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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical Coins ▸ Cities in the BibleView Options:  |  |  |   

Cities in the Bible

The coins below were minted by cities that are mentioned in the bible. Click here to read about the travels of Paul.

Vespasian the Younger, Caesar, 94 - 95 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia

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In 94 A.D., because he had no heir, Domitian adopted his two young great-nephews. He renamed them Vespasian and Domitian. The next year he executed the boys' father, his cousin, Titus Flavius Clemens, and exiled the boys' mother, his niece, Flavia Domitilla. They were charged with Atheism, a charge sometimes applied to condemn converts to Judaism or Christianity. The boys then disappeared from history and their fate is unknown.

Smyrna was the only city to strike coins in the name of Vespasian the Younger. No coins were struck for his brother.

Some scholars connect Domitilla with a Roman Matron in the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10b) and the Deuteronomy Rabbah 2.25. When the emperor had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, the Roman matron convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. If that identification is correct, her husband Flavius Clemens converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Flavia Domitilla is a saint in both the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church.
SH83453. Bronze AE 16, Klose p. 244, 3, pl. 31 (V1/R1); RPC II 1028; SNG Cop 1360; SNGvA 2208; BMC Ionia p. 276, 320, gF/F, weight 2.790 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse OYOCΠACIANOC NEΩTEPOC, bare head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN, Nike standing right, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex Solidus Numismatik, auction 7, lot 200; rare; $1170.00 (994.50)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Judaea Capta issue minted at Caesarea, Judaea. After Herod's death, Caesarea 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. Paul was delivered to Caesarea when his life was threatened in Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). From Caesarea, 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 Caesarea where he was tried before Festus and King Agrippa (Acts 25:1-4; 24:6-13)
RP86862. Bronze AE 26, Hendin 1454, Meshorer TJC 391, RPC II 2304, Sofaer 25, F, scratches, earthen encrustations, weight 16.331 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 83 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMITIANVS CAES AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head left; reverse Minerva standing right on galley with owl on prow, shield on left arm, brandishing spear downward in right hand, trophy of captured arms behind, palm frond right, no legend; $200.00 (170.00)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Judaea Capta, Caesarea, Judaea

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This Judaea Capta type was minted at Caesarea Maritima, Judaea. Caesarea, built by Herod the Great about 25 - 13 B.C., was named to flatter Augustus 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").
RP86864. Bronze AE 20, RPC II 2309, Hendin 1460, Meshorer TJC 390, SNG ANS 499, F, bumps and scratches, a little rough, weight 6.731 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, c. 92 - 93 A.D.; obverse IMP DOMIT AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse VICTOR AVG (the victory of the Emperor), trophy of captured arms; scarce; $160.00 (136.00)

Julia Maesa, Augusta 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Neapolis, Samaria

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Neapolis, Samaria, the biblical Shechemis, is now Nablus, Israel. It is the site of Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's well. Jesus spoke here to a Samaritan woman. The city was refounded as Flavia Neopolis after the suppression of the Jewish Revolt. Nablus is home to about half the remaining worldwide Samaritan population of 600.
JD72682. Bronze AE 20, Sofaer pl. 53,122; Rosenberger 59; BMC Samaria p. 62, 111; Lindgren III 1510, gVF, nice green patina with earthen highlighting, typical tight flan, weight 7.492 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis mint, obverse IOYΛIA MAICA CEB, draped bust right wearing stephane; reverse ΦΛ NEAC-ΠOΛE CVP, Tyche standing facing, head left, holding rudder by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; rare; $150.00 (127.50)

Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Gadara, Decapolis

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Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan), located on a mountain summit about 6 miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, was the capital of the Roman province Peraea. The local era of Gadara (Pompeian) began in 64 B.C. Mark (5:1) and Luke (8:26-39) describe the miracle healing of a demoniac (Matthew [8:28-34] says two demoniacs) in the country of the Gadarenes.
RY86867. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 4819, Spijkerman 19, Rosenberger 25, SNG ANS -, VF, obverse a little off center, scrapes and scratches, weight 4.536 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 50 - 51 A.D.; obverse CEBACTWI KAICAPI, laureate head right; reverse ΓA∆APA (upward behind), turreted and veiled bust of Tyche right, L∆IP (year 114) horizontal before her neck; scarce; $150.00 (127.50)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Canata, Decapolis

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Catana, Qanawat Syria today, is probably the city called Kenath in the Bible (Numbers 32:42, 1 Chronicles 2:23). The Hellenistic-Roman city of Kanatha, is mentioned for the first time in the reign of Herod the Great, when Nabataean forces defeated a Jewish army. It remained an issue of contention between the two powers. From Pompey's time until Trajan's, it was a city of the Decapolis, a loose federation of cities allowed by the Romans to enjoy a degree of autonomy. Under Trajan, it was annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Septimius Severus refounded it as the Roman colony Septimia Canatha and transferred it to the province of Arabia.
GB85805. Bronze AE 13, RPC II 2092; Spijkerman 4; Rosenberger 3; SNG ANS 1259; BMC Galatia p. 302, 2; SGICV 877, aVF, tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 2.162 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 0o, Canata (Qanawat, Syria) mint, 94 - 95 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITI KAIΣAP, laureate head left; reverse towered and draped bust of Tyche left, hair in chignon, KANATA downward behind, ZNP (year 157 of Pompeian era) upward on left; ex Tom Cederlind with his tag; rare; $90.00 (76.50)

Gadara, Decapolis, 40 - 39 B.C.

