Numismatics (Lat. nuzmmus and numisma, money), the science which treats of coins and medals. A coin is a piece of metal of a fixed weight stamped by authority of government, and employed as a circulating medium. A medal is a piece struck to commemorate an event. The study of numismatics has an important bearing on history. Coins have been the means of ascertaining the names of forgotten countries and cities, their position, their chronology, the succession of their kings, their usages. civil, military, and religious, and the style of their art. On their respective coins we can look on undoubtedly accurate representations of Mithridates, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Caracalla. and read their character and features.
The metals which have generally been used for coinage are gold, silver, and copper. In each class is comprised the alloy occasionally substituted for it, as electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) for gold, billon for silver, bronze for copper, and potin (an alloy softer than billon) for silver and copper. The side of a coin which bears the most important device or inscription is called the obverse, the other side the reverse. The words or letters on a coin are called its inscription; an inscription surrounding the border is called the legend. When the lower part of the reverse is distinctly separated from the main device it is called the exergue (Gr. ἐξ ἔργον, without the work), and often bears a secondary inscription, with the date or place of mintage. The field is the space on the surface of the coin unoccupied by the principal device or inscription.
In the present article we shall consider only the types of coin prevailing in ancient times.
Heathen Coins. —
1. The Lydians are supposed to have been the first people who used coined money, about 700 or 800 years before the Christian aera; and their example was soon after followed by the different states of Greece, the earliest Greek coins being those of AEgina. In its early stages the process of coining consisted in placing a lump of metal of a fixed weight, and approaching to a globular form, over a die, on which was engraved the religious or national symbol to be impressed. A wedge or punch placed at the back of the metal was held steadily with one hand, and struck by a hammer with the other, till the metal was sufficiently fixed in the die to receive a good impression. — The impression was a guarantee of the weight of the piece. From the nature of the process, the earliest coins had a lumpish appearance, and on their reverse was a rough, irregular, hollow square, corresponding to a similar square on the punch, devised for the purpose of keeping the coin steady when struck by the coining hammer. The original coins of Asia Minor were of gold, those of Greece of silver. The earliest coins bear emblems of a sacred character, often embodying some legend regarding the foundation of the state, as the phoca or seal on the coins of the Phocians, which alludes to the shoal of seals said to have followed the fleet during the emigration of the people. Fig. 1 represents a very early double stater of Miletus, in Ionia, of which the type is the lion's head, derived from Persia and Assyria, and associated with the worship of Cybele, a symbol which is continued in the later coinage of Miletus. Types of this kind were succeeded by portraits of protecting deities. The earliest coins of Athens have the owl, as type of the goddess Athene; at a later period the head of the goddess herself takes its place, the owl afterwards reappearing on the reverse. The punch-mark, at first a rudely roughed square, soon assumed the more sightly form of deep, wedge-like indents, which in later specimens become more regular, till they form themselves into a tolerably symmetrical square. In the next stage the indents become shallower, and consist of four squares forming one large one. The surrounding of the punch-mark with a band bearing a name, and the introduction of a head in its center, as in the annexed figure (fig. 2), gradually led to the perfect reverse. There is a remarkable series of so- called "encased" coins struck in Magna Graecia, of which the reverse is an exact repetition in concave of the relief of the obverse. These coins are thin, flat, sharp in relief, and beautifully executed.
2. The inscriptions on the earliest Greek coins consist of a single letter, the initial' of the city where they were struck. The remaining letters, or a portion of them, were afterwards added, the name, when in full, being in the genitive case. Monograms sometimes occur in addition to the name, or part name, of the place. The first coin bearing the name of a king is the tetradrachm (or piece of four drachmee) of Alexander I. of Macedon.
Among the early coins of Asia, one of the most celebrated is the stater Daricus or Daric, named from Darius Hystaspis. It had for symbol an archer kneeling on one knee, and seems to have been coined for the Greek colonies of Asia by their Persian conquerors. In the reign of Philip of Macedon, the coinage of Greece had attained its full development, having a perfect reverse. One of the earliest specimens of the complete coin is a beautiful medal struck at Syracuse (fig. 3), with the head of Proserpine accompanied by dolphins, and for reverse a victor in the Olympic games in a chariot receiving a wreath from Victory — a type which is also found on the reverse of the staters of Philip of Macedon, known as Philips, and largely imitated by other states. Coins of Alexander the Great are abundant, many having been struck after his conquests in the Greek towns of Asia. A rose distinguishes those struck at Rhodes, a bee those struck at Ephesus, etc.; these are all types generally accompanying the figure of Zeus on the reverse; on the obverse is the head of Hercules, which has sometimes been supposed to be that of Alexander himself. It would rather seem, however, that the conqueror's immediate successors were the first who placed their portrait on the coins, and that under a shallow pretense of deification-Lysimachus as a descendant of Bacchus. and Seleucus of Apollo, clothed in the attributes of these deities. Two most beautiful and important series of Greek coins are those of the Seleucidee, in Asia, of silver, and of the Lagidae or Ptolemies, in Egypt, of gold.
