John Hyrcanus I, 135-104 BCE. Æ-Double Prutah, Jerusalem (Samaria?); 4.50 g.
THE SAMEL COLLECTION OF ANCIENT JEWISH COINS
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JUDAEA, Hasmonaean Dynasty, 164-37 BCE.
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Æ-Double Prutah, Jerusalem (Samaria?); 4.50 g. YHWḤNN HKHN HGDL R’Š ḤḆR HYHWDYM (Yehohanan the High Priest and head of the Jews’ Council) around two slightly overlaid cornucopiae adorned with ribbons//A Macedonian helmet with a conspicuous crest and cheek guards to r. in the lower l. field the Greek character Δ is visible. Hendin no. 1136; Meshorer, Treasury 207 Group H.
An extremely rare coin in an extraordinary beautiful state of preservation. Fine/very fine
Overbeck – Meshorer no. 67.
Cf. Meshorer, Treasury 36, where he characterised the helmet as a symbol of leadership and authority and asked the question whether it had to do with John’s new title of R’Š ḤḆR HYHWDYM. Ch.-G. Schwentzel, Images du pouvoir et fonctions des souverains Hasmonéens, Revue Biblique 2009, 368-386, esp. 371 f. may be right, when he underlines that the helmet should be interpreted as a reference to the modern hellenistic weaponry of John’s Jewish army and to the king’s successful expansion that made him into a new David whose identification mark was the helmet. We may assume that this coin is a 'historical coin' minted for a specific event in John’s life.