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In the same year this coin was minted, the Parthians took Jerusalem, removed Hyrcanus II and made Mattathias Antigonus king of Judea. Herod the Great fled to Rome, where Mark Antony named him King of Judaea. Later Augustus gave Gadara to King Herod.
GY86869. Bronze AE 18, SNG ANS 1288, Spijkerman 7, HGC 10 380, Cohen DCA 537, VF, tight flan, remnant of pre-strike flan casting sprue, weight 3.690 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Gadara (Um Qais, Jordan) mint, 40 - 39 B.C.; obverse bust of Tyche right turreted, veiled, and draped, palm frond behind; reverse cornucopia, ΓA∆A/PEWN divided in two downward lines, starting on right, ending on left, LEK (year 25 of the Pompeian Era) downward outer left; scarce; $90.00 (76.50)

Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Gaza, Philistia

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The great god of Gaza, Marnas (Aramaic Marna the "Lord"), was regarded as the god of rain, and grain, and invoked against famine. His temple, the Marneion, the last surviving great cult center of paganism, was burned by order of the Roman emperor Arcadius in 402. Treading upon the sanctuary's paving-stones had been forbidden. Christians later used these same stones to pave the public marketplace.
GB90137. Bronze AE 16, Sofaer 103 (same obv die, date-ethnic reversed)/104 (same rev die, diff obv leg); Rosenberger II 78/79 (same); RPC Online 4128 (BnF 172), VF, both sides sightly off-center, weight 4.174 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Gaza mint, Aug 141 - 7 Mar 142 A.D.; obverse CEBAC - ANTWNEI-NO-C, laureate head right; reverse ΓAZA - BC (year 202), Herakles standing facing, nude, club downward in right, Nemean lion skin in left, Phoenician letter mem (for Marnas) lower left; ex Coin Galleries mail bid sale 6 Nov 1996, lot 281; rare; $80.00 (68.00)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Ascalon, Philistia

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The Philistines conquered Canaanite Ashkelon about 1150 B.C. and it became one of the five Philistine cities that were constantly warring with the Israelites and the Kingdom of Judah. The last of the Philistine cities to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar, it finally fell in 604 B.C.; burned and destroyed, its people exiled, the Philistine era ended. Ashkelon was rebuilt, dominated by Persian culture. After the Alexander's conquest, Ashkelon was an important Hellenistic seaport. The Jews drove the Greeks out of the region during the Maccabean Revolt, which lasted from 167 to 160 B.C. In 63 B.C. the area was incorporated into the Roman Republic. Cleopatra VII used Ashkelon as her refuge when her brother and sister exiled her in 49 B.C. The city remained loyal to Rome during the First Jewish Revolt.
BB75619. Bronze AE 18, Sofaer Collection 82; Rosenberger 116; RPC II 2213; BMC Palestine p. 122, 129; SNG ANS -, F, some corrosion, weight 7.108 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Askalon (Ashqelon, Israel) mint, 85 - 86 A.D.; obverse laureate head left, CE downward on left; reverse Phanebal standing facing, wearing military dress, raising sword above head in right hand, shield and palm frond in left hand, ΘΠP (year 189 of the Ascalon Era) downward on left, AC upward on right; rare; $80.00 (68.00)

Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Kanatha, Decapolis, Provincia Arabia

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Kanatha (or Canatha), 16 miles North of Bostra, is today Qanawat, Syria. It was the Biblical Kenath, which was captured by Nobah from the Amorites (Numbers 32:42 and Judges 8:11) and taken back by Geshur and Aram. The epithet Gabinia (ΓABI in the reverse legend) was probably derived from Gabinius the Proconsul of Syria.
RP83599. Bronze AE 17, SNG ANS 1268 (same dies); Sofaer p. 154 & pl. 132, 6 ff.; Spijkerman p. 92, 8; Rosenberger IV p. 18, 8, F, well centered on a tight flan, toned bronze surfaces, weight 2.54 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kanatha (Qanawat, Syria) mint, obverse KOMO ANTONOC (A unbarred), laureate, draped, and cuirassed right, from behind; reverse ΓABI KANAΘ (A's unbarred, Θ appearing as O), bust of Athena right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; ex Alex G. Malloy; rare coin and city; $80.00 (68.00)



Catalog current as of Monday, March 19, 2018.
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Biblical City Coins