3. Roman coins belong to three different series, known as the Republican, the Family, and the Imperial.
a. The so-called Republican, the earliest coinage, began at an early period of Roman history, and subsisted till B.C. 80. Its standard metal was copper, or rather es or bronze, an alloy of copper. The standard unit was the poundweight, divided into twelve ounces. The ces, or as, or pound of bronze, is said to have received a state impress as early. as the reign of Servius Tullius, B.C. 578. This gigantic piece was oblong like a brick, and stamped with the representation of an ox or sheep, whence the word pecunia, from pecus, cattle. The full pound of the as was gradually reduced, always retaining the twelve (nominally) uncial subdivisions, till its actual weight came to be no more than a quarter of an ounce. About the time when the as had diminished to nine ounces, the square form was exchanged for the circular. This large copper coin, called the as grave, was not struck with the punch, but cast, and exhibited on the obverse the Janus bifrons, and on the reverse the prow of a ship, with the numeral I. Of the fractions of the as, the sextans, or sixth part, generally bears the head of Mercury, and the uicia, or ounce piece: (fig. 4), that of Minerva; these pieces being further distinguished by dots or knobs, one for each ounce. There were circular pieces as high as the decussis, or piece of twelve asses, presenting a head of Roma (or Minerva), but none are known to have been coined till the weight of the as had diminished to four ounces. The Roman uncial coinage extended to the other states of Italy, where a variety of types were introduced, including mythological heads and animals. In the reign of Augustus, the as was virtually superseded by the sestertius, called by numismatists the first bronze, about the size of an English penny, which.was at first of the value of 21, afterwards of 4 asses. The sestertius derived its value from the silver denarius, of which it was the fourth. The half of the sestertius was the dupondius (known as the second bronze), and the half of the dupondius was called the assarium, an old name of the as. The assarium is known to numismatists as the third bronze.
Silver was first coined at Rome about B.C. 281. the standard being founded on' the Greek drachma, then equivalent in value to ten asses; the new coin was therefore called a denarius, or piece of ten asses. The earliest silver coined at Rome has on the obverse the head of Roma (differing from Minerva by having wings attached to the helmet); on the reverse is a quadriga or biga, or the Dioscuri. Among various other types which occur in the silver of the Italian towns subject to Rome are the horse's head and galloping horse, both very beautiful. During the social war the revolted states coined money independently of Rome, and used various devices to distinguish it as Italian and not Roman money.
The earliest gold coins seem to have been issued about B.C. 90, and consisted of the scrupulum, equivalent to 20 sestertii, and the double and treble scrupulum. These pieces bear the head of Mars'on-the obverse, and on the reverse an eagle standing on a thunderbolt, with the inscription "Roma" on the exergue. The large early republican coins were cast, not struck.
b. The Family Coins begin about B.C. 170, and about B.C. 80 they entirely supersede the coins first described. Those families who successively held offices connected with the public mint acquired the right first to inscribe their names on the money, afterwards to introduce symbols of events in their own family history. These types gradually superseded the natural ones; the portrait of an ancestor followed; and then the portrait of a living citizen, Julius Caesar.
c. Under the empire the copper sestertius, which had displaced the as, continued the monetary standard. A magnificent series exists of the first bronzes of the emperors from Augustus to Gallienus. While it was the privilege of the emperors to coin gold and silver, copper could only be coined ex senatusconsulto, which from the time of Augustus was expressed on the coins by the letters S.C., or EX S.C. The obverse of the imperial coins bears the portraits of the successive emperors, sometimes of the empress or other members of the imperial family; and the reverse represents some event, military or social, of the emperor's reign, sometimes allegorized. The emperor's name and title are inscribed on the obverse, and sometimes partly continued on the reverse; the inscription on the reverse generally relates to the subject delineated; and towards the close of the 3d century the exergue of the reverse is occupied by the name of the town where the coin is struck. The coins of Augustus and those of Livia, Antonia, and Agrippina the elder have much artistic merit. The workmanship of Nero's sestertii is very beautiful. The coins of Vespasian and Titus commemorate the conquest of Judaea. The Colosseum appears on a sestertius of Vespasian. The coins of Trajan are noted for their architectural types. Hadrian's coins commemorate his journeys. The coins and medals of Antonine, Marcus Aurelius, and the two Faustinen are well executed, as are also those of Commodus, of whom a remarkable medallion relates to the conquest of Britain. There is a rapid falling off in design after the time of Commodus, and base silver comes extensively into use in the reign of Caracalla. Gallienus introduced the practice of coining money of copper washed with silver.
The colonial and provincial money of this period swas very inferior to that coined in Rome. In the coins of the provinces which had been formed out of the Greek empire the obverse bears the emperor's head, and the reverse generally the chief temple of the gods inn the city of coinage; the inscriptions are in Greek. In the imperial coins of Alexandria appear such characteristic devices as the heads of Jupiter Ammon, His, and Canopus, the sphinx, the serpent, the lotus, and the wheatear dolonial coins were at first distinguished by a team of oxen, afterwards by banners, the number of which indicated the number of legions from which the colony had been drawn.
After the time of Gallienus the colonial money and the Greek imperial money, except that of Alexandria, ceased, and much of the Roman coinage was executed in the provinces, the name of the town of issue appearing on the exergue. Diocletian introduced a new piece of money, called the follis, which became the chief coin of the lower empire. The, first bronze disappeared after Gallienus, and the second disappears after Diocletian, the third bronze diminishing to 1 20th of an ounce. With the establishment of Christianity under Constantine a few Christian types are introduced. The third bronze of that emperor has the Labarum (q.v.), with the monogram IHS. Large medallions, called contorniati, encircled with a deep groove, belong to this period, and seem to have been prizes for distribution at the public games. Pagan types recur on the coins of Julian; and after his time the third bronze disappears.
