Featured Two Coins of the First Jewish War, 66-70 AD

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by robinjojo, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    For many years I have proudly owned a shekel of the first Jewish war, a period of upheaval, the loss of tens of thousands of lives and the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem.

    The shekel came to me by way of a Ponterio & Associates auction, in the early 90's, as I recall. I was able to secure the coin for $875, I guess because it is darkly toned (hoard patina, graded VF) plus the fact that a small hoard became available at the time.

    I've been looking to add a mate for this period. Buying another shekel, or half shekel, was (as still is) out of the question. So I looked around, on an on and off basis, at the bronze coins.

    Finally, last week, I found one that was reasonably "affordable", at $99 (off center obverse, grade: about Fine). This coin, while somewhat scarce, is really nothing to write home about in terms of condition, but in light of the fact that anything better would cost exponential dollars, it is a decent example.

    So, here are the two coins:

    First Jewish War, 66-70 AD
    Year 2
    Obverse: Hebrew script ( SH K L E SH R AL) = "Shekel of Israel," date in Hebrew (SH B ) ' year two ' chalice with beaded rim.
    Reverse: Hebrew script ( Y R O SH L Y M H K D SH EH ) = "Jerusalem the Holy," sprig of three pomegranates.
    13.7 grams
    20.5 mm, 11 h.

    D-Camera Jewish Revolt, Shekel, Year 2, Ponterio, 13.7 grams,  8-11-20.jpg

    First Jewish War, 66-70 AD
    AE 1/8 Shekel
    Year 4
    Obverse: Chalice with beaded rim, legend: 'For the Redemption of Israel.
    Reverse: Two lulavim (bundles ofpalm, willow and myrtle), Hebrew inscription, 'Year Four, Quarter'.
    5.2 grams
    18.5 mm, 10 h.

    The flan used for this coin is very similar to those used for the drachms of Alexandria, flat on one side and rounded on the other. This seems to be the style of flan used for this denomination. Additionally this coin clearly shows the sprue, at 5 o'clock on the reverse.

    D-Camera Jewish Revolt,  AE One-Eighth Shekel, Year 4, eBay, 5.2 grams,  8-11-20.jpg

    In terms of value, the two coins are oceans apart, but at least I have two years of the revolt now represented in the collection, along with the later Bar Kokhba revolt tetradrachm.

    If you have any coins of the period, Roman or Jewish, that you would like to post, please do. Thank you.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Two good coins there and congrats on picking up the 1/8 shekel for $99.

    One of the players in the drama, Vespasian, is represented here. Josephus' got himself off the hook during the Jewish revolt by famously interpreting Vespasian's dream...

    Vespasian (A.D. 69-79) Billon Tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt. 26mm 11.98 grams

    Obverse: Laureate bust right, LB in front (Year 2, 69-70 A.D.)


    Reverse: Nike Advancing Left, holding wreath and palm branch

    Reference: RPC 2412, Koln 276, Milne 393, BMCGr 236, Emmet 205.2, Dattari 360

    TJC, octavius, +VGO.DVCKS and 8 others like this.
  4. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I don't have many Jewish coins but I do have one from the first revolt:

    Judaea, First Revolt
    AE 19mm Prutah
    Year 2 = 67-8 AD
    Obverse: Hebrew legend "Shenath Shethaim" (Year Two) around amphora with wide rim and two handles
    Reverse: Hebrew legend "Cheruth Zion" (Freedom of Zion) around vine leaf with small branch and tendril
    Judaea, First Revolt, Prutah, Year 2 = 67-8 AD.png
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  5. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin.

    Yes, Vespasian was a general who served under Claudius during his campaign in Britain and later leading the Roman legions in the first Jewish war.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  6. meme18

    meme18 Member

    Congrats on your shekel, they are unique and beautiful coins, especially considering the adverse conditions they were minted under. A primary focus of my collection is Judean coins, here is a year 3 shekel.

    998D29C6-58E3-4CCE-AD7E-D1AAEA7A7711.jpeg 9AB963B7-4BF7-4DA2-8B71-3EA7D84E97DC.jpeg

    And here is a bronze half shekel from the fourth year of the revolt. These are fascinating coins, as this was the end of the revolt when silver was scarce, so they minted bronze “half shekels” instead of the typical silver coins required for the temple tax. D6E73D80-C351-4A13-B834-B10463F19C73.jpeg
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on both of those! The 1/8 shekel, even with the lepton-sized module, has that signature breadth of the (ahem) "chalice", powerfully evoking the AR shekels all by itself. Both of them resonate as examples of what you could do, thinking both tactically and strategically, with the respective, momentary convergences of means and opportunity. If I had a shekel as good as yours, it would be like the old lady who I could live with until she kicked me out.
    ...I have a handful of leptons, Maccabean-First Revolt, but am having my usual trouble finding .jpgs of acquisitions that go back that far.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Meme18, those are both magnificent. Especially poignant, how late they are.
    meme18 likes this.
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