Herod the Great, 40/37-4 BCE, Æ-8 Prutot, year 3 = 40 BCE, Samaria; 5,80 g.
THE SAMEL COLLECTION OF ANCIENT JEWISH COINS
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JUDAEA, Herodian Dynasty, 40 BCE-96 CE.
Æ-8 Prutot, year 3 = 40 BCE, Samaria; 5,80 g. Helmet with cheek pieces, star on the top and two strips (of a diadem) hanging down in frontal view, flanked by palm fronds//HPΩΔΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ around tripod with vessel (lebes), in the l. field L Γ in the r. field monogram (XP or TR). Hendin no. 1169; Lykke 237 fig. 35; Meshorer, Treasury 221 no. 44.
Overbeck – Meshorer no. 79.
Lykke 67-71 does not accept the commonly heard identification of this helmet which is adorned with a star with a pilos, the famous cap of the Dioscuri, also decorated with a star on its top. She rather thinks that we are shown Herod’s personal helmet and that Herod wanted to insert himself into the tradition of Alexander and the Hellenistic kings who presented themselves helmeted or had their helmets depicted on coins. This may be right, but we should also consider that this helmet may be King David’s famous helmet that could have the symbolic power to awaken ideas of a new Jewish Empire. Cf. D.J. Jacobson, Military Helmet or Dioscuri Motif on Herod the Great's Largest Coin?, INR 2, 2007, 93-101.