Herod Year 3 Coin
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- Created Date
- 37 BCE
King Herod the Great was a half Jewish client king who struggled with appeasing Roman rulers and yet avoiding conflict with the Jews. The coin provides evidence that Herod was aware of Jewish customs and respected their customs through the lack of Pagan symbols. Additionally, the Greek lettering and the symbolism on the coin illustrates Herod’s Hellenistic reign. King Herod’s Hellenistic reign was characterized by his great value of power and yet respect of Jewish culture while at the same time pleasing the Roman rulers.
Herod (40 BC/4 BC)
Bronze (Copper alloy, Ae)
The obverse of the coin has the words “BASILEOUS ERODOU”, or “belonging to King Herod”, in Greek. There are no letters in Hebrew, which is significant because this demonstrates the overall Hellenistic reign of Herod. Additionally, in the center of the obverse is a tripod and a ceremonial bowl called a “lebes”. This was used as a decoration in the Jewish temples. The presence of this Jewish object shows Herod’s attempts to respect the Jews and avoid conflict as well as the lack of a face on the coin, as a face on a coin would symbolize idolatry to the Jewish people.
BASILEOUS ERODOU (ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΗΡΩΔ0Υ)
At the center of the reverse side is a Dioscuri cap, with a star on top, resting on a table. The Dioscuri were twins who were the Greek gods of horsemanship and were believed to aid in the escape of a storm. The Dioscuri were often pictured with such a cap and the appearance of a Greek symbol such as the Dioscuri cap provides further evidence of King Herod’s Hellenistic rule. The cap is flanked by a palm branch at each side, which represents victory. During this time of Herod’s reign he had just been re-crowned king by the Romans and illustrates his value of power.
- Ron Cox, Elizabeth Chau, Caitlin Mayhut
- California Digital Library
- Contributing Institution
- Pepperdine University, Special Collections and University Archives
- Pepperdine University Libraries The John Wilson Coin Collection - Ancient Coins of the Holy Land [digital resource], Pepperdine University Special Collections and University Archives
- Copyright to the coin image is retained by Pepperdine University. Images are intended for educational and research use, and may be used for non-commercial purposes with appropriate attribution. Organizations and individuals seeking to use images for publication must contact Pepperdine University Special Collections and University Archives, http://library.pepperdine.edu/special-collections/. Such parties furthermore assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright.
- Chicago citation style
- Ron Cox, Elizabeth Chau, Caitlin Mayhut. Herod Year 3 Coin. 37 BCE. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm15730.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15730coll14/id/33. (Accessed December 16, 2019.)
- APA citation style
- Ron Cox, Elizabeth Chau, Caitlin Mayhut, (37 BCE) Herod Year 3 Coin. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm15730.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15730coll14/id/33
- MLA citation style
- Ron Cox, Elizabeth Chau, Caitlin Mayhut. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm15730.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15730coll14/id/33>.