The money of the Byzantine empire forms a link between the subject of ancient and that of modern coins. The portrait of the emperor on the obverse is after the 10th century supported by some protecting saint. The reverse has at first such types as Victory with a crosse afterwards a representation of the Savior or the Virgin; in some instances, the Virgin supporting the walls of Constantinople. Latin is gradually superseded by Greek in the inscriptions, and wholly disappears by the time of Alexius I. The chief gold piece was the solidus or nomisma, which was long famed in commerce for its purity, and circulated largely in the west as well as the east of Europe.
II. Jewish Coinage. — The oldest extant Jewish coins are held by the best authorities to belong to the period of the Asmonsean princes. About the year B.C. 139 Antiochus VII (Sidetes), the son of Demetrius I, granted to Simon Maccabaeus, "the priest and prince of the Jews," the right of coining money. This was to be "with his own stamp," and to be current "in his own country "καὶ ἐπέτρεψά σοι ποιῆσαι κόμμα ἴδιον νόμισμα τῇ χῶρ® σου"(1 Macc. 15:2-9). Of this privilege Simon availed himself, and the shekel and halfshekel appeared in silver, and several pieces in copper. The shekel presents on the obverse the legend "Shekel of Israel:" a cup or chalice, above which appears to have been the date of the year of Simon's government in which it was struck. Reverse, "Jerusalem the Holy;" a triple lily or hyacinth. It is generally believed that the devices on this coin are intended to represent the pot that held manna and Aaron's rod that budded. Of the first there could only be a traditional recollection; and though Aaron's rod is said to have produced almond blossoms, and the flower on the reverse of the shekel resembles rather the hyacinth than the almond-blossom yet regard being had to Jewish feelings, and the probability that the dies were engraved by Greek artists, it will seem safer to accept the common belief on the subject than any other. The half-shekel resembles the shekel, and they occur with the dates of the first, second, third, and fourth year of Simon.
The copper pieces bear a different stamp. A coin has been found in copper of the type of the silver shekel, having the date of the fourth year of Simon; but there seems to be every reason to believe that this was either plated or intended to be so, and therefore a counterfeit. The other copper coins known are parts of the copper shekel — the half, the quarter, and the sixth. The entire copper shekel has not been found. The half-shekel bears on the obverse the legend, "In the fourth year — one half;" two bunches of thickly leaved branches, between which is a citron. Reverse, "The Redemption of Sion;" a palm-tree between two baskets of dates and other fruits. The quarter presents an obverse similar to that of the half, but without the citron, and has a corresponding difference in the legend. Reverse, the same legend as the preceding, but a citron takes the place of the palmtree and baskets. The sixth part of the shekel exhibits a totally different type. Obverse, "''The Redemption of Sion;" a cup like that on the silver shekel. Reverse, "In the fourth year;" a bundle of branches between two citrons. The palm-tree on these coins is well chosen as an emblem of the country., In subsequent times the captive Judaea was represented as sitting under a palm-tree; and the palm-branch appears on many of the coins struck by the Jewish princes. The palm-branch, the myrtle, the willow, and the citron composed the token which every Israelite — was commanded to bear in his hand at the feast of tabernacles. This was called the "lulab" — a word which simply means a palm-branch, and this is represented on the copper coins before described. While the lulab was borne in the right hand, the citron or ethrog was carried in the left. This, too; appears on the coins of Simon Maccabaus; and thus the whole of the coinage of this great man becomes highly symbolical, and was calculated to keep up the national feeling which he had so powerfully excited. On the murder .of Simon in the year B.C. 135, his son John, who assumed the name of Hyrcanus, succeeded to the dignity of high-priest, and ruled for nearly thirty years. Of this prince we have a great number of coins; but they are only of copper, and present a totally different type from those of his illustrious father. Obverse, in five lines, surrounded by a wreath of laurel or olive, "John, High-Priest, and the Confederation of the Jews." Reverse, two cornucopise, between which is a poppy-head, a pomegranate, or perhaps a citron. There .are several varieties of this coin, one of which bears over the o b v e re inscription the Greek. letter A, which is supposed to indicate an alliance between John and Antiochus Sidetes or Alexander Balas. The type of the cornucopiae is of Egyptian origin, and may on these coins be intended to indicate the continued prosperity of the country.
The next coins are those of Judas Aristobulus, which offer the same type as those of John Hyrcanus. They do not bear the title of king, although Judas is said by Josephus to have so styled himself (Ant. 20:10,1). He reigned only one year, and his coins are extremely rare. They have been erroneously ascribed to Judas Maccabaeus.
To Judas Aristobulus succeeded his brother Alexander Jannaeus, B.C. 105. He is called in the Talmud Jannai, and on his coins Jonathan or Jehonathan. His coins, which are numerous, have a peculiar historical interest. They may be divided into two classes-first, those with Hebrew inscriptions on the obverse and Greek on the reverse; and, secondly, those wholly Hebrew. The bilingual coins present obverse, "The King Jehonathan;" a half opened flower: reverse, an anchor with two cross-trees, within, an inner circle; ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ ("of the King Alexander"). Another has obverse, a palm-branch; reverse, a flower. Another the Hebrew inscription "Jonathan the King," written in the intermediate spaces of a star with eight rays. SEE ALEXANDER JANNAEUS. The anchor was borrowed from the coins of the Seleucidae. The star is supposed by some to allude to the prophecy of Balaam, "There shall come a star out of Jacob," and to indicate that the king imagined himself to be accomplishing that prophecy. Others, however. regard this figure as that of the spokes of a wheel. It seems that Alexander's coinage gave great offense to the Pharisees on account, of. its- Greek characters and heathen types. They were, moreover, jealous of his increasing power, and considered that they had many: causes to dislike his government. They attacked him while he was officiating as high-priest, beat him with their lulabs, and pelted him with their ethrogs. This outbreak cost the lives of six thousand of the insurgents. A civil war ensued, in which fifty thousand of the Jews were slain. Towards the close of his reign he appears to have been on better terms with his subjects, and abandoned the coinage which had so greatly incensed them. His second coinage, therefore, substitutes the sacerdotal for the royal titles, and returns to the Hebrew language. It resembles that of his immediate predecessors. Obverse, "Jonathan the HighPriest and the Confederation of the Jews," in five lines, and within a wreath; reverse, the cornucopiae and poppy-head or citron. A variety of this coin leaves out the word "confederation."
On the death of Alexander Jannaeus, his queen, Alexandra, succeeded to his authority. B the help of the Pharisees she reigned nine years — B.C. 78 to 69. We have one coin which singularly enough, since she seems to have continued in the favor of the Pharisees bears her name in Greek characters, gives her the title of queen, and recurs to the heathen type of the anchor. Obverse, ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔ; ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣ ("Alexandra the Queen"); reverse, a star with eight rays; some traces of, an inscription in Hebrew, which De Saulcy considers may have been a royal title (Nun. Juld. pl. 4, No. 13). To her succeeded her son Hyrcanus II. of whom we have no coins. Then for a short period Aristobulus II and Alexander II, the brothers of Hyrcanus, reigned. The latter struck coins of the same type as the Greek ones of his father, bearing the anchor, the star, and the vase, and giving the name in Greek only with the royal title. From the year B.C. 47 to 40 Hyrcanus was restored, but we have no coins extant which can be attributed to him.
The last coins of the Asmonsean dynasty are those of Antigonus, B.C. 40 to 37. This prince was the son of Aristobulus II: and by the aid of the Parthians and the support of Antony he drove Herod out of Jerusalem, and was proclaimed king of Judea. His coins are copper shekels and half- shekels. The first present a Hebrew inscription on the reverse, and a Greek on the obverse — ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΟΥ, written round a Wreath: reverse, two cornucopiae, "Mattathias the High-Priest and the Confederation of the Jews." Another, which seems to be a half-shekel, bears the Greek name and title within a wreath. Reverse, "Mattathias, High-Priest;" a single cornucopia, on each side a leaf. Another, the obverse of which is obliterated, bears a single cornucopia, with the name and title in Greek in two straight lines. This is probably a quarter of a copper shekel. From these coins it is manifest that the name Antigonus is the Greek equivalent of Mattathias.
In the year B.C. 37 Herod I, surnamed the Great, after the execution of Antigonus, ascended the throne. Considering the position and resources he attained, there could scarcely fail to be coins with his image and superscription. It will be observed, however, that since the silver coinage of Simon Maccabeeus, no issue has appeared in that metal. The Romans prohibited, in all countries subject to their dominion, the coinage of gold, and permitted that of silver only to a few important cities, among which Jerusalem was not included. The money, therefore, of Herod and his family is all of copper. The coins of Herod the Great do not exhibit his head. The most common represents on the obverse what it seems most reasonable to call a helmet with cheek-pieces; above it, on each side, a palm-branch; in the center between them is sometimes a star. Reverse, a tripod, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΗΡΩΔΟΥ; on one side of the tripod the year of the reign, on the other a monogram. SEE HEROD THE GREAT. Another gives the legend round the helmet, and the Macedonian shield on the reverse. Another presents the name and titles round a caduceus, with the date and monogram in the field. Reverse, a leaved pomegranate. Another, a tripod, a palm-branch on each side. Reverse, a.cross within a wreath or fillet. The cross is probably the Greek letter X, the initial of χαλκοῦς, the denomination of the coin. Others, again, bear the anchor, the double cornucopia, the vase, and palmbranch. Of Herod Archelaus, B.C. 4 to A.D. 6, there are coins bearing his name in Greek, and evidently to be assigned to him, as they express the title of ethnarch. 'They are various in type, displaying the anchor, the helmet, the galley with five oars, the prow of a ship, the caduceus, and the bunch of grapes, from which hangs a leaf. They are all of small size.
Herod Antipas succeeded in A.D. 4, and his reign terminated inA.D.' 39. He is distinguished by the title tetrarch. His coins exhibit — obverse, a palm-branch, with his name and title; reverse, a wreath encircling the name of the city which he built on the Lake of Gennesareth, and called after the reigning emperor "Tiberias." Others give on the reverse the name of Germanicus Caesar in a wreath.
Herod Philip II was the son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra. He reigned over Auranitis, Batanaeas, and Trachonitis, with some parts about Jamnia, from B.C. 4 to A.D. 34. We have a few coins of this prince; more of Philip I. They exhibit the head of Tiberius on the obverse, and on the reverse a tetrastyle temple with the name and title of Philip as tetrarch. The temple represented is that which Herod the Great had built near Panium, and dedicated to Caesar. SEE PHILIP.
Herod Agrippa I, called in the Acts Herod the king, and on his coins Agrippa the Great, reigned from A.D. 37 to A.D. 44. Of his coinage we have many types. One of these only is Jewish. It bears-obverse, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΓΡΙΠΑ; the name is spelled with one f, and the legend surrounds an umbrella fringed at the edge: reverse, three ears of corn springing from one stalk; in the field the date A.2., year 6. There are several coins of Agrippa I not bearing Jewish types, some of Which call him "the Great," and others designate him as Philo-Caesar or Philo- Claudius. Some coins bear the name and titles of Agrippa on the reverse, with those of the reigning emperor surrounding his portrait on the obverse. Of this class we have pieces of Caligula and Claudius, and on a coin of the latter the Jewish king is represented as sacrificing at an altar to one or more heathen deities. Mr. Madden (Jewish Coinage, p. 110), who seems to doubt the attribution of the coin to Agrippa I, supposes the temple to be that of the god Mama at Gaza. If it be a coin of Herod Agrippa, both it and the act which it commemorates must have been in the highest degree distasteful to his Jewish subjects.
Herod King of Chalcis. — A few small coins bearing the name of Herod the King written round a single cornucopia. have been attributed to this prince by Cavedoni and Levy (Jud. Miinzen, p. 82).
Agrippa II. — The king Agrippa of the Acts, from A.D. 48 to A.D. 100. We have one coin with a portrait of Agrippa II, and the title of king; it bears on the reverse an anchor. This is assigned by Mr. Madden to the year 58; and he adds (Jewish Coinage, p. 116), "the right of striking coins with his head must have been peremptorily put an end to, as in the next year and all future years his coins appear either with the symbolical head of the town at which they were struck, or with that of the reigning emperor." Thus Agrippa II appears on the reverses of Nero, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian; and one coin corroborates the information of Josephus (Ant. 20:9, 4), that Agrippa changed the name of Caesarea Philippi to Neronias, in honor of Nero, from whom he had received considerable accessions of territory. Another coin is still more interesting. It is a small copper piece, bearing its name χαλκοῦς written round a dot on the obverse, and on the reverse an anchor with the date FT. R.K. year 26 (Cavedoni, Lettore, 1:53). It seems probable, as this. date corresponds with A.D. 73 — at which time the Temple was a heap of ruins-that this piece of money may have served for the offerings which the Jews were compelled to bring every Sabbath-day to the synagogue during. the reign of Agrippa. Some of the reverses of Domitian which bear the name of Agrippa give the palm-tree, the galley, and the double cornucopia. — These pieces terminate the coinage of the Idumaean dynasty.
The next coins are those struck by the Roman procurators; and it is remarkable that the Romans carefully abstained from introducing into the coinage intended for Judaea any symbols which might be offensive to the people. Those struck during the reign of Augustus are of two classes — the first, from the expulsion of Archelaus, A.D. 6 to A.D. 14, exhibit an ear of corn on the obverse, with the name: ΚΑΙΣΑΡΟΣ: and on the reverse a palmtree with the date of the year. Subsequent coins appear of another type -obverse, a cornucopia, ΚΑΙΣΑΡΟΣ; reverse, an altar, ΣΕΒΑΣΤΟΥ (of Augustus). These are all of small size.
Under Tiberius some coins occur with the name of Julia, his mother- obverse, the name in a wreath; reverse, an ear of corn, or a triple lily like that on the ancient shekel, with the date of the year. Afterwards others were struck with the emperor's own name round a double cornucopia; reverse, the word ΚΑΙΣΑΡ. in a wreath. Others with a vase, a vine-leaf, a palm-branch; and some with a sacred vessel which Tiberius himself had presented to the Temple. But the most interesting of these coins are those struck by Pontius Pilate. They bear on the obverse the lituus, with the name of Tiberius Caesar written round it, and on the reverse the date in a wreath. This heathen symbol, suggested, as Mr. Madden thinks likely (Jewish Coinage, p. 149), by the strong passion which Tiberius is known to have entertained for augurs and astrologers. comes with a peculiar appropriateness before our eyes on the coinage of a procurator by whom our Lord was given over to be crucified.
Coins struck under Claudius bear on the obverse two palm-branches crossed; reverse, the name of Julia Agrippina. Others with a palm-tree on the reverse commemorate, on the obverse the names of Nero and Britannicus Caesar. These coins were struck by the procurator Claudius Felix, as are those also which bear the name of Nero in a wreath; the obverse exhibiting a palm-branch, with the name Caesar and the date the year 5, namely, from his association with Cumanus.
Felix continued procurator till A.D. 55, when he was recalled; and, as we learn from the Acts, Porcius Festus succeeded him. Next came Albinus, in A.D. 62, and finally Gessius Florus, in A.D. 65. Tacitus (Hist. v. 10) states that this man's tyranny drove the Jews into open revolt. Of these last three procurators we have no coins.
The revolt occasioned by the intolerable oppression of Gessius Florus established for a time an independent government at Jerusalem; and Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high-priest, refused to offer sacrifices for the welfare of the Roman empire, massacred the Roman garrison, and remained for some time master of Jerusalem. This was in A.D. 66. Eleazar struck silver coins bearing on the obverse a vase, with the words round it "Eleazar the High-Priest;" to the right of the vase a palm — branch; reverse, a cluster of grapes, "FirstYear of the Redemption" of Israel. Others, of copper, bear the legend "The Liberty of Zion," and the date "Year Two." Another, with similar obverse, bears on the reverse the name "Simon" in a wreath. This latter, of which only one specimen exists, is considered a forgery, but an imitation of a genuine coin. If so, it would intimate that Eleazar and Simon, during the time that they were acting in concert, issued coins hearing both their names. A curious shekel is attributed by Dr. Levy to Eleazar: obverse, "Jerusalem," a tetrastyle temple; reverse, "First Year of the Redemption of Israel; "thelulab, to the left of it the ethrog. A similar shekel occurs of the second year. There are also copper coins of the same period, one having on the obverse a palm-tree with the legend "Eleazar the High Priest," written retrograde; reverse, a cluster of grapes, with the legend "First Year of the Redemption of Israel" (Revue -Numismatique, 1860, pl. 3:3, 4).
Simon the son of Gioras also struck coins of a similar character with those of Eleazar: obverse, "Simon" within a wreath; reverse, "The Deliverance of Jerusalem; "a pitcher and palm-branch. Dr. Levy considers that the pitcher on these coins is not intended to be a repetition of that on the shekels of Simon Maccabaeus, but to commemorate a Temple ceremony which on the seventh day of the feast of tabernacles was held with great pomp. A golden pitcher was filled with water from the spring of Siloam; and when the priests arrived with it at the water-gate, they blew the trumpet. Another with obverse, a cluster of grapes; "Simon; "reverse, a palm-branch, "Second Year of the Deliverance of Israel." Another has on the obverse "Simon," in a wreath; reverse, a three-stringed lyre instead of the pitcher. Some with this type of the lyre have no date. Copper coins of the same period appear bearing the name of Simon: obverse, "Simon," the name divided by a palm-tree; reverse, "The Deliverance of Jerusalem; "a vine- leaf. Another with a cluster of grapes instead of the vine-leaf. Another with the date of the second year. Another with "Jerusalem" instead of Simon. Another similar, with date of the second year.
Simon the son of Gamaliel is believed to have struck coins; and those are attributed to him which bear the title of Nasi-chief or prince, used in the later age of the Jewish polity to signify prince or president of the Sanhedrim. One is of a large size, and probably struck on a large brass Roman coin. It bears the legend "Simon Prince of Israel," in a wreath clasped with a gem; and reverse, a vase with two handles; "First Year of the Redemption of Israel." Other coins are of the usual size — the half- copper shekel: "Simon Prince of Israel," written on the two sides of a palm-tree; reverse, vine-leaf; "First Year of the Redemptionῥ of Israel." A similar coin has the date of the second year. To the same prince must be attributed coins with the, same legends, but bearing on the obverse a palm- branch within a wreath, and on the reverse a lyre with three, five, or six strings.
Coins occur also in copper without any name: obverse, a vase with two handles; "The Year Two;" reverse, a vine-leaf; "The Deliverance of Zion." Another with the "Year Three." These are thought to have been struck by the authority of the Sanhedrim.
Another coin of the period of this first revolt, bearing the vine-leaf and the palm-tree, may possibly belong to Ananus or John of Gischala; but this is a matter of conjecture. This revolt terminated in the taking of Jerusalem by Titus and the destruction of the Temple.
The coins struck by Vespasian and Titus to commemorate the capture of Jerusalem, though not Jewish coins, still merit some notice here. They are of all metals and sizes, and many are of very beautiful workmanship. They exhibit on the obverse the head of the emperor, with his titles, and usually the date of his tribunitian power. On the reverse is the figure of the captive Judaea, generally sitting on the ground under a palm tree, and in one instance the hands, bound behind the back. On the gold and silver the legend, where there is one, of the reverse, is simply "Judaea," or "Judaea devicta; "on the brass, "Judaea capta," "Judaea devicta," and "Judaea navalis." This coin refers to some victories gained over a body of Jews who had built a few small vessels and committed piracies on the coasts of Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt. On the brass coins which commemorate the conquest the captive sometimes appears guarded by a Roman soldier;
sometimes a captive Jew stands on one side of the palm-tree, with his hands tied behind his back, and the female figure seated on the ground on the other. A coin of this kind was also struck by Domitian. SEE MONEY.
During the reign of the last emperor of the Flavian family the Jews were treated with great severity; and among the many acts of leniency which characterized the accession of Nerva, one was that he abolished the Jewish tribute, and struck a coin with the remarkable legend "Fisci Judaici calumnia sublata," the words written round a palm.
But the Jews continued their rebellions, and in the reign of Hadrian a war broke out under the leadership of the celebrated Simon Barcochab (the son of a star). Of this leader we have, it appears, a curious and interesting series of coins, and they are the last ever struck by the Jews as an independent people. Till recently many of them, if not all, have been attributed to Simon the son of Gioras, whose money has already been noticed; but the fact that many are struck on Roman denarii of Trajan affords a proof not to be gainsaid that they belong to the later chief. They display the same types as the coins of the earlier revolt. Obverse, "Simon," within a wreath. Reverse, the pitcher and palm-branch; "The Deliverance of Jerusalem" struck on a denarius of Vespasian, the legend of which is partly legible. Others of the same type exhibit traces of the legends of Titus, Domitian, and Trajan. Another type -" Simon," round a cluster of grapes; reverse, "The Deliverance of Jerusalem," round a three-stringed lyre. Another type — "Simon," as before; reverse, "The Deliverance of Jerusalem," round two trumpets. Another type — "Simon," within a wreath; reverse, "Second Year of the Deliverance of Jerusalem," a palm branch. Another has — obverse, the cluster; reverse, the palm-branch. These all seem to have been restruck upon Roman denarii. A remarkable and very interesting coin appears also to belong to Simon Barcochab. It is a shekel, and may be thus described: Obverse, "Simon," on the sides of a tetrastyle temple — above, a star; reverse, "The Deliverance of Jerusalem," the blab and ethrog. Another has the date of the second year. These coins have been attributed to Simon the son of Gioras; but they bear traces of being struck on coins of Vespasian, and the presence of the star above the temple seems to point them out as belonging to Barcochab. There is also a copper coin struck on a piece of Trajan, and identifiable in like manner: obverse, "Simon," on either side of a palm-tree; reverse, "The Deliverance of Jerusalem; "a vine-leaf.
III. Christian Coinage. — That with which we are specially concerned is the numismatics of the first centuries of our aera, or prior to mediaeval times. Strictly this ought to begin with Constantine the Great, because from his time the adoption of the Christian religion was recognized on the coins of the empire; but there are some anterior circumstances which scientifically prepared the way for this feature.
1. Christian Numismatics before Constantine. — Three signs of Christianity have been noted by numismatists on the medals prior to the period in question: namely the monograph of Christ, the representation of the deluge, and the formula "in pace." We will briefly recapitulate three leading facts relating to each in this connection.
a. A medallion with the effigy of Trajan-Decius, struck at Moenia, in Lydia, presents this very curious peculiarity, that at the top of the reverse, which represents Bacchus in a car drawn by two panthers, the letters X and P of the Greek word APX, which made part of the legend, are found combined in such a manner as exactly to form the monogram of Christ.
b. We have now to speak of certain medals of Apamea, in Phrygia, of the effigy of Septimius Severus, and of Macrerius and Philip his father, which bear on the reverse a double scene, usually referred to the deluge. On these medals we discover, first in the ark, and afterwards out of it, the figures of a man and a woman, which were formerly regarded as those of Deucalioni and Pyrrha; but the two birds in the same connection, and especially the dove with the olive-branch, are foreign to the story of the son of Prometheus. It still remains a difficulty to explain the relation of the Jewish tradition with the heathen city of Asia Minor, and with the early Church (Eckhel, Doctrin. Num. 3:137). Its occurrence in the Catacombs of Rome is probably to be explained as a symbol of salvation by the Gospel "ark of safety." SEE NOAHS ARK.
c. Finally, there remains a bronze denarius of the empress Salonina, wife of Gallienus, on the reverse of which is read the altogether unusual legend, '"Augusta in pace," encircling the empress, seated, on the left, and holding in one hand a branch of olive, and a scepter in the other. Hence the presumption has arisen that Salonina was a Christian.
2. Christian Numismatics of Constantine the Great. A careful consideration of these coins leads to the following general conclusions, namely, that while his adversaries and competitors survived, this emperor tolerated on his medals the images of the pagan deities, which, in fact, often occur; but that from the time that, by the defeat of Licinius in 323, he became master of the Roman world, he excluded them altogether, substituting the commemorative types of his own military exploits and civil enterprises, and probably already some Christian symbols; and that when he at length founded a new metropolis of the empire, he freely placed upon his coins, and on those of his sons the Caesars, either the monogram of Christ or other signs appropriate to the true religion. See Cavedoni, Ricerche medaglie di Cozstantino (Modena, 1858); Feuardent, Essai sur les Medailles de Constantin (Paris, 1858); Garucci, Nunismatica Constantiniana (Rome, 1858). This last savant thus classifies the coins of this period:
a. A certain number of these bear the legend "Virtus exercitus;" and a fact worthy of remark, although but little observed hitherto, is that three of these pieces belong to the two Licinii. We are entitled to believe that the 'coins comprising this series were struck between the years 321 and 323.
b. To an age but little later belong a series of very interesting pieces with the images of Constantine, the father, and Crispus and Constantine the younger, bearing on the reverse several signs of Christianity, and the legend "Victoriae laetae princ. perp." Several copies struck at Siscia or Arles have in place of the monogram two stars, composed of the letters I and X, i.e. Jesus Christ.
c. The legend "Gloria exercitus" is read on a great number of pieces of Constantine the younger; of the Constantii his sons, and of Dalmatius his nephew, with various Christian symbols, of the general type below.
d. There are, some pieces with the legend of Constantinople, or else of Rome or the Roman people, which have been assigned to Constantine or his sons.
e. Finally, we have some medals of consecration, on which the title "ducis" is given to Constantine. Eckhel was not aware of this epithet being attributed to Constantine and a number of his successors after their death.
3. Numismatics of the Successors of Constantine lown to Julian the Apostate. — The most important of the changes that appear in these coins, and one that seems to have taken place in the very year that followed the death of Constantine, is the introduction of the symbols of eternity, the a and w, gradually amplified, and with various legends and devices, as in the preceding and following example.
4. Christian Numismatics after Julian the Apostate to Augustulus (or the end of the empire of the West). Some antiquarians attribute to Julian a bronze medallion containing a figure of the Christian monogram; but if the piece be genuine it must belong to the very first portion of his reign. All his other coins, and they are very numerous, either bear no religious symbol, or else the figure of some of the pagan deities, as Apollo, Jupiter, Nilus, the Genius of Antioch, Anubis, etc.
Under Jovian, the immediate successor of Julian, Christianity resumed on the public coins its place, for the moment usurped, but not again to be lost. Jovian's coins bear new Christian types, and various devices, some equestrian, and generally the legend "Adventus Augusti."
Valentinian I, Valens, Procopius, Gratian, and Valentinian II introduced little modification into the signs of Christianity on their coins. The most common type is the ever-present labarum in the hand of the emperor, and the simple letter X in place of the full monogram of Christ. The following are notable examples:
Under Theodosius I, justly called the Great, and who had the distinguished honor of definitely establishing the Christian faith throughout the empire, few new types of coinage are found.
