A BRONZE PRUTAH OF PONTIUS PILATE WITH SIMPULUM IN SILVER RING

A BRONZE PRUTAH OF PONTIUS PILATE WITH SIMPULUM IN SILVER RING


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Holy Land: Coins: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1288205

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Biblical Artifacts
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Pontius Pilate as Procurator of Judaea under Tiberius (26-36 CE)

Minted Year 16 (29 CE)

Obverse: Three bound ears of barley surrounded by IOVLIAC KAICAPOC.

Reverse: Simpulum surrounded by TIBERIOY KAICAPOC LIV.

Coin in fine condition set in modern sterling silver ring.

Weight: 7.7g; US Ring Size 10; EU Ring Size 20

Bibliography:

Hendin, 648

SNG ANS 367

*****

Like many other rulers of Judea, Pontius Pilate restrained from the use of portraiture on his coinage. However, this did not stop him from including pagan symbols on them. In this example a simpulum is present on the coin's reverse. A simpulum is a ladle used by Roman priests to perform libations and was also a symbol of the Roman priesthood. Its inclusion on the coin sent a clear message as to the sensibilities of its issuer. This is fitting with what we know of Pilate as a procurator who tried to walk the line between the primarily Jewish population which he ruled and the Roman elite who had installed him.

"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." (Luke 3: 1-3)