Antique coins from Greek Period (800 - 500 B.C.) to Byzantine Period (332 - 638 A.D.)
Small bronze coin of Constantine the Great (330 AD)
Constantine was the Roman Emperor who first established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. He also moved the capital of the Empire to Constantinople/Istanbul/Byzantium, and his mother, Helena, first built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
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This bronze prutah was minted under the reign of Pontius Pilate, who ruled as the Roman procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 A.D. This is the same Pilate who tried Jesus at Jerusalem and turned him over to be crucified because of political pressure. This exact coin was found on the eyes of the image in the Shroud of Turin from NASA images, indicating that the person in this image was buried during the time of Pilate. This coin was used as the small change during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, and it follows the second commandment by not using human images. Pilate, however, used pagan symbols on these coins; either the lituus (a wand used by an augur for divination), or a libation ladle (used for libation offerings to pagan deities). The inscription around the outside of the coin reads, “of Tiberias Caesar,” the emperor during that time. The reverse of the coin has a wreath on the outside with the year in the center (LIS = 29/30 A.D., LIZ = 30/31 A.D., LIH = 31/32 A.D.). Pontius Pilate was disliked by the Jews and was an ineffective ruler, known for taking bribes, and enforcing the laws with cruelty. He was finally removed from office after he massacred many of the Samaritans on Mt. Gerazim during a religious ceremony.
Greek Coin – 2nd Century
All Greek coins were hand-made, rather than milled as modern coins are. The design for the obverse was carved (in reverse) into a block of stone or iron. The design of the reverse was carved into another. The blank gold or silver disk, heated to make it soft, was then placed between these two blocks and the upper block struck hard with a hammer, punching” the design onto both sides of the coin.”
Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus, commonly known as Trajan (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 98 until his death in 117. Born Marcus Ulpius Traianus into a nonpatrician family in the Hispania Baetica province (modern day Spain), Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian, serving as a general in the Roman army along the German frontier, and successfully crushing the revolt of Antonius Saturninus in 89. On September 18, 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard compelled him to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor.
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