Friday, August 25, 2017

"Nero Caesar" coin found at Julias

NUMISMATICS: Archaeologists May Have Found Ancient Bethsaida (Julie Stahl, CBNNEWS.COM). I have already noted this story here, but this article mentions a detail that I did not cover specifically. It is worth mentioning on its own.
"Also, two coins were discovered," he [Dr. Mordechai Aviam] said. "One of them is a silver coin of Emperor Nero, from the year 65 to 66 [in the] first century. That's what we are looking for."
There is a nice photo of the Nero coin. You can see the inscriptions pretty clearly, although the last few letters on the left one are hard to read. I think it says "NERO CAESAR AUGUSTUS" on the front (the left image with Nero's bust) and on the back "SALUS" ("health," "greetings" - the right image with the seated figure).

The phrase "Nero Caesar" has come up on PaleoJudaica with reference to its cryptic use in the Book of Revelation. (See here and links). John's cipher Number of the Beast, 666 or 616, appears to refer to the numerical value of the two spelling of the Latin phrase when transliterated into Hebrew letters. This coin gives us one of those spellings in the original Latin in a Roman inscription. So now you've seen it.

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