Silver shekel of the Second Jewish Revolt from Rome

Jewish, AD 133-35
From Judaea (modern Israel)

On two occasions, the Jews raised armed revolts against Roman domination. The revolts, in AD 66-70 and 133-35, seem to have occurred mainly for religious reasons. On both occasions the leaders of the revolts struck coins in silver, presumably to pay their soldiers. After initial success, the Second Revolt, also known as the Bar Kochba Rebellion after its leader Simon Bar Kochba, was also crushed. The Romans renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and built a temple to Jupiter on the site of the Jewish Temple.

As in the first Jewish Revolt, the silver coins issued carried designs and legends expressing Jewish religious and nationalist feelings. On the obverse (front) of this coin can be seen a representation of the façade of the Temple at Jerusalem. The fact that the Temple no longer existed at the time of the coin's production makes the choice of this image doubly striking. The legend reads 'Simon'. On the reverse is depicted the ritual 'Lulav', a palm-branch tied together with willow and myrtle branches. This image seems connected with the desire to rebuild the Temple. The legend reads 'Deliverance of Jerusalem'.

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More information

Bibliography

L. Mildenberg, The coinage of the Bar Kochba (Aarau/ Frankfurt am Main/ Salzburg, 1984)

K. Butcher, Roman provincial coins: an int (London, Seaby, 1988)

Y. Meshorer, Ancient Jewish coinage II (Dix Hills, New York, 1982)

Dimensions

Weight: 2.930 g
Diameter: 24.000 mm

Museum number

CM 1908-1-10-776 (BMC Second Jewish Revolt 18)

CGR17858

Location

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