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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; $950.00 (807.50)


Arados, Phoenicia, Uncertain King, c. 400 - 384 B.C.

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Early coins of Arados have the Aramaic letters mem aleph (read from right to left) above the galley, abbreviating Melech Arad (meaning King of Arados), sometimes followed by the king's initial, and sometimes by the Phoenician regnal year date.
GS87352. Silver stater, Elayi-Elayi Arwad group III.2.1; HGC 10, 32 (R1), VF, typical compact flan, bumps and marks, weight 10.308 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 270o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 400 - 384 B.C.; obverse laureate head of bearded Ba'al Arwad right, with profile eye; reverse galley right, figure of Pataikos right on prow, row of shields on bulwark, Phoenician letters mem aleph (abbreviating Melech Arad - King of Arados) from right to left above, three waves below; ex CNG e-auction 424 (11 Jul 2018), lot 252; rare; $235.00 (199.75)


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)


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)


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; $80.00 (68.00)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia

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Caracalla was assassinated near Carrhae on 8 April 217, while urinating on a roadside. When his escort gave him privacy to relieve himself, Julius Martialis, an officer of his personal bodyguard, ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. Martialis fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Herodian says Caracalla had executed Martialis' brother a few days earlier on an unproven charge. Cassius Dio says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. Macrinus, the Praetorian Guard Prefect, who succeeded him as emperor, may have arranged the assassination.
RP78055. Bronze AE 15, SNG Hunterian 2490 - 2491; BMC Arabia p. 86, 37; SNG Cop -, SNG Righetti -, VF, near black patina with red earthen highlighting, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 1.643 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse M AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse COL AVR METROPOLI ANTONINIANA, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $60.00 (51.00)


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Caesarea Maritima, Samaria

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Caesarea, about 30 miles north of Joppa and about 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the capital of the Roman province of Judaea, the seat of the procurators, and the headquarters of the Roman troops. It was founded by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus.

The abbreviated reverse legend stands for Colonia Iulia Flavia Augusta Felix Caesarensis Caesarea Metropolis.
RP86868. Bronze AE 21, cf. Rosenberger 91, Kadman 97, SNG ANS 806, SNG Lewis 1837, SGICV 3374, aF, earthen encrustation, bumps and marks, tight flan, legends almost entirely off flan or unstruck, weight 5.156 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Maritima mint, obverse IMP C SEV ALEXANDROS (or similar, entirely unstruck or off flan), laureate head right; reverse C I F A F C CAE METROPOLIS (or similar, blundered and mostly off flan), Ƨ P Q R (blundered, Senatus Populusque Romanus - The Senate and the Roman People) within wreath supported by eagle facing with wings open; rare blundered variety; $55.00 (46.75)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nysa Scythopolis, Decapolis

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Nysa Scythopolis (Beth Shean) was the center of Egyptian rule in the northern part of Canaan during the Late Bronze Period.
Click here to
see Beth Shean at BiblePlaces.com.
RP73078. Bronze AE 24, Barkay 85, Spijkerman 59, Sofaer 59, aF, weight 9.195 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nysa-Scythopolis mint, 240 - 241 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANT GOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse NVC CKVΘOΠO IEPAC V, Dionysus advancing right, chlamys flying behind, thyrsos in right, placing left hand on head of small figure standing at feet before him, panther left but looking back right behind him, grape bunch upper right, ∆−T (year 304) divided across field; rare; $50.00 (42.50)




  



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Catalog current as of Saturday, September 22, 2018.
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Biblical City Coins