The Other Coin: Jewish Coins, pt 2: Procurators and Revolts

In addition to Jewish coins minted by Jewish rulers, the Romans also minted coins
beginning with the Herodian reign as procurators were appointed along with the Jewish
king. The Roman procurator resided in the seaport of Caesarea except for important
Jewish festivals. The Roman procurators, including Pontius Pilate issued small bronze
coins with images of shields, palm trees, wheat, and amphora. They respected the Jewish
prohibition against graven images. These inexpensive coins were issued from 6 AD to 61
AD by procurators Coponius ( 6-9 AD), Ambiblius (9-12 AD), Gratus (15-26 AD), Pilate
(26-36 AD), Felix (52-59 AD), and Festus (59-61 AD). Most of the coins are dates and
have the name of the Roman emperor on them.

The Conquerors of the Jews-Titus, Vespasian, and Domitian issued an extensive series of
coins celebrating the defeat and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD for over 20 years. They
feature a Jewish woman enslaved as part of war booty or Victory inscribing a shield. The
Latin for Judea is often on the coin IUDEA. There is also the speculation on what coin
Jesus held up when he said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesars--presumably a denarius
of Tiberius. In the few years of freedom the Jews enjoyed before being demolished by the
Roman legions, bronze and silver coins were issued, the bronzes still are inexpensive, but
the silver are very pricey indeed.

The second Jewish revolt in Egypt in 132-135 AD also issued bronze and silver coins, but
this short lived effort made the coins rare in both bronze and silver. Hadrian in 131 AD
issued coins in Jerusalem after the Temple was demolished and turned into a temple for
Zeus under the name Aelia Capitolina (Aelia his gens name, and Capitolina refering to Zeus)
Roman coins continued to minted in other cities of Palestine as well.
Numismatically yours, David Elliott
Ambiblius
palm leaf/palm tree
Felix
crossed shields/palm tree
Pilate
date in wreath/lituus
Vespasian
Jewess sits before trophy
Domitian
Nike inscribes Victory on
shield before palm tree
Second Revolt
grape leaf/palm tree
Trajan (Aelia Capitolina)
Oxen plowing circle of
new ciry limits
First Revolt
jar with lid/maple leaf