Dating tyre shekel
The coin is a didrachm of Antiochus VII struck at Tyre; it is quite similar to the Tyrian shekel and is actually its prototype: the eagle is the same, the head of the Seleucid king was replaced by the head of Heracles; the inscription is essentially the main innovation.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. 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.The inscription of this new coin type, however, differentiates it completely from the Seleucid coinages of Tyre. 123-148).] Although they controlled the area from 63 B. onwards, the Romans were not quick to introduce their own coinage in the East, and local finds of Roman coins from the time of Pompey and Julius Caesar are extremely rare. C., during the reign of Augustus, that the mint of Antioch began to strike Roman provincial issues. Wruck, Die syrische Provinzialpragung von Augustus bis Trajan (Stuttgart 1931) 178. 166.] This date, which marks the beginning of Roman monetary domination of the eastern provinces, has been generally assumed to reflect a fiscal as well as political turning point in the area. C.) in monogram form, XX, where the letter A is also visible.
The production of autonomous shekels was discontinued at Tyre, but was picked up and continued at Jerusalem in order to meet the requirements for pure silver currency stipulated by Jewish religious law.
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.
The criticism of the "bankers" of the Temple during the life of Jesu is a reflection of this situation.
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 right field of the reverse carries a monogram, the left field a date, beginning LA, or year one of the era of Tyre, equivalent to 126/5 B. Below the date the mintmark of Tyre, a club, is shown, and between the legs of the eagle, either the Phoenician letter XX (') or XX (B). According to the use of the KP monogram, the Tyrian shekels and fractions can be divided into two different groups. The second group comprises issues struck from 18 B. Collateral Issues of Other Cities In view of the crucial nature of the year 18 B. in the striking history of the Tyrian shekels, a review of the production of other mints in the area is in order. A general pattern emerges from the above: major cities which had issued silver coins both during and immediately after the Seleucid period stopped striking autonomous silver issues no later than the reign of Augustus. Sutherland, Coinage in Roman Imperial Policy (London 1950) 201].[These two letters may represent two pparts of each year; namely XX the first half and XX the second half of eacch year. The first consists of coins struck in the years 126-19 B. Antioch had become the center of Roman influence and the base of both the Roman governor and commander of Roman forces in the area in the first century of Rome's conquest of the East. C., under the Emperor Augustus, Antioch began to produce provincial silver coins. From this point, the city's mint struck increasing numbers of tetradrachms, introducing and expanding the use of Roman currency in the area. From the reign of Augustus onwards some of these mints produced Roman provincial silver coins which eventually replaced the earlier issues. The only exception to this pattern is the striking of Tyrian shekels, which seems to imply that the historical changes did not have an impact on the city. 54 onward, the mints of either Antioch, Tyre, or both, struck huge quantities of provincial tetradrachms of debased silver. Generally speaking, coins of high-grade silver tend to disappear from the market immediately after the introduction of inferior silver issues. The Religious Factor In addition to purely economic factors, the Temple in Jerusalem and its religious rules and restrictions had their own impact on the financial markets of the time. onwards many religious laws were put into practice.The weight remained constant throughout the long period of production of these shekels, despite the various monetary changes which occured in other currencies, and the introduction of debased coins from other mints into the market. Aradus, whose impressive output of silver tetradrachms began in 137/6 B. Caesarea in Cappadocia started striking Roman Imperial silver coins under Tiberius. The money was collected to cover the expenses of Temple rituals and maintenance. XVII.318-320) gives details of the income of his three sons, who together collected 900 talents, and since Herod had many more territories, he must have had a yearly income of 1000-1200 talents, making a total of 1,500,000 to 1,800,000 shekels from taxation alone. The Mishna's demand for Tyrian shekels made all other currencies unacceptable. It is Jerusalemite." The testimony is clear that Tyrian shekels were struck in Jerusalem.