During the Roman period, the Jewish population of Cyrenaica grew. In the Gospels, Simon of Cyrene, perhaps visiting Jerusalem, was forced by Roman soldiers to carry the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. Growing tensions between Jews and Romans in Cyrenaica erupted in rebellion in 115 CE. Known as the “Kitos War” this revolt dragged on for two years, with massacres and atrocities that shocked even Roman historians. The province was virtually depopulated, and Emperor Trajan resettled it with Greek-speaking colonists brought in from other provinces. This may have been the occasion for an extensive coinage of silver drachms (3.2 grams) and hemidrachms (1.6 grams) bearing the stern face of Trajan obverse, and Zeus Ammon reverse.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Coinage of Kyrene
COIN WEEK: Coinage of Kyrene: A Greek City in Libya. There is an ancient Jewish connection: