Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Salome on a coin

NUMISMATICS: Salome and the Rarity of Coins Featuring People From The Bible (Michael Beall, CoinWeek).
The Armenian king Aristobulus IV (a great-grandson of Herod the Great) struck one of the most fascinating portrait coins from Biblical times in 66/67 CE. His portrait appears on the obverse while his wife, the infamous Salome, who danced for the head of John the Baptist some 30 years earlier–as told in Matthew 14:6-11 and Mark 6:14-29–appears on the reverse. This until recently extremely rare bronze coin is a two-for-one in that it features both a portrait of a member of the Herodian dynasty and one of the most storied women in Biblical history.
It looks like Salome's hair is braided. Otherwise, the likeness on both coins looks worn and perhaps not very skillfully executed.

I don't know the specifics of regulations for the transport and sale of rare ancient coins. But I was surprised at the origin the article assumes for coins that have recently come up for auction:

In tandem with the Salome coin, Aristobulus With Inscription coins are also appearing in auctions with greater regularity. Has a hoard been discovered? My sources believe not; it is more likely an area has been located that is currently being combed with metal detectors. However, a large find remains a possibility.
If anyone can enlighten me about the situation, please drop me a note.

As always, I hope that collectors will make rare objects like these available for scholars to study.

Past PaleoJudaica posts on Salome are here, here, and here and links.

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