, the Archangel), retrograde, the other side CABAW (heavenly 'Hosts')
Late Roman early Byzantine
10mm by 8mm.
2.30g
Fragment of a “magical” pendent or amulet. Portion of the name Gabriel with the one suspension hoop on this remaining fragmentS. imilar to one from the Sternberg sale (in association with Wolfe) of Jewish, Early Christian and Byzantine Antiquities (XXIII, 1989, lot 256). Thanks to Gert Boerswema from Forum and Vcoins for this information
wileyc
Corinth,_Bema.jpg
Greece, Corinth – the Bema57 viewsThe bema of Corinth is a prominent raised platform in the south-central part of the ancient agora. The bema is the traditional civic location where public orations (political or ceremonial) would have been given and where legal cases were brought for trial. In Acts 18:12 the βημα is given as the place where Paul the apostle is accused before Gallio, the proconsul of Achaea (Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus). Gallio, however, declines to become involved in what he regards as a purely Jewish dispute.

The hill in the background is, of course, the city’s acropolis, the Acrocorinth.
Abu Galyon
HadrianDecapolis.jpg
Hadrian, head right188 viewsVespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Gadara, Decapolis
9266. Bronze AE 23, Spijkerman 26; SNG ANS 6, 1300, F, Decapolis, Gadara mint, 11.04g, 22.8mm, 0o, 71/72 A.D.; obverse OYECPACIANOC KAICAP, laureate head right, countermarked with "Hadrian's head"; reverse GADARA, Tyche standing left holding wreath and cornucopia, date LELP left ( = 71/72 A.D. ); interesting coin that relates to both the first and second jewish revolts; $160.00
The `Hadrian's head` countermark was struck during the Second Jewish Revolt (`Bar Kochbah` uprising) led by Simon Bar Kochba against Rome, 133 - 135 A.D. In 135 A.D., Hadrian destroyed Jerusalem and founded `Aelia Capitolina` on the site. The Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.

whitetd49
Hadrse13-2.jpg
Hadrian, RIC 779, Sestertius of AD 134-138 (Victoria-Nemesis)34 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.0g, Ø32mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 134-138.
Obv.: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, laureate head right.
Rev.: S C, winged Pax (Nemesis) advancing right holding an olive branch and lifting upper front of dress which covers her breast.
RIC 779; Cohen 1374; Strack 704
Ex G.Henzen, Amerongen (1995).

RIC II, p. 327 and Strack III p.132-4, provide historical background for this coin type. The Jewish war from 132-135 was finally subdued after Hadrian sent his best generals, especially Julius Severus. Around 134-5, the Senate orders the bronze types Victoria-Nemesis (at the same time as the denarius type Victoria Augusti) which, according to RIC, implies respect for justice in the hour of triumph.
1 commentsCharles S
halfshekelI.jpg
Half Shekel, Tyre LA (Year 1)140 views6.43 g Tyre Mint 126/125 BCE

O: Head of Herakles (Melqart)
R: Eagle standing left; ΤΥΡΟΥ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ "Of Tyre the Holy and City of Refuge." around; Date LA to left; Monogram FP to right.

BMC Phoenicia page 250 #213 lists one Year 1 half shekel with M monogram. DCA lists this date as R3, the highest rarity rating.
Unique with with FP monogram. Glossy, dark chocolate find patina.

Shekels and Half Shekels of Tyre began being issued as autonomous silver coins in 126/125 BCE after gaining freedom from Seleucid domination that year. Although similar in style to the Seleucid coinage, the most obvious change was the King's bust being replaced with the city's chief god Melqart.

They have become highly desired due to their being the money of choice for payments to the Jerusalem Temple. The half shekel was the required yearly tribute to the temple for every Jewish male over the age of 20.

Ed Cohen notes in Dated Coins of Antiquity, that the minting of Tyre shekels or, more specifically, half shekels, ended at the onset of the Jewish Revolt in 65/66 and the minting of the Jewish Revolt shekels then begins. This, along with other compelling evidence, has led many, including me, to believe the later "KP" shekels were struck south of Tyre.
4 commentsNemonater
juive 1.jpg
Hasmonaean prutah (Ist C BC)61 viewsHebrew legend in wreath (If anyone can read it, please post it as a comment. thanks)
Double cornucopiae, with pomegranate between the horns.
3 commentsGinolerhino
Herod,_h_1190.jpg
Hendin 1190: Herod the Great, Eagle Lepton63 viewsHerod the Great. 37-4 B.C.. AE half-prutah. Jerusalem Mint. Hendin 1190. Obverse: (Of King Herod in Greek), single cornucopia. Reverse: Eagle standing right. Ex Amphora.

The first coin by a Jewish ruler to depict a graven image. This could be a reference to the golden bird King Herod placed at the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
Lucas H
1__H-661~0.jpg
Hendin-66130 viewsFirst Jewish Revolt 66-70 AD
AE Prutah,Mint: Jerusalem, Date: 67/68AD
Obv-SH'NAT SHTAYIM-Year Two-Amphora with broad rim and two handles.
Rev-CHAROT TZION - Freedom of Zion-Vine leaf with twig on tendril.
Size:18mm
Meshorer:TJC-196a
1 commentsbrian l
1__H-664~0.jpg
Hendin-66420 viewsFirst Jewish Revolt 66-70 AD
AE Prutah,Mint: Jerusalem, Date: 68/69AD
Obv-SH'NAT SH'LOSH -Year Three-Amphora with broad rim and two handles and lid decorated with tiny globes hanging around edge.
Rev-CHAROT TZION - Freedom of Zion-Vine leaf with twig on tendril.
Size: 17mm
Meshorer:TJC-205
brian l
J10F-Archelaus H-506.jpg
Herod Archelaus, (Herodian King), Æ Prutah, 4 BCE – 6 CE30 viewsBronze Prutah of Herod Archelaus, 14mm.

Obverse: Prow of galley facing right; HPΩ (Herod).
Reverse: Inscription EΘN (Ethnarch), surrounded by wreath.

Reference: Hendin 506, AJC II, 240, 5, TJC 72, SNG ANS 243-250.

The galley refers to Archelaus voyage to Rome at the beginning of his reign. His father had modified his will, naming Archeleus 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 or Rome. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Ya'akov Meshorer.

Added to collection: January 28, 2007
Daniel Friedman
Herod I H501.jpg
Herod I (37-4BC) Hendin 501 TJC 6641 viewsLepton, 11x13mm, 0.70g.

Obverse: Single cornucopia, BACIL/HRWD in dotted circle.

Reverse: Eagle standing R, pellet in L field, in dotted circle.

Hendin 501

Treasury of Jewish Coins 66.

The eagle was doubtless intended as a Jewish, rather than Roman, symbol, being one of the animals supporting YHVH's throne in Ezekiel. It probably relates to the golden eagle erected by Herod over the Temple gate. How long this stood is uncertain, but in his last year, as his power weakened, it became the centre of a riot which ended in its destruction as an idolatrous image. There is no record of any protest against the coins.
1 commentsRobert_Brenchley
herodes_eagle.jpg
Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C. Bronze lepton, Hendin 501; Golden bird8 viewsJudean Kingdom, Herod the Great, 37 - 4 B.C. Bronze lepton, Hendin 501, Meshorer 23, RPC I 4909, aVF, Jerusalem mint, 1.033g, 14.0mm, 180o, obverse “HRWD BASIL”, cornucopia; reverse , eagle standing; scarce. This is the first Jewish coin to feature a graven image, the golden bird at the gate of the temple. Ex FORVMPodiceps
JCT_Home_of_Old_Israel.JPG
Home of Old Israel (New York, New York)140 viewsAE token, 32.5 mm., undated (but probably minted in 1928).

Obv: תשליכני לצת זקנה אל [Do not cast us off in our old age. (Psalm 71:9)] and 204 HENRY ST., N.Y.C. along toothed rim, TO PITY/IS HUMAN/TO HELP/IS/GODLIKE/HOME OF/OLD ISRAEL, between busts of woman and bearded man.

Rev: HELP US BUILD OUR NEW HOME and 301-2-3 EAST BWAY., N.Y.C. along toothed rim with rosettes between, CONTRIBUTION.ONE DOLLAR, beneath building.

Ref: Meshorer, Coins Reveal 146; Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 7.

Note: Founded in 1922 by real estate developer Louis Singer as a privately-endowed non-sectarian institution providing free housing, meals, activities and care of the aged, the Home moved from Henry Street to 70 Jefferson Street on March 31, 1929. It relocated to Far Rockaway, Queens in 1965. In the early 1970s the Home merged into the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged.

Note: In 1922, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (the rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University) was located at 301-303 East Broadway, and only moved to 186th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in 1928/1929. The Home must not have also occupied the East Broadway address, therefore, until 1928/1929. Thus, the token can be tentatively dated to 1928 (while the Home was still located at Henry Street but after it expanded into East Broadway). It was probably issued in connection with the 1928 fund drive for the Jefferson Street property.
Stkp
JCT_Home_of_the_Sons___Daughters_Rec.JPG
Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel (New York, New York)80 viewsAE token, 19 x 44.5 mm. (rectangular), 11.429 gr., undated (but probably issued ca. 1935).

Obv: HOME OF SONS/AND DAUGHTERS/OF ISRAEL above building 232 E. 12 ST./NEW YORK, N.Y., below building.

Rev: BUY A BRICK/$1.00/HELP US AND/GOD/WILL/HELP YOU between busts of woman and bearded man.

Ref: Meshorer, Coins Reveal 140; Friedenberg, Jewish Minters [?] 476; Leonard, Jr., Robert D. “Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel: Its History and Contribution Tokens.” The Shekel, XXXVIII No. 6 (Nov. to Dec. 2005). pp. 14-23; Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 6; ANS Database 2000.1.261.

Note: Organized in 1909 and incorporated in 1912, the Home acquired 230 East Tenth Street in December 1914. The adjacent 232 East Tenth Street was acquired by April 1915, and in May 1919 plans for a new building, encompassing both addresses, were approved. On June 21, 1925 the Home expanded into yet a third adjacent building on East Tenth Street. On December 22, 1935, it relocated to a larger building at 232-38 East Twelfth Street, where it remained in operation until the mid-1960s.

Note: This token was issued after the acquisition of the East Twelfth Street building, in or about 1935.
Stkp
JCT_Home_of_the_Sons___Daughters_C.JPG
Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel (New York, New York)146 viewsAE token, 32.7 mm., 10.639 gr., undated (but probably issued in 1923 or 1928).

Obv: THE GREAT DRIVE FOR A HOME FOR THE AGED and 232 E. 10 ST., along toothed rim, HELP US/BUILD above building and HOME OF THE/SONS AND DAUGHTERS/OF ISRAEL below building.

Rev: CONTRIBUTION and ONE DOLLAR along toothed rim, HELP US/AND/GOD/WILL/HELP YOU between busts of woman and bearded man.

Ref: Meshorer, Coins Reveal 147; Kenny, So-Called Dollars 229; Leonard, Jr., Robert D. “Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel: Its History and Contribution Tokens.” The Shekel, XXXVIII No. 6 (Nov. to Dec. 2005). pp. 14-23 (this token is depicted as Obverse C); Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 5; ANS Database 2000.1.511.

Note: Organized in 1909 and incorporated in 1912, the Home acquired 230 East Tenth Street in December 1914. The adjacent 232 East Tenth Street was acquired by April 1915, and in May 1919 plans for a new building, encompassing both addresses, were approved. On June 21, 1925 the Home expanded into yet a third adjacent building on East Tenth Street. On December 22, 1935, it relocated to a larger building at 232-38 East Twelfth Street, where it remained in operation until the mid-1960s.

Note: There was a $400,000 fund drive in 1923 and a $100,000 fund drive in 1928, and this token could have been issued in connection with either of those events.

Note: Leonard noted that these tokens were made in such large numbers that three obverse dies were required (the designation of obverse and reverse on these is arbitrary, and I refer to the side which Leonard termed the obverse as the reverse). The differences noted by Leonard pertain to the distance between the rim and the words CONTRIBUTION and ONE DOLLAR, the relief of the woman, especially at the shoulder, and the man’s bust. But there are also others. This token is Leonard Obverse C (described by Leonard as CONTRIBUTION/ONE DOLLAR far from rim, woman’s shoulder in low relief, man’s bust retouched).

ex Robert J. Leonard, Jr. collection.
Stkp
JCT_Home_of_the_Sons___Daughters_B.JPG
Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel (New York, New York)90 viewsAE token, 32.7 mm., 10.639 gr., undated (but probably issued in 1923 or 1928).

Obv: THE GREAT DRIVE FOR A HOME FOR THE AGED and 232 E. 10 ST., along toothed rim, HELP US/BUILD above building and HOME OF THE/SONS AND DAUGHTERS/OF ISRAEL below building.

Rev: CONTRIBUTION and ONE DOLLAR along toothed rim, HELP US/AND/GOD/WILL/HELP YOU between busts of woman and bearded man.

Ref: Meshorer, Coins Reveal 147; Kenny, So-Called Dollars 229; Leonard, Jr., Robert D. “Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel: Its History and Contribution Tokens.” The Shekel, XXXVIII No. 6 (Nov. to Dec. 2005). pp. 14-23 (this token is depicted as Obverse B); Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 5; ANS Database 2000.1.511.

Note: Organized in 1909 and incorporated in 1912, the Home acquired 230 East Tenth Street in December 1914. The adjacent 232 East Tenth Street was acquired by April 1915, and in May 1919 plans for a new building, encompassing both addresses, were approved. On June 21, 1925 the Home expanded into yet a third adjacent building on East Tenth Street. On December 22, 1935, it relocated to a larger building at 232-38 East Twelfth Street, where it remained in operation until the mid-1960s.

Note: There was a $400,000 fund drive in 1923 and a $100,000 fund drive in 1928, and this token could have been issued in connection with either of those events.

Note: Leonard noted that these tokens were made in such large numbers that three obverse dies were required (the designation of obverse and reverse on these is arbitrary, and I refer to the side which Leonard termed the obverse as the reverse). The differences noted by Leonard pertain to the distance between the rim and the words CONTRIBUTION and ONE DOLLAR, the relief of the woman, especially at the shoulder, and the man’s bust. But there are also others. This token is Leonard Obverse B (described by Leonard as CONTRIBUTION/ONE DOLLAR near rim, woman’s shoulder in low relief).

ex Robert J. Leonard, Jr. collection.
Stkp
JCT_Home_of_the_Sons___Daughters_A.JPG
Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel (New York, New York)84 viewsAE token, 32.7 mm., 10.639 gr., undated (but probably issued in 1923 or 1928).

Obv: THE GREAT DRIVE FOR A HOME FOR THE AGED and 232 E. 10 ST., along toothed rim, HELP US/BUILD above building and HOME OF THE/SONS AND DAUGHTERS/OF ISRAEL below building.

Rev: CONTRIBUTION and ONE DOLLAR along toothed rim, HELP US/AND/GOD/WILL/HELP YOU between busts of woman and bearded man.

Ref: Meshorer, Coins Reveal 147; Kenny, So-Called Dollars 229; Leonard, Jr., Robert D. “Home of the Sons and Daughters of Israel: Its History and Contribution Tokens.” The Shekel, XXXVIII No. 6 (Nov. to Dec. 2005). pp. 14-23 (this token is depicted as Obverse A); Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 5; ANS Database 2000.1.511.

Note: Organized in 1909 and incorporated in 1912, the Home acquired 230 East Tenth Street in December 1914. The adjacent 232 East Tenth Street was acquired by April 1915, and in May 1919 plans for a new building, encompassing both addresses, were approved. On June 21, 1925 the Home expanded into yet a third adjacent building on East Tenth Street. On December 22, 1935, it relocated to a larger building at 232-38 East Twelfth Street, where it remained in operation until the mid-1960s.

Note: There was a $400,000 fund drive in 1923 and a $100,000 fund drive in 1928, and this token could have been issued in connection with either of those events.

Note: Leonard noted that these tokens were made in such large numbers that three obverse dies were required (the designation of obverse and reverse on these is arbitrary, and I refer to the side which Leonard termed the obverse as the reverse). The differences noted by Leonard pertain to the distance between the rim and the words CONTRIBUTION and ONE DOLLAR, the relief of the woman, especially at the shoulder, and the man’s bust. But there are also others. This token is Leonard Obverse A (described by Leonard as CONTRIBUTION/ONE DOLLAR far from rim, woman in high relief).

ex Robert J. Leonard, Jr. collection.
Stkp
Kidron_Valley_Tombs.JPG
Israel, Jerusalem - Kidron Valley (2)157 viewsAnother Kidron valley tomb complex (about 60m south of Tantour Faroun). Jewish pilgrims called this the ‘Tomb of Zechariah’, while the Christian pious associated it with their own early martyrs, notably St. James. In fact, an inscription shows that this was the burial place of the priestly Bene Hezir family, who get a passing mention in the Bible (1 Chronicles 24:15). The nefesh with a pyramidal top marks the entrance to a passage ascending into the cliff on the left. The actual burial chambers (four of them) lie in the area behind the Doric-columned façade. The complex dates from the later second-century BC. Abu Galyon
IMG_0768.jpg
Israel, Jerusalem - Western Wall and Dome of the Rock1747 viewsThe first century BCE western retaining wall of the Second Jewish Temple, directly in front of the 8th century Dome of the Rock. Friday evening at sunset (beginning of Shabbat).
posted by Zam
1 commentsZam
Nazareth_rolling_stone_tomb_IIA.JPG
Israel, Nazareth - Rolling Stone Tomb171 viewsA really well-preserved example of a Jewish rolling-stone tomb. This one is part of a small necropolis which was found underneath the Convent of the Sisters of Nazareth, only a stone’s throw away from the Basilica of the Annunciation. Abu Galyon
IMG_1858wp.jpg
Italy, Rome, Arch of Titus328 viewsbuilt by Domitianus
commemorate victory of Titus in Jerusalem in the first Jewish–Roman War
1 commentsJohny SYSEL
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Vespasian.jpg
Italy- Rome- The Arch of Tito50 viewsThe Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 CE, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there, and the triumphal procession the two held in Rome in 71 CE. It is situated at the E. entrance to the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, south of the Temple of Amor and Roma, close to the Colosseum.

The arch was definitely erected sometimes after after the death of Titus in 81 CE, since Titus is referred to as Divus in the inscription. The deification of an emperor only happened posthumously after decision by the senate. It was most probably erected by emperor Domitian who succeeded his brother Titus in 81 CE, but it has also been suggested that it was built later, by Trajan, because of stylistic similarities with the Arch of Trajan at Benevento.

The Arch of Titus is a single arch, measuring 15.4m in height, 13.5m in width and 4.75m in depth, originally constructed entirely in Pantelic marble, with four semi-columns on each side. The external decorations include figures of Victoria with trophies on the spandrels and images of Roma and the Genius of Rome on the two keystones.

The inscription on the E. side is the original dedication of the arch by the senate. It reads:

Senatus
Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto

The senate
and people of Rome
to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian,
Vespasianus Augustus

The inside the archway the monument is decorated with reliefs in marble. The S. side shows the beginning of the triumphal entry into Rome of the victorious emperor and his troops. The soldiers, walking left to right, are carrying the spoils of war, which include the seven armed candelabrum and the silver trumpets from the temple of Jerusalem. The signs carried by some soldiers displayed the names of the conquered cities and people. To the right the procession is entering the city through the Porta Triumphalis.

The N. side of the arch is decorated with a relief of the emperor in the triumphal procession. The emperor is riding a quadriga, which is lead by the goddess Roma, and he is crowned by Victoria flying above him. The lictors are walking in front of the chariot with their long ceremonial axes. After the emperor follow as a young man, who represents the Roman people, and an older man in toga, representing the senate. In the middle, under the vault a small relief shows the apotheosis of Titus, flying to the heavens on the back of an eagle.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The arch of Tito and inside the arches.jpg
Italy- Rome- The arch of Tito and inside the arches47 viewsThe Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 CE, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there, and the triumphal procession the two held in Rome in 71 CE. It is situated at the E. entrance to the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, south of the Temple of Amor and Roma, close to the Colosseum.

The arch was definitely erected sometimes after after the death of Titus in 81 CE, since Titus is referred to as Divus in the inscription. The deification of an emperor only happened posthumously after decision by the senate. It was most probably erected by emperor Domitian who succeeded his brother Titus in 81 CE, but it has also been suggested that it was built later, by Trajan, because of stylistic similarities with the Arch of Trajan at Benevento.

The Arch of Titus is a single arch, measuring 15.4m in height, 13.5m in width and 4.75m in depth, originally constructed entirely in Pantelic marble, with four semi-columns on each side. The external decorations include figures of Victoria with trophies on the spandrels and images of Roma and the Genius of Rome on the two keystones.

The inscription on the E. side is the original dedication of the arch by the senate. It reads:

Senatus
Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto

The senate
and people of Rome
to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian,
Vespasianus Augustus

The inside the archway the monument is decorated with reliefs in marble. The S. side shows the beginning of the triumphal entry into Rome of the victorious emperor and his troops. The soldiers, walking left to right, are carrying the spoils of war, which include the seven armed candelabrum and the silver trumpets from the temple of Jerusalem. The signs carried by some soldiers displayed the names of the conquered cities and people. To the right the procession is entering the city through the Porta Triumphalis.

The N. side of the arch is decorated with a relief of the emperor in the triumphal procession. The emperor is riding a quadriga, which is lead by the goddess Roma, and he is crowned by Victoria flying above him. The lictors are walking in front of the chariot with their long ceremonial axes. After the emperor follow as a young man, who represents the Roman people, and an older man in toga, representing the senate. In the middle, under the vault a small relief shows the apotheosis of Titus, flying to the heavens on the back of an eagle.
John Schou
Italy- Rome- The entrance to Forum and the arch of Tito.jpg
Italy- Rome- The entrance to Forum and the arch of Tito40 viewsThe Arch of Titus (Arcus Titi) is a triumphal arch that commemorates the victory of the emperors Vespasian and Titus in Judea in 70 CE, which lead to the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish temple there, and the triumphal procession the two held in Rome in 71 CE. It is situated at the E. entrance to the Forum Romanum, on the Via Sacra, south of the Temple of Amor and Roma, close to the Colosseum.

The arch was definitely erected sometimes after after the death of Titus in 81 CE, since Titus is referred to as Divus in the inscription. The deification of an emperor only happened posthumously after decision by the senate. It was most probably erected by emperor Domitian who succeeded his brother Titus in 81 CE, but it has also been suggested that it was built later, by Trajan, because of stylistic similarities with the Arch of Trajan at Benevento.

The Arch of Titus is a single arch, measuring 15.4m in height, 13.5m in width and 4.75m in depth, originally constructed entirely in Pantelic marble, with four semi-columns on each side. The external decorations include figures of Victoria with trophies on the spandrels and images of Roma and the Genius of Rome on the two keystones.

The inscription on the E. side is the original dedication of the arch by the senate. It reads:

Senatus
Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto

The senate
and people of Rome
to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian,
Vespasianus Augustus

The inside the archway the monument is decorated with reliefs in marble. The S. side shows the beginning of the triumphal entry into Rome of the victorious emperor and his troops. The soldiers, walking left to right, are carrying the spoils of war, which include the seven armed candelabrum and the silver trumpets from the temple of Jerusalem. The signs carried by some soldiers displayed the names of the conquered cities and people. To the right the procession is entering the city through the Porta Triumphalis.

The N. side of the arch is decorated with a relief of the emperor in the triumphal procession. The emperor is riding a quadriga, which is lead by the goddess Roma, and he is crowned by Victoria flying above him. The lictors are walking in front of the chariot with their long ceremonial axes. After the emperor follow as a young man, who represents the Roman people, and an older man in toga, representing the senate. In the middle, under the vault a small relief shows the apotheosis of Titus, flying to the heavens on the back of an eagle.

John Schou
jesus.jpg
Jesus306 viewsJesus Christ - the incarnate son of the living God according to the Christians; a rebellious and blasphemous troublemaker according to the Jewish authorities; and the leader of an annoying cult in Judea according to the Romans.

Silver Grosh, 1331 to 1355 AD, Europe: The obverse (front) of this coin is JESUS CHRIST wearing a halo. The reverse scene is Ivan Alexander and his co-ruler Michael Asen (died in 1355).

Noah
JCT_Jewish_Charities_of_Chicago__Emil_G__Hirsch.JPG
Jewish Charities of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)63 viewsAE token,33 mm., 23.185 gr., dated 1923.

Obv: THE UNITED DRIVE FOR $2.500,000.00 and 1923 around rim, IF YOU WON’T / WHO WILL in center, to sides of question mark.

Rev: אשרי משכיל and אל דל [If you won’t, who will? alluding to Hillel’s famous saying from Pirkei Avot 1:14] around rim, signature of Emil G. Hirsch in center.

Ref: Levy, Gil. “Emil G. Hirsch Contribution Medal.” The Shekel, XXX No. 2 (March to April 1997), pp. 13-15;ANS Database 2000.1.41.

Note: Dr. Emil G. Hirsch was the rabbi of Sinai Congregation in Chicago from 1880 until his death in 1923, the organizer of the Associated Jewish Charities (of Chicago) in 1900, the founder and editor of the Reform Advocate in 1891, Professor of Rabbinical Philosophy and Literature at the University of Chicago, and was involved in numerous other charitable, ecumenical and academic endeavors. He died on January 7, 1923.

Note: In 1922 the Associated Jewish Charities (of Chicago) and the Federated Jewish Charities (of Chicago) merged into the Jewish Charities of Chicago, which organization came into existence on January 1, 1923. The AJC had typically raised $1 million a year and the FJC had typically raised $250,000 a year. A Committee for $2,500,000 was launched on May 6, 1923, to raise funds for the Michael Reese Hospital, the Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Jewish People’s Institute, and the fund drive was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Hirsch. When the drive concluded on May 31, 1923, it had raised over $2,750,000.
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Community_Center,_Albany.jpg
Jewish Community Center (Albany, New York)20 viewsAluminum token, 19.7 mm., possibly 1950s

Obv.: JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER •around rim, ALBANY / N.Y. in center.

Rev.: *GOOD FOR * / ONE / TOWEL.

Ref.: None Known
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Community_Center_of_Milwaukee.jpg
Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 14 viewsAE token, 23 mm., 180°.

Obv: JEWISH / COMMUNITY / CENTER / OF MILWAUKEE.(slants of Ms go all the way to the base).

Rev: PARKING TOKEN, propeller device.

The Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee has its roots in the Jewish Mission founded in 1894. The name was officially changed to Jewish Community Center in 1946. In 2001 it changed its name to the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center
Stkp
Judea,_First_Jewish_Revolt.jpg
Jewish First Revolt17 viewsAE Prutah
Jerusalem mint, 67-68 A.D.
18mm, 2.95g

Obverse:
Amphora with braod rim and two handle.
"Year Two" inscribed in Hebrew

Reverse:
Vine leaf on small branch.
"The Deliverence of Zion" inscribed in Hebrew
1 commentsWill J
DSCF0732.JPG
Jewish first war against the Romans - Year 4 Eights of a Shekel/Obv.9 viewsL.C.Sulla
DSCF0738.JPG
Jewish first war against the Romans - Year 4 Eights of a Shekel/Rev.10 viewsL.C.Sulla
JCT_Jewish_Home_For_Aged_(Portland).JPG
Jewish Home for Aged (Portland, Maine)47 viewsAE token, 35 mm, undated.

Obv: JEWISH HOME FOR THE AGED, and • PORTLAND - MAINE •, within border around rim, 25¢ to left and right of building in center, SOUVENIR below building.

Rev: KEEP ME and GOOD LUCK within border in upper and lower rim, “תשליכנו / לצת זקנה אל„ [Do not cast us off in our old age. (Psalm 71:9)] and DO NOT CAST US / OFF AT OUR OLD AGE, in center, between profiles of elderly man and woman facing left and right, respectively.

Ref: Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 1.

Note: Founded in 1929 and based on North Street, where it remained until 1965. It continues to exist as the Cedars Nursing Care Center.
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Home_for_Convalescents.JPG
Jewish Home for Convalescents (Grand View-On-Hudson, Rockland Co., New York)43 viewsAE token, 31.5 mm., undated.

Obv: JEWISH HOME FOR CONVALESCENTS and NON SECTARIAN along rim with Stars of David between, GRAND VIEW/ON THE HUDSON/CITY OFFICE/219 - 2ND AVE., N.Y.C. above candelabra, WHITEHEAD - HOAG in tiny letters along rim at 6 o’clock.

Rev: WILL/YOU HELP THE/SICK/REGAIN/THEIR/HEALTH/ONE DOLLAR, above and to left of a man in bed.

Ref: None known.

Note: Founded by the Federation of Rumanian Jews in 1915 and opened for patients in 1917. It was dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Solomon Schechter, who took a personal interest in the Home. It was incorporated in New York State in 1917, and its current status is active.

Note: Minted by The Whitehead & Hoag Company, Newark, NJ (1880-1955).
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Home_for_Wayfarers.JPG
Jewish Home for Wayfarers (Los Angeles, California)48 viewsObv: JEWISH HOME FOR WAYFARERS • 1930 TENTH AN-NIVERSARY 1940 • around rim, I HAVE / CONTRIBUTED and AN 6853 / 127 SO. BOYLE AVE. / LOS ANGELES above and below building.

Rev: הכנסת אורחים בית (≈ Home for Wayfarers) and העשירי היוכל לחג נדבתי (≈ I Have Contributed / Tenth Anniversary) around rim, Star of David in center flanked by 1940 and 1930, תש ה אל in center.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1930 George Saylin, a Latvian immigrant and 1910 graduate of the Buffalo School of Medicine who moved to Los Angeles in 1922. It is listed in the 1946-1947 Jewish Annual Yearbook, and stated to be in the Rowan Building (which was at 131 West 5th Street, and was a prominent office building in the business district).
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Old_Folks_Home.JPG
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)74 viewsAE token, 34 mm., undated.

Obv: JEWISH OLD FOLKS HOME, and • TORONTO •, within border around rim, 25¢ to left and right of building in center, CONTRIBUTION above building, THE ONLY JEWISH HOME / FOR THE AGE / IN / ONTARIO, in four lines, below building.

Rev: KEEP ME and GOOD LUCK within border in upper and lower rim, UP / AND / YOU / WILL / HAVE, in five rows in center, between profiles of elderly man and woman facing left and right, respectively.

Ref: Randolph, Marc A. “Jewish Homes for the Aged Tokens,” The Shekel, XXXVI No. 3 (May-June 2003) 14-19, Figure 3.

Note: Founded in 1918 when the women of the Ezras Noshem Society collected money door-to-door and opened an old age home in a semi-detached house on Cecil Street. By 1954, the building had become too crowded and the building was beyond repair. The insitution purchased a 25-acre site on Bathurst Street, in North York, Ontario, and built the Jewish Home for the Aged. The institution still exists as the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care.
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Sanitarium_for_Incurables.JPG
Jewish Sanitarium for Incurables (Brooklyn, New York)132 viewsAE token, 32.5 mm., dated 1926.

Obv: THE GREAT DRIVE FOR THE INCURABLES HOME around toothed rim, YOU HELPED BUILD IT, above building, JEWISH/SANITARIUM FOR/INCURABLES/1926 below building.

Rev: CONTRIBUTION and LUCK FOR A BUCK around toothed rim, One and Dollar to sides of crippled man.

Ref: None known.

Note: The Sanitarium was founded in 1925 as a chronic care facility for the Jewish community at Rutland Road and East 49th Street, Brooklyn, New York. In 1954 it changed its name to The Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital (which is where the gene for Tay-Sachs disease was discovered). By the 1960s, in addition to providing long-time care, it provided acute, outpatient, emergency, ambulatory and home care services. It became Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in 1968.
Stkp
jwar.jpg
Jewish War12 viewsprutah
O: Amphora. "shnet staïm" (year two)
R: Vine leaf. "Harot Tsion" (Freedom of Zion)
67-68 BC
Hendin 661
frederic
Fow7y3Ci4JqWc8mB2NgXGd99BT5k6z.jpg
JEWISH WAR - FIRST REVOLT AE PRUTAH, YEAR TWO8 viewsHendin 1360, Very Fine, 17.4mm, 2.61 grams, Struck year two 67/68 C.E.
Obverse: Rimmed amphora with paleo-hebrew inscription YEAR TWO
Reverse: Vine leaf on small branch with tendril, inscription FREEDOM OF ZION
Antonivs Protti
Jewish_War_1_Year_2.JPG
Jewish War 1 Year 223 viewsFirst Jewish Revolt Year Two prutah
FIRST REVOLT YEAR TWO PRUTAH, Hendin 661
Hendin 661, Nice Very Fine+ with a beautiful patina, 16.9mm, 2.77 grams. Minted in the second year of the the Jewish Revolt against Rome
67/68 C.E. A wonderfully centered sharp coin. Excellent for type.
1 commentsRomanorvm
H-661_01.jpg
Jewish War Year 216 viewsOBV: Amphora with broad rim, two handles.
Inscription: (Year Two)
REV: Vine Leaf on small branch,
surrounded by Hebrew (the Freedom of Zion)
Hendin 661 67/ 68 A.D.
2.21gm 16.5mm
2 commentsgoldenancients
H-661_02.jpg
Jewish War Year 216 viewsOBV: Amphora with broad rim, two handles.
Inscription: (Year Two)
REV: Vine Leaf on small branch,
surrounded by Hebrew (the Freedom of Zion)
Hendin 661 67/ 68 A.D.
2.6gm 18mm
1 commentsgoldenancients
Jewish_War_Prutah.jpg
Jewish War Year 226 viewsAE Prutah
OBV: Amphora with broad rim, two handles.
Inscription: (Year Two)
REV: Vine Leaf on small branch,
surrounded by Hebrew (the Freedom of Zion)
Hendin 661 67/ 68 A.D.
1 commentsDanny Jones
BarbPrutahWeb.jpg
Jewish War Year 2 irregular bronze prutah38 viewsJewish War, 66-70 AD, irregular bronze prutah, 16.1 mm, 2.92 gm. Dated "year 2", struck 67/68 AD.
O: Amphora crude style and legend.
R: Vine leaf on tendril, crude style and legend.
Unique obverse die, Hendin-1360b, MCP 048 with R67

A scarcer irregular issue bronze coins of the Jewish War. Some believe that these were struck at a second mint, moving with the army. Recent data suggests that these were made at secondary quasi-official mints and accepted in circulation as regular coins.

"The most amazing thing is the high number of irregular dies (56 obverse & 74 reverse dies!) vs. the extreme rarity of irregular dies for the prutah of the 3rd year. Something important happened in the production of these prutot between the 2nd and the 3rd years of the revolt. Has an illegal workshop been closed after year 2? Or was there apprentice engravers employed at the regular mint on year 2 who were no longer employed on year 3?" - JPFontanille
Nemonater
year_4web.jpg
Jewish War, 66-70 AD, bronze 1/8 shekel 83 viewsBronze eighth denomination, 19 mm, 5.08 g, 69 - 70 A.D.
O: "To the redemption of Zion" in Hebrew, Omer cup with a pearled rim;
R: "Year four" in Hebrew, Lulav (myrtle, palm and willow branches tied together) flanked by an etrog (citron - small lemon like fruit) on both sides - Hendin 1369

During the fourth year of the Jewish War, the Romans had besieged the Jews in Jerusalem. There was a shortage of materials, and so, for the first time fractions of the shekel were minted in bronze. These are among the earliest examples of "siege money." Intended to pass as the equivalent in silver, they would have been redeemed for their face value at the end of a successful rebellion.

These siege pieces recall a time of despair and desperation in Jerusalem. Surrounded by Roman Legions under General Titus, intense starvation ravaged the city. Inhabitants were reduced to eating pieces of leather, belts and shoes. Josephus says that mothers even roasted and ate their own children. Simply having the appearance of good health implied a person was hiding food and would be reason enough to be murdered.
3 commentsNemonater
P1er18.bmp
Jewish War. (66-70 CE).141 viewsBronze eighth, year 4 (69/70 CE). Hebrew inscription To the Redemption of Zion, chalice with pearled rim / Hebrew inscription Year Four, lulav flanked by two etrogim. AJC II, p. 262, 30. Hendin 670. 2 commentsMaritima
HyrcanusIAntiochusVII.jpg
John Hyrcanus with Antiochus VII37 viewsPrutah, Jerusalem mint, 132/131 BCE. 16mm, 2.71g. O: The Seleucid anchor. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ (of King Antiochus, Benefactor), Seleucid anchor upside down, date below, ΑΠΡ (year 181). R: Lily of Jerusalem.

This coin is significant in that the anchor makes its debut as a Jewish image.
1 commentsNemonater
Gerasa.JPG
Jordan, Jerash (Ancient Gerasa), The Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus3 viewsThe Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, the Oval Forum in Jerash, and the Cardo Maximus, with modern Jerash in the background.

Ancient Greek inscriptions from the city support that the city was founded by Alexander the Great and his general Perdiccas, who allegedly settled aged Macedonian soldiers there during the spring of 331 BC, when he left Egypt and crossed Syria en route to Mesopotamia. However, other sources, namely the city's former name of "Antioch on the Chrysorrhoas, point to a founding by Seleucid King Antioch IV, while still others attribute the founding to Ptolemy II of Egypt.

After the Roman conquest in 63 BC, Jerash and the land surrounding it were annexed to the Roman province of Syria, and later joined the Decapolis league of cities. The historian Josephus mentions the city as being principally inhabited by Syrians, and also having a small Jewish community.[19] In AD 106, Jerash was absorbed into the Roman province of Arabia, which included the city of Philadelphia (modern day Amman). The Romans ensured security and peace in this area, which enabled its people to devote their efforts and time to economic development and encouraged civic building activity.[20]

Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. And is sometimes misleadingly referred to as the "Pompeii of the Middle East" or of Asia, referring to its size, extent of excavation and level of preservation.

Jerash was the birthplace of the mathematician Nicomachus of Gerasa (Greek: Νικόμαχος) (c. 60 – c. 120 AD).

In the second half of the 1st century AD, the city of Jerash achieved great prosperity. In AD 106, the Emperor Trajan constructed roads throughout the province, and more trade came to Jerash. The Emperor Hadrian visited Jerash in AD 129–130. The triumphal arch (or Arch of Hadrian) was built to celebrate his visit.

The city finally reached a size of about 800,000 square meters within its walls. The Persian invasion in AD 614 caused the rapid decline of Jerash. Beneath the foundations of a Byzantine church that was built in Jerash in AD 530 there was discovered a mosaic floor with ancient Greek and Hebrew-Aramaic inscriptions. The presence of the Hebrew-Aramaic script has led scholars to think that the place was formerly a synagogue, before being converted into a church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerash

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Place_ovale_de_Gerasa_new.JPG
Azurfrog, 2 November 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Joe Sermarini
capta titus.jpg
JUDAEA CAPTA158 viewsTitus, 79-81 A.D., Judaea Capta, Struck at Caesarea Maritima, Hendin-745
TitusJudea Capta, Caesarea Maritima.
O: Laureate bust Titus to right. AYTOKP. TIT. OΣΚΑΙΣΑΡ
R: Jewish captive, hands bound behind him, kneels left beneath trophy
IOYΔΑΙΑCΕΑΛ WΚΥΙΑC
Hendin-745.
amibosam
IMG_4409.JPG
Judaea Capta, Domitian, AE18mm, Caesarea Mint33 viewsJudaea Capta, Domitian, AE18mm Caesarea mint
Laureate head right.
Victory standing left, holding wreath and trophy made up of capturedJewish arms.
Hendin 750; AJC II 8.
1 commentsMaritima
judaea_alex_jannaeus_Hendin467.jpg
Judaea, Alexander Jannaeus, TJC N1131 viewsAlexander Jannaeus (Yehonatan), AD 103-76 BC
AE - Prutah, 15.06mm, 2.10g, 0°
Jerusalem, 95-76 BC
obv. Lily, on both sides Paleo-Hebrew legend:
ךלמה - ןתנוהי
= YHWNTN - H MLK
= Yehonatan Ha Malik
= Yehonatan the king
rev. [BASILEWS] ALEZADROV(sic!) (in Greek) around anchor
= King Alexander
ref. GBC5 1148; GBC4 467; AJC Aa3; TJC N1
VF, black-green patina, N of ALEZANDROV is missing

The lily was the symbol for the temple and the Jewish civilisation, but for a more spiritual idea referring to the redemption of Israel too: "I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily (Hosea 14:6) (Meshorer)
Jochen
Comb27022017014835.jpg
Judaea, First Jewish War. 66-70 C.E. Æ prutah, Year 2 (67/8 C.E.).59 viewsamphora / 'The freedom of Zion', vine leaf on branch with tendril. Dark brown patina. Very fine.
References: TJC 197; Hendin 1360.
17mm, 3.5 grams, Very fine example.
3 commentsCanaan
20170504_093842.jpg
Judaea, First Jewish War. 66-70 C.E. Æ prutah, Year 2 (67/8 C.E.).30 viewsamphora / 'The freedom of Zion', vine leaf on branch with tendril. Dark brown patina. Very fine.
References: TJC 197; Hendin 1360.
17mm, 3.3 grams
1 commentsCanaan
Year2Shekel.jpg
Judaea, First Revolt Shekel, Year 2127 viewsJudaea, First Jewish War AR Shekel. Dated year 2 (AD 67/8)
O: Hebrew script read from right to left SKL ISRAL “Shekel of Israel”, the date Shin Bet, "Year Two" of the revolution, above Omer cup with beaded rim
R: Hebrew script YRUSLIM H KDOSA “Jerusalem the Holy” around sprig of three pomegranates.

This coin was minted during times of great upheaval in Judaea as well as the rest of the Roman empire.

As Jewish factions were fighting for control in Jerusalem, General Vespasian's armies invaded Galilee in 67 CE with 60,000 men as they began the effort to quell the rebellion started a year earlier. Vespasian captured the commander of Galilee, Josephus ben Matthias, in the little mountain town of Jotapata, which fell after a fierce siege of 47 days. It was the second bloodiest battle of the revolt, surpassed only by the sacking of Jerusalem, and the longest except for Jerusalem and Masada.

Driven from Galilee, Zealot rebels and thousands of refugees arrived in Judea, causing even greater political turmoil in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, back in Rome in 68 CE, Nero commits suicide, plunging the Empire into a civil war. Galba, Otho and Vitellius would assume the purple till Vespasian, leaving the battle in Judaea to Titus, brought the matter to a conclusion in 69.
6 commentsNemonater
image_9.jpg
Judaea, Galilaea, Sepphoris; Trajan9 viewsTrajan; Sepphoris, GALILAEA

This is one of a series of coins struck at Sepphoris under Trajan,
during which time the city apparently had a governing council that
was completely Jewish in composition.

Trajan, 98-117 AD, bronze Struck at the mint
of Sepphoris in Galilee.
Obverse: Laureate bust right.
Reverse: Two ears of grain.
Reference: Hendin-909, Rosenberger 6.
ecoli
Judaea-first-revolt.jpg
Judaea, Jewish First Revolt (67-68 AD) AE Prutah, Year 240 viewsAncient Greek, Judaea, Jewish First Revolt (67-68 AD) AE Prutah, Year 2

Obverse: SNT-STYM, Year Two in ancient Hebrew script, amphora with fluted body, broad rim and two handles.

Reverse: HRT-SYWN, Freedom of Zion in ancient Hebrew, vine leaf on a small branch.

Reference: Hendin 1360, AJC II P.260 11a

Ex: Kayser-i Rum Numismatics +photo

Viewable with Segoe UI Historic

Obverse Legend:

𐤔𐤍𐤕𐤔𐤕𐤉𐤌 ← SNT-STYM "Year Two"

Reverse Legend:

𐤇‬𐤓𐤕𐤔𐤉𐤅𐤍 ← HRT-SYWN "Freedom of Zion"
Gil-galad
98~0.jpg
JUDAEA, Jewish War First Revolt38 viewsAE eighth-sheqel, 19.50mm (4.63 gm).

Inscription around (year four), lulav bunch flanked by an etrog on either side / Inscription around (to the redemption of Zion), chalice with pearled rim.

Hendin, 1369.
socalcoins
Prutah1.jpg
JUDAEA, Jewish War First Revolt53 viewsAE prutah, 18.69mm (2.91 gm).

Amphora with broad rim and two handles, legend around (year 2) / Vine leaf on small branch, legend around ("the freedom of Zion"). Struck AD 67-68.

Hendin, 661; Meshorer, 197.
1 commentssocalcoins
judaea_matttathias_antigon_Hendin481.jpg
Judaea, Mattathias Antigonus, TJC 3646 viewsMatthathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40-37 BC
AE 24 (big bronze), 13.25g, 24.13mm
obv. Double cornucopiae with fruits and Palaeo-Hebrew legend:
[ימ / רהיוד / וחב / הגד / ן]הכה / תתיה[מ]
from r. to l.:
= [M]TTYH / H KH[N / H GDL / W (Ch)B / R H YWD / YM]
= Matitiah Ha Kohen H Gadol We Chaver Ha Yehudim
= Matitiah the Highpriest and the Council of the Jewish
rev. Ivy wreath with legend around in Greek:
[BAC]ILEO ANTIG[ONOV] (N of ANTIG retrograd)
ref. Hendin IV, 481; AJC type U; TJC 36
VF, dark green patina
Jochen
He62m3GoSz8AtPJ29c9DgBE7Z5Mm4y.jpg
Judaea, The Herodians. Herod Archelaus, 4 BC-6 AD. AE Prutah13 viewsBronze prutah of Herod Archelaus, mint of Jerusalem. Obv.: Vine branch with bunch of grapes and small leaf. Above it, a Greek inscription HPWΔOY (of Herod). Rev.: Crested helmet with two cheek pieces. Below it, a small caduceus and inscription EΘNAPXO (of the Ethnarch). The letter Y (of EΘNAPXOY) is missing.

4 B.C.E. – 6 C.E. 2.12 grams, 17 mm, axis 12. Cf. Ya'akov Meshorer, A Treasury of Jewish Coins (New York 2001), pl. 48, no. 73a : Hendin 1196
Antonivs Protti
first_jewish_war_res.jpg
JUDAEA--FIRST JEWISH WAR20 viewsFirst Jewish War. 66-70 AD
(Dated year 2 = 67/68 AD)
AE Prutah 15.5 mm; 2.04 g
O: Amphora with broad rim and two handles
R: Grape leaf on vine
Judaea; cf Meshorer 196a; Hendin 1360
laney
JUD_First_Jewish_War_Hendin_661.JPG
Judaea. Jewish War Against Rome 13 viewsHendin 661, Meshorer TJC 196, Meshorer AJC II, 260, 12.

AE Prutah, year 2 (67/68 A.D.) 16-17 mm.

Obv: Amphora with broad rim and two handles; around שנח שתים(year two)

Rev: Vine leaf on small branch; around חרות ציון (the freedom of Zion).
Stkp
JUD_First_Jewish_War_Year_3_Hendin_664.JPG
Judaea. Jewish War Against Rome 7 viewsHendin 664, Meshorer TJC 204, Meshorer AJC II, 261, 20.

AE Prutah, year 3 (68/69 A.D.) 15-18 mm.

Obv: Amphora with broad rim, two handles, and lid decorated with tiny globes hanging around edge; around שנח שלוש(year three)

Rev: Vine leaf on small branch; around חרות ציון (the freedom of Zion).
Stkp
coins21.JPG
Judaea; Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), Hardian50 viewsAelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) in Judaea.

In 130, Hadrian visited the ruins of Jerusalem, in Judaea, left after the First Roman-Jewish War of 66–73. He rebuilt the city, renaming it Aelia Capitolina after himself and Jupiter Capitolinus, the chief Roman deity. A new temple dedicated to the worship of Jupiter was built on the ruins of the old Jewish Second Temple, which had been destroyed in 70. In addition, Hadrian abolished circumcision, which was considered by Romans and Greeks as a form of bodily mutilation and hence "barbaric". These anti-Jewish policies of Hadrian triggered in Judaea a massive Jewish uprising, led by Simon bar Kokhba and Akiba ben Joseph. Following the outbreak of the revolt, Hadrian called his general Sextus Julius Severus from Britain, and troops were brought from as far as the Danube. Roman losses were very heavy, and it is believed that an entire legion, the XXII Deiotariana was destroyed. Indeed, Roman losses were so heavy that Hadrian's report to the Roman Senate omitted the customary salutation "I and the legions are well". However, Hadrian's army eventually put down the rebellion in 135, after three years of fighting. According to Cassius Dio, during the war 580,000 Jews were killed, 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed. The final battle took place in Beitar, a fortified city 10 km. southwest of Jerusalem. The city only fell after a lengthy siege, and Hadrian did not allow the Jews to bury their dead. According to the Babylonian Talmud, after the war Hadrian continued the persecution of Jews. He attempted to root out Judaism, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions, prohibited the Torah law, the Hebrew calendar and executed Judaic scholars (see Ten Martyrs). The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. In an attempt to erase the memory of Judaea, he renamed the province Syria Palaestina (after the Philistines), and Jews were forbidden from entering its rededicated capital. When Jewish sources mention Hadrian it is always with the epitaph "may his bones be crushed" (שחיק עצמות), an expression never used even with respect to Vespasian or Titus who destroyed the Second Temple.

JUDAEA, Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem). Hadrian. 117-138 CE. Æ 22mm (11.03 gm, 11h). Struck 136 CE. IMP CAES TRAIANO HADRIANO AVG P P, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust / COL AEL KAPIT, COND in exergue, Hadrian, as priest-founder, plowing with team of oxen right; vexillum behind. Meshorer, Aelia 2; Hendin 810; SNG ANS -.
ecoli
First_Jewish_Revolt_AE_prutah,_68-69_AD.jpg
Judea - First Jewish Revolt AE prutah, 68-69 AD35 viewsFirst Jewish Revolt
AE Prutah
Jerusalem, 68/69AD
SH'NAT SH'LOSH
Year Three-Amphora with broad rim and two handles and lid decorated with tiny globes hanging around edge
CHAROT TZION
Vine leaf with twig on tendril
Hendin 664
1 commentsArdatirion
HEN664.jpg
JUDEA - JEWISH REVOLT24 viewsAE Prutah. Hendin 664. 68-69 A.D. Year 3. dpaul7
HEN661.jpg
JUDEA - JEWISH REVOLT24 viewsAE Prutah. Hendin 661. 67-68 A.D. (Year 2).dpaul7
first_jewish_revolt_res.jpg
JUDEAN--FIRST JEWISH REVOLT9 views66 - 70 AD
AE Prutah 16.43 mm max., 2.26 g
O: Amphora with broad rim and two handles, "year 2" (in Hebrew) around
R: Vine leaf on small branch, "the freedom of Zion" (in Hebrew) around
Jerusalem mint; year 2, Hendin 1360
(ex Forum)
laney
Khusru I.jpg
Khusru I41 viewsObverse: Head of Khusru I right with an inscription naming him around
Reverse: Fire altar flanked by two attendants with the mint mark to the right and the date mark to the left
Mint : RD
Date : AD 552 Year 22
Grade : gVF
Weight : 4.09g
Denom: Drachm
Metal : Silver
Acquired: 28/09/04

Comments: Size, 28.5 x 30.0. During the 6th century, the Christian King of Axum Kaleb with ships supplied by the Byzantine Emperor Justin I crossed the red sea with an army to come to the aid of Christians reportably being massacred by the Jewish ruler of Himyar (Yemen) Dhu Nuwas. Defeating the Himyar, Kaleb annexed Yemen and returned to Axum leaving Abraha as a Viceroy. In the "Year of the Elephant", 570 AD, Abraha invaded Mecca, but pestilence wiped out his army. Still, by 575 he was enough of a threat that Mecca had to ask Persia for assistance, at which point Khusru I invaded and eventually annexed Yemen.
Bolayi
JCT_Long_Beach_Jewish_Educational_Center.jpg
Long Beach Jewish Educational Center 47 viewsAE token, 32 mm.

Obv: LONG BEACH JEWISH EDUCATIONAL CENTER / HELP US BUILD, around edge, OUR FOUNDATION, below, building in center.

Rev.: CONTRIBUTION / • / HE THAT / GIVETH / KNOWETH NO WANT / CHARITY / LUCK PIECE/ • / DOLLAR OR MORE

Ref.: None known.
Stkp
JCT_Lord_Melchett_Lodge.JPG
Lord Melchett Lodge No. 1153 of B’nai B’rith (St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada)82 viewsAE token, 32.5 mm., undated.

Obv: LORD MELCHETT LODGE No. 1153 and B’NAI B’RITH, within border around rim, candelabra in center with ribbon below, BENEVELENCE, BROTHERLY LOVE and HARMONY in left, right and middle sections of the ribbon, respectively.

Rev: A LUCKY TOKEN and ST. CATHERINES within border around rim, separated by Jewish stars, I HAVE CONTRIBUTED / 25¢ / FOR / CHARITY, in five rows in center.

Ref: none known.

Note: Founded in 1932, the lodge was named after Alfred Moritz Mond (1868-1930), the first Baron Melchett, who first visited Palestine in 1921 with Chaim Weizmann and subsequently became an enthusiastic Zionist, contributing money to the Jewish Colonization Corporation for Palestine and other Zionist causes, writing for Zionist publications, and becoming President of the British Zionist Foundation. The lodge tried to uphold the ideals of “brotherhood,” “benevolence” and “brotherly love and harmony” (and those ideals feature prominently in the obverse design of the token).
Stkp
209.jpg
LVIF and laureate (?) head right158 viewsSYRIA: SELEUCIS & PIERIA. Antiochia ad Orontem. Nero or Domitian. Æ 22. A.D. 65/66 (year 114; if Nero) or A.D. Obv: Illegible legends, laureated head left; 2 countermarks: (1) on head, (2) behind neck. Rev: SC within laurel-wreath of eight leaves. Ref: RPC 4298 (if Nero) or 2024 (if Domitian). Axis: 30°. Weight: 6.35 g. CM(1): LVIF in rectangular punch, 7 x 3 mm. Howgego 726 (12 pcs). Note: Countermark of the 6th Legion Ferrata. Applied only to the samaller denomination, primarily of the SC series. Likely applied at the same time as countermark (2), possibly in Palestine after the transfer of the Legion to Caparcotna in Judaea, where it is known to have been stationed after the Jewish revolt of 132-135 (and possibly even from around 123). CM(2): Laureate (?) head right, in square punch, 4 mm. Howgego 134 (11 pcs). Note: Also countermark of the 6th Legion Ferrata. Likely applied at the same time as countermark (1). Collection Automan.Automan
LEG_VI.jpg
Mark Antony Legionary Denarius LEG VI 100 viewsANT AVG III VIR R P C
galley r. mast with banners at prow

Rev LEG VI legionary eagle between two standards

Patrae mint 32-31BC

The photo appears to show this as LEG VII but in hand you can see that the second I is a scratch
Background History on the VI Legion

Raised in Cisalpine Gaul in 58 BC by Julius Caesar, the Sixth Legion served with him during his tenure as governor and was withdrawn to Spain in 49 BC where it earned the title “Hispaniensis”.

Later seeing action at Pharsalus in 48 BC, Julius Caesar took the 6th to Alexandria to settle the dispute in Egypt with Cleopatra. Alexandria was laid to siege and the 6th was almost wiped out losing almost two thirds of its entire manpower. Julius Caesar eventually triumphed when reinforcements arrived.

Julius Caesar took his “Veteran Sixth Legion” with him to Syria and Pontus. The Legion then served in Pontus under Caesar in 48 BC and 47 BC. This culminated in the battle of Zela where victory was won by Legio VI.

During Caesar’s African war against Scipio, the Sixth Legion deserted en masse from Scipio to reinforce Caesar and fought under him.

The legion was disbanded in 45 BC after Munda establishing a colony at Arelate (Arles), but was re-formed by Lepidus the following year (44 BC) and given over to Marcus Antonius the year after that. Following the defeat of the republican generals Cassius and Brutus in successive battles at Philippi in 42 BC and the subsequent division of control between Antony and Octavian, a colony was again formed from retired veterans at Beneventum in 41 BC (this is the colony which it is believed became Legio VI Victrix) and the remainder of Legio VI Ferrata was taken by Antony to the East where it garrisoned Judea.

Legio VI fought in the Parthian War in 36 BC.

Another Legio VI Victrix evidently saw action at Perusia in 41 BC, which presents us with a problem because the official Legio VI Ferrata was at that moment with Anthony in the East. This is explained in Lawrence Keppie's excellent book The Making of the Roman Army - from Republic to Empire (pp.134); “Octavian did not hesitate to duplicate legionary numerals already in use by Antony. The latter had serving with him legio V Alaudae, legio VI Ferrata and legio X Equestris. Soon we find Octavian's army boasting of a legio V (the later Macedonica), legio VI (the later Victrix) and legio X (soon to be Fretensis). Of these, legio V and legio X, and less certainly legio VI, bore under the empire a bull-emblem which would normally indicate a foundation by Caesar; but the true Caesarian legions with these numerals (Alaudae, Ferrata and Equestris) were with Antony.”

It would seem, therefore, that Octavian had again used the veterans of Caesars Sixth Legion, this time from those left at Beneventum, to form the core of his own Sixth Legion used at Perusia.

Both Legio VI’s (Ferrata and Victrix) fought at the Battle of Actium, after this event the legio VI Ferrata was dispatched back to Judea and the next time we hear of the legio VI Victrix was in Spain.

Legio VI Ferrata was severely mauled at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC by the forces loyal to Caesar's nephew and heir, Octavian. Following the Battle of Actium, another colony of veterans seems to have been created at Byllis, probably together with soldiers from other legions, and the remainder of VI Ferrata was moved to Syria/Judea where it was to remain.

From 9 BC to 73 AD the VI Ferrata was garrisoned the area of Judea. It was in this time frame that Jesus Christ was tried before Pontius Pilatus, the Roman Governor of Judea.

