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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 97, Lot: 635. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $3000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Vespasian. AD 69-79. Æ Sestertius (32mm, 23.70 g, 6h). “Judaea Capta” commemorative. Rome mint. Struck AD 71. IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M TR P P P COS III, laureate head right / IVDAE A CAPTA, