Dating tyre shekel
Herod conquered Jerusalem and became sole ruler of the province. He has still to contend with many hostile powers but emerges victorious from all battles. [Sidon: BMCPhoenicia 159; Ascalon: BMCPalestine 107-108; and several Cappadocian kings: BMCGalatia etc. In this regard, the issuance of silver coinage by the Nabataean kings is particularly noteworthy. The die cutters of these early issues did a highly artistic and professional job.
37-55.] The absence of Herodian silver or gold coinage has intrigued many numismatists in the past; to fill this gap, some have even suggested that he minted certain Roman aurei and denarii of cruder style or oriental appearance. Josephus' accounts of Herod's activities in Judea and elsewhere tell of the expenditure of huge sums of money for buildings and other grandiose projects, and demonstrate Herod's strength of personality, his wealth, and his special interest in economic affairs. XV, 292-298; 318; 326-341; 364; 380-425.] Secondly, as has been noted above, other cities in the area subject to Rome were striking their own autonomous silver coinage. Yet the Nabataeans struck substantial aounts of silver coins from 63 B. The Style of the Tyrian Shekels Two characteristics stand out in regard to the various shekels. The earlier shekels are of good style and are struck with dies smaller than the flans, thus permitting the entire design and inscription to be included on the coins.
It is also the period of his great buildngs, of works of peace in general. C., sees his domestic miseries, which now take precedence over everything else." [E. There is no doubt that he was one of the most outstanding personalities of his time, and a powerful political figure, viewed even against the background of the growing Roman Empire. onwards, the political status of Judea under Roman rule was not inferior to that of the Nabataeans who had been vassals to the Romans since the submission of their ruler Scaurus; [Josephus, Ant. If Herod were to have issued ajor coinage in silver, however, which history suggests but archaeology and numismatics have not yet revealed, what would its nature have been?
135), a new English version revised and edited by G. Millar (Edinburgh 1973) 296.] As described by Josephus, [Josephus, Antiquities XVI, 1-404.], the detailed history of Herod and his relations with the Romans is very impressive. D.40), while so far none has been attributed to Herod.
Some shekels of the second group are quite crude, and are sometimes considered to be barbaric in style. If the reading of their dates is correct (the letters are sometimes so poorly cut that the date is virtually indecipherable), all are from the first century A. Despite their crudeness of style and their small size, however, the later shekels are of very high quality in terms of both fineness of silver and their weight.
Schurer has summarized Herod's life as follows: "His reign may be divided into three periods. [Meshorer (supra above): coins struck from Obodas II, 62 B. The later shekels, struck during the second half of their period of issue, are not so well styled, and were struck on smaller flans; on most, the inscription or design is never complete and parts are entirely off the flan.
There is no doubt that issuing money as well as controlling the financial market by approving or rejecting certain coins as official Temple currency was to the Temple's advantage and constituted a major factor in its economic prosperity - a fact which raised no little criticism from the populace.
This didrachm has a rectangular countermark on its obverse depicting the letters Pl H to represent the date: year 118 of the Tyrian era = 9 B. We believe that the Temple authorities approved the use of this Seleucid didrachm as if it were a Tyrian shekel by affixing this countermark.
It is unlikely that such a colorful and powerful personality with economic and political ambitions would not have taken advantage of the opportunity to strike a prestigious coinage; yet Herod is known to have issued only bronze coins of small denomination. Meshorer, Jewish Coins of the Second Temple Period (Tel Aviv 1967) nos. Firstly, Jerusalem's economic power under Herod was enormous. C.), Jerusalem's status was superior to that of Nabataea. It is clear, however, that these coins, and the assumptions about their attribution, need careful reexamination, taking into account both the relevant numismatic material and the historical facts.
Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesu (175 B. [Several historians have devoted monographs to Herod, the two most recentof which are: A. Grant, Herod the Great (New York, 1971).] Archaeologists who are familiar with the rich Herodian finds from Jerusalem, Samaria, Hebron and many other locations cannot but be both astonished and disappointed at the lack of numismatic material of the period. The absence of silver coins struck by Herod is remarkable for two main reasons. XIV, 80-81.], to the contrary, the evidence indicates that during the time of Herod (40-4 B. The only impressive silver currency of that time and region was the Tyrian shekels which the coins seem to indicate were struck at Tyre itself.
The Tyrian shekels held a prominant position among the best known coins of the ancient world. The weights of the autonomous coinage did not change from that of the preceeding Seleucid coinage; even its design did not differ much. One may conclude from various historical sources [Pliny, HN 5.17.76. The KP Monogram The two Greek letters KP which appear on both series have never been explained before.
Both because of the decline of the Seleucid Empire and the rise of Tyrian economic and commercial power, the mint of Tyre stoppped striking Seleucid coins (the latest being issues of Demetrius II)[BMCSeleucids Kings 76.], and began to strike autonomous silver shekels as a continuation of the Seleucid tetradrachms. 269], although judging from the few known examples, Tyre's production of bronze coins during the same period was very low. The point is fundamental to the question of the attribution of the second group.