From 54 AD to 68 AD the Legion served under Corbulo at Artaxata and Tigranocerta against the Parthians. In 69 AD the Legion returned to Judea and fought in the Jewish Civil War. As the Jewish Civil War wound down, the sixth was placed under Mucianis and fought against Vitellius. Legion VI was largely responsible for Mucianis victory over the forces of Vitellius during the brief Roman Civil War .
Titus Pullo
Mattatayah_Prutah.JPG
Mattatayah Prutah17 views40-37 BC, Prutah, Last Jewish King, , , 1.67g. Hendin-483. Obv: Double cornucopia, ear of barley between. Rx: Hebrew legend (Mattatayah) within wreath. . Very Fine, good metal
Judaea
EX Harlan J Berk

Mattatayah info?
http://www.jjraymond.com/religion/marymotherofjesus2.html
Romanorvm
Mattathias Antigonus H483.jpg
Mattathias Antigonus prutah, H 483, TJC 40107 viewsPrutah, 12x14mm, 1.31g.

Obverse: MTT/YH in two lines, in retrograde Hebrew

Reverse: Double cornucopia with an ear of grain between.

Hendin 483

Treasury of Jewish Coins 40.

There are two interesting things about these coins. Firstly, the flans were cast in double-sided moulds, giving a rather odd appearance. Secondly, the Hebrew inscription is retrograde. Meshorer says that signatures were sometimes reversed in the ancient world, and thus the inscription may have this character.
2 commentsRobert_Brenchley
coin301.JPG
Maximinus II IOVI CONSERVATORI Thessalonica149 viewsThessalonica

Thessalonica was located at the intersection of two major Roman roads, one leading from Italy eastward (Ignatia Way) and the other from the Danube to the Aegean. Thessalonica’s location and use as a port made it a prominent city. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the second district of Macedonia and later it was made the capital and major port of the whole Roman province of Macedonia (146 B.C.). In 42 B.C., after the battle at Philippi, Thessalonica was made a free city.

Very little has been uncovered at ancient Thessalonica because Thessaloniki sits atop the remains. The area pictured above and at right was formerly a bus station; when it was moved in 1962, this 1st or 2nd century A.D. forum was revealed. Excavators found a bathhouse and mint dating to the 1st century A.D. below pavement surrounding an odeum. An inscription (30 B.C. to 143 A.D.) from the Vardar gate bears the word politarches, the word Luke used in reference to the officials of the city before whom Jason was brought by the mob (Acts 17:6). The word does not appear in any other Greek literature but does match the archaeology of the site.

Paul (with Silas and Timothy) came to Thessalonica from Philippi on his second missionary journey, stopping in Amphipolis and Apollonia before arriving here (Acts 17). He preached in the city’s synagogue, the chief synagogue of the region, for at least three weeks. His ministry was strong, and he established a Jewish-Gentile church, although it was more heavily Gentile (1 Thes. 1:9). When Paul faced great persecution at the hands of the mob, he fled to Berea, but Thessalonians eventually forced him to leave there also (Acts 17:13-14).

IMP C MAXIMINVS PF AVG
IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN
dot TS dot B dot
RIC VI Thessalonica 61a

ecoli
JCT_Minnie_Tulipan.JPG
Minnie Tulipan Society Inc. (probably Brooklyn, New York)66 viewsAE token, 28.5 mm. (undated)

Obv: GOOD LUCK along rim above Jewish star, חי (Chai = life and/or luck) below star to the left and to the right, MINNIE TULIPAN and SOCIETY INC. above and below two faces in profile within star.

Rev: HELP BUILD/A/JEWISH HOME/NON-SECTARIAN/FOR/SENILE AGED.

Ref: None known.

Note: Incorporated in New York State in 1928 and still an active not-for-profit corporation, I have not been able to find any information about this organization.
Stkp
JCT_National_Association_for_the_Jewish_Blind.JPG
National Association for the Jewish Blind76 viewsAE token, 31.5 mm., undated.

Obv: ••••• NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ••••• and FOR THE JEWISH BLIND in border along rim, man and woman walking with a cane in center.

Rev: HAPPINESS / YOU / WILL FIND in three rows above heart and WHEN YOU HELP THE BLIND below heart along rim.

Ref: None known.

Note: No information is known about this organization.
Stkp
JCT_National_Association_for_the_Jewish_Blind_2.JPG
National Association for the Jewish Blind190 viewsAE token, 31.5 mm., undated?

Obv: ••• NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ••• and FOR THE JEWISH BLIND N.Y.C. 58 in border along rim, Light, above crowd of people reaching upward toward rays of light, in center.

Rev: THIS / MEDALLION / IS AWARDED / IN APPRECIATION / FOR YOUR AID / IN THE CAUSE /OF THE BLIND in SEVEN rows, laurel leaves along rim.

Ref: None known.

Note: No information is known about this organization.
Stkp
National_Jewish_Hospital_at_Denver.jpg
National Jewish Hospital at Denver (Denver, Colorado)13 viewsAE 23.90 mm., 180°

Obv: NATIONAL JEWISH HOSPITAL / • AT DENVER •, surrounding NJH in circle at top with rays emanating, caduceus below, GOLDEN / ANNIVERSARY through caduceus.

Rev: NONE MAY ENTER WHO CAN PAY / • NONE CAN PAY WHO ENTER •, surrounding 50 YEARS / OF / HEALTH & HOPE / 1899-1949 / star below.

Frances Wisebart Jacobs (k nown as "Mother of Charities") and a young rabbi, William Sterne Friedman, raised the money to buy some land and erect a building for a tuberculosis hospital in Denver. Construction was completed in 1893, but due to the combination of the "Silver Crisis of 1893" and a national depression, the hospital sat vacant for six years until Friedman persuaded B'nai B'rith to provide the operating funds on an annual basis. B'nai B'rith continued to do until the early 1950s. The hospital opened on December 10, 1899 as the National Jewish Hospital for Treatment of Consumptives. From its inception, the hospital was non-sectarian. To reflect its openness to the impoverished of every background, it adopted the motto, "none may enter who can pay --none can pay who enter," which appears on the reverse of this token. Until 1968, the hospital only accepted patients without health insurance and all care was free. Today, National Jewish Health is an academic medical research facility specializing in respiratory, cardiac, immune and allergic disorders.
Stkp
CGallus.jpg
Nero / Caius Cestius Gallus61 viewsSELEUCIS and PIERIA, Antioch. Nero. AD 54-68. Æ As (30.5mm, 15.36 g, 12h).
Caius Cestius Gallus, legatus Syriae. Dated year 115 of the Caesarean Era (AD 66/7).
O: Laureate head right; coiled serpent to right. IM • NER • CLAV • CAESAR
R: ЄΠI ΓAIOY KЄCTIO Y ΛNTIO ЄT • ЄIP in five lines within wreath (In the magistracy of Gaius Cestius, Antioch, year 115)
- McAlee 294 = Superior, (9 December 1989), lot 2827 (same dies); RPC I – Extremely rare, the second known.

Josephus lays much of the blame for the Jewish revolt at the feet of Florus, the Roman procurator of Judaea. Florus was notorious for his cruelty and greed. In 66 C.E. he demanded 17 talents from the temple treasury, using the pretense that it was needed by the Emperor. The Jews refused, ridiculing his request by taking up a mock collection for the “poor Florus.”

Florus responded by sending troops to loot and pillage the Upper-Marketplace in Jerusalem. Thousands of Jews were killed, including woman and children. Rather than bringing the city under control, Josephus reasons, “What more need be said? It was Florus who constrained us to take up war with the Romans, for we preferred to perish together rather than by degrees. The war in fact began in the second year of the procuratorship of Florus and in the twelfth of Nero's reign.”

The Sicarii, or “dagger-men,” took the fortress of Masada and killed the Roman garrison stationed there, establishing the first rebel stronghold. The fortress of Antonia was also captured and the Roman soldiers stationed there were slain. The remaining Roman holdouts surrendered under the agreement that their lives would be spared but they too were slaughtered. At the same time, the daily sacrifices for the Emperor were discontinued. A mixture of elation and fear gripped Jerusalem as they awaited the inevitable Roman response.

Gaius Cestius Gallus, Legate of Syria in 66 C.E., was the response. On Nero’s order, he assembled a force at Antioch comprised of legio XII Fulminata, detachments from the three other legions based in Syria, six cohorts of auxiliary infantry and four alae of cavalry. He also had military support from the Jewish ruler Herod Agrippa II and two other client kings, Antiochus IV of Commagene and Sohaemus of Emesa.

Within three months Gallus, with his force of over 30,000 troops, began working their way down from Galilee to Jerusalem, attacking key cities such as Chabulon, Joppa and Antipatris. Although enduring successful raids from the rebels, the Romans finally enter and set fire to the suburbs of Jerusalem as the rebels retreated to the safety of the temple fortress.

After setting fire to Bezetha, north of the temple, Gallus encamped in front of the royal palace, southwest of the temple. At that time, Josephus says he could have easily taken the city since pro-Roman Jews were ready to open the gates of the city for him. A six day delay, however, strengthened the insurgents. The zealots attacked and killed the pro-peace faction in the city, murdering their leaders, then assaulted the Romans from the wall. The advance units of the Romans employ the Testudo, overlapping their shields over themselves like the back of a tortoise, and began undermining the walls. After five days they are on the verge of success when, for an undetermined cause, Gallus called off the attack. In History of the Jews, Professor Heinrich Graetz suggests: “[Cestius Gallus] did not deem it advisable to continue the combat against heroic enthusiasts and embark on a lengthy campaign at that season, when the autumn rains would soon commence . . . and might prevent the army from receiving provisions. On that account probably he thought it more prudent to retrace his steps.” Whatever the reason, Gallus decided to abruptly leave Jerusalem.

Gallus, with evidently little battlefield experience, suffered one humiliating defeat after another during the retreat. By the battles end the losses amounted to 5,300 infantry, 480 cavalry, all the pack animals, artillery and the eagle standard of the legio XII Fulminata. With the rebels emboldened by their shocking victory, the stage is set for the Romans to return in greater force. This time, however, Nero would send general Vespasian.

Cestius Gallus died a broken man in 67 C.E. Tacitus described the outbreak of the revolt to Gallus death as follows: “the endurance of the Jews lasted till Gessius Florus was procurator. In his time the war broke out. Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria, who attempted to crush it, had to fight several battles, generally with ill-success. Cestius dying, either in the course of nature, or from vexation.” - The Histories V
4 commentsNemonater
JCT_Norwood_Jewish_Orphanage.JPG
Norwood Jewish Orphanage (London Borough of Lambeth, England, U.K.)85 viewsAE token, 28 mm., undated.

Obv: THE JEWISH ORPHANAGE and NORWOOD. along rim, Jewish star in center, מזל (luck) within star.

Rev: THE JEWISH ORPHANAGE and NORWOOD. along rim, horseshoe in center opening to the right, GOOD LUCK TO YOU/WHEREVER YOU ARE./AT HOME, ABROAD./OR ON THE SEA., within horseshoe.

Ref: None known. But see generally, “The Jewish Orphanage at Norwood,” The Shekel, XXXVII No. 2 (March to April 2004), pp. 32-33.

Note: In 1795 financiers Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid invited subscriptions for the foundation of a Jew’s Hospital, which opened at Miles End in 1807 under the name Neveh Zedek (Abode of Righteousness). By 1860 that building had become overcrowded, and Barnett and Isabella Meyers presented the organization with eight acres of land in West Norwood in South London. A building that accommodated 220 children was erected, and in 1861 Sir Anthony Rothchild laid the foundation stone. In 1877, the Jew’s Hospital amalgamated with the Jews’ Orphan Asylum (founded in 1831 in East End) at the Norwood site under the name Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum. It obtained royal patronage in 1901. In 1928 it was renamed Norwood Jewish Orphanage, and in 1956 it again changed its name to Norwood Home for Jewish Children.
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Orphanage_at_Norwood_1953.JPG
Norwood Jewish Orphanage (London Borough of Lambeth, England, U.K.)43 viewsAE medal, 35 mm., 1953.

Obv: JEWISH / ORPHANAGE / NORWOOD / JUNE 2ND 1953, Jewish star below, PATRON below star, H • M • THE QUEEN around rim.

Rev: • CORONATION • OF • ELIZABETH II • along rim, head facing right, flower below neck.

Ref: None known. But see generally, “The Jewish Orphanage at Norwood,” The Shekel, XXXVII No. 2 (March to April 2004), pp. 32-33.

Note: In 1795 financiers Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid invited subscriptions for the foundation of a Jew’s Hospital, which opened at Miles End in 1807 under the name Neveh Zedek (Abode of Righteousness). By 1860 that building had become overcrowded, and Barnett and Isabella Meyers presented the organization with eight acres of land in West Norwood in South London. A building that accommodated 220 children was erected, and in 1861 Sir Anthony Rothchild laid the foundation stone. In 1877, the Jew’s Hospital amalgamated with the Jews’ Orphan Asylum (founded in 1831 in East End) at the Norwood site under the name Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum. It obtained royal patronage in 1901. In 1928 it was renamed Norwood Jewish Orphanage, and in 1956 it again changed its name to Norwood Home for Jewish Children.
Stkp
JCT_Jewish_Orphanage_at_Norwood_1937.JPG
Norwood Jewish Orphanage (London Borough of Lambeth, England, U.K.)54 viewsAE medal, 28 mm., 1937.

Obv: CORONATION GEORGE VI & ELIZABETH and • MAY 12TH 1937 • along rim, jugate crowned busts facing left in center.

Rev: THE JEWISH ORPHANAGE and H.M. KING GEORGE VI along rim, building in center, NORWOOD and PATRON above and below.

Ref: “The Jewish Orphanage at Norwood,” The Shekel, XXXVII No. 2 (March to April 2004), pp. 32-33.

Note: In 1795 financiers Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid invited subscriptions for the foundation of a Jew’s Hospital, which opened at Miles End in 1807 under the name Neveh Zedek (Abode of Righteousness). By 1860 that building had become overcrowded, and Barnett and Isabella Meyers presented the organization with eight acres of land in West Norwood in South London. A building that accommodated 220 children was erected, and in 1861 Sir Anthony Rothchild laid the foundation stone. In 1877, the Jew’s Hospital amalgamated with the Jews’ Orphan Asylum (founded in 1831 in East End) at the Norwood site under the name Jews’ Hospital and Orphan Asylum. It obtained royal patronage in 1901. In 1928 it was renamed Norwood Jewish Orphanage, and in 1956 it again changed its name to Norwood Home for Jewish Children.
Stkp
KneelingKing.jpg
Persian Empire, Lydia, Darius I 1/6 Siglos46 viewsPERSIA, Achaemenid Empire. temp. Darios I to Xerxes I. Circa 505-480 BC. AR Sixth Siglos (7mm, 0.84 g).

O: Persian king or hero in kneeling-running stance right, drawing bow
R: Incuse punch.

Carradice type II; Winzer 1.8 (Darios I), this denomination is otherwise unpublished in refs; cf. Klein 756 (1/4 siglos); SNG Kayhan 1027 (1/3 siglos).

"Darius I the Great ruled the Persian Empire at its peak. He is mentioned in the Biblical books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah. He continued to allow the Jewish people to return to Israel and provided money for the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem, which was completed in his sixth year. Darius invaded Greece to subjugate it and to punish Athens and Eretria for aiding the Ionian Revolt. He subjugated Thrace and forced Macedon to become a client kingdom, but his campaign ended at Marathon, where he was famously defeated by a smaller Greek army." - Forvm
Nemonater
JCT_Chaim_Berlin.JPG
Rabbi Chaim Berlin High School (Brooklyn, New York)119 viewsAE token, 31.5 mm., 10.98 gr., dated 1928

Obv: RABBI CHAIM BERLIN HIGH SCHOOL and ישובת ר״ חיים ברלין [Yeshivot Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin] along rim, EVERY/DOLLAR HELPS above building, תרפח [year 5688] and 1928 in fields to the sides, WHITEHEAD HOAG in tiny letters at 3-4 o’clock along rim.

Rev: – HELP BUILD THE FIRST JEWISH HIGH SCHOOL – and BROWNSVILLE & EAST NEW YORK along rim, $1.00 beneath building.

Ref: Kenny, So-Called Dollars 208; Friedenberg, Jewish Minters [?] 572; ANS Database 2000.1.374.

Note: Named after Rabbi Chaim Berlin (1832-1912), chief rabbi of Moscow (1865-1889), head of rabbinical court in Volozhin, Belarus (1889-1892), chief rabbi of Kobrin, Belarus (1892-1897) and Elizavetgrad, Ukraine (1897-1906), and co-chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem (1906-1912).

Note: The first yeshiva in Brooklyn, founded in 1904. The yeshivot are Lithuanian-style Haredi men’s yeshivot and now include elementary, high school, post-high school and rabbinical divisions. The high school division is now at 1571 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn.

Note: Minted by The Whitehead & Hoag Company, Newark, NJ (1880-1955).
Stkp
festus.jpg
Retrograde prutah of Festus88 viewsCoin type: Prutah
Ruler: Porcius Festus
Reference: Hendin 653
Obverse description: Greek text meaning “Nero” within wreath.
Obverse legend: NEP WNO C
Reverse description: Palm branch facing up with Greek text meaning “Caesar” and date (year 5 =58 CE) .
Reverse legend: Date LE, KAICAPOC
Year: 58 CE

This type is very crude, because caion standards during Festus was very low, possibly because coins were the last thing on people's minds during 58 CE, keeping in mind he was the last person to mint coins before the First Jewish Revolt.
Aarmale
titus_ric_12.jpg
RIC 000184 viewsTitus AR Denarius 79 AD Rome,
Judaea Capta issue.
(3.12 gram, 18 mm).
Obv: IMP T CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, Laureate head right)
Rev: TR POT VIII COS VII Captive kneeling right before trophy.
RIC 1, RSC 334a, Sear RCV (2000) 2505



Here is another interesting coin of Titus. First it is catalogued as RIC 1. This coin was probably minted in the first few weeks of Titus' rule as Augustus.
Take a look at the reverse. You will see a Jewish captive kneeling at the foot of a trophy. Titus' father Vespasian famously put a Jewish captive on the reverse of his own coinage. Since Titus was very involved with the suppression of the Jewish people in Jerusalem and the subsequent looting of the city, I suppose it makes sense that this subject would be continued on his coins.

I like this coin mostly for the reverse. However, I also think the portrait has some charm to it as well. One can clearly see his resemblance to his father.
4 commentsorfew
Vespasian~0.jpg
RIC 0002 Vespasian denarius418 viewsIMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG
Laur. head of Vespasian right

IVDAEA
Judaea as mourning captive seated right on ground at foot of trophy.

Celebrating the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the first Jewish Revolt. Portrait looks like a cross between Otho and Vitellius

Rome 69-70 AD

RIC 2 (C2); Sear 2296

3.285g

Ex-Maridvnvm; Ex-Forum!

8 commentsJay GT4
Titus_Judea.jpg
RIC 0369 Titus denarius80 viewsT CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT
Laureate head of Titus right

Titus sanding right, left foot on helmet, holding spear and parazonium, Palm tree before him at foot of which Judaea, as a mourning captive, is seated right, on ground

Rome 72 AD
3.32g

RIC II 369 (R2)

Ex-Canadian Coin

The reverse celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Also commonly known as Judea Capta denarius.

Wildwinds example
4 commentsJay GT4
Vespasian_ric_773.jpg
RIC 077383 viewsVespasian (69-79). AR Denarius (18.08 mm, 3.50 g, 6h). Rome, AD 75.
Obv: Bare head l. R IMP CEASAR VESPASIANUS AUG
Rev: Pax seated l., resting l. elbow on throne and holding branch.
PON MAX TRP COS VI
RIC II 773 (this coin); RSC –. Extremely Rare variety, near VF.
Ex Vecchi sale 13, 1998, 757.
Ex: St Paul Antiques auction 7 Lot 285 June 11, 2017




Vespasian ruled Rome for 10 years, and he was the last emperor in the year of the four emperors. His rule brought stability to the empire. He was famous for his military response to the Jewish revolt, and for the construction of the Flavian amphitheater. The looting of Jerusalem provided the funding for this building project. The colosseum was completed by his son Titus who became emperor after the death of Vespasian. The Flavian era had three emperors, Vespasian, his son Titus and his other son Domitian.

While this coin is worn, please take note of the bare head of Vespasian. There are only 2 known coin types that feature Vespasian with a bare head, all others are laureate. For one coin type there are several examples known to exist. For the coin type displayed below, this coin was, until very recently the only one to have surfaced. A second example has now been found by an expert on Flavian coinage. The reference Roman Imperial Coinage II Part 1 refers to my coin but does not have a photo of the coin. I sent a photo to the co-author of the volume, and I hope that a photo will be added when this edition is updated.
7 commentsorfew
new_titus_combined.jpg
RIC 095038 viewsTitus. AR Denarius as Caesar, AD 69-79. Rome, under Vespasian, Struck AD 77/8.
(19.04 mm, 3.25 g),
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS, laureate head of Titus right.
Rev: COS VI, prow of galley right, sides ornameted with intricate cross-hatch and maeander patterns; above, star with sixteen rays. RIC 950 (R); BN 202; BMC 226; RSC 68.
Ex: Incitatus Coins




Titus was very much involved in the suppression of the Jewish revolt in Judea. His other claim to fame was that he completed the construction of the Flavian Amphitheater after the death of his father Vespasian.

Titus had something else in common with his father. Like his father, Titus used coin types that were throwbacks to earlier times. One such example is the coin below. On the reverse you will see a ship's prow and a star overhead. This image hearkens back to the Imperatorial period on coins of Marcus Antonius and Ahenobarbus. However, it goes back even further to the republic when it was used on many bronze coins. On the issue of these coins copying earlier designs, a friend who is also an expert in Flavian coinage has this to say:

"I believe that many of these antiquarian reverse types of Vespasian and Titus were struck because the mint was recycling the finer republican and early imperial denarii. The older denarii were struck at nearly 100% silver fineness, the Flavian denarii at 80% fineness. Thus the mint was able to turn over a tidy profit."

This was not an easy coin to find. I had been looking for unusual reverse of Titus and this one popped up at an opportune time. This coin was minted when Titus was Caesar, or next in line to be emperor.
1 commentsorfew
Titus.jpg
RIC 1076 Titus denarius249 viewsT CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS
laureate head right

TR POT VIII COS VII
bound Jewish captive kneeling right in front of trophy

Rome mint, as Caesar, first half of 79 A.D
3.325g
18.5mm, 180o

Choice aVF

SRCV I 2449; RIC II (Vespasian) 1076 (C); BMCRE II 258; RSC II 334, Paris 229

Ex-Forum!

Thought to be minted to remind the Romans of Titus' spectacular victory over Jerusalem 9 years earlier.
9 commentsJay GT4
Hadrian_Sestertius_with_Galley.JPG
ROMAN EMPIRE / Hadrian Sestertius with Galley 53 viewsOrichalcum sestertius, references: BMCRE III 1409, RIC II 706, SRCV II 3596; condition: aVF, nice bust and galley, artificial patina probably covering epoxy filled pits or other damage, mint: Rome, weight: 23.649g, maximum diameter: 33.0mm, die axis: 0o, date struck: 132 - 135 A.D.; obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITATI AVG, galley rowed left over waves, five oarsmen, steersman under an arched shelter at the stern, vexillum on prow, S - C flanking ship, COS III P P in ex; additional comments: ex Morton & Eden auction 59 (13 - 14 Nov 2012), part of lot 957; ex Kenneth Edwin Day Collection.

In 132, a messianic, charismatic Jewish leader Simon bar Kokhba started the Bar Kokhba revolt, a war of liberation for Judea against Rome. At first the rebellion was a success. The legion X Fretensis was forced to retreat from Jerusalem to Caesarea. The legion XXII Deiotariana, which advanced from Egypt, was destroyed. The Jews re-established their sacrifices and struck coins to celebrate their independence. The rebellion would last for only 30 months. By 135, the Romans had recaptured Jerusalem, Simon bar Kokhba was dead, and the majority of the Jewish population of Judea was either killed, exiled, or sold into slavery. Jerusalem was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina and an altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. The Jews remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.


*With my sincere thank and appreciation , Photo and Description courtesy of FORVM Ancient Coins Staff.

EX FORVM Auction.

My additional comments : Coin in hand under sun light is a piece of Art.
2 commentsSam
Vespasian RIC 15 obv and rev.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Vespasian Judaea Capta, RIC 1566 viewsVespasian
AR Denarius
Rome Mint. 69-70 A.D.
18.2mm. 3.09g.
Die Alignment: 180 degrees
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG - Laureate bust right.
Rev: [NO LEGEND] - Captive Jewess seated right, in the attitude of mourning, trophy of captured arms behind.
Ex: IVDAEA
Ref: RIC 15. BMC 35. Sear 2296. Cohen 226. RSC 226. VM 32.
Notes: Ex Barry P. Murphy. This type celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt. Coins commemorating this event are referred to as "Judea Capta issues. - Excerpt taken from FORVM catalogue.
seraphic
Copy_(1)_of_vespasian43.jpg
Roman Empire, Vespasian, Silver Denarus RIC 4343 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, part 1, 43; RSC II 43; BMCRE II 50; BnF III 36; Hunter I 21, weight 3.3 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, Rome mint, Jul - Dec 71 CE.
Obverse: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M, laureate head right.
Reverse simpulum, sprinkler, jug and lituus, AVGVR above, TRI POT below

Roman emperor Vespasian was most famous for building the Flavian Amphitheater, also known as the Colosseum. Like many Roman emperors, Vespasian rose in prominence because of his military skills and work ethics. Following his ten year rule, he left behind a record of restored order, stability and good government. He was succeeded by his son Titus in 79 CE, who had been sent to quell the Jewish revolt of 66-70 CE.
NORMAN K
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ROMAN EMPIRE, Vespasian. AD 69-79. Æ Sestertius. “Judaea Capta” commemorative. Rome mint. Struck AD 7158 viewsVespasian. AD 69-79. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 22.5 g,). “Judaea Capta” commemorative. Rome mint. Struck AD 71. IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right / IVDAEA CAPTA, palm tree; to left, Vespasian standing right, with left foot set on helmet, holding vertical spear in right hand and cradling parazonium in left arm; to right, Jewess seated right on cuirass, propping her head on her left hand in attitude of mourning; S C in exergue.
RIC II 427; Hendin 1543 (Lyon); BMCRE 543-4; BN 498

Judaea Capta coins (also spelled Judea Capta) were a series of commemorative coins originally issued by the Roman Emperor Vespasian to celebrate the capture of Judaea and the destruction of the Jewish Second Temple by his son Titus in 70 AD during the First Jewish Revolt. There are several variants of the coinage. The reverse of the coins shows a female (representing Jerusalem?) seated right in an attitude of mourning at the base of a palm tree, with either a captive bearded male (representing Judah?) standing left, with his hands bound behind his back, or the standing figure of the victorious emperor, or the goddess Victory, with a trophy of weapons, shields, and helmets to the left.

The female figure may reflect the prophecy of Isaiah 3:8, 25-26: "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen ... Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground".

The Judaea Capta coins were struck for 25 years under Vespasian and his two sons who succeeded him as Emperor - Titus and Domitian. These commemorative coins were issued in bronze, silver and gold by mints in Rome, throughout the Roman Empire, and in Judaea itself. They were issued in every denomination, and at least 48 different types are known.

Only bronze 'Judaea Capta' coins were struck in Caesarea, in the defeated Roman province of Judea. These coins are much cruder than the Roman issues, and the inscriptions are in Greek rather than Latin. The designs feature the Goddess Nike writing on a shield, Minerva with a spear, shield, trophy and palm tree, etc. Most such coins were issued during the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD).
Adrian W
RPC1652sm.jpg
RPC-1652-Vespasian70 viewsAR Drachm, 3.03g
Caesarea, Cappadocia mint, 76-77 AD
Obv: AYTOKPA KAICAP OYЄCΠACIANOC CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: TITOC AYTOKPATWP KAICAP ЄTO Θ; Titus in military dress, stg. facing, holding spear and sword
RPC 1652 (3 spec.).
Ex Kölner 108, 7 April 2018, lot 131.

Vespasian's Cappadocian silver issues were struck in two distinct styles: Roman (six o'clock die axis) and 'local' (twelve o'clock die axis). Unsurprisingly, the Roman style coins were struck at Rome and sent to Cappadocia to help supplement the locally produced pieces. The majority of Cappadocia's silver coins were struck locally, very likely in Caesarea. Whether 'Roman' or 'local', all Cappadocian silver was produced at nearly 50% fineness. This rare drachm in 'local' style features Titus Caesar on the reverse in full military dress, perhaps a nod to his important role during the Jewish War. The type was struck for both didrachms and more sparingly for drachms. Only three specimens are cited by RPC II.

Worn, but nicely centred in fine 'local' style.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1940.jpg
RPC-1940-Vespasian100 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 13.00g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOKPAT KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: (T) ΦΛAYI OYEΣΠ KAIΣ ETOYΣ NEOY IEPOY; Laureate Head of Titus, r.; in l. field, star; in r. field, B
RPC 1940 (7 spec.).
Ex CNG E357, 12 August 2015, lot 259.

This regnal year 2 tetradrachm in "Alexandrian" style was most likely struck in Alexandria and then sent to Syria for circulation. Kevin Butcher speculates these "Alexandrian" styled tets were ordered by the southern Syrian cities from the Alexandria mint for circulation in that part of the province. It's of interest to note that these tetradrachms in which Titus' portrait is featured on the reverse may have been circulating in the region where he commanded the legions fighting the Jewish War. The star in the reverse left field may be some sort of mint control mark.

Although the flan is somewhat flatly stuck near the bottom and the surfaces a bit rough, in hand it's a really nice piece. The main attraction here is the fine portrait of Titus on the reverse.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1941_(2).jpg
RPC-1941-Vespasian67 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.19g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOKPAT KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: (T) ΦΛAYI OYEΣΠ KAIΣ ETOYΣ NEOY IEPOY; Laureate Head of Titus, r.; in r. field, B
RPC 1941 (2 spec.).
Acquired from Agora Numismatics, June 2017.

A RPC group 2 tetradrachm attributed to Antioch, but style wise very similar to Alexandria. RPC speculates the Alexandria style tetradrachms were either struck in Alexandria and then shipped to Antioch, or less likely Alexandrian mint workers were sent to Antioch and produced the coins there. Kevin Butcher speculates these Alexandria style tetradrachms were ordered by the southern Syrian cities from the Alexandria mint for circulation in that part of the province. Of note, Galilee, Samaria, and Judaea were a part of the province of Syria at the time. Interestingly, these tetradrachms in which Titus' portrait is featured on the reverse may have been circulating in the very region where he commanded the legions fighting the Jewish War. Most likely they were struck during the massive military build up before the siege of Jerusalem, providing strong evidence of the important role Titus Caesar held at the time.

This regnal year 2 type is more commonly seen with a star behind Titus' portrait on the reverse. This is the rarer variant lacking the star.

Struck in superb 'Alexandria' style. Normally these come much cruder.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1945a_.jpg
RPC-1945-Vespasian91 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 13.90g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOKPAT KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ETOYΣ B IEPOY; Eagle standing l., on club; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1945 (9 spec.).

The different series of tetradrachms minted at Antioch are divided into groups based on style and die links. This coin is part of group 3. Groups 1-3 stylistically are similar to contemporary tetradrachms struck at Alexandria. RPC speculates these groups may have had their dies engraved in Alexandria but were struck at Antioch. The style between the two mints for these groups are indeed very similar.

Historically these tetradrachms from Antioch were minted at a time when Titus was left in charge of the Jewish war by Vespasian and waged the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. The Roman legions under Titus were paid with these coins, which show up in countless hoards in Judaea.

Nice and chunky, this example has a decent 'Alexandrian' styled portrait.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1947b.jpg
RPC-1947-Vespasian74 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.40g
Antioch mint, 70-71 AD
Obv: AYTOKPAT KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ETOYΣ Γ IEPOY; Eagle standing l., on club; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1947 (7 spec.).

Many of the tetradrachms struck at Antioch, such as this example, have an 'Alexandrian' style about them. The dies to those coins with this peculiar style are thought to have been engraved in Alexandria and then struck at Antioch. Perhaps the demands of a region at war with thousands of legionaries to pay outstripped the capabilities of the Antioch mint, which could explain why some of the work was outsourced to another mint. These tetradrachms are found all throughout Israel in hoards and single finds, good evidence that they were indeed used to pay the troops during and after the Jewish war. This specimen dates to just after the siege of Jerusalem.

A hefty coin in hand with a crude but delightful portrait. Struck on a thick flan.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1950obv.jpg
RPC-1950-Vespasian83 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 11.50g
Antioch mint, 71-72 AD
Obv: AVTOKPAT KAIΣA•OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ETOYC Δ IEPOV; Eagle standing l., on club; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1950 (9 spec.).

An Antioch Group 3 tetradrachm struck in regnal year 4. Stylistically this coin displays all the hallmarks of the Alexandrian workshop. Most likely the coin was either engraved at Alexandria and then struck at Antioch, or produced in Antioch by Alexandrian engravers. Historically at the time this coin was minted the mopping up operations of the last strongholds of Jewish resistance in Judaea were being carried out by Lucilius Bassus at Herodium and Machareus, and later by Flavius Silva at Masada.

Although a bit underweight (11.5g), the coin is in fine style and decent condition. Perhaps poor quality silver explains the low weight.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1953a.jpg
RPC-1953-Vespasian73 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.65g
Antioch mint, 69 AD
Obv: AYTOKPA OYEΠACIANOC KAICAP CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ЄTOYC NЄOY IЄPOY•A; Eagle with wreath in beak standing, l. on club; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1953 (6 spec.).
Ex Pegasi BB151, 21 February 2017, lot 227.

A rare regnal year one tetradrachm struck at Antioch between mid July and 30 September 69. The Syrian legions declared Vespasian emperor sometime in mid July. Soon afterwards, according to Tacitus in his Histories - 'At Antioch gold and silver currencies were struck.' The Judean provenance of many Syrian tetradrachms indicates they were used to pay the legionaries fighting the Jewish War. The style suggests Antioch as the mint. According to K. Butcher and M. Ponting these tetradrachms were struck at 70% silver fineness.

In very fine Antiochene style with a superb portrait.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1954a.jpg
RPC-1954-Vespasian121 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.97g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOKPA OYEΠACIANOC KAICAP CЄBACTOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ЄTOYC NЄOY IЄPOY•B; Eagle with wreath in beak standing, l. on club; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1954 (20 spec.).
Acquired from Athena Numismatics, August 2014.

"At Antioch gold and silver currencies were struck" writes Tacitus in his book The Histories concerning the early activity of Vespasian in the Summer and Fall of 69 immediately after the Eastern legions acclaimed him emperor. Large numbers of tetradrachms were struck in 69-70, which would likely have been used for legionary payment. They show up in countless hoards in the region due to the increased military activity surrounding the Jewish Revolt. During this time period Titus led three legions which he used to conduct the siege and destruction of Jerusalem.

This tetradrachm is from group 4, attributed wholly to the Antioch mint by style. Groups 1-3 are thought to have been engraved in Alexandria Egypt due to their 'Alexandrian' style (see my RPC 1945). The Antioch mint engraved dies are much finer in style, this coin being a good example of that better quality. In high relief with a stunning portrait.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1961c.jpg
RPC-1961-Vespasian73 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.08g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOKPA KAICA OYЄCΠACIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ЄTOYC NЄOY IЄPOY B; Eagle with wreath in beak on club to l.; in l. field, palm branch; crescent between eagle's legs
RPC 1961 (5 spec.).

The 69-70 time period saw large issues of tetradrachms minted at Antioch, most likely due to the massive military operations in Judaea involved with crushing the Jewish revolt. Titus Caesar mounted the siege of Jerusalem during the spring and summer of 70 when this coin was probably struck. Both Antioch and Alexandria struck coins for circulation in Syria. This tetradrachm is in very fine 'Antiochene' style and is likely a product of that mint. The crescent between the eagle's legs is a trademark of the RPC group 5 tetradrachms from Antioch.

A lovely coin in excellent style.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1967sm.jpg
RPC-1967-Titus as Caesar112 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.48g
Caesarea Maritima mint, 70-71 AD
Obv: AYTOKP TITOΣ KAIΣ OYEΣΠ; Bust of Titus, laureate, r., with aegis
Rev: ETOYΣ Γ IEPOY; Eagle standing, l., with wreath in beak on palm branch; club in l. field
RPC 1967 (3 spec.).
Acquired from CGB, September 2015.

In the immediate aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem Titus Caesar and his troops celebrated their great victory. Games were held, coins were struck, and booty distributed. This rare tetradrachm was minted in Judaea during those heady days of celebrations and games in 70/71 AD.

An interestingly styled coin (just look at those curls!) with some wear and looks as if it could have fought in the Jewish War itself!
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1968.jpg
RPC-1968-Titus as Caesar103 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 13.93g
Caesarea Maritima mint, 70-71 AD
Obv: AYTOKP TITOΣ KAIΣ OYEΣΠ; Bust of Titus, laureate, r., with aegis
Rev: ETOYΣ Γ IEPOY; Eagle standing, l., with wreath in beak on palm branch; club in l. field
RPC 1968 (1 spec.).
Acquired from Roy's Coins, October 2014.

After the siege and sack of Jerusalem in August 70 AD, Titus Caesar spent three days outside the ruined city with his legions handing out rewards and spoils. Josephus tells us what followed next - "Then descending with his army to Caesarea-on-sea, he there deposited the bulk of his spoils and directed that his prisoners should be kept in custody; for the winter season prevented his sailing for Italy" (BJ 7.20). Presumably it is during the sojourn at Caesaera Maritima that this tetradrachm was struck. The coin dates to just after the fall of Jerusalem and is part of the group 6 Syrian tetradrachms. However, the style is fairly crude and the silver fineness variable, all evidence of a military issue. Titus is featured prominently in the series (no doubt due to his recent successful conclusion of the Jewish War) and the style is similar to other bronze coins attributed to Caesarea Maritima. With that in mind, the mint for this issue is most likely Caesarea Maritima and dates to the days or weeks after the fall of Jerusalem as part of the rewards Titus distributed to his triumphant troops.

RPC catalogues two rare versions of this type: one with the obverse legend starting at 6 o'clock (RPC 1967) and an even rarer variant with the legend starting at 12 o'clock (RPC 1968). This specimen is the rarer 12 o'clock variant.

The coin is well worn, but with clear devices and a wonderfully crude portrait. It's so thick that it reminds one not so much of a coin but of a large hunk of stamped metal.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1970d.jpg
RPC-1970-Vespasian85 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.25g
Antioch mint, 69 AD
Obv: AVTOKPATΩP KAICAP CЄBACTOC OYECΠACIANOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ETOYC NEOY IEPOY A; Eagle with wreath in beak standing, l. on club; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1970 (9 spec.).
Acquired from Tom Cederlind, October 2014.

Vespasian was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria Egypt on 1 July 69 and the legions in Antioch followed suit a week or so later. "At Antioch gold and silver currencies were struck" according to Tacitus in 'The Histories' - and here is one of those coins. Struck between mid July and 30 September 69 this early tetradrachm was probably minted to help finance Vespasian's rise to the purple. These issues are found in hoards all over Judaea, indicating they were also used to pay the legions stationed there involved with crushing the ongoing Jewish revolt. This coin even now has some of the Judaean dirt still clinging to it.

Struck in good 'Antioch' style the coin is better in hand than my feeble attempt at photography would otherwise indicate.


2 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC1971.jpg
RPC-1971-Vespasian57 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 14.66g
Antioch mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOKPATΩP KAICAP CЄBACTOC OYECΠACIANOC; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: ETOYΣ NЄOY•IЄPOY•B; Eagle with wreath in beak on a club to l.; in l. field, palm branch
RPC 1971 (9 spec.).
Acquired from Ancient Imports, November 2014.

The 69-70 time period saw large issues of tetradrachms minted at Antioch, most likely due to the massive military operations in nearby Judaea involved with crushing the Jewish revolt. Titus Caesar mounted the siege of Jerusalem during the spring and summer of 70 when this coin was struck.

In fine 'Antiochene' style featuring a smiling Vespasian.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2313.jpg
RPC-2313-Titus as Caesar31 viewsÆ24, 11.84g
Caesarea Maritima mint, 71-73 AD
Obv: AYTOKP TITOΣ KAIΣAP; Head of Titus, laureate, r.
Rev: IOYΔAIAΣ EAΛWKYAΣ; trophy; at foot, l., a crouching captive with arms tied behind; on r., a pelta-shaped shield
RPC 2313 (21 spec.). Hendin 1448.
Acquired from Marc Breitsprecher, October 2019.

The Roman authorities in Judaea struck a localised 'Judaea Capta' issue at the Caeserea Maritima mint early in the reign of Vespasian. The series, featuring the reverse legend 'Judaea Capta' in Greek, strongly echoes the imperial bronze types produced at Rome and Lugdunum. The Judaean issue likely dates not long after the imperial ones were struck in the spring and summer of 71. D. Barag speculates this captive and trophy type may have come a bit later, perhaps sometime in 72 or 73. It is interesting to note this coin would have circulated in the very region where the Jewish Revolt took place. The emphasis on Titus Caesar the conqueror of Jerusalem is readily evident.

Large portrait in fine style.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2405.jpg
RPC-2405-Vespasian68 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 11.86g
Alexandria mint, 69 AD
Obv: AYT TIT ΦΛAYI OYEΣΠAΣIAN KAIΣ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r., date LA before neck
Rev: ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ; laureate and cuirassed bust of Titus, r.
RPC 2405 (6 spec.).
Ex Heritage Auctions, eBay, May 2017. Formerly in NGC holder 4252908-168, grade 'VG'.

Struck in July/August 69, this is the rarest tetradrachm type for Vespasian's regnal year one at Alexandria. The reverse featuring Titus Caesar is no doubt a nod both to his importance as Vespasian's heir and his new role as supreme commander of the legions suppressing the Jewish Revolt.

Worn, but in good Alexandrian style with the portraits still intact.
1 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2416.jpg
RPC-2416-Vespasian93 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.72g
Alexandria mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: AYTOK KAIΣ ΣEBA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r., date LB before neck
Rev: Τ ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ; laureate head of Titus, r.
RPC 2416 (7 spec.).
Ex CNG E377, 29 June 2016, The Hermanubis collection, lot 28.

From the beginning, Vespasian intended for Titus to succeed him. This was announced on the provincial coinage quite clearly in Cappadocia, Syria, and as seen here on this coin struck in Alexandria, regnal year 2. At the time, Vespasian was busy preparing for his arrival in Rome and Titus was put in command of the legions quelling the Jewish revolt in Judaea. This tetradrachm is a perfect illustration of the amount of trust Vespasian put in his eldest son and clearly shows his choice of successor. Titus' importance to Vespasian cannot be understated and the coinage bears this out. The type is fairly scarce for Alexandria year 2.

The coin comes from the Hermanubis collection. CNG notes the collection 'was assembled with a focus on both quality and rarity'. Judging from this piece, I cannot but agree. Darkly toned with very fine Alexandrian style portraits.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2471.jpg
RPC-2471-Titus 92 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.83g
Alexandria mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: AYTOK TITOY KAIΣ OYEΣΠAΣIANOY ΣEB; Head of Titus, laureate, r.
Rev: OMO-NOIA; Homonoia seated, l.; date LΓ to l., star in r. field
RPC 2471 (5 spec.).
Ex CNG E409, 8 November 2017, lot 463.

Alexandria struck tetradrachms for Titus dated either regnal year 2 (79-80 AD) or regnal year 3 (80-81 AD). No bronze coins were issued during his reign at Alexandria. The year 3 tetradrachms are separated into two different issues, those with a star in the reverse field, as seen on this example, and those without a star. They have an average fineness of around 19.5%. One wonders if Homonoia (Concordia) was a chosen reverse type because of continued intra-city tensions between the Greek and Jewish citizens of Alexandria.

Fine Alexandrian style with good eye-appeal.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
Antiochus_VII~0.jpg
Seleucid - Antiochus VII Euergetes (138-129 BCE)23 viewsMetal/Size: AE14; Weight: 2.21 grams; Denomination: Bronze Unit; Mint: Jerusalem; Date: 132-130 BCE; Obverse: Anchor upside down flanked by inscription in three lines - BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEΡΓETOY (of King Antiochus, Benefactor). Date below anchor is hard to see but could be AΠP (Year 181) or BΠP (Year 182). 312 (beginning of Seleucid era) minus 181 or 182 equals 130 or 131 BCE. Reverse: Lily. References: Hendin #6 (Guide to Ancient Jewish Coins); Kindler #3.1 commentsmuseumguy
J23-Kochba.jpg
Shimon Bar Kochba Revolt, Æ, 132-135 CE88 viewsBronze of 21.9 mm, 4.35 grams. This coin was struck 134/135 CE during the third year of the second Jewish revolt against Rome.

Obverse: Palm tree with seven branches and two bunches of dates, and the Hebrew inscription – שמעון (‘Shimon’ the first name of Bar Kochba).
Reverse: Vine leaf on tendril with the Hebrew inscription around – לחרות ירושלים (‘For the Freedom of Jerusalem’).

Reference: Hendin 739, Mildenberg 160.

Added to collection: April 11, 2005
Daniel Friedman
HerodCaesaria.jpg
Star, 6 rays167 viewsJudaea, Herod Philip, Tetrarch, 4 B.C. - 34 A.D., issue for Tiberius and Livia
8809. Bronze AE 20, Hendin 530; RPC 4951; AJC II 245, 6a, aF, Caesarea Paneas mint, 7.98g, 20.3mm, 0o, c. 30 - 31 A.D.; obverse SEBASTWN, jugate heads of laureate Tiberius and Livia, star countermark; reverse FILIPPOU TETRARCOU, tetrastyle temple on high platform with round design (shield?) in center; very rare; $600.00
Meshore notes the same countermark on one of his examples (6a). In addition to being the first Jewish ruler to put his own portrait on his coinage, Philip was the first Jewish ruler to put Roman imperial portraits on his coinage.
whitetd49
Nero___Divus_Augustus__Struck_A_D__66_-_67.JPG
Struck A.D. 66 - 67 under Nero. DIVUS AUGUSTUS. AR Billon tetradrachm of Alexandria14 viewsObverse: NERΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓER AY. Radiate bust of Nero facing left, wearing aegis; before LIΓ = regnal year 13 = A.D.66-67.
Reverse: ΘEOΣ ΣEBAΣTOΣ. Radiate head of Augustus facing right.
Diameter: 24mm | Weight: 12.5gms | Die Axis: 12
GICV : 636 | Emmett : 113
Ex Pavlos S. Pavlou (London)

EVENTS OCCURRING AT THE TIME THIS COIN WAS STRUCK
A.D.66
The Jewish Revolt began in October this year when the Zealots laid siege to Jerusalem and annihilated the Roman garrison, a cohort of Legio III Cyrenaica.
The Roman writer Petronius died in this year. Having been charged with treason he committed suicide. Pliny the Elder stated that before he died, Petronius broke his fluorspar wine-dipper, which had cost 300,000 sesterces, so that Nero could not inherit it.
A.D.67
Vespasian arrived in Ptolemais, along with Legio X Fretensis and Legio V Macedonica, to put down the Jewish Revolt.
Nero travelled to Greece to participate in the Olympic Games and other festivals.
1 comments*Alex
berytos_augustus_BMC55.jpg
Syria, Berytos, Augustus, BMC 5522 viewsPhoenicia, Berytos, Agustus BC 27 - AD 14
AE 20, 6.19g
struck under propraetor Quinctilius Varus, 6-4 BC
obv. IMP CAE[SAR AGVSTV]
Bare head, r.
rev. P.QVIN - CT L - VS - VRVS (starting upper l.)
Two eagles between two standarts
BMC 55; RPC 4543
good S, struck on a small flan, reddish sand-patina

This coin has been struck under Varus when he was legatus Augusti pro praetore in Syria 7/6 BC - 5/4 BC. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions the swift action of Varus against a messianic revolt in Judaea after the death of Rome's client king Herod the Great in 4 BC. After occupying Jerusalem, he crucified 2000 Jewish rebels, and may have thus been one of the prime objects of popular anti-Roman sentiment in Judaea, for Josephus, who made every effort to reconcile the Jewish people to Roman rule, felt it necessary to point out how lenient this judicial massacre had been.
Jochen
Apamea_ad_Orontes_2000.jpg
Syria, The Great Colonnade at Apamea118 viewsApamea, on the right bank of the Orontes River, was a treasure city and stud-depot of the Seleucid kings, and was the capital of Apamene. Its site is found about 55 km (34 mi) to the northwest of Hama, Syria, overlooking the Ghab valley.

Previously known as Pharmake, it was fortified and enlarged by Seleucus I Nicator in 300 B.C., who so named it after his Bactrian wife, Apama. The fortress was placed upon a hill; the windings of the Orontes, with the lake and marshes, gave it a peninsular form. Seleucus had his commissariat there, 500 elephants, with 30,000 mares, and 300 stallions. The pretender, Diodotus Tryphon, made Apamea the basis of his operations.

Josephus relates, that Pompey marching south from his winter quarters, probably at or near Antioch, razed the fortress of Apamea in 64 B.C. and the city was annexed to the Roman Republic. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years till the arrival of Cassius, 46 B.C.
Located at a strategic crossroads for Eastern commerce, the city flourished to the extent that its population eventually numbered half a million. It was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis. The city boasted one of the largest theaters in the Roman world, and a monumental colonnade.

On the outbreak of the Jewish War, the inhabitants of Apamea spared the Jews who lived in their midst, and would not suffer them to be murdered or led into captivity.
Destroyed by Chosroes I in the 6th century, it was partially rebuilt and known in Arabic as Famia, and destroyed by an earthquake in 1152. In the Crusades it was still a flourishing and important place and was occupied by Tancred.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apamea,_Syria

The ancient city has been damaged as a result of the ongoing civil war in Syria.
Joe Sermarini
46206q00.jpg
The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.54 viewsBronze prutah, Hendin 1360, Fair, Jerusalem mint, 2.669g, 16.8mm, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; reverse , vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around. ex Forvm

"Discontent and inept rule led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, sone of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed them temple."
Randygeki(h2)
The_First_Jewish_Revolt,_66_-_70_A_D_.jpg
The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D. Bronze prutah24 viewsThe First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D. Bronze prutah, Hendin 661, F, Jerusalem mint, 2.890g, 16.8mm, year 2, 67-68 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; reverse , vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around. Ex FORVMPodiceps
Arch_Titus.jpg
The relief of the imperial triumph (Titus driving a quadriga) Arch of Titus, Rome, Italy20 viewsThe relief of the imperial triumph Arch of Titus, Rome, Italy. The Triumphal Arch of Titus, erected in c. 81 CE by Domitian to commemorate his brother Titus' campaigns in the Jewish War (70-71 CE).

On 14 April 70 A.D. Titus surrounded Jerusalem. He allowed pilgrims to enter to celebrate Passover but this was a trap to put pressure on supplies of food and water; he refused to allow them to leave. On 10 May he began his assault on the walls. The third wall fell on 25 May. The second wall fell on 30 May. On 20 July Titus stormed the Temple Mount. On 4 August 70 A.D., Titus destroyed the Temple. The Jewish fast of Tisha B'Av mourns the Fall of Jerusalem annually on this date. Upon his arrival in Rome in 71, Titus was awarded a triumph. As depicted in relief of the imperial triumph on the Arch of Titus in Rome, Titus rode into the city in a quadriga, enthusiastically saluted by the Roman populace and preceded by a lavish parade containing treasures and captives from the war. Josephus describes a procession with large amounts of gold and silver carried along the route, followed by elaborate re-enactments of the war, Jewish prisoners, and finally the treasures taken from the Temple of Jerusalem, including the Menorah and the Pentateuch. He was accompanied by Vespasian and Domitian. Simon Bar Giora was executed in the Forum, after which the procession closed with religious sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter.

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arch_Titus,_relief_triumph,_Forum_Romanum,_Rome,_Italy.jpg
Date 22 August 2013 for photograph
Author Jebulon
Joe Sermarini
Titus_RIC_1.jpg
Titus104 viewsTitus, denarius.
RIC 1, RSC 334a.
20 mm 3,31 g.
Rome mint, June - July 79 AD.
Obv. IMP T CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG., laureate head right.
Rev. TR POT VIII COS VII, (Jewish) captive kneeling right in front of trophy of arms.

A rare issue from the beginning of Titus' reign, minted during the nine days after Vespasian's death ( 23 June to 1 July 79 A.D.). The coin is rare because only two specimens were found in the Reka Devnia Hoard.

I read in Sear (p. 463, millennium edition):
'This reverse [and the following] refer either to the victory in Judaea or, alternatively, may be associated with the activities in northern Britain of the celebrated governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola, father in law of the historian Tacitus'. Agricola was a famous Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain.
2 commentsMarsman
Titus_RIC_V368.JPG
Titus (as Caesar), 69 - 79 AD129 viewsObv: (T CA)ES IMP VESP PON (TR POT), laureate, draped bust of Titus facing right, seen from behind.

Rev: No legend, Titus in quadriga right, holding a palm and an eagle-tipped scepter.

Note: The reverse commemorates the triumph of Vespasian and Titus in June 71 AD following their victory in the Jewish War.

Silver Denarius, Antioch mint, 72 - 73 AD

3.15 grams, 18 mm, 180°

RIC II Vespasian 368, RSC 395, S2435 (var.), VM 5
6 commentsSPQR Coins
titus-sestertius.jpg
Titus AE Sestertius, IVD CAP26 viewsTitus AE Sestertius, Rome, 79-81 A.D. Laureate bust right / IVD CAP, Jewish captive standing to the right, hands bound behind him. Jewess seated beneath palm tree in attitude of mourning. Arms scattered. Hendin 792vHolding_History
Titus02a.jpg
Titus AR Denarius76 viewsYep, another iridescent-toned beauty!

Titus Denarius. 80 AD. IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M, laureate head right / TR P IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, dolphin coiled around an anchor. RIC II 26a; BMCRE 72; RSC 309.

This piece was minted in 80 AD under Titus, who ruled from 79-81 AD. Titus remained in Judaea after Vespasian's accession to carry on the Jewish war, and captured Jerusalem in 70 AD. On his return to Rome, Titus was made Vespasian's colleauge in the government, and thus his succession on Vespasian's death went smoothly. Rome was plagued by a number of misfortunes during his reign, the most well known of which was the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, which destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Faced with these events, Titus proved to be a most benevolent emperor, and his death caused much sorrow.

CHOICE VERY FINE
SPECTACULAR MULTI-COLOURED IRIDESCENT PATINA
QUITE UNIQUE
Ex Künker 2006
Trajan
titus as caesar nep red.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 366453 viewsAR Denarius, 3.40g
Rome Mint, 72-73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT; Titus, bearded, laureate, r.
Rev: NEP RED; Neptune stg l., r. foot on globe, with acrostolium and sceptre
RIC 366 (C). BMC 80. RSC 121. BNC 68.
Acquired from Tom Cederlind, February 2008.

A reverse type that commemorates Titus' return to Rome after his completion of the Jewish War. Neptune, the god of waters, would be an appropriate deity to give thanks to after a safe sea voyage.

This coin is rated as common in RIC, but it's not one you find very often.
Vespasian70
titus_as_caesar_RIC_0160[vesp].jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 369142 viewsAR Denarius, 3.13g
Rome Mint, 72-73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT; Head of Titus, bearded, laureate, r.
Rev: No legend. Jewess (as type of Judaea), draped, veiled, seated r. under palm-tree, in attitude of dejection, knees drawn up, head resting on l. hand, l. arm propped on knee; behind palm, prince in military dress, standing r., r. foot on helmet, holding vertical spear in r. hand and parazonium in l.
RIC 369 (R2). BMC 85. RSC 392var. BNC -.
EX CNG E42, 12 November 2001, lot 64980.

The type was issued to commemorate the end of the Jewish War of 66-70 AD. Both Titus and Vespasian minted this same reverse in Antioch and Rome. Here we have the much scarcer Rome mint example issued by Titus, it is more commonly seen as an aureus.

A pleasing portrait with, sadly, a well worn reverse. The scarcity of the coin makes up for the state of preservation.
1 commentsvespasian70
titus_as_caes_quad_rome_lg.JPG
Titus as Caesar RIC 371156 viewsAR Denarius, 3.20g
Rome Mint, 72-73AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: No Legend; Titus stg. r. with branch and sceptre, in quadriga r.
RIC 371 (R2). BMC p.15. RSC 394. BNC -.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

Part of an issue that celebrates the Jewish War victory showing Titus in a Triumphal quadriga, much as he would've appeared during the joint Triumph he held with his father Vespasian in 71 AD. The type was issued both in Rome and more commonly in Antioch.

I have looked for this Rome mint issue of the type for many years and had no luck. Recently Harry Sneh offered this example to me, naturally, I couldn't resist. The coin is worn but most of the major devices are intact and the portrait is a wonderful example of the young Prince.
2 commentsvespasian70
V423.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 42353 viewsÆ Sestertius, 23.43g
Rome mint, 72 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES VESPASIAN IMP PON TR POT COS II; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: PAX AVGVSTI; S C in field; Pax stg. l., with branch and cornucopiae
RIC 423 (C). BMC 633. BNC 619.
Ex Holding History, eBay, 16 March 2019.

After the recent Civil War and Jewish and Batavian rebellions this common Pax reverse type from 72 had special propaganda value for the new Flavian regime: peace and prosperity. It would be one of the more popular themes of Vespasian's coinage. Unsurprisingly, this Pax type is shared with Vespasian.

