Thursday, July 30, 2015

Iudaea recepta coin

NUMISMATICS: 2,000-Year-Old Coin Sheds Light on Important Role of Judea on Roman Psych (Raphael Poch, Breaking Israel News).
A rare coin minted almost 2,000 years ago during the conquest of Jerusalem was recently found at an auction in Zurich, NRG reported. The find has helped shed light upon the Roman attitude at the time over the conquest, resulting in a large commemoration of the Roman victory over the Judean rebels.

The coin depicts a Jewess standing and peering across a palm tree and bears the inscription “IUDAEA RECEPTA,” or “Judea is re-captured.” Coins bearing this inscription were used to publicize the news of a captured territory that had been part of the Roman Empire once before.

The newly discovered coin is unlike other numerous coins minted by the Romans after the conquest of Jerusalem and the Judean province between 67-73 CE. Those coins bear the inscription “IUDAEA CAPTA” and portray a woman sitting on the floor under a palm tree or a legionnaire resting on a spear while a Jewish slave is captive at his feet.

The slight changes make all the difference. Unlike the “CAPTA” coins, which were minted to proclaim Roman victory over a new province that was being absorbed into the empire, the “RECAPTA” [read "RECEPTA" - JRD] coin, marks a Roman conquest over a rebellion, rather than a war.

UPDATE: The following article, available at, seems to be the editio princeps for the coin: Gambash, G., Gitler, H., and Cotton, H. M. (2013), ‘Iudaea Recepta,’ Israel Numismatic Research 8: 89-104. Another article, in Hebrew, from the same source is: Gambash, G., Gitler, H., and Cotton, H. M. (2014), 'Iudaea Recepta,' New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem 8: 37-49 (Heb.). A third article, in German, has been published by Marco Vitale: "IUDAEA RECEPTA — EINE NEUE LEGENDE AUF GOLDMÜNZEN VESPASIANS, Ancient Society 44, 243-255. This is available at the Peeters website behind a subscription wall, but you can read the English abstract for free.