The medals of the tyrant Maximus, those of his son Victor, and likewise those of Eugenius, a usurper like them, have the marks of Christianity more rare, and those that occur are of the common type.
Honorius and Arcadius, on dividing 'the empire of their father, adopted the same types of money; it even appears that for a certain time the same coins served for both portions of the empire. A notable innovation is due to these two princes, namely, the introduction of the monogram of Christ on the scepter. The usual legend is "Victoria Augg."
Two empresses bore the name of Eudoxia-one the wife of Arcadius, the other of Theodosius II. The common inscription is "El. Eudoxia." A gold piece bearing the legend "Salus Orientis, Felicitas Occidentis," is believed to belong to the former.
Under Placidia, a daughter of Theodosius, and successively wife of Ataulphus and Constantius, we may note hitherto unusual symbols of Christianity. The following is an example:
In the time of Valentinian II and Theodosius the younger the cross appears on almost all the pieces in various positions, and completely replaces the two forms of the monogram, of Christ. The latter prince, whoruled the East, was entitled to as little credit as his colleague for valor in arms. Nevertheless he obtained compliments on coins.
The brief occupancy of the throne by Petronius Maximus and Avitus has left no traces on numismatics. In the East, under Marcion and Leo, we see reproduced the familiar types of the preceding reigns. At Rome Majorianus is frequently represented with the monogram of Christ on his shield, or on a fibula upon his left arm, and on the reverse a subdued dragon.
Anthemius and Leo generally have a nimbus and toga, with a long cross like a spear and a globe; sometimes both emperors diademed and in military dress, clasping hands, with a tablet between their heads surmounted by a cross on which is inscribed "Pax."
But in all that we have hitherto found, nothing perhaps has been so remarkable as the pious zeal exhibited in the legend "Salus mundi" surrounding the cross on a gold piece of Olybrius.
No innovation in the types of Christian coins occurs during the following reigns of Zeno, Glycerus, Julius Nepos, or Romulus Augustulus, with whom the empire of the West expired. The usual type of his money is a cross in a crown of laurel.
5. From the Fall of the Western Empire to the End of the Sixth Century. — Under Anastasius I the early Roman type disappears almost completely from the coinage to give place to the Byzantine character, which it preserves, although with many modifications, down to the capture of Constantinople. Numismatic art fell thereafter, especially that in copper, into a great decadence, and after Honorius into complete barbarism. Anastasius ordered that his pieces. of copper should express their value in Greek or Roman numerals.
The coins of the Gothic kings who occupied Italy from 476 to 553, and those of the Vandals who reigned in Africa from 428 to 534, take their place in the Byzantine series, since they generally bear the effigy of the contemporary emperors of the East, Anastasius, Justin I, or Justinian I. They often have the cross on the reverse side. The same is the case with the autonomous medals of Ravenna and Carthage of the same period.
The coins of Justin II do not differ from those of the three preceding reigns,-at least when that prince is the sole figure on them. Occasionally, however, he is represented with his wife Sophia, and the legend "Vita."
The reverse of some coins of Tiberius Constantine presents for the first time those elevated crosses, or on a globe, of which the type becomes very frequent a little later, especially after the time of Heraclius.
We thus arrive at the year 582, which is near the close of the, period we are considering. Indeed, up to the time of Phocas, who begins the seventh century. (602), Christian numismatics present no new feature. In the course of this century, that is to say, after Heraclius up to Justinian II, the legend "Deus adjuta Romanis" appears, with the cross very variously formed. Under the latter prince, too, Byzantine money began to bear the Constantinian motto in Greek, ἐν τούτῳ νίκα which appears afresh under Nicephorus I in the hybrid form "Jesus Christus nica."
6. Coinageῥof the Last Period of the Byzantine Empire. — In the eighth century the Byzantine money assumes still more decided marks of debased Christianity, by admitting, in place of pious legends, the images of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary, angels, and the saints. We are passing the borders of antiquity in order to give a complete view of the numismatics of the Eastern empire. The following examples will suffice for the purpose...
IV. Literature. — In addition to the works above noted, and those cited under COIN SEE COIN and MONEY SEE MONEY , see Bayer, De numis Hebsrceo-Samar. (Valen. 1781; with supplem. Vindicice, 1790); Hardouin, De nummis Her-odiazis (Par. 1693); Walsh, Notice of Coins illustrating Christianity (Lond. 1827); Ziebich, De numnis antiquis sacris (Viteb. 1745); King, Early Christian Numismatics (Lond. 1873); De Saulcy, Numismatique de la Terre Sainte (Par. 1874); Knight, Nummni veteri in Museo Britannico (Lond. 1830); Madden, Jewish Coinage (ibid. 1864); Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum (Vienna, 1795-1826); Miounet, Description des Medailles ahtiques Gr-ecs et Romaines (Par. 1806-1839); Henin, Numismatique Ancienne (ibid. 1830); Grasset, Alte Numismatik (Leips. 1852, 1853); Prime, Coins, Medals, and Seals (N. Y. 1861); Vaillant, Numnismata Imperatorum Romanorum (Par. 1674); Ackerman, Numismatic Illustrations of the N.T. (Lond. 1846); Cavedoni, Numismatica Biblica (1850-1855; transl. in German, with additions by Werlthoff, 1855, 1856); Levy, Jidische Miinzen (Breslau, 1862); Humphreys, The Coin Collector's Manual (Lond. 1869).