Worn, but in fine style with a nice dark chocolate patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
V449asm_(3).jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 44959 viewsÆ As, 10.92g
Rome mint, 72 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES VESPASIAN IMP P TR P COS II; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: S C in field; Aquila between two standards
RIC 449 (R). BMC 644. BNC 635.
Acquired from Praefectus Coins, April 2019. Ex Savoca Silver 30, 27 January 2019, lot 337.

The aquila between two standards type was struck early in Vespasian's reign to honour the loyalty of the legions, seen here on the reverse of this rare Titus as Caesar As. The aquila, which featured an eagle clutching a thunderbolt, was the most important standard of any legion. With the recent successful completion of the Civil War and Jewish rebellion Vespasian and Titus knew which side their bread was buttered on! The type was later revived under Titus and Domitian for their cistophori.

Solid portrait with a fetching dark patina.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
V644a.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC 64452 viewsÆ As, 10.31g
Rome mint, 73 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES IMP PON TR P COS II CENS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: VICTORIA NAVALIS; S C in field; Victory stg. r. on prow, with wreath and palm
RIC 644 (R). BMC 677. BNC 691.
Acquired from Praefetus Coins, July 2019.

A fairly scarce variant of the Victoria Navalis type, struck in 73 when Titus held the joint censorship with Vespasian. The type would be repeatedly struck throughout Vespasian's reign for both father and son, perhaps indicating how important it was to their military gravitas. Traditionally, it has been attributed to the naval victory Vespasian and Titus won on Lake Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee) during the Jewish War. By any definition it is a most bizarre 'naval' battle indeed. Near the close of the Galilean campaign, Vespasian and Titus marched to Lake Gennesaret in order to secure the cities along its coastline. Tiberias fell without much resistance, but the neighbouring city of Taricheae was a tougher nut to crack. Home to many of the Jewish rebels who had fled Tiberias, they put up a small fight on the plain outside the city and were quickly defeated by Titus' troops who then stormed the city and began slaughtering the inhabitants. Many of the rebels took flight to waiting boats they had previously commandeered on the lake. These were likely local fishing or ferry vessels not intended for use in war. Vespasian ordered the legionaries to construct large rafts in order to pursue the rebel's makeshift flotilla. With the coastline guarded by Roman horsemen the legionaries launched their rafts and sailed out in a large line toward the enemy. The Jewish boats were no match for the heavily armoured Roman rafts. The legionaries easily picked off the Jewish rebels who had no means of escape. The slaughter was intense, so much so that Josephus claims 6,500 Jews were killed. Several years later during Vespasian and Titus' Jewish War Triumph in Rome, ships were displayed to commemorate the battle. Were the Victoria Navalis coins struck with the same event in mind? As unlikely as it seems, the impromptu 'naval' battle at Lake Gennesaret is the best candidate for Vespasian striking this Actium-lite reverse type. The connection to Augustus would not have been lost on his contemporaries. Flavian propaganda at its most exaggerated.

Dark golden brown patina with a fine reverse.

3 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus_as_Caesar_RIC_II_V366.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC II V036639 viewsTitus as Caesar. 69-79 A.D. Rome Mint. 72-73 A.D. (3.38g, 19.7mm, 6h). Obv: T CAES IMP VESP PON TR POT, laureate head r. Rev: NEP RED, Neptune stg. l. r. foot on globe with acrostolium and sceptre. RIC II V 366, BMC V80, RSC 121. Ex Harry N. Sneh collection.

A type issued earlier for Vespasian in 71 AD for Rome, and again in Antioch. This is a type that gives thanks to Neptune for a successful return by sea voyage, here probably Titus’ return from the east following his success in the Jewish War. Despite the wear and irregular flan, this example has a nice portrait.
1 commentsLucas H
titus_as_caesar_cap_and_trophy.JPG
Titus as Caesar RIC-1076102 viewsAR Denarius, 2.89g
Rome Mint, 79 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAESAR IMP VESPASIANVS; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR POT VIII COS VII; Trophy, below, captive kneeling r.
RIC 1076(C). BMC 258. RSC 334. BNC 229.

Variously this reverse has been attributed to an Agricola victory in Britain or a 'Judaea Capta' type. It seems more likely to be a 'Judaea Capta' type because Titus does not share the type with Vespasian. One would think a British victory would have been celebrated on both coinages. It seems more likely to be a type that reminds the Roman populace of the young Prince's role in the Jewish War nine years before.

A very decent example of the type with a better than average portrait.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
V1268sm.jpg
Titus as Caesar RIC-126854 viewsÆ As, 9.35g
Lyon mint, 77-78 AD (Vespasian)
Obv: T CAES IMP AVG F TR P COS VI CENSOR; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.; globe at point of bust
Rev: IVDAEA CAPTA; S C in exergue; Palm tree; to r., Judaea std. r.; to l. of tree, arms
RIC 1268 (C2). BMC 862. BNC 872.
Acquired from GB Collection, March 2019.

The importance of the Jewish War to the Flavian dynasty cannot be overestimated. It provided much needed legitimacy for the imperial rule of 'new men'. This common as struck for Titus Caesar nearly eight years after the 'Gotterdammerung' fall of Jerusalem is ample evidence of the dynasty's continued reliance on the propaganda value of 'Judaea Capta'. It would continue to be Titus' calling card even after he became emperor a year or so later. This coin was struck in Lugdunum (Lyon) in a fairly large issue that presumably addressed a shortage of bronze coinage in the Western provinces.

Good Lyon style with a fetching dark patina.
4 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus,_79-81_AD,_bronze_Judaea_Capta.jpg
Titus Caesarea Maritima W/Countermark65 viewsTitus, 79-81 AD, Ae 21.6 mm, 7.09 g. Caesarea Maritima Mint
O: Laureate head of Titus right, Greek text ΑYTΟΚΡ TΙT ΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ around.
R: Nike right, left foot on helmet, writing AY T KAIC with right hand upon shield, hanging from palm tree. Greek text IΟΥΔΑΙΑΣ ΕΑΛWΚΥΙΑΣ around w/ countermark. Rare with countermark.
Hendin 1446 (prev. Hendin 743). AJC II supplement VII, 2.

Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 B.C., was named to flatter Augustus, the Caesar. It became the capital of Iudaea Province and the residence of the Roman procurators and governors including Pontius Pilatus, praefectus and Antonius Felix. In 66 A.D., the desecration of the local synagogue led to the disastrous Jewish revolt. After the revolt was suppressed, 2500 Jewish captives were slaughtered at Caesarea in Gladiatorial games held by Titus to celebrate his victory. Today, Caesarea's ruins lie on Israel's Mediterranean coast about halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the site of Pyrgos Stratonos ("Straton's Tower").
Nemonater
titus rostral column sm.JPG
Titus RIC 46117 viewsAR Denarius, 2.96g
Rome Mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P VIIII IMP XV COS VII P P; Rostral column, ornamented at sides with beaks of ships and surmounted by a statue, radiate, naked except for cloak, standing front, holding vertical spear in r. hand and parazonium at side in l.
RIC 46 (C). BMC 29. RSC 289. BNC 23.

A reverse type that copies one of Augustus and Perhaps celebrates the naval victory Titus and Vespasian won on the Sea of Galilee during the Jewish War. The BMCRE suggests it possibly could be the Colossus of Nero, moved from the Golden House by Vespasian in his sixth consulship and set up on the Scared Way. This is a carry-over type originally struck for Vespasian.

A most difficult reverse for me to find. I looked for one in reasonable condition for a couple of years. I'm glad I waited, this one is wonderful in hand.
2 commentsVespasian70
titus_l_trophy.jpg
Titus RIC 5098 viewsAR Denarius, 3.29g
Rome Mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: TR P VIIII IMP XV COS VII P P; Trophy; below, captive kneeling r.
RIC 50 (R2). BMC 32. RSC 297. BNC -.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

Titus minted quite a flurry of coins after his father Vespasian's death in June of 79 AD. Many are quite common and are a continuation of themes and types issued under Vespasian. The left facing portraits from this series are much scarcer than right facing.

A Judaea Capta type (or perhaps a reference to a British victory?), this left facing portrait of the type is rated R2 by RIC. Normally the left facing types were issued at ratio of 1:10 against right facing, this one seems to have been minted on an even smaller scale.

Curtis Clay provided the following information:

"Not in Cohen with portrait left, nor acquired by Paris in the meantime; their two specimens, nos. 28-9, both have portrait right.
Reka Devnia hoard: 3 spec. with bust right, none with bust left.
BM 32 has a specimen with head left, acquired in the remarkably rich Hamburger Collection of Jewish coins in 1908. BM 32 is the only specimen listed, and also illustrated, by RIC 50. It is from different dies than David's specimen, and is less well preserved.
Carradice and Buttrey must have known at least one other specimen of this denarius to justify rating it R2 rather than R3. I think it would have been helpful if, for every R2 coin, they had listed every specimen known to them!"

A decent example of the type with good toning and fine style.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
titus_venus1.JPG
Titus RIC 53107 viewsAR Denarius, 3.17g
Rome mint, 79 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: TR P VIIII IMP XV COS VII P P; Venus stg. r. leaning on column, with helmet and spear
RIC 53 (R). BMC 25. RSC 286. BNC 20.
Ex Harry N. Sneh Collection.

Venus is an ironic choice for a reverse for Titus in light of his tragic romance with the Jewish Queen Berenice, who he had to banish because of her unpopularity with the Roman people. The BMCRE instead speculates the reverse echoes the classic reverses issued by Julius Caesar and Augustus, thus aligning Titus to an imperial tradition.

The coin itself is in excellent condition and features a classic portrait. Even the Venus is rendered wonderfully well.

2 commentsDavid Atherton
Titus_RIC_II_118.jpg
Titus RIC II 004913 viewsTitus 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 79 A.D, after July 1. (3.2 g, 18.35mm, 6h). Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right. Rev: TRP VIIII IMP XV COS VII PP, captive, hands bound behind back, kneeling right below trophy. RIC II 49, RSC 295, BMC 31.

Coins with Titus as Caesar under Vespasian with this trophy/captive type were issued earlier in 79 A.D., before Vespasian’s death on June 23, 79 A.D. (RIC II Vespasian 1076). When Titus became Augustus, the type continued memorializing his part in the Judean victory during the First Jewish Revolt.
Lucas H
Titus_RIC_II_102_2.jpg
Titus RIC II 010287 viewsTitus 79-81A.D. AR Denarius. Rome mint. 3.36 g. Jan.-July 80 A.D. Obv: IMP TITVS CɅES VESPɅSIɅN ɅVG PM, laureate head r. Rev: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, trophy with female seated r. in attitude of morning, and male captive seated l., hands bound behind back. RIC 102, RSC 306, BMC 37.

This coin may serve to both symbolize a victory in Britain, and as a reminder of the Jewish victory. Titus issued a number of trophy-captive types during his reign from 79-81 A.D. One of my favorite coins thus far, for both the condition, and the historic significance.
4 commentsLucas H
Titus_RIC_II_103.jpg
Titus RIC II 010326 viewsTitus 79-81A.D. AR Denarius. Rome mint. . Jan.-July 80A.D. (3.15g, 18.7m, 7h). Obv: IMP TITVS CɅES VESPɅSIɅN ɅVG PM, laureate head l. Rev: TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII P P, trophy with female seated l. in attitude of morning, and male captive seated r., hands bound behind back. RIC II 103 (R2) RSC 307.

This coin may serve to both symbolize a victory in Britain, and as a reminder of the Jewish victory. Titus issued a number of trophy-captive types during his short reign.

This specimen is worn, but has decent centering and complete legends. The left facing head is much rarer that the right, so I could not resist.
1 commentsLucas H
11_Titus_RIC_II_112.jpg
Titus RIC II 0112128 viewsTitus. 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 80 A.D. 1 Jan- 30 June. (3.46 g, 18.87 mm, 6h). Obv: r. to l, out-IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M. Rev: l. to r., in-TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP, dolphin coiled around anchor. RIC 112, RSC 309, BMC 72, Sear 2517. Ex David Hendin.

This type may have been issued as a part of a series to commemorate the opening of the Flavian Amphitheater, or Colosseum which was begun under Vespasian and financed, at least in part, by the treasure plundered from the Jewish Temple during the sack of Jerusalem.
8 commentsLucas H
J19-Titus Capta.jpg
Titus, Æ, Judaea Capta, 79-81 CE34 viewsBronze Judaea Capta of 25.5 mm, 13.28 grams. Struck at the mint of Caesarea Maritima.

Obverse: Laureate bust of Titus to right, AVTOKP TITOE KAIEAP around.
Reverse: IOYAIAE EAAWKYIAE (“Judaea Vanquished” in Greek) around, field trophy of arms in center, with weeping Jewish captive, hands bound behind him, kneels left beneath pelta-shaped trophy and arms scattered around beneath.

Reference: Hendin 745, SNG ANS 477-482; AJC II, Supp. VII, p. 289, #5, TJC-384/384a, Bromberg 278.

Added to collection: May 29, 2005
Daniel Friedman
Trajan_Pater.jpg
Trajan59 viewsTrajan. AD 98-117. AR Denarius, 18mm, 3.12 g, 6h. Rome mint. Struck AD 112.
O:Laureate bust right, slight drapery, IMP TRAIANVS AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P
R: Marcus Ulpius Traianus seated left on curule chair, holding patera in right hand and hasta pura in left (attributes of divinity), DIVVS PATER TRAIAN
RIC II 252 corr. (fully draped bust); Woytek 406b; RSC 140.

Trajan's father, Marcus Ulpius Traianus was the most distinguished of the gens Ulpii, a family originally hailing from Tuder in Umbria which had settled in Baetica in Spain. His success in both war and politics paved the way for his son to become the first non-Italian emperor of Rome.

He came to prominence while commanding the 10th Legion during the Jewish War. Having pounded the city of Joppa close to submission, he presented Titus with the honor of leading the final assault. As a reward, Vespasian made Ulpius Traianus a consul.

Serving as governor of Syria from 73 to 77, the elder Trajan was later proconsul of all Asia from 79 to 80. In that capacity he earned honors in actions against the Parthians, built two vital roads and shored up the frontier defenses.

Trajan deified his adopted father Nerva in 98, though without immediately striking coins for the new Divus. Trajan Pater died about two years after his son took the purple and was also, as this coin shows, deified by him.

Trajan's natural father seems to have been consecrated in connection with the dedication of Trajan's Forum in Jan. 112. That was the occasion for the striking of this denarius type for DIVVS PATER TRAIAN early in 112.



4 commentsNemonater
DivusPaterPanoramaBlack.jpg
Trajan RIC 252; Woytek 406b72 viewsTrajan 98-117 AD. Ar Denarius. Rome Mint. 115 AD. (3.39 g, 19.07 mm). Obv: IMP TRAIANVS AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P Bust, laureate, with slight drapery on left shoulder. Rev: DIVVS PATER TRAIAN, Traian Sr. seated to left holding patera and sceptre.
Woytek 406b; RIC 152; RSC 140.

Ex: Marc Walter, V-coins

TrajanPater. Died c. 100 AD. Marcus Ulpius Traianus commanded the 10th Legion during the Jewish War and conquered the city of Joppa.Named consul in 70 AD, he became governor of Syria and proconsul of Asia.

Great coin and much fun to photograph!
2 commentsPaddy
halfshekel.jpg
Tyre half shekel64 viewsLaureate bust of Melkart right

ΤΥΡΟΥ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΣΥΛΟΥ (of Tyre the holy and inviolable)
Eagle standing left on prow; palm over shoulder, club to the left, flanked by date LM (40) and monogram ΔP to the right.

Tyre; Year 40= 87/86 BC
6.98g

Sear 5921; BMC 225

Ex-HJB Buy or Bid Sale 206, lot 103 (Nov 15, 2018); Ex-Calgary Coin

Removed from NGC holder prior to HJB.
NGC graded Strike 4/5, Surface 3/5; NGC 4278263-010

According to the Mosaic law, every year, Jewish males over the age of 20, paid a half shekel tax in silver to the Temple in Jerusalem. Mention of this tax can be found in the Bible at Exodus 30:15 Of course, at the time of writing there were no coins in circulation and this tax was paid by weight in silver. By the 1st century BC the tax was paid in either the Tyrian shekel (enough for two people) or half-shekel (for himself). The Jewish Talmud required the tax to be paid with a coin of high purity silver. The only ones that conformed to this high standard were the 94% pure silver Tyrian shekels. Even though these coins depict images of Melkart (Phoenician Hercules) and an eagle, they were still accepted at the temple because of the silver content.
4 commentsJay GT4
J11R-Gratus H-647.jpg
Valerius Gratus procurator under Tiberius, Æ Prutah, 15 – 26 CE51 viewsBronze prutah of Valerius Gratus, procurator under Tiberius, 16 – 26 CE, 2.3g, 18mm.

Obverse: Palm branch with IOV- ΛIA (for Julia Livia) and LIΛ (the date Year 11 = 24 AD) on either side
Reverse: TIB KAI CAP (Tiberius Caesar), three lines in wreath tied at base with an X.

Reference: Hendin 647, AJC II, Supp. V, 19, Treasury of Jewish Coins 329.

Added to collection: November 17, 2005
Daniel Friedman
vestit.jpg
Vespasian (69 - 79 A.D.)58 viewsAntioch, Syria
AR Tetradrachm
O: AYTOKPAT KAIΣA OYEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laureate head right.
R: (T) ΦΛAYI OYEΣΠ KAIΣ ETOYΣ NEOY IEPOY; Laureate Head of Titus, r.; in r. field, B=Year 2 ( 69-70 AD)
11.37g
25mm
RPC 1941 (2 spec.)., Cf. Prieur 107-107A

A RPC group 2 tetradrachm attributed to Antioch, but style wise very similar to Alexandria. RPC speculates the Alexandria style tetradrachms were either struck in Alexandria and then shipped to Antioch, or less likely Alexandrian mint workers were sent to Antioch and produced the coins there. Kevin Butcher speculates these Alexandria style tetradrachms were ordered by the southern Syrian cities from the Alexandria mint for circulation in that part of the province. Of note, Galilee, Samaria, and Judaea were a part of the province of Syria at the time. Interestingly, these tetradrachms in which Titus' portrait is featured on the reverse may have been circulating in the very region where he commanded the legions fighting the Jewish War. Most likely they were struck during the massive military build up before the siege of Jerusalem, providing strong evidence of the important role Titus Caesar held at the time.

This regnal year 2 type is more commonly seen with a star behind Titus' portrait on the reverse. This is the rarer variant lacking the star.
9 commentsMat
vespasian-sestertius.jpg
Vespasian AE Sestertius, IVDEA CAPTA27 viewsVespasian AE Sestertius. IMP CAES VESPAS AVG PM TR P P P COS III, Laureate bust right / IVDAEA CAPTA, Jewess seated mourning to the right under palm tree. Jewish captive standing behind with arms bound. RIC 425, BMC 539v, Cohen 233, Hendin 773Holding_History
1374_Titus_Vespasian_Antioch_b.jpg
Vespasian and Titus - Antioch13 viewsAR tetradrachm
69-70 AD
laureate head of Vespasian on eagle left
AVTOKPAT KAIΣA OVEΣΠAΣIANOV
laureate head of Titus right
T ΦΛAVI OVEΣΠ KAIΣ·ETOVΣ NEOV IEPOV
*__B
McAlee 332; Prieur 110; RPC 1943
ex Künker

Forum Ancient Coins note: "Struck to pay Titus' legions during and after the First Jewish Revolt. RPC notes c. 320 different dies indicate 6,500,000 Syrian tetradrachms might have been minted. This was the quantity Titus would have needed to pay his four legions. Hoard evidence finds many of these types in Judaea confirming they were used to pay the legions."
1 commentsJohny SYSEL
Vespasian_Legio_X_Countermark.jpg
Vespasian As, Legio X Countermark65 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. AE As. Rome Mint. 74 A.D. (8.45g, 25.5mm, 6h). Obv: IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS V CENS, laureate head right. Rev: SC in field, Spes standing let with flower. RIC II 730, RCV 2361.

The interest in this worn As is the Legio X, Fretensis, Countermark. Legio X was levied by Augustus in 40/41B.C. to fight in the Civil War. Later, Legio X was under the command of Vespasian and played a central role during the Jewish rebellion. Following the suppression of the rebellion under Titus, Legio X was garrisoned in Jerusalem.
1 commentsLucas H
vespasian_judaea.jpg
Vespasian Denarius RIC-777 11 viewsAR Denarius,
Rome mint, 75 AD
RIC 777 (C2). BMC 166. RSC 368.
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PON MA-X TR P COS VI; Victory, draped, standing l. on prow, holding wreath extended in r. hand and palm upright in l.
Acquired from GcmCoins, 08.26.2018
NGC Grade - VF

The Victory on prow is a reference to a naval victory at Sea of Galilee in 67 during the Jewish War.

Britanikus
vespasian_Judea.jpg
Vespasian Judea Capta Ae As128 viewsIMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III
Laureate head of Vespasian right

IVDAEA CAPTA SC
Judea as mourning captive seated right amidst arms at foot of palm-tree

Rome 71 AD

10.54g

Sear 2357
RIC 303 (R)

Ex-Incitatus

SOLD!

Celebrates the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the First Jewish Revolt and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem

From Curtis Clay:
The same type is more common with IVDEA (one A omitted): RIC 305 (C). However. IVDAEA CAPTA asses as a group are rarer than the corresponding sestertii, which add a standing Jew or the standing emperor to the type of Judaea mourning below a palm tree.
1 commentsJay (Titus Pullo)
Vespasian_IVDEA.jpg
Vespasian Judea Capta denarius162 viewsIMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG
Laur. head of Vespasian right

Rev.
IVDAEA
Judaea as mourning captive seated right on ground at foot of trophy.

Celebrating the success of Vespasian and Titus in quelling the first Jewish Revolt.

Rome 69-70 AD

Sear 2296

3.11g

Ex-Incitatus

Sold!
1 commentsTitus Pullo
Vespasian_LXF_CM.jpg
Vespasian LXF Countermark27 viewsVespasian. 69-79 A.D. AE Dupondius. Lugdunum Mint. 71 or 72 A.D. (10.93g, 28m, 6h) Obv: IMP C[AESAR V]ESPASIA[N AVG COS III] (1156), radiate head right, globe below. LXF countermark. Rev: SECVRITAS AVGVSTI; SC in ex., Securitas std. r., head resting on raised arm, with sceptre, to r. alter and torch. RIC II 1156 or 1197.

With pertinent portions of the legend obscured, it may be impossible to nail down the exact type. It was for the countermark that I obtained this coin however. Legio X Fretensis played a key role in the Flavian suppression of the Jewish Revolt, and was garrisoned in Jerusalem following the war. This coin traveled a long way from Lugdunum, where it was minted, to Judaea, where it was presumably countermarked.
Lucas H
Vesp IVDAEA.jpg
Vespasian RIC 02 (1)448 viewsAR Denarius, 3.35g
Rome Mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: IVDAEA in ex.; Jewess (as type of Judaea), draped and veiled, seated r. on ground in attitude of mourning, knees drawn up, head resting on l. hand, which is propped on knees, r. arm on lap; behind, trophy, consisting of helmet, cuirass, oblong and round shield, greaves, and two round shields
RIC 2 (C2). BMC 35. RSC 226. BNC 23.
Acquired from Glenn W. Woods, October 2003.

A reverse which commemorates the Roman victory over the Jews in the Jewish war of 66-70 A.D. Here is what the BMCRE stated about the reverse: "The veil over her head, the head sunk over her hand, her whole posture express utter dejection." One of the most important historical types of the Flavian dynasty. Although listed in RIC as Vespasian's first denarius type, this reverse could not have been struck before August 70 when Jerusalem fell to Titus Caesar and Judaea was truly 'Capta'. Although a very common type, these command premium prices in trade.

A coin that has a wonderful 'soldier-like' portrait and very detailed reverse. Very well centred for the type, most of which were struck on small flans.
Vespasian70
V4.jpg
Vespasian RIC 04172 viewsAR Denarius, 2.71g
Rome Mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: IVDAEA in ex.; Jewess (as type of Judaea), draped and veiled, seated r. on ground, head inclined downwards, l. knee drawn up, hand bound behind back and fastened to palm-tree
RIC 4 (R). BMC 43. RSC 229. BNC -.
Acquired from Zuzim Judaea, May 2012.

The reverse commemorates the end of the Jewish War and is part of the 'Judaea Capta' series that Vespasian issued soon after he became emperor. The coin depicts a Jewess, seated before a palm tree (representing the land of Judaea), with her hands tied behind her back and in mourning. Clearly no academic interpretation is needed to understand what is meant by this reverse design.
This particular reverse is a much scarcer type than the standard Jewess seated before trophy. Possibly it was considered too harsh and was discontinued, explaining its rarity. Was this type minted first and then the milder form of the design appeared?

This coin is a replacement upgrade for one I purchased six years ago. Is it better? I'm not so sure. The flan is oblong (but large at 21.5 mm), the obverse slightly double struck, and the details are not as sharp on the reverse. With all that being said, I like the toning, the beaded border is almost in full on the reverse (a rarity for an early Vespasian denarius), and the style is quite attractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
Vespasian_RIC_II_2.jpg
Vespasian RIC II 000298 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. Rome Mint 21 Dec. 69 to early 70 A.D. (3.07g, 18.5m, 6h). Obv: IMP [CAES]ɅR VESPɅSIɅNVS ɅVG, laureate head r. Rev: IVDɅEɅ in exergue, Judaea seated r., head resting on hand, in attitude of mourning, to r. of trophy. RIC II 02, RSC 266, BMC 35. Ex CNG.

Perhaps the iconic type of the reign of Vespasian, this commemorates the Flavian victory in the First Jewish Revolt culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Despite some wear on the obverse, this example is well centered, and the reverse retains its detail.
Lucas H
Vespasian_RIC_II_0004.jpg
Vespasian RIC II 000457 viewsVespasian. 69-79 A.D. Rome Mint Dec. 69 A.D. to early 70 A.D. (3.28g, 16.7m, 6h). Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head r. Rev: IVDAEA in ex., Judaea seated r, hands bound behind back to r. of palm tree. RIC II 4, R, BMC 43, RSC 229. Ex David Atherton.

Among the first issues for the new emperor, this coin shows Vespasian’s greatest victory, that of the Jewish War. This coin is less common that the type with Judea next to a trophy, and the palm also a symbol of Judaea. This specimen has a tight flan, but good detail on the reverse. This was issued before Vespasian’s arrival in Rome from Egypt when the die engravers were still at a loss for his true appearance.
5 commentsLucas H
Vespasian,_RIC_II_362.jpg
Vespasian RIC II 036231 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 72-73 A.D. (2.95g., 18.41mm, 6h). Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right. Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTI, Victory walking right, holding palm, crowning a legionary standard. RIC II 362. RSC 618, Hendin 771 (GBC 4), BMC 74.

A victory type commemorating Vespasian’s victory over the Jews during the First Jewish Revolt between 66 to 70 A.D. Sent by Nero to deal with the rebellion, Vespasain’s success led to the legions in the East declaring him Emperor after Nero’s death during the year of 4 emperors in 69 A.D.
Lucas H
Vespasian_RIC_II_0777.jpg
Vespasian RIC II 077723 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 75 A.D. (3.11g., 20.4m, 6h). Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right. Rev: PON MAX TR P COS VI, Victory standing l. on prow, with wreath and palm. RIC II 777, BMC 166, RSC 368.

This type, with Victory on a prow, may refer to Vespasian’s naval victory in 67 A.D. during the Jewish Revolt. Josephus, The Jewish War, III 522-524. With an irregular flan, this example has complete legends.
Lucas H
V159bestlg.jpg
Vespasian RIC-15948 viewsÆ Sestertius, 26.69g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: IVDAEA CAPTA; S C in exergue; Palm tree; to l. Captive stg. r.; to r., Judaea std. r. on cuirass; both figures surrounded by arms
RIC 159 (C3). BMC 532. BNC 490, pl. XLIV (same dies).
Acquired from Witter Coins, eBay, October 2019. Ex Triton V, 16 January 2002, lot 1913 (From the Robert Schonwalter Collection). Ex Worner List 1, January 1951, no. 394. Formerly in NGC holder #4683650-005, with grade 'F', strike 5/5, surface 3/5.

Ambition sighed: she found it vain to trust
The faithless column and the crumbling bust;
Huge moles, whose shadow stretched from shore to shore,
Their ruins perished, and their place no more!
Convinced, she now contracts her vast design,
And all her triumphs shrink into a coin.
A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps,
Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps. -
Alexander Pope, To Mr. Addison, Occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals II. 19-26

For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen ... Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground - Isaiah III.25-26.

In 70 AD Jerusalem was besieged and sacked and the Temple razed by the Roman forces commanded by Titus Caesar. The following year a massive joint Triumph was held in Rome for Vespasian and Titus to celebrate their successful conclusion of the Jewish Rebellion. Coins were also issued to commemorate their victory. These so called 'Judaea Capta' coins first appeared in late 70 just after the fall of Jerusalem in August, both in the precious metals and at first sparingly in bronze. It wasn't until 71, the year of the triumph, that the bronze coinage came into its own with a whole host of 'Judaea Capta' types. Probably the most famous of these depicts the ubiquitous date palm with a standing bound captive to the left and a seated Judaea to the right, both surrounded by arms. The second bronze issue of 71 saw these produced in massive quantities (Colin Kraay knew of 23 reverse dies paired with this obverse). Although the overall allegorical meaning of the reverse is readily apparent, what each individual device specifically symbolises is open to debate. We are on firm ground to assume the date palm represents the land of Judaea as H. Mattingly proposed in BMCRE II (although J. M. Cody speculated the palm possibly represents the Roman victory). The motif of the standing captive is copied from earlier Republican coin issues, reminiscent of the Gaulish and Spanish captives on those Republican types. His dress indicates he is a barbarian from outside the boundaries of Roman civilisation. In the spirit of the 'Vercingetorix' denarius, H. St. J. Hart proposed the captive is actually either Simon Bar Giora or John of Gischala(!), the two defeated Jewish commanders. The seated female figure is the personification of Judaea, the daughter of Zion. This figure is frequently seen on the various designs of the series, often paired with the palm tree. Her attitude of mourning and dejection leaves little doubt she is lamenting the defeat of her people.

Modern viewers see this as a forlorn scene of defeat, however, to the Roman coin designers the images are meant to convey victory over a worthy foe. The Jewish War was an important event for the fledgling Flavian dynasty - in essence it gave them the legitimacy to rule. The ensuing propaganda onslaught after the 'Gotterdammerung' fall of Jerusalem is awe inspiring. The slight of hand the Flavian regime pulled off which transformed defeated rebel provincials into a foreign menace is truly amazing. The coins were a major part of the regime's propaganda commemorating Vespasian's defeat of the Jews and saving the empire. Their efforts paid off, for even today this 'Judaea Capta' type is one of the most iconic and recognised reverses in the whole of Roman coinage.

Fantastic surfaces in good metal. A beauty in hand.
7 commentsDavid Atherton
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Vespasian RIC-167141 viewsÆ Sestertius, 24.60g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: IVDAEA CAPTA; S C in exergue; Palm tree; to l., Vespasian stg. r. with spear and parazonium, foot on helmet; to r., Judaea std. r. on cuirass
RIC 167 (C3). BMC 543. BNC 497.
Acquired from Denarius, December 2018.

The Jewish War was an important event for the fledgling Flavian dynasty - in essence it gave them the legitimacy to rule. The ensuing propaganda onslaught after the 'Gotterdammerung' fall of Jerusalem in August of 70 is awe inspiring. We have Josephus' description of the joint triumph of 71 held for Vespasian and Titus in book 7 of his 'Jewish War', the buildings and monuments erected by the regime, and more importantly for our purposes we have the coins. Judaea Capta types were struck in all metals for almost as long as the dynasty ruled. The first flurry of these came in 71, presumably in conjunction with the triumph, amidst a great issue of bronze coinage that same year. One of the most iconic Judaea Capta types is this sestertius' reverse featuring a triumphal Vespasian with a defeated Judaea at his feet, not surprisingly one of the more common types from the issue. Vespasian is seen proudly standing holding a spear and parazonium (a triangular sword) with his foot on an enemy helmet, while Judaea is sitting on a captured cuirass in abject despair - take note of their size discrepancy. The iconography on display here strongly hints at what the spectators of the triumph likely witnessed. The slight of hand the Flavian regime devised which transformed defeated rebel provincials into a foreign menace is truly amazing.

'Ambition sighed: she found it vain to trust
The faithless column and the crumbling bust;
Huge moles, whose shadow stretched from shore to shore,
Their ruins perished, and their place no more!
Convinced, she now contracts her vast design,
And all her triumphs shrink into a coin.
A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps,
Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps.' -
Alexander Pope, To Mr. Addison, Occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals II. 19-26

Honest wear with some minor cleaning scratches.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
V221aa.jpg
Vespasian RIC-22138 viewsÆ Sestertius, 19.38g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTI; S C in exergue; Victory stg. r., l. foot on helmet, inscribing OB / CIV / SERV on shield on palm tree; to r., Judaea std. r.
RIC 221 (C3). BMC 582. BNC 561.
Ex CNG eAuction 453, 2 October 2019, lot 522.

The commonness of most Judaea Capta types underscores how important the Jewish War and subsequent defeat of the Jews was to the fledgling Flavian dynasty. This iconic sestertius from the second bronze issue of 71 was struck in fairly plentiful numbers and copies a similar Victory type coined under Vitellius. It very likely was the first 'Judaea Capta' type struck for Vespasian. Colin Kraay records 21 different reverse dies used for this one type alone. The iconography on the reverse is quite explicit. Victory, nude from the waist up, is inscribing a shield attached to the trunk of a palm tree, the palm being a topographical symbol for the land of Judaea. The personification of Judaea herself sits in dejected mode to the right of the palm. The inscription on the shield, OB CIV SERV - 'for saving the citizens', credits the emperor for keeping the empire safe. The clear allegorical message of the reverse giving the credit to Vespasian for defeating the Jews and saving the empire would have been quite apparent to most people handling this coin. The amount of propaganda squeezed from the rebellion of such a small region is indeed remarkable. Josephus' declaration of the Jewish War as the 'greatest' of all time would have been quite welcomed by the Flavian regime.

Beautiful dark olive green patina good style.

NB: Special thanks to Curtis Clay for the Kraay citation.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
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Vespasian RIC-23878 viewsÆ Sestertius, 25.68g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: MARS VICTOR; S C in field; Mars, armoured, adv. l., with Victory and trophy
RIC 238 (C). BMC 552. BNC 509.
Ex CNG E443, 1 May 2019, lot 530.

A sestertius struck in Vespasian's great bronze issue of 71. The reverse features the first Mars type coined for the new emperor, copied from one previously struck for Vitellius. Mars is seen here in full military dress instead of the heroic nude he is normally depicted as on the contemporary denarii. This MARS VICTOR type pays proper respect to the god of war for granting Flavian success in the recently concluded Jewish War (an open display of celebration for defeating Vitellius would be taboo on the coinage). The portraits from this aes issue can be quite extraordinary. C.H.V. Sutherland in his book Roman Coins writes: 'Vespasian's aes, however, and not merely the sestertii, developed a full magnificence of portraiture ... The beauty of this work lay in it's realism, strong in authority and yet delicate in execution ...' (p. 189). Perhaps, a portrait such as this is what Sutherland had in mind when he wrote that passage.

The minor porosity does not detract from the superb veristic portrait and beautiful dark brown patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
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Vespasian RIC-33635 viewsÆ As, 11.55g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VICTORIA NAVALIS; S C in field; Victory stg. r. on prow, with wreath and palm
RIC 336 (C). BMC 616. BNC 595.
Acquired from J. Diller Münzenhandlung, July 2019.

A common VICTORIA NAVALAIS As struck during Vespasian's great bronze issue of 71. Traditionally, this type has been attributed to the naval victory Vespasian and Titus won on Lake Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee) during the Jewish War. By any definition it is a most bizarre 'naval' battle indeed. Near the close of the Galilean campaign, Vespasian and Titus marched to Lake Gennesaret in order to secure the cities along its coastline. Tiberias fell without much resistance, but the neighbouring city of Taricheae was a tougher nut to crack. Home to many of the Jewish rebels who had fled Tiberias, they put up a small fight on the plain outside the city and were quickly defeated by Titus' troops who then stormed the city and began slaughtering the inhabitants. Many of the rebels took flight to waiting boats they had previously commandeered on the lake. These were likely local fishing or ferry vessels not intended for use in war. Vespasian ordered the legionaries to construct large rafts in order to pursue the rebel's makeshift flotilla. With the coastline guarded by Roman horsemen the legionaries launched their rafts and sailed out in a large line toward the enemy. The Jewish boats were no match for the heavily armoured Roman rafts. The legionaries easily picked off the Jewish rebels who had no means of escape. The slaughter was intense, so much so that Josephus claims 6,500 Jews were killed. Several years later during Vespasian and Titus' Jewish War Triumph in Rome, ships were displayed to commemorate the battle. Were the Victoria Navalis coins struck with the same event in mind? As unlikely as it seems, the impromptu 'naval' battle at Lake Gennesaret is the best candidate for Vespasian striking this Actium-lite reverse type. The connection to Augustus would not have been lost on his contemporaries. Flavian propaganda at its most exaggerated.

Well centred with dark olive green patina.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
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Vespasian RIC-35159 viewsÆ Quadrans, 2.54g
Rome Mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP VESPASIAN AVG; Palm tree
Rev: P M TR PPP COS III; S C in field; Vexillum
RIC 351 (R). BMC 618. BNC -.
Acquired from numis-kimel, eBay, May 2019.

During Vespasian's great bronze issue of 71 the Rome mint produced a series of quadrantes. Their rarity today is likely a result of them being of low value and typically not hoarded. Mimicking the larger bronze, the Jewish War victory was celebrated on them as well. Because of the small flan size brevity is called for: a palm representing Judaea on the obverse, and a Vexillum symbolising military victory on the reverse - straight and to the point! Ironically, despite their rarity today, more of the plebeian population would have seen these quadrantes than their more famous 'Judaea Capta' silver cousins.

Struck with full legends and sporting a fetching 'Tiber' patina.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
V688sm.jpg
Vespasian RIC-688229 viewsAR Denarius, 2.84g
Rome mint, 74 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR in exergue; Vespasian stg. r., with branch and sceptre, in quadriga r.
Rev: VESP AVG across field; Victory on prow r., with wreath and palm
RIC 688 (R). BMC 147. RSC 569. BNC 121.
Ex Nomos Obolos 4, 21 February 2016, lot 575. Ex GH Collection. Ex Superior Galleries, The Moreira sale, Part II, 10-11 December 1988, lot 2374.

A major feature of Vespasian's coinage is in its use of antiquarian styled types and recycled ones from previous eras. K. Butcher and M. Ponting in The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage have shown that a big component of Vespasian's silver bullion consisted of recycled denarii from the republic and early empire. Vespasian's moneyers were removing the older worn coinage and replacing them with brand new coins and in the process keeping some of the familiar reverse designs that the Roman public had grown accustomed to.

With that in mind, this very rare coin which copies not only the reverse design from a denarius of Octavian, it also copies the obverse. The only change is with the reverse legend VESP AVG to indicate Vespasian's authority. Being undated, it is difficult to correctly place in the series. RIC assigns it to 74 AD based on the legends. D. Hendin to 71-72, just after Vespasian and Titus' joint triumph for the Jewish War.

This denarius is so rare I have only been able to locate six other examples, all of which are in public collections: BM 3 examples (one plated), Paris (BNC 121, obv die match with mine), Berlin (rev die match with mine), and ANA NY. Curtis Clay has kindly informed me of several other examples offered at auction: "Glendining, 1952, Ryan Part 5, part of lot 2147, not illustrated, 'only fine but rare.' Perhaps the same coin as Trau Sale, 1935, lot 625, pl. 8: a worn example. Stack's, Knobloch, May 1980, lot 300. VF, but small edge chip (the ANA NY coin). Leu, April 1982, lot 327, VF."

I think the RIC frequency rating of 'rare' really underestimates the rarity of the type.

Fantastic old cabinet toning on a large 20mm flan.
17 commentsDavid Atherton
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Vespasian RIC-777112 viewsAR Denarius, 3.50g
Rome mint, 75 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PON MA-X TR P COS VI; Victory, draped, standing l. on prow, holding wreath extended in r. hand and palm upright in l.
RIC 777 (C2). BMC 166. RSC 368. BNC 142.
Acquired from York Coins, November 2004.

The Victory on prow is a reference to a naval victory, perhaps the naval battle on the Sea of Galilee in 67 during the Jewish War.

A reverse type that is a bit scarce.
Vespasian70
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Vespasian RIC-89776 viewsÆ As, 9.85g
Rome mint, 76 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESP AVG COS VII; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVST; S C in field; Victory stg. r. on prow, with wreath and palm
RIC 897 (R). BMC p. 169 note. BNC -.
Ex eBay, 30 October 2018.

This As is part of a small bronze issue struck during the middle part of the Vespasian's reign and features the perennial favourite reverse of Victory on prow, a type more commonly found on the As issues at Rome. Unlike the VICTORIA NAVALIS type which likely celebrated a minor naval victory from the Jewish War, this Victory can be viewed in more generic terms. A similar type was also struck in silver on the denarii the previous year.

Strong middle-period portrait with pleasing dark chocolate patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
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Vespasian tetradrachm, Prieur 132110 viewsAntioch mint, Vespasian tetradrachm, 69 A.D. AR, 24.8mm 14.358g, Prieur 132, RPC II 1970
O: AYTOKPATΩP KAICAP CEBACTOC OYECPACIANOC, legend from 1oclock, laureate head right
R: ETOVC NEOV IEPOV A, eagle standing left on club, wings open, head left, wreath in beak, palm left

Struck to pay Titus' legions during the First Jewish Revolt. RPC notes c. 320 different dies indicate 6,500,000 Syrian tetradrachms might have been minted. This was the quantity Titus would have needed to pay his four legions. Hoard evidence finds many of these types in Judaea confirming they were used to pay the legions.
3 commentscasata137ec
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Vespasian Victoria Navalis RIC 50335 viewsVespasian, Ae As, Rome, 71 AD, 27mm, Sear (1988) 805, Cohen 632, BMCRE 616, RIC 503
OBV: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III, laureate head right
REV: VICTORIA NAVALIS SC, Victory standing right on prow, holding wreath & palm

A reference to the victory on Lake Galilee during the Jewish War.
1 commentsRomanorvm
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Vespasian(us)94 viewsRIC 2, RSC 226.
Vespasian, denarius.
Rome mint. Struck 69-70 AD.
19 mm 3,18 g.
Obv. IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right.
Rev. IVDAEA, Jewess, mourning, seated at right of trophy.

This 'Judaea Capta' coin commemorates the success of Vespasian and Titus against the First Jewish Revolt.

I know, it's a very common and worn coin, but for me (as for many others) it's a 'must have'.
2 commentsmars1112
Vesp_Ses_pan.jpg
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D. Rome mint77 viewsOrichalcum sestertius, RIC II 460, (BMCRE II 574), weight 23.556g, max. diameter 32.1mm, 180o, Rome mint, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES VESPAS AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right; reverse SALVS AVGVSTA S C, Salus seated left, patera in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left. Thin brown patina worn on high points.

Background info courtsey Forvm Ancient Coins

In 71 A.D., the year this coin was struck, Vespasian and his sons celebrated the vanquishing of the Jews with a triumph in Rome. The Jewish historian Josephus was present at the festivities and noted, "It is impossible to do justice in the description of the number of things to be seen and to the magnificence of everything that met the eye...The greatest amazement was caused by the floats. Their size gave grounds for alarm about their stability, for many were three or four stories high...On one float the army could be seen pouring inside the walls, on another was a place running with blood. Others showed defenseless men raising their hands in entreaty, firebrands being hurled at temples or buildings falling on their owners. On yet others were depicted rivers, which, after the destruction and desolation, flowed no longer through tilled fields providing water for men and cattle, but through a land on fire from end to end. It was to such miseries that the Jews doomed themselves by the war...Standing on his individual float was the commander of each of the captured cities showing the way he had been taken prisoner...Spoil in abundance was carried past. None of it compared with that taken from the Temple in Jerusalem...The procession was completed by Vespasian, and, behind him, Titus. Domitian rode on horseback wearing a beautiful uniform and on a mount that was wonderfully well worth seeing...

Ex Forvm Ancient Coins

3 commentsSteve E
vesp_pan.jpg
Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Antioch, Syria mint111 viewsSilver tetradrachm, ANS Journel 7-8(1995-96) McAlee group 6, #20var.( reg. year 2 instead of 1), Butcher p.73 fig.17 #3, Sear GIC 736var.(no crescent), Tripolis mint?, 14.45g, 26.82mm. max.diameter, (regnal year 2) 69 - 70 A.D.; obverse AYTOKPA OYεCΠACIANOC KAICAP CεBACTOC, laureate bust right; reverse ETOYC NEOY IEPOY B, eagle standing left on club, wreath in beak, palm left.

Notice the obv. has the letters epsilon in the Greek form ε , however the rev. has the Roman E form.

Ex. Roma Numismatics

Background info. courtesy Forvm Ancient Coins.

Struck to pay Titus' legions during the First Jewish Revolt. RPC notes c. 320 different dies indicate 6,500,000 Syrian tetradrachms might have been minted. This was the quantity Titus would have needed to pay his four legions. Hoard evidence finds many of these types in Judaea confirming they were used to pay the legions.
5 commentsSteve E
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Vespasian, Gardara, Tyche, AE2259 viewsBronze AE 23, Spijkerman 26; SNG ANS 6, 1300, aVF, 9.368g, 22.4mm, 0o, Decapolis, Gadara mint, 71 - 72 A.D.; obverse OYECPACIANOC KAICAP, laureate head right; reverse GADARA, Tyche standing left holding wreath and cornucopia, date LELP left ( = 71 - 72 A.D.

Obverse countermarked with female? bust right, cf. Howgego 207 (Tyche). Another option could also be the head of Hadrian and applied during the Second Jewish Revolt ("Bar Kochba" uprising) led by Simon Bar Kochba against Rome, 133 - 135 A.D. In 135 A.D., Hadrian destroyed Jerusalem and founded "Aelia Capitolina" on the site. The Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.

ex Automan collection, ex FORVM
areich
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Vespasian, RIC 159, Sestertius of AD 71 ((Judea capta) 52 viewsÆ Sestertius (24.0g, Ø34mm, 6h). Roman mint. Struck AD 71.
Obv.: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TR P P P COS III laureate head right
Rev.: IVDAEA CAPTA (around) S C (in ex.), to the right, Judea seated right, mourning under palm, shield before her; to the left, a captive standing right with hands tied behind.
RIC 159 (C3); Cohen 232

ex G.Henzen (Netherlands, 1996)

This issue commemorates the defeat of the Jewish revolt and the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.
1 commentsCharles S
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Vespasian, RIC 167, Sestertius of AD 71 ((Judea capta)91 viewsÆ Sestertius (28.6g, Ø37mm, 6h). Roman mint. Struck AD 71.
Obv.: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TR P P P COS III laureate head right
Rev.: IVDAEA CAPTA (around) S C (ex.), Judaea seated right, in attidue of sorrow, at the foot of a palm tree; behind Vespasian standing in military dress holding spear and parazonium; left foot on a helmet.
RIC 167 and pl. 22; BMCRE 543 and pl. 20, 8; Cohen 239; Sear (Roman Coins & their Values I) 2327
ex G. Henzen (Netherlands, 1998)

This issue is dedicated to the defeat of the Jewish revolt and fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. It was struck in AD 71, the year that witnessed the great joint triumph of Vespasian and Titus through the streets of Rome in celebration of their victory in Judaea.

Certificate of Authenticity by David R. Sear / A.C.C.S. Ref. 101CR/RI/C/V "Grade: VF, with brown patina and struck on a full flan, a good example of this important historical type"
3 commentsCharles S
Vespse08-2.jpg
Vespasian, RIC 179, Sestertius of AD 71 (Pax)47 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.15g, Ø34.5mm, 6h). Roman mint. Struck AD 71.
Obv.: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM TR P P P COS III laureate head right.
Rev.: PAX AVG (around) S C (ex.), Pax standing right, setting fire to a pile of arms; to the left, a column with a statue of Minerva on top and a shield against it; to the right, a lighted altar.
RIC 179 (R2); BMCRE 553; Cohen 239
ex Jean Elsen (Bruxelles); ex coll. A.Senden: l'architecture des monnaies romaines.

This issue is dedicated to the defeat of the Jewish revolt and fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.
1 commentsCharles S
V1160.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-116095 viewsÆ Dupondius, 11.14g
Lyon mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, radiate, r.; globe at point of bust
Rev: VICTORIA NAVALIS; S C in field; Victory stg. r. on prow, with wreath and palm
RIC 1160 (R2). BMC 809. BNC 809.
Acquired from Victor's Imperial Coins, September 2018. Formerly in NGC holder 2077395-004, grade 'Ch F'.

The Victory on prow type is traditionally attributed to the naval victory Vespasian won on Lake Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee) during the Jewish War. By any definition it is a most bizarre 'naval' battle indeed. Near the close of the Galilean campaign, Vespasian and Titus marched to Lake Gennesaret in order to secure the cities along its coastline. Tiberias fell without much resistance, but the neighbouring city of Taricheae was a tougher nut to crack. Home to many of the Jewish rebels who had fled Tiberias, they put up a small fight on the plain outside the city and were quickly defeated by Titus' troops who then stormed the city and began slaughtering the inhabitants. Many of the rebels took flight to waiting boats they had previously commandeered on the lake. These were likely local fishing or ferry vessels not intended for use in war. Vespasian ordered the legionaries to construct large rafts in order to pursue the rebel's makeshift flotilla. With the coastline guarded by Roman horsemen the legionaries launched their rafts and sailed out in a large line toward the enemy. The Jewish boats were no match for the heavily armoured Roman rafts. The legionaries easily picked off the Jewish rebels who had no means of escape. The slaughter was intense, so much so that Josephus claims 6,500 Jews were killed. Several years later during Vespasian and Titus' Jewish War Triumph in Rome, ships were displayed to commemorate the battle. Were the Victoria Navalis coins struck with the same event in mind? As unlikely as it seems, the impromptu 'naval' battle at Lake Gennesaret is the best candidate for Vespasian striking this Actium-lite reverse type. The connection to Augustus would not have been lost on his contemporaries. Flavian propaganda at its most exaggerated.

This Victoria Navalis dupondius struck at Lugdunum (Lyon) is much rarer than the Rome mint variants, which are more commonly seen on the As issues. The 'severe' portrait along with the globe at the base of the neck help to distinguish them from their Rome mint counterparts.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
V1176.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-117625 viewsÆ As, 9.99g
Lyon mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, r.; globe at point of bust
Rev: VICTORIA AVGVSTI; S C in field; Victory adv. l., with wreath and palm
RIC 1176 (R). BMC p. 201 note. BNC -.
Acquired from London Ancient Coins, November 2019.

This Lugdunese As was struck in 71 when both Lugdunum (modern Lyon) and Rome produced a massive issue of bronze coinage. Victory was a common theme on Vespasian's early issues and should be viewed in a generic context with no specific link to the Jewish War. This type with Victory sans prow is scarcer than those that include it. Oddly, although the BMC cites Cohen for this variant obverse legend with 'VESPASIAN', who in turn cites a specimen in the Paris collection, no such specimen is listed in the BNC.

Struck on a large 29mm flan with choice coppery toning.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
V1233aa.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-1233110 viewsÆ As, 9.19g
Lyon mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS VIII P P; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.; globe at point of bust
Rev: IVDAEA CAPTA; S C in exergue; Palm tree; to r., Judaea std. r.; to l. of tree, arms
RIC 1233 (C). BMC 845. BNC 846.
Acquired from Zuzim, October 2018.

The amount of propaganda the Flavian regime was able to squeeze out of the Jewish War is astounding. Here we have an As struck seven or eight years after the fall of Jerusalem still touting the Jewish defeat. It was the singular event that more than anything else gave the dynasty its prestige. It would have been unseemly to celebrate the defeat of fellow Romans after the end of the Civil War, but quite appropriate to do so over an eastern people, despite the fact they were within the boundaries of the Roman empire. This As was struck in a fairly large issue from the Lyon mint, presumably to address a shortage of bronze coinage in the western provinces late in Vespasian's reign.

Distinctive Lyon portrait, struck on a bent flan.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
divvs vespasian victory.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-364285 viewsAR Denarius, 3.45g
Rome mint, 79-80 AD (Titus)
Obv: DIVVS AVGVSTVS VESPASIANVS•; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: EX SC l. and r. in field. Victory, draped, stepping l., with both hands placing round shield on trophy, at base of which sits mourning captive (Jewess as type of 'Judaea Victa'?) l.
RIC 364 (C). BMC 112. RSC 144. BNC 90.
Acquired from Vaughn Rare Coin Gallery, June 2006.

This coin is part of a series of denarii which commemorates Vespasian's deification. The others in the series include the following reverses: the shield column and urn, two capricorns supporting a shield, and funeral quadriga.
The reverse is a reference to Vespasian's great victory in the Jewish War and the type was also used during the last year of his reign, of course with a different legend.

A very nice example of this type: good metal, strong portrait and a well executed reverse. Note the dot at the end of the Obv legend. I've always preferred the style of Titus' denarii which feature the dot.
4 commentsVespasian70
vespasiandupondius.jpg
Vespasian. AD 69-79. Æ Dupondius Lugdunum (Lyon) mint.14 views Vespasian. AD 69-79. Æ Dupondius (28mm, 12.53 g, 6h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck AD 71.
IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III Radiate bust right; globe at point of neck / VICTORIA NAVALIS, Victory standing right on prow, holding palm frond and wreath. RIC II 1159 (R2); Lyon 42. VF, green and brown patina.
Purchased From APMEX
Commemorating the naval battle at the Sea of Galilee during the Jewish War.
Rare Type
Britanikus
JohnHyrcanusAntiochos7Lily.jpg
[18H451] Judaean Kingdom, John Hyrcanus I (Yehohanan), 134 - 104 B.C., for the Seleukid King Antiochos VII106 viewsJohn Hyrcanus [for Antiochos VII]; Lily, AE, Hendin 451, 15mm, 2.92 grams; VF, Jerusalem; 182-180 B.C. This interesting coin was the precursor to the "prutah" which would subsequently be minted in Israel. Struck by John Hyrcanus, King of Judaea, in the name of the Seleukid King Antiochos VII, Euergetes (Sidetes). Ex Zuzim Judaea.

Johanan [John] Hyrcanus
(d. 104 BCE)

Grandson of Mattathias of Modein and chief architect of Judean dominance of Palestine. The youngest and only surviving son of Simon Thassi succeeded his father as high priest in 134 BCE. He was the fourth Hasmonean to rule Jerusalem. But his tenure began with a year-long Syrian siege that forced him to agree to tear down the city's fortifications and renew a tribute to the Greek emperor [133 BCE].

Within a few years, however, he took advantage of political turmoil in Syria following the death of Antiochus VII [129 BCE] to rebuild his forces, reclaim independence and extend Judean control over Palestine and Jordan. On the southern front he forced Judah's neighbors in Idumea [descendents of the Edomites] to accept Judaism and on the northern front he destroyed the rival temple at Shechem in Samaria.

Such triumphs made him the probable subject of messianic tributes by his fellow Judeans. But his own preference for Greek culture made him controversial in Jerusalem. When Pharisees challenged his right to be high priest, he switched his allegiance to the aristocratic Sadducee [Zadokite] party. Still, the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that other Zadokites probably rejected his leadership and left Jerusalem, labeling him the "wicked priest," who persecuted the priest whom they regarded as the "Teacher of Righteousness."

Copyright 2007, The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Published on The Jewish Virtual Library; http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/index.html


John Hyrcanus
John Hyrcanus (Yohanan Girhan) (reigned 134 BCE - 104 BCE, died 104 BCE) was a Hasmonean (Maccabeean) leader of the 2nd century BC. Apparently the name "Hyrcanus" was taken by him as a regnal name upon his accession to power. His taking a Greek regnal name was a significant political and cultural step away from the intransigent opposition to and rejection of Hellenistic culture which had characterised the Maccabaen revolt against Seleucid rule, and a more pragmatic recognition that Judea had to maintain its position among a millieu of small and large states which all shared the Hellenistic culture and communicated in Greek.

Life and work
He was the son of Simon Maccabaeus and hence the nephew of Judas Maccabaeus, Jonathan Maccabaeus and their siblings, whose story is told in the deuterocanonical books of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, and in the Talmud. John was not present at a banquet at which his father and his two brothers were murdered, purportedly by his brother-in-law Ptolemy. He attained to his father's former offices, that of high priest and king (although some Jews never accepted any of the Hasmoneans as being legitimate kings, as they were not lineal descendants of David).

His taking a Greek regnal name - "Hyrcanus" - was a significant political and cultural step away from the intransigent opposition to and rejection of Hellenistic culture which had characterised the Maccabaen revolt against Seleucid rule. It reflected a more pragmatic recognition that Judea, once having attained independence, had to maintain its position among a milieu of small and large states which all shared the Hellenistic culture. All subseqent Hashmonean rulers followed suit and adopted Greek names in their turn.

Achievements
John Hyrcanus apparently combined an energetic and able style of leadership with the zeal of his forebears. He was known as a brave and brilliant military leader. He is credited with the forced conversion of the Idumeans to Judaism, which was unusual for a Jewish leader; Judaism was not typically spread by the sword. He also set out to resolve forcibly the religious dispute between the Jews and the Samaritans; during his reign he destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim (although their descendants still worship among its ruins), which served further to deepen the already-historic hatred and rivalry between the two groups. Many historians believe that the apocryphal book of Jubilees was written during his reign; some would suggest even at his behest. Some writers, particularly Christian ones, have dated the division of Judaism into the parties of Pharisees and Sadducees to his era; most Jewish writers and some Christian ones suggest that this split actually well predates him. Some historians would go so far as to identify him, as a priest, predominantly with the Sadducee party, which was closely associated with the Temple worship and the priestly class.

Peak and decline of the kingdom
John Hyrcanus represented in some ways the highest point of the Hasmonean Dynasty. The restored Jewish "kingdom" approached its maximum limits of both territory and prestige. Upon his death, his offices were divided among his heirs; his son Aristobulus succeeded him as high priest; his wife as "Queen regnant". The son, however, soon came to desire the essentially unchecked power of his father; he shortly ordered his mother and his brothers imprisoned. This event seems to mark the beginning of the decline of the Hasmonean Dynasty; in just over four decades they were removed from power by the Roman Republic and none of them ever began to approach the level of power or prestige that had pertained to John Hyrcanus or his predecessors.

Modern Commemoration
Tel Aviv has a Yochanan Hyrcanus Street (רחוב יוחנן הורקנוס), as do several other cities in contemporary Israel. In the ealy decades of the 20th century, the Zionist historical perception of the Jewish past tended to approve of and revere strong warrior kings of both Biblical and later periods, and Hyrcanus' exploits earned him a place in that pantheon.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hyrcanus


John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Maccabee and nephew of the folk hero Judah Maccabee. Not long after Hyrcanus assumed power, the Seleukid kingdom marched on Jerusalem. The Seleukid king, Antiocus VII, and Hyrcanus I negotiated a treaty that left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian king. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=922&pos=0

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
HerodArch.jpg
[18H506] Judean Kingdom, Herod Archelaus, Ethnarch 4 B.C. - 6 A.D.15 viewsBronze prutah, Hendin 506, VG, 1.40g, 15.2mm, 270o, Jerusalem mint, obverse H P W, prow of galley right; reverse EQN (Ethnarch), surrounded by wreath.

Herod Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, inherited the southern part of his father's kingdom – Judaea, Samaria and Idumaea. Jerusalem was his capital. Augustus denied him the title king and 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.

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 or Rome. -- Ancient Jewish Coinage by Ya'akov Meshorer

Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate29BCHendin648.jpg
[18H648] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 29 BC48 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, "SIMPULUM;" Hendin 648, AVF/VF, 15.3mm, 2.20 grams, struck 29 C.E. Nice round, good weight Pontius Pilate Prutah.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
PontiusPilate30BCHendin649.jpg
[18H649] Pontius Pilate Prefect under Tiberius Prutah, "LIZ", 30 BC70 viewsPONTIUS PILATE PRUTAH, 'LIZ;' Hendin 649, VF, 15.5mm, 1.90 grams. Struck 30 C.E. Nice historic coin.

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
PontiusPilate31BCHendin650.jpg
[18H650] Pontius Pilate prefect for Tiberius Prutah, 31 BC68 viewsPONTIUS PILATUS PRUTAH. Hendin 650, aVF, 14.3mm, 1.94 grams. Minted 31 C.E. FULL "LIH" Date, (H partially hidden behind pretty patina can be revealed.)

THE COINS OF PONTIUS PILATE
Jean-Philippe Fontanille

INTRODUCTION
They are not really beautiful, or truly rare, nor are they of very great monetary value. Yet these apparently modest coins carry in their weight an era and an act which would have immense consequence to the history of the world. Indeed, they are closely associated with three basic factors which saw the foundation of Christianity :
1 - The temporal proximity : Most modern experts agree in recognising that the year now designated 30 C.E. marked the trial and the death of Jesus. Given that time-frame, Pilate's coins were minted in 29, 30 and 31 C.E.
2 - The geographic proximity : The most credible hypothesis indicates that these particular coins where struck in Jerusalem, the city in which the significant events took place.
3 - The human proximity : Pontius Pilate himself designed and put the coins into circulation, and of course he was the man who conducted the trial and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.

So it is that everyone, whether a believer or simply a lover of history or of numismatics, will find in these coins direct evidence of and witness to an episode the memory of which has survived 2000 years : A momentous event which has to a great extent fashioned the world we know.

Throughout this article we will also note the exceptional character of Pilate's coins: Exceptional in the nature of the images they bear, for the numerous variants they offer, for the presence of countermarks, and above all for the part their originator played in history. The putative appearance of these coins imprints on the Turin shroud has yet to be confirmed by more solid scientific proofs.

Pilate's coins are Roman coins, the words on them are Greek, they were circulated in Judea, and today they are to be found distributed among world-wide collectors after having spent 2000 years buried in the earth. They were minted and used during a period which produced an event destined to change the face of the world, and issued at the command of one of the principal actors in that event. An amazing and dramatic destiny for apparently such humble and unassuming little coins !

For 35 years Pilate's coins were passed from hand to hand every day. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the merchants' ranting, smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices ¬ now haggling over a price, now offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus or Jupiter.

Nobody prays to Jupiter any more [?], but Pilate's coins are surviving witnesses to a time when the first Christians were considered as a messianic sect among several others in the midst of Judaism in crisis. The absolute split between Judaism and Christianity took place from about 70 C.E, the year which marked the tragic ending of the first Jewish rebellion. It was from that time, too, that Pilate's money ceased to be used.

Like each one of us, who carries always a few small coins in the bottom of our pockets; there is no doubt that some of Pilate's coins resonated to the last words of the most famous of all supplicants. A very long story had its beginning...

2. MANUFACTURE AND CIRCULATION
LOCATION OF MINTS
Although the prefects had their residencies in Cesarea, the administrative capital of the province, it seems that their money was minted in Jerusalem. Indeed, a specimen dated year 31 has been found in this town in an incomplete state of manufacture.

DURATION OF USE
It would seem that Pilate's money was in current use for at least 35 years. Indeed, some of it has been discovered among other coins during the excavation of remains of dwellings destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish revolt, which is evidence that they were still in use at that time.

AREA OF CIRCULATION
These coins circulated far beyond the frontiers of Judea. Some samples have been discovered as far away as Antioch in present-day Turkey, nearly 500 kilometres from Jerusalem where they were minted. Others have also been found in Jordan. These limits represent a circulation area of at least 100.000 square kilometres, that is five times larger than the size of the state of Israel. Taking into account that it was a time when distances were expressed in terms of days of march, one begins to see the important influence of these coins.

3. THE IMAGES AND THE TEXTS
THE SIMPULUM
A fairly frequent symbol from the Roman religion of the time, the simpulum was a utensil used by the priests during their religious ceremonies. This little ladle, provided with shaft and a handle, allowed the priests to taste the wine which they poured onto the head of an animal destined for sacrifice, after which the soothsayer was empowered to examine the animal's entrails for signs and portents sent to men by the Gods through the medium of the interpreter. As I pointed, none of this would have been obvious at first sight of the motif except perhaps to a Roman citizen. However, it throws some light on the theory put forward by F.A. Banks [Coins of the Bible Days].

This wasn't the first time that the simpulum appeared on Roman coins, but it is the first time it figured alone. This fact gives an additional specificity to Pilate's coins, not only in the context of Judea but also in comparison with all the other coins of the Empire.

THE THREE EARS OF BARLEY
The three ears or barley are featured on the opposing face of the simpulum. Unlike the simpulum, these ears of barley are not in contravention of the Jewish Law. The motif is nevertheless distinctive because it is the first time it appears on a Judean coin. The motif would reappear twelve years later on one of Herod Agrippa's coin, then on another, much rarer, of Agrippa II (ears of barley held in a hand). After that, the motif disappeared altogether from ancient Jewish coins.

THE LITUUS
The lituus was the wooden staff which the augurs held in the right hand; it symbolised their authority and their pastoral vocation. It was raised toward heavens while the priests invoked the Gods and made their predictions. Legend records that Romulus used it at the time of Rome's foundation in 753 B.C.E. It is interesting to note that the cross used in present times is the direct descendant of the lituus. As with the simpulum, Pilate's coinage is exceptional in that it alone displays the lituus as the sole object illustrated on the face.

THE WREATH
The laurel wreath is a symbol of power and victory, and figures on various ancient Greek and Roman coins. In Judea it can be found during the reign of John Hyrcanus I (134 to 104 B.C.E.). After that, Herod Antipas, speaker for Pilate, used it on all his coins. On Pilate's coins, the laurel wreath figures on the reverse side of the lituus, framing the date.

THE DATES
The notation of dates uses a code invented by the Greeks whereby each letter of the alphabet was assigned a number. This code would be used again in Judaism under the name of Guematria. The system is simple : the first ten letters of the alphabet are linked to units (1,2,3...), the following ten letters to tens (10,20,30...) and the four remaining letters to the first four hundreds. The "L" is an abbreviation meaning "year". Tiberius became emperor on September 17 of year 14 C.E, so we have :

LIS = Year 29 C.E. * LIZ = Year 30 C.E. * LIH = Year 31 C.E.

THE TEXTS
The legends on Pontius Pilate's coins are written in Greek. Judea, governed by the Ptolemy dynasty (301 to 198 B.C.E) then by the Syrians until 63 B.C.E, came under the same powerful influence of the Hellenic culture which touched the other territories of the ancient Persian Empire won by Alexander the Great. In spite of a certain amount of resistance, this Hellenistic heritage eventually crept into every aspect of daily life. Apart from the dates, the texts on Pilate's coinage consisted of only three different words : - TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC (Of Tiberius Emperor) on all three coins; - IOYLIA KAICAPOC (Empress Julia) added to the coin of year 29.
http://www.numismalink.com/fontanille1.html


Pontius Pilate
After the deposition of the eldest son of Herod, Archelaus (who had succeeded his father as ethnarch), Judea was placed under the rule of a Roman procurator. Pilate, who was the fifth, succeeding Valerius Gratus in A.D. 26, had greater authority than most procurators under the empire, for in addition to the ordinary duty of financial administration, he had supreme power judicially. His unusually long period of office (A.D. 26-36) covers the whole of the active ministry both of St. John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ.
As procurator Pilate was necessarily of equestrian rank, but beyond that we know little of his family or origin. Some have thought that he was only a freedman, deriving his name from pileus (the cap of freed slaves) but for this there seems to be no adequate evidence, and it is unlikely that a freedman would attain to a post of such importance. The Pontii were a Samnite gens. Pilate owed his appointment to the influence of Sejanus. The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Cæsarea; where there was a military force of about 3,000 soldiers. These soldiers came up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, when the city was full of strangers, and there was greater danger of disturbances, hence it was that Pilate had come to Jerusalem at the time of the Crucifixion. His name will be forever covered with infamy because of the part which he took in this matter, though at the time it appeared to him of small importance.
Pilate is a type of the worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it so far as it can be done without personal sacrifice of any kind, but yielding easily to pressure from those whose interest it is that he should act otherwise. He would gladly have acquitted Christ, and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened.
The other events of his rule are not of very great importance. Philo (Ad Gaium, 38) speaks of him as inflexible, merciless, and obstinate. The Jews hated him and his administration, for he was not only very severe, but showed little consideration for their susceptibilities. Some standards bearing the image of Tiberius, which had been set up by him in Jerusalem, caused an outbreak which would have ended in a massacre had not Pilate given way. At a later date Tiberius ordered him to remove certain gilt shields, which he had set up in Jerusalem in spite of the remonstrances of the people. The incident mentioned in St. Luke 13:1, of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate mingled with the sacrifices, is not elsewhere referred to, but is quite in keeping with other authentic events of his rule. He was, therefore, anxious that no further hostile reports should be sent to the emperor concerning him.
The tendency, already discernible in the canonical Gospels, to lay stress on the efforts of Pilate to acquit Christ, and thus pass as lenient a judgment as possible upon his crime, goes further in the apocryphal Gospels and led in later years to the claim that he actually became a Christian. The Abyssinian Church reckons him as a saint, and assigns 25 June to him and to Claudia Procula, his wife. The belief that she became a Christian goes back to the second century, and may be found in Origen (Hom., in Mat., xxxv). The Greek Church assigns her a feast on 27 October. Tertullian and Justin Martyr both speak of a report on the Crucifixion (not extant) sent in by Pilate to Tiberius, from which idea a large amount of apocryphal literature originated. Some of these were Christian in origin (Gospel of Nicodemus), others came from the heathen, but these have all perished.
His rule was brought to an end through trouble which arose in Samaria. An imposter had given out that it was in his power to discover the sacred vessels which, as he alleged, had been hidden by Moses on Mount Gerizim, whither armed Samaritans came in large numbers. Pilate seems to have thought the whole affair was a blind, covering some other more important design, for he hurried forces to attack them, and many were slain. They appealed to Vitellius, who was at that time legate in Syria, saying that nothing political had been intended, and complaining of Pilate's whole administration. He was summoned to Rome to answer their charges, but before he could reach the city the Emperor Tiberius had died.
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12083c.htm

As the man who presided over the trial of Jesus, who found no fault with the defendant and washed his hands of the affair by referring it back to the Jewish mob, but who signed the final death warrant, Pontius Pilate represents almost a byword for ambivalence.
He appears in a poor light in all four Gospels and in a favourable light in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter where the Jews take all the blame for Jesus' death.
In the later Acts of Pilate, he is both cleared of responsibility for the Crucifixion and is said to have converted to Christianity.
In the drama of the Passion, Pilate is a ditherer who drifts towards pardoning Jesus, then drifts away again. He tries to pass the buck several times, makes the decision to save Jesus, then capitulates.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the late Robert Runcie once wrote, "It would have been better for the moral health of Christianity if the blame had stayed with Pilate."
In a poignant moment in the course of the trial, Pontius Pilate responds to an assertion by Jesus by asking "What is truth?"
The truth about Pilate is difficult to ascertain since records are few. Legends say he was a Spaniard or a German, but most likely he was a natural-born Roman citizen from central Italy.
But the fact that he was definitely the Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD helps to establish Jesus as a real person and fixes him in time.
The official residence of the procurators was the palace of Herod at Caesarea, a mainly non-Jewish city where a force of some 3,000 Roman soldiers were based.
These would come to Jerusalem during the time of feasts when there was a greater danger of disturbances. This would explain Pilate's presence in the city during the time of the Crucifixion.
Pilate is recorded by several contemporary historians; his name is inscribed on Roman coins and on a stone dug up in Caesarea in the 1960s with the words, PONTIUS PILATUS PRAEFECTUS PROVINCIAE JUDAEAE.
The governorship of Judea was only a second-rate posting, though having the Jewish religious capital, Jerusalem, on its patch would have increased its importance.
Pilate ruled in conjunction with the Jewish authorities and was under orders from Emperor Tiberius, to respect their culture. He was a soldier rather than a diplomat.
The Jews relied on the Romans to keep their own rebellious factions under control. But they appeared to hate Pilate.
One contemporary Jewish historian Philo, describes him as a violent thug, fond of executions without trial. Another, Josephus, records that, at the start of his term, Pilate provoked the Jews by ordering the imperial standards to be carried into Jerusalem.
But he backed off from an all-out confrontation. On the other hand, later, he helped himself to Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct.
When, according to Josephus, bands of resistance fighters, supported by crowds of ordinary people, sabotaged the project by getting in the way of Pilate's workmen, he sent in his soldiers. Hundreds were massacred.
Anne Wroe, author of a recent book Pilate: the Biography of an Invented Man, says that for some modern scholars, given this propensity for violence when the occasion warranted, the idea of Pilate as a waverer is nonsense.
A Roman governor, they point out, would not have wasted two minutes thinking about a shabby Jewish villain, one among many. Wroe's depiction of Pilate, however, suggests he was something of a pragmatist.
His first duty was to keep the peace in Judea and to keep the revenues flowing back to Rome. "Should I have jeopardised the peace for the sake of some Jew who may have been innocent?", she has Pilate asking. "Should I have defied a furious crowd, maybe butchered them, to save one life?"
Whatever the truth about the real Pontius Pilate, such dilemmas are what he has come to symbolise.
Anne Wroe makes the modern comparisons of Neville Chamberlain in 1938. Bill McSweeney, of the Irish School of Ecumenics suggests that "without the Pilates of Anglo-Irish politics, we might never have had the Good Friday Agreement".
Tony Blair has said of Pilate: "It is possible to view Pilate as the archetypal politician, caught on the horns of a dilemma."
Even if, in reality, the Jesus affair was nothing but a small side-show in the career of Pontius Pilate, it had monumental repercussions for his image.
His inclusion in the Christian creeds, in the words of Robert Runcie, "binds the eternal realms to the stumbling, messy chronology of earthly time and place".
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1273594.stm

The Ethiopian Church recognized Pilate as a saint in the sixth century, based on the account in the Acts of Pilate

Although historians can pinpoint the exact date of death of many distinguished historical figures, the date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ remains a matter of scholarly debate. Christ’s birth is most often dated between 7-5 BC (some scholars have suggested, however, His birth was as early as 20 BC). Christ’s Death and Resurrection is dated between 29-36 AD.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
1stJewRevHen661.jpg
[18H661] The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.25 viewsThe First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D. Bronze prutah, Hendin 661, aF, Jerusalem, 2.48g, 17.1mm, 0o, year 2, 67-68 A.D. Obverse: amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; Reverse: vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around.

Discontent among the Jews and inept rule by the Romans and their surrogate officials led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, son of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

The Amphora: Three kinds of liquids were used in the Temple: water, oil and wine. Water and wine were used for Libation. Oil was used for the Meal Offering in bread eaten by the priests. For lighting, the purest oil was reserved for the Menorah. At the time of The First Jewish Revolt, the Menorah was considered too sacred to depict on coins. The Amphora depicted may be the vessel that held the oil for the Menorah.

The grape and grape vine: Grapes, the vine, and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ancient 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.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
1JewRev.jpg
[18H664] The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.23 viewsBronze prutah, Hendin 664, aF, Jerusalem, 3.787g, 18.6mm, 180o, year 3, 68-69 A.D.; obverse amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 3 (in Hebrew) around; reverse vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around.

Discontent among the Jews and inept rule by the Romans and their surrogate officials led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, son of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

The Amphora: Three kinds of liquids were used in the Temple: water, oil and wine. Water and wine were used for Libation. Oil was used for the Meal Offering in bread eaten by the priests. For lighting, the purest oil was reserved for the Menorah. At the time of The First Jewish Revolt, the Menorah was considered too sacred to depict on coins. The Amphora depicted may be the vessel that held the oil for the Menorah.

The grape and grape vine: Grapes, the vine, and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ancient 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.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
1stJewRev_b.jpg
[18H664] The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.14 viewsThe First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D. Bronze prutah, Hendin 664, Fair, Jerusalem, 2.48g, 18.0mm, 180o, year 3, 68-69 A.D. Obverse: amphora with broad rim and two handles, year 3 (in Hebrew) around; Reverse: vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around.

Discontent among the Jews and inept rule by the Romans and their surrogate officials led to open rebellion in 66 A.D. The Romans distracted by the Civil Wars following the death of Nero were unable to put a speedy end to the revolt. But, in 70 A.D. Titus, son of the new Emperor Vespasian captured and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

The Amphora: Three kinds of liquids were used in the Temple: water, oil and wine. Water and wine were used for Libation. Oil was used for the Meal Offering in bread eaten by the priests. For lighting, the purest oil was reserved for the Menorah. At the time of The First Jewish Revolt, the Menorah was considered too sacred to depict on coins. The Amphora depicted may be the vessel that held the oil for the Menorah.

The grape and grape vine: Grapes, the vine, and wine were an important part of the ancient economy and ancient 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.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=105&pos=0
Cleisthenes
DomJudCap~0.jpg
[18H749] Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea, Samaria28 viewsDomitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea, Samaria. Bronze AE 23, Hendin 749, BMC 42-52, SNG ANS 492- 494, F, Caesarea, 9.012g, 21.9mm, 0o, obverse IMP DOMITIANVS CAES AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head left; reverse no legend, helmeted figure of Athena standing left, holding shield and spear, placing helmet on trophy, consisting of cuirass, two shields and spears, two crossed greaves at bottom.

Flavius Domitianus was an effective emperor who spent much of his time in the provinces preserving order. Despite his effectiveness, he was extremely unpopular with the senatorial class at Rome. He appointed persons from the lower classes to positions of authority. When asked to prohibit execution of senators without a trial by peers he declined, thus dispelling the old illusions of republican government and exposing the true autocracy of his rule. Domitian's reign was marred by paranoia and cruelty in his latter years and he executed many Senators. In 96 A.D. he was stabbed to death in a plot, allegedly involving his own wife.

After Herod's death, Caesaria was the seat of the Roman procurator and capital of Roman Palestine for about 500 years. A riot in 66 A.D. between Syrians and Jews in the city led to the First Jewish revolt and the Judaea Capta of Titus. Paul was delivered to Caesaria when his life was threatened in Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). From Caesaria, Paul departed to Tarsus, his birthplace. Paul met the church in Caesarea (Acts 18:22; 21:8,16). Finally, Paul was taken prisoner (Acts 23:23,33) and returned to Caesaria where he was tried before Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25:1-4; 24:6-13).

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/index.asp?vpar=135&pos=0
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin754.jpg
[18H759a] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta49 viewsVespasian. 69-71 AD. AR Denarius;17mm, 3.28g; Hendin 759, RIC 15. Obverse: Laureate head right; Reverse: Jewess seated right, on ground, mourning below right of trophy, IVDAEA below. Ex Imperial Coins.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VesJudCapt.jpg
[18H759] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta173 viewsSilver denarius, Hendin 759, RIC 15, BM 35, RSC 226, S 2296, Fair, 2.344g, 17.0mm, 180o, Rome mint, 69-70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IVDAEA in exergue, Jewess, mourning, seated at right of trophy.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin779.jpg
[18H779] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta issue132 viewsOrichalcum dupondius, Hendin 779, RIC II 1160, BMCRE 809 (same dies), aVF, Lugdunum mint, 9.969g, 27.7mm, 180o, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III, radiate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse VICTORIA NAVALIS S C, Victory standing right on a prow, wreath in right, palm frond over should in left (Refers to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea); rough; rare (R2). Ex FORVM.




De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
TrajSepphorisGalilee.jpg
[18H907] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Sepphoris, Galilee220 viewsBronze AE 23, Hendin 907, BMC 5, Fair, 7.41g, 23.1mm, 0o, Sepphoris mint, 98 - 117 A.D.; obverse TPAIANOS AYTO]-KPA[TWP EDWKEN, laureate head right; reverse SEPFW/RHNWN, eight-branched palm bearing two bunches of dates.

At the crossroads of the Via Maris and the Acre-Tiberias roads, Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee and Herod Antipas' first capital. Damaged by a riot, Antipas ordered Sepphoris be rebuilt. Flavius Josephus described the rebuilt Sepphoris as the "ornament of all Galilee." Since Sepphoris was only five miles north of Nazareth, Jesus and Joseph may have found work in Antipas' rebuilding projects. Sepphoris was built on a hill and visible for miles. This may be the city that Jesus spoke of when He said, "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

This is perhaps the most important and best known of all Edward Gibbon's famous dicta about his vast subject, and particularly that period which he admired the most. It was a concatenation of chance and events which brought to the first position of the principate five men, each very different from the others, who each, in his own way, brought integrity and a sense of public duty to his tasks. Nerva's tenure was brief, as many no doubt had expected and hoped it would be, and perhaps his greatest achievement was to choose Trajan as his adoptive son and intended successor. It was a splendid choice. Trajan was one of Rome's most admirable figures, a man who merited the renown which he enjoyed in his lifetime and in subsequent generations.

The sources for the man and his principate are disappointingly skimpy. There is no contemporaneous historian who can illuminate the period. Tacitus speaks only occasionally of Trajan, there is no biography by Suetonius, nor even one by the author of the late and largely fraudulent Historia Augusta. (However, a modern version of what such a life might have been like has been composed by A. Birley, entirely based upon ancient evidence. It is very useful.) Pliny the Younger tells us the most, in his Panegyricus, his long address of thanks to the emperor upon assuming the consulship in late 100, and in his letters. Pliny was a wordy and congenial man, who reveals a great deal about his senatorial peers and their relations with the emperor, above all, of course, his own. The most important part is the tenth book of his Epistulae, which contains the correspondence between him, while serving in Bithynia, and the emperor, to whom he referred all manner of problems, important as well as trivial. Best known are the pair (96,97) dealing with the Christians and what was to be done with them. These would be extraordinarily valuable if we could be sure that the imperial replies stemmed directly from Trajan, but that is more than one can claim. The imperial chancellery had developed greatly in previous decades and might pen these communications after only the most general directions from the emperor. The letters are nonetheless unique in the insight they offer into the emperor's mind.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, wrote a long imperial history which has survived only in abbreviated form in book LXVIII for the Trajanic period. The rhetorician Dio of Prusa, a contemporary of the emperor, offers little of value. Fourth-century epitomators, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, offer some useful material. Inscriptions, coins, papyri, and legal texts are of major importance. Since Trajan was a builder of many significant projects, archaeology contributes mightily to our understanding of the man.

Early Life and Career
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica , where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B.C. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family's ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. Trajan's father was the first member of the family to pursue a senatorial career; it proved to be a very successful one. Born probably about the year 30, he perhaps commanded a legion under Corbulo in the early sixties and then was legate of legio X Fretensis under Vespasian, governor of Judaea. Success in the Jewish War was rewarded by the governorship of an unknown province and then a consulate in 70. He was thereafter adlected by the emperor in patricios and sent to govern Baetica. Then followed the governorship of one of the major military provinces, Syria, where he prevented a Parthian threat of invasion, and in 79/80 he was proconsul of Asia, one of the two provinces (the other was Africa) which capped a senatorial career. His public service now effectively over, he lived on in honor and distinction, in all likelihood seeing his son emperor. He probably died before 100. He was deified in 113 and his titulature read divus Traianus pater. Since his son was also the adoptive son of Nerva, the emperor had officially two fathers, a unique circumstance.

The son was born in Italica on September 18, 53; his mother was Marcia, who had given birth to a daughter, Ulpia Marciana, five years before the birth of the son. In the mid seventies, he was a legionary legate under his father in Syria. He then married a lady from Nemausus (Nimes) in Gallia Narbonensis, Pompeia Plotina, was quaestor about 78 and praetor about 84. In 86, he became one of the child Hadrian's guardians. He was then appointed legate of legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, from which he marched at Domitian's orders in 89 to crush the uprising of Antonius Saturninus along the Rhine. He next fought in Domitian's war against the Germans along Rhine and Danube and was rewarded with an ordinary consulship in 91. Soon followed the governorship of Moesia inferior and then that of Germania superior, with his headquarters at Moguntiacum (Mainz), whither Hadrian brought him the news in autumn 97 that he had been adopted by the emperor Nerva, as co-ruler and intended successor. Already recipient of the title imperator and possessor of the tribunician power, when Nerva died on January 27, 98, Trajan became emperor in a smooth transition of power which marked the next three quarters of a century.

Early Years through the Dacian Wars
Trajan did not return immediately to Rome. He chose to stay in his German province and settle affairs on that frontier. He showed that he approved Domitian's arrangements, with the establishment of two provinces, their large military garrisons, and the beginnings of the limes. Those who might have wished for a renewed war of conquest against the Germans were disappointed. The historian Tacitus may well have been one of these.

Trajan then visited the crucial Danube provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, where the Dacian king Decebalus had caused much difficulty for the Romans and had inflicted a heavy defeat upon a Roman army about a decade before. Domitian had established a modus vivendi with Decebalus, essentially buying his good behavior, but the latter had then continued his activities hostile to Rome. Trajan clearly thought that this corner of empire would require his personal attention and a lasting and satisfactory solution.

Trajan spent the year 100 in Rome, seeing to the honors and deification of his predecessor, establishing good and sensitive relations with the senate, in sharp contrast with Domitian's "war against the senate." Yet his policies essentially continued Domitian's; he was no less master of the state and the ultimate authority over individuals, but his good nature and respect for those who had until recently been his peers if not his superiors won him great favor. He was called optimus by the people and that word began to appear among his titulature, although it had not been decreed by the senate. Yet his thoughts were ever on the Danube. Preparations for a great campaign were under way, particularly with transfers of legions and their attendant auxiliaries from Germany and Britain and other provinces and the establishment of two new ones, II Traiana and XXX Ulpia, which brought the total muster to 30, the highest number yet reached in the empire's history.

In 101 the emperor took the field. The war was one which required all his military abilities and all the engineering and discipline for which the Roman army was renowned. Trajan was fortunate to have Apollodorus of Damascus in his service, who built a roadway through the Iron Gates by cantilevering it from the sheer face of the rock so that the army seemingly marched on water. He was also to build a great bridge across the Danube, with 60 stone piers (traces of this bridge still survive). When Trajan was ready to move he moved with great speed, probably driving into the heart of Dacian territory with two columns, until, in 102, Decebalus chose to capitulate. He prostrated himself before Trajan and swore obedience; he was to become a client king. Trajan returned to Rome and added the title Dacicus to his titulature.

Decebalus, however, once left to his own devices, undertook to challenge Rome again, by raids across the Danube into Roman territory and by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against her. Trajan took the field again in 106, intending this time to finish the job of Decebalus' subjugation. It was a brutal struggle, with some of the characteristics of a war of extirpation, until the Dacian king, driven from his capital of Sarmizegethusa and hunted like an animal, chose to commit suicide rather than to be paraded in a Roman triumph and then be put to death.

The war was over. It had taxed Roman resources, with 11 legions involved, but the rewards were great. Trajan celebrated a great triumph, which lasted 123 days and entertained the populace with a vast display of gladiators and animals. The land was established as a province, the first on the north side of the Danube. Much of the native population which had survived warfare was killed or enslaved, their place taken by immigrants from other parts of the empire. The vast wealth of Dacian mines came to Rome as war booty, enabling Trajan to support an extensive building program almost everywhere, but above all in Italy and in Rome. In the capital, Apollodorus designed and built in the huge forum already under construction a sculpted column, precisely 100 Roman feet high, with 23 spiral bands filled with 2500 figures, which depicted, like a scroll being unwound, the history of both Dacian wars. It was, and still is, one of the great achievements of imperial "propaganda." In southern Dacia, at Adamklissi, a large tropaeum was built on a hill, visible from a great distance, as a tangible statement of Rome's domination. Its effect was similar to that of Augustus' monument at La Turbie above Monaco; both were constant reminders for the inhabitants who gazed at it that they had once been free and were now subjects of a greater power.

Administration and Social Policy
The chief feature of Trajan's administration was his good relations with the senate, which allowed him to accomplish whatever he wished without general opposition. His auctoritas was more important than his imperium. At the very beginning of Trajan's reign, the historian Tacitus, in the biography of his father-in-law Agricola, spoke of the newly won compatibility of one-man rule and individual liberty established by Nerva and expanded by Trajan (Agr. 3.1, primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva Caesar res olim dissociabiles miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem, augeatque cotidie felicitatem temporum Nerva Traianus,….) [13] At the end of the work, Tacitus comments, when speaking of Agricola's death, that he had forecast the principate of Trajan but had died too soon to see it (Agr. 44.5, ei non licuit durare in hanc beatissimi saeculi lucem ac principem Traianum videre, quod augurio votisque apud nostras aures ominabatur,….) Whether one believes that principate and liberty had truly been made compatible or not, this evidently was the belief of the aristocracy of Rome. Trajan, by character and actions, contributed to this belief, and he undertook to reward his associates with high office and significant promotions. During his principate, he himself held only 6 consulates, while arranging for third consulates for several of his friends. Vespasian had been consul 9 times, Titus 8, Domitian 17! In the history of the empire there were only 12 or 13 private who reached the eminence of third consulates. Agrippa had been the first, L. Vitellius the second. Under Trajan there were 3: Sex. Iulius Frontinus (100), T. Vestricius Spurinna (100), and L. Licinius Sura (107). There were also 10 who held second consulships: L. Iulius Ursus Servianus (102), M.' Laberius Maximus (103), Q. Glitius Atilius Agricola (103), P. Metilius Sabinus Nepos (103?), Sex. Attius Suburanus Aemilianus (104), Ti. Iulius Candidus Marius Celsus (105), C. Antius A. Iulius Quadratus (105), Q. Sosius Senecio (107), A. Cornelius Palma Frontonianus (109), and L. Publilius Celsus (113). These men were essentially his close associates from pre-imperial days and his prime military commanders in the Dacian wars.

One major administrative innovation can be credited to Trajan. This was the introduction of curators who, as representatives of the central government, assumed financial control of local communities, both in Italy and the provinces. Pliny in Bithynia is the best known of these imperial officials. The inexorable shift from freedmen to equestrians in the imperial ministries continued, to culminate under Hadrian, and he devoted much attention and considerable state resources to the expansion of the alimentary system, which purposed to support orphans throughout Italy. The splendid arch at Beneventum represents Trajan as a civilian emperor, with scenes of ordinary life and numerous children depicted, which underscored the prosperity of Italy.

The satirist Juvenal, a contemporary of the emperor, in one of his best known judgments, laments that the citizen of Rome, once master of the world, is now content only with "bread and circuses."

Nam qui dabat olim / imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se / continet, atque duas tantum res anxius optat, / panem et circenses. (X 78-81)

Trajan certainly took advantage of that mood, indeed exacerbated it, by improving the reliabilty of the grain supply (the harbor at Ostia and the distribution system as exemplified in the Mercati in Rome). Fronto did not entirely approve, if indeed he approved at all. The plebs esteemed the emperor for the glory he had brought Rome, for the great wealth he had won which he turned to public uses, and for his personality and manner. Though emperor, he prided himself upon being civilis, a term which indicated comportment suitable for a Roman citizen.

There was only one major addition to the Rome's empire other than Dacia in the first decade and a half of Trajan's reign. This was the province of Arabia, which followed upon the absorption of the Nabataean kingdom (105-106).

Building Projects
Trajan had significant effect upon the infrastructure of both Rome and Italy. His greatest monument in the city, if the single word "monument" can effectively describe the complex, was the forum which bore his name, much the largest, and the last, of the series known as the "imperial fora." Excavation for a new forum had already begun under Domitian, but it was Apollodorus who designed and built the whole. Enormous in its extent, the Basilica Ulpia was the centerpiece, the largest wood roofed building in the Roman world. In the open courtyard before it was an equestrian statue of Trajan, behind it was the column; there were libraries, one for Latin scrolls, the other for Greek, on each side. A significant omission was a temple; this circumstance was later rectified by Hadrian, who built a large temple to the deified Trajan and Plotina.

The column was both a history in stone and the intended mausoleum for the emperor, whose ashes were indeed placed in the column base. An inscription over the doorway, somewhat cryptic because part of the text has disappeared, reads as follows:

Senatus populusque Romanus imp. Caesari divi Nervae f. Nervae Traiano Aug. Germ. Dacico pontif. Maximo trib. pot. XVII imp. VI p.p. ad declarandum quantae altitudinis mons et locus tant[is oper]ibus sit egestus (Smallwood 378)

On the north side of the forum, built into the slopes of the Quirinal hill, were the Markets of Trajan, which served as a shopping mall and the headquarters of the annona, the agency responsible for the receipt and distribution of grain.

On the Esquiline hill was constructed the first of the huge imperial baths, using a large part of Nero's Domus Aurea as its foundations. On the other side of the river a new aqueduct was constructed, which drew its water from Lake Bracciano and ran some 60 kilometers to the heights of the Janiculum Hill. It was dedicated in 109. A section of its channel survives in the basement of the American Academy in Rome.

The arch in Beneventum is the most significant monument elsewhere in Italy. It was dedicated in 114, to mark the beginning of the new Via Traiana, which offered an easier route to Brundisium than that of the ancient Via Appia.

Trajan devoted much attention to the construction and improvement of harbors. His new hexagonal harbor at Ostia at last made that port the most significant in Italy, supplanting Puteoli, so that henceforth the grain ships docked there and their cargo was shipped by barge up the Tiber to Rome. Terracina benefited as well from harbor improvements, and the Via Appia now ran directly through the city along a new route, with some 130 Roman feet of sheer cliff being cut away so that the highway could bend along the coast. Ancona on the Adriatic Sea became the major harbor on that coast for central Italy in 114-115, and Trajan's activity was commemorated by an arch. The inscription reports that the senate and people dedicated it to the []iprovidentissimo principi quod accessum Italiae hoc etiam addito ex pecunia sua portu tutiorem navigantibus reddiderit (Smallwood 387). Centumcellae, the modern Civitavecchia, also profited from a new harbor. The emperor enjoyed staying there, and on at least one occasion summoned his consilium there.

Elsewhere in the empire the great bridge at Alcantara in Spain, spanning the Tagus River, still in use, testifies to the significant attention the emperor gave to the improvement of communication throughout his entire domain.

Family Relations; the Women
After the death of his father, Trajan had no close male relatives. His life was as closely linked with his wife and female relations as that of any of his predecessors; these women played enormously important roles in the empire's public life, and received honors perhaps unparalleled. His wife, Pompeia Plotina, is reported to have said, when she entered the imperial palace in Rome for the first time, that she hoped she would leave it the same person she was when she entered. She received the title Augusta no later than 105. She survived Trajan, dying probably in 121, and was honored by Hadrian with a temple, which she shared with her husband, in the great forum which the latter had built.

His sister Marciana, five years his elder, and he shared a close affection. She received the title Augusta, along with Plotina, in 105 and was deified in 112 upon her death. Her daughter Matidia became Augusta upon her mother's death, and in her turn was deified in 119. Both women received substantial monuments in the Campus Martius, there being basilicas of each and a temple of divae Matidiae. Hadrian was responsible for these buildings, which were located near the later temple of the deified Hadrian, not far from the column of Marcus Aurelius.

Matidia's daughter, Sabina, was married to Hadrian in the year 100. The union survived almost to the end of Hadrian's subsequent principate, in spite of the mutual loathing that they had for each other. Sabina was Trajan's great niece, and thereby furnished Hadrian a crucial link to Trajan.

The women played public roles as significant as any of their predecessors. They traveled with the emperor on public business and were involved in major decisions. They were honored throughout the empire, on monuments as well as in inscriptions. Plotina, Marciana, and Matidia, for example, were all honored on the arch at Ancona along with Trajan.

The Parthian War
In 113, Trajan began preparations for a decisive war against Parthia. He had been a "civilian" emperor for seven years, since his victory over the Dacians, and may well have yearned for a last, great military achievement, which would rival that of Alexander the Great. Yet there was a significant cause for war in the Realpolitik of Roman-Parthian relations, since the Parthians had placed a candidate of their choice upon the throne of Armenia without consultation and approval of Rome. When Trajan departed Rome for Antioch, in a leisurely tour of the eastern empire while his army was being mustered, he probably intended to destroy at last Parthia's capabilities to rival Rome's power and to reduce her to the status of a province (or provinces). It was a great enterprise, marked by initial success but ultimate disappointment and failure.

In 114 he attacked the enemy through Armenia and then, over three more years, turned east and south, passing through Mesopotamia and taking Babylon and the capital of Ctesiphon. He then is said to have reached the Persian Gulf and to have lamented that he was too old to go further in Alexander's footsteps. In early 116 he received the title Parthicus.

The territories, however, which had been handily won, were much more difficult to hold. Uprisings among the conquered peoples, and particularly among the Jews in Palestine and the Diaspora, caused him to gradually resign Roman rule over these newly-established provinces as he returned westward. The revolts were brutally suppressed. In mid 117, Trajan, now a sick man, was slowly returning to Italy, having left Hadrian in command in the east, when he died in Selinus of Cilicia on August 9, having designated Hadrian as his successor while on his death bed. Rumor had it that Plotina and Matidia were responsible for the choice, made when the emperor was already dead. Be that as it may, there was no realistic rival to Hadrian, linked by blood and marriage to Trajan and now in command of the empire's largest military forces. Hadrian received notification of his designation on August 11, and that day marked his dies imperii. Among Hadrian's first acts was to give up all of Trajan's eastern conquests.

Trajan's honors and reputation
Hadrian saw to it that Trajan received all customary honors: the late emperor was declared a divus, his victories were commemorated in a great triumph, and his ashes were placed in the base of his column. Trajan's reputation remained unimpaired, in spite of the ultimate failure of his last campaigns. Early in his principate, he had unofficially been honored with the title optimus, "the best," which long described him even before it became, in 114, part of his official titulature. His correspondence with Pliny enables posterity to gain an intimate sense of the emperor in action. His concern for justice and the well-being of his subjects is underscored by his comment to Pliny, when faced with the question of the Christians, that they were not to be sought out, "nor is it appropriate to our age." At the onset of his principate, Tacitus called Trajan's accession the beginning of a beatissimum saeculum, and so it remained in the public mind. Admired by the people, respected by the senatorial aristocracy, he faced no internal difficulties, with no rival nor opposition. His powers were as extensive as Domitian's had been, but his use and display of these powers were very different from those of his predecessor, who had claimed to be deus et dominus. Not claiming to be a god, he was recognized in the official iconography of sculpture as Jupiter's viceregent on earth, so depicted on the attic reliefs of the Beneventan arch. The passage of time increased Trajan's aura rather than diminished it. In the late fourth century, when the Roman Empire had dramatically changed in character from what it had been in Trajan's time, each new emperor was hailed with the prayer, felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan." That reputation has essentially survived into the present day.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
Shapur2ARDirhemGobl1a_1.jpg
[1909a] SHAPUR II, AR DIRHEM, 309 - 379 74 viewsSasanian Empire: Shapur II, AR Dirhem, 309 - 379 C.E., Gobl 1a/1, 26mm, 2.73 grams; near EF; Obverse: Crowned bust right; Reverse: Fire altar between two attendants. PRIME example and SHARP. This is the Shevor Malka mentioned in the Talmud in the story of Rabba.


Shapur II, The Great

Shapur II (The Great) was the ninth King of the Sassanid Empire from 309 to 379. During his long reign, the Sassanid Empire saw its first Golden Era since the reign of Shapur I (241–272).

Early childhood
When King Hormizd II (302–309) died, the Persian magnates killed his eldest son, blinded the second, and imprisoned the third (Hormizd, who afterwards escaped to the Roman Empire). The throne was reserved for the unborn child of one of the wives of Hormizd II, who was Jewish. It is said that Shapur II may have been the only king in history to been crowned in utero: the crown was placed upon his mother's belly. This child, named Shapur, was therefore born king; the government was conducted by his mother and the magnates. But when Shapur II came of age, he turned out to be one of the greatest monarchs of the dynasty.

Conquests
During the early years of the reign of Shapur, Arabs crossed the Persian Gulf from Bahrain to "Ardashir-Khora" of Fars and raided the interior. In retaliation, Shapur led an expedition through Bahrain, defeated the combined forces of the Arab tribes of "Taghleb", "Bakr bin Wael", and "Abd Al-Qays" and advanced temporarily into Yamama in central Najd.He resettled these tribes in Kerman and Ahvaz. Arabs named him, as "Shabur Dhul-aktāf" or "Zol 'Aktāf" that means "The owner of the shoulders" after this battle. In 337, just before the death of Constantine I (324–337), Shapur II broke the peace concluded in 297 between Narseh (293–302) and Emperor Diocletian (284–305), which had been observed for forty years. A twenty-six year conflict (337–363) began in two series of wars, the first from 337 to 350. After crushing a rebellion in the south, he headed toward Mesopotamia and recaptured Armenia. From there he started his first campaign against Constantius II, a campaign which was mostly unsuccessful for Shapur II. He was unable to take the fortress of Singara in the Siege of Singara (344). Shapur II also attempted with limited success to conquer the great fortresses of Roman Mesopotamia, Nisibis (which he besieged three times in vain) and Amida.

Although often victorious, Shapur II made scarcely any progress. At the same time he was attacked in the east by nomad tribes, among whom the Xionites are named. After a prolonged struggle (353–358) they were forced to conclude a peace, and their king, Grumbates, accompanied Shapur II in the war against the Romans.

In 358 Shapur II was ready for his second series of wars against Rome, which met with much more success. In 359, Shapur II conquered Amida after a siege of seventy-three days, and he took Singara and some other fortresses in the next year (360). In 363 the Emperor Julian (361–363), at the head of a strong army, advanced to Shapur's capital at Ctesiphon and defeated a superior Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, but was killed during his retreat. His successor Jovian (363–364) made an ignominious peace, by which the districts beyond the Tigris which had been acquired in 298 were given to the Persians along with Nisibis and Singara, and the Romans promised to interfere no more in Armenia. The great success is represented in the rock-sculptures near the town Bishapur in Persis (Stolze, Persepolis, p. 141); under the hoofs of the king's horse lies the body of an enemy, probably Julian, and a supplicant Roman, the Emperor Jovian, asks for peace.

Shapur II now invaded Armenia, where he took King Arshak II, the faithful ally of the Romans, prisoner by treachery and forced him to commit suicide. He then attempted to introduce Zoroastrian orthodoxy into Armenia. However, the Armenian nobles resisted him successfully, secretly supported by the Romans, who sent King Pap, the son of Arsaces III, into Armenia. The war with Rome threatened to break out again, but Valens sacrificed Pap, arranging for his assassination in Tarsus, where he had taken refuge (374). Shapur II subdued the Kushans and took control of the entire area now known as Afghanistan. Shapur II had conducted great hosts of captives from the Roman territory into his dominions, most of whom were settled in Susiana. Here he rebuilt Susa, after having killed the city's rebellious inhabitants.

By his death in 379 the Persian Empire was stronger than ever before, considerably larger than when he came to the throne; the eastern enemies were pacified and Persia had gained control over Armenia.

Contributions
Under Shapur II's reign the collection of the Avesta was completed, heresy and apostasy punished. Shapur recovered Armenia, which he placed under military occupation. Armenia had in the meantime accepted Christianity, and Shapur, an orthodox Zoroastrian, at first persecuted the Christians but later recognized their autonomy and respected their religion. He had a large rock sculpture made near Shapur to commemorate his victory over the Romans.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapur_II

Author not available, SHAPUR II., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2007. Copyright 2007 Columbia University Press.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





1 commentsCleisthenes
NabatAre2.jpeg
[402a] Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas II, c. 110 - 96 B.C.20 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Aretas II, c. 110 - 96 B.C. Bronze AE 16, Meshorer 1, Fair, Damascus, 2.127g, 14.2mm, 0o. Obverse: head right with crested helmet, long hair; Reverse: Nike standing left, holidng uncertain object in left, wreath in right. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. The first king to issue coins was Aretas II, a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=54&pos=0
Cleisthenes
NabatAr4Pet.jpg
[402b] Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D.26 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV, 9 B.C. - 40 A.D., Bronze AE 15, SNG ANS 1435, F, Petra mint, 2.207g, 13.7mm, 0. Obverse: Aretas stands front in military dress, spear in right, left on pommel of sword in scabbard, Aramaic monogram (H) upper right. Reverse: Shuqailat standing l., veiled, wearing long chiton, right hand raised, Shuqailat in Aramaic in right field. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. The first king to issue coins was Aretas II, a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.

Aretas IV was the greatest Nabataean king, ruling S. Palestine, most of Trans-Jordan, N. Arabia, and Damascus. Little is known of him because Nabataea did not keep records. Paul mentions Aretas in connection with his visit to Damascus (2 Corinthians 11:32).

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=54&pos=0

Edited By J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
NabatMali2.jpg
[402c] Nabataean Kingdom, Malichus II, 40 - 70 A.D.26 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Malichus II, 40 - 70 A.D. Bronze AE 15, BMC 4-5, S 5703, Petra, 3.12g, 17.8mm, 0o. Obverse: jugate laureate and draped bust of Malichus II and Shaquilath II right; Reverse: two cornucopias crossed and filleted, Aramaic legend, "Malichus, Shaquilath" in two lines above and one below. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. The first king to issue coins was Aretas II, a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=54&pos=0

In 67 A.D. Malichus II sent an army to help Vespasian in the siege of Jerusalem. Malichus lost control of Damascus but retained the territory to the east and southeast of it.
Cleisthenes
Malichus II.jpg
[402d] Nabataean Kingdom, Malichus II, 40 - 70 A.D.21 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Malichus II, 40 - 70 A.D. Bronze AE 16, Meshorer 140A, S 5703, SNG ANS 1444, BMC 4-5, F, Petra mint, 2.174g, 15.2mm, 0o. Obverse: jugate laureate and draped bust of Malichus II and Shuqailat II right; Reverse: two cornucopias, crossed and filleted, Aramaic legend, "Malichus / Shuqai/lat" in two lines above and one below the cornucopias. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. Aretas II was a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. Aretas III was the first to issue coins, which he began after he defeated the Seleucid army in 84 B.C. and the council of Damascus asked him to govern their city. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.

Damascus was finally lost to the Nabataeans under Malichus II (AD 40 -70 AD) son of Aretas IV. Little is known of him, but according to Josephus he sent Emperor Titus 1000 cavalry and 5000 infantry which took part in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp
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Malichus2.jpg
[402e] Nabataean Kingdom, Malichus II, 40 - 70 A.D.30 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Malichus II, 40 - 70 A.D. Bronze AE 16, Meshorer 140A, S 5703, SNG ANS 1444, BMC 4-5, gF, Petra mint, 2.363g, 15.6mm, 0o. Obverse: jugate laureate and draped bust of Malichus II and Shuqailat II right; Reverse: two cornucopias, crossed and filleted, Aramaic legend, "Malichus / Shuqai/lat" in two lines above and one below the cornucopias. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. Aretas II was a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. Aretas III was the first to issue coins, which he began after he defeated the Seleucid army in 84 B.C. and the council of Damascus asked him to govern their city. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.

Damascus was finally lost to the Nabataeans under Malichus II (AD 40 -70 AD) son of Aretas IV. Little is known of him, but according to Josephus he sent Emperor Titus 1000 cavalry and 5000 infantry which took part in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp
Cleisthenes
NabatRabl2.jpeg
[402f] Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D.38 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D. Bronze AE 16, SNG ANS 1447, BMC 3-7, S 5706, Fair, Petra, 2.66g, 16.2mm, 0o. Obverse: jugate laureate busts of Rabbel II and Gamilath, Rabbel II has long hair and ornament on the top of his head; Reverse: two crossed cornucopias, Aramaic legend "Rabbel / Gamilath" in two lines between the horns. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. The first king to issue coins was Aretas II, a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=54&pos=0

Rabbel II was known as "He who gives life and salvation to his people," a title perhaps earned subjugating Arab tribes. The Nabataean Kingdom ended when Trajan created Provincia Arabia in 106 A.D. Gamilath was Rabbel's sister and wife.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=54&pos=0
Cleisthenes
NabatRab2.jpg
[402g] Nabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D.39 viewsNabataean Kingdom, Rabbel II, 70 - 106 A.D. Bronze AE 17, BMC 3-7, S 5706, gF, Petra, 2.36g, 16.7mm, 180o. Obverse: jugate laureate busts of Rabbel II and Gamilath, Rabbel II has long hair and ornament on the top of his head; Reverse: two crossed cornucopias, Aramaic legend "Rabbel / Gamilath" in two lines between the horns. Ex FORVM.

Nabataea was first mentioned by the historian Diodorus in 312 B.C. The early Nabataeans forsook all building and agriculture because those who possess these things, in order to retain them, are easily compelled by the powerful to do their bidding. Rather than fight invaders, they would go into the desert where only they could survive. In the middle of the first century B.C., the Nabataeans established their urban civilization. The first king to issue coins was Aretas II, a contemporary of Alexander Jannaeus. In 62 B.C., Pompey conquered the area but was unable to take Petra. Nabataea was wealthy from incense trade and apparently paid tribute to keep independent rule. The Nabataeans fought with Herod and also provided forces to the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. In 106 A.D., Nabataea was incorporated into the Roman Provincia Arabia. One of the latest known Nabataean inscriptions, from 191 A.D., records "…This in the year 85 of the Eparchy [Roman Rule], in whi[ch] A[rabs] destroyed the land." It seems likely that raiding Arab tribes extinguished what remained of a weakened Nabataean culture. In 747 A.D. what was left of the Nabataean cities was destroyed in a major earthquake.

See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=54&pos=0
Cleisthenes
TrajanDupondiusTrajansColumn.jpg
[902a] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.104 viewsTRAJAN AE dupondius. Cohen 563, RCV 3323. 29mm, 14.1g. Struck circa 115 AD. Obverse: IMP CAESAR NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS, S-C, Trajan's column, eagles at base. This type is noticeably scarcer than the SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI type. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

This is perhaps the most important and best known of all Edward Gibbon's famous dicta about his vast subject, and particularly that period which he admired the most. It was a concatenation of chance and events which brought to the first position of the principate five men, each very different from the others, who each, in his own way, brought integrity and a sense of public duty to his tasks. Nerva's tenure was brief, as many no doubt had expected and hoped it would be, and perhaps his greatest achievement was to choose Trajan as his adoptive son and intended successor. It was a splendid choice. Trajan was one of Rome's most admirable figures, a man who merited the renown which he enjoyed in his lifetime and in subsequent generations.

The sources for the man and his principate are disappointingly skimpy. There is no contemporaneous historian who can illuminate the period. Tacitus speaks only occasionally of Trajan, there is no biography by Suetonius, nor even one by the author of the late and largely fraudulent Historia Augusta. (However, a modern version of what such a life might have been like has been composed by A. Birley, entirely based upon ancient evidence. It is very useful.) Pliny the Younger tells us the most, in his Panegyricus, his long address of thanks to the emperor upon assuming the consulship in late 100, and in his letters. Pliny was a wordy and congenial man, who reveals a great deal about his senatorial peers and their relations with the emperor, above all, of course, his own. The most important part is the tenth book of his Epistulae, which contains the correspondence between him, while serving in Bithynia, and the emperor, to whom he referred all manner of problems, important as well as trivial. Best known are the pair (96,97) dealing with the Christians and what was to be done with them. These would be extraordinarily valuable if we could be sure that the imperial replies stemmed directly from Trajan, but that is more than one can claim. The imperial chancellery had developed greatly in previous decades and might pen these communications after only the most general directions from the emperor. The letters are nonetheless unique in the insight they offer into the emperor's mind.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, wrote a long imperial history which has survived only in abbreviated form in book LXVIII for the Trajanic period. The rhetorician Dio of Prusa, a contemporary of the emperor, offers little of value. Fourth-century epitomators, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, offer some useful material. Inscriptions, coins, papyri, and legal texts are of major importance. Since Trajan was a builder of many significant projects, archaeology contributes mightily to our understanding of the man.

Early Life and Career
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica , where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B.C. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family's ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. Trajan's father was the first member of the family to pursue a senatorial career; it proved to be a very successful one. Born probably about the year 30, he perhaps commanded a legion under Corbulo in the early sixties and then was legate of legio X Fretensis under Vespasian, governor of Judaea. Success in the Jewish War was rewarded by the governorship of an unknown province and then a consulate in 70. He was thereafter adlected by the emperor in patricios and sent to govern Baetica. Then followed the governorship of one of the major military provinces, Syria, where he prevented a Parthian threat of invasion, and in 79/80 he was proconsul of Asia, one of the two provinces (the other was Africa) which capped a senatorial career. His public service now effectively over, he lived on in honor and distinction, in all likelihood seeing his son emperor. He probably died before 100. He was deified in 113 and his titulature read divus Traianus pater. Since his son was also the adoptive son of Nerva, the emperor had officially two fathers, a unique circumstance.

The son was born in Italica on September 18, 53; his mother was Marcia, who had given birth to a daughter, Ulpia Marciana, five years before the birth of the son. In the mid seventies, he was a legionary legate under his father in Syria. He then married a lady from Nemausus (Nimes) in Gallia Narbonensis, Pompeia Plotina, was quaestor about 78 and praetor about 84. In 86, he became one of the child Hadrian's guardians. He was then appointed legate of legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, from which he marched at Domitian's orders in 89 to crush the uprising of Antonius Saturninus along the Rhine. He next fought in Domitian's war against the Germans along Rhine and Danube and was rewarded with an ordinary consulship in 91. Soon followed the governorship of Moesia inferior and then that of Germania superior, with his headquarters at Moguntiacum (Mainz), whither Hadrian brought him the news in autumn 97 that he had been adopted by the emperor Nerva, as co-ruler and intended successor. Already recipient of the title imperator and possessor of the tribunician power, when Nerva died on January 27, 98, Trajan became emperor in a smooth transition of power which marked the next three quarters of a century.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of the Emperor Trajan please see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/trajan.htm)

Trajan's honors and reputation
Hadrian saw to it that Trajan received all customary honors: the late emperor was declared a divus, his victories were commemorated in a great triumph, and his ashes were placed in the base of his column. Trajan's reputation remained unimpaired, in spite of the ultimate failure of his last campaigns. Early in his principate, he had unofficially been honored with the title optimus, "the best," which long described him even before it became, in 114, part of his official titulature. His correspondence with Pliny enables posterity to gain an intimate sense of the emperor in action. His concern for justice and the well-being of his subjects is underscored by his comment to Pliny, when faced with the question of the Christians, that they were not to be sought out, "nor is it appropriate to our age." At the onset of his principate, Tacitus called Trajan's accession the beginning of a beatissimum saeculum, and so it remained in the public mind. Admired by the people, respected by the senatorial aristocracy, he faced no internal difficulties, with no rival nor opposition. His powers were as extensive as Domitian's had been, but his use and display of these powers were very different from those of his predecessor, who had claimed to be deus et dominus. Not claiming to be a god, he was recognized in the official iconography of sculpture as Jupiter's viceregent on earth, so depicted on the attic reliefs of the Beneventan arch. The passage of time increased Trajan's aura rather than diminished it. In the late fourth century, when the Roman Empire had dramatically changed in character from what it had been in Trajan's time, each new emperor was hailed with the prayer, felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan." That reputation has essentially survived into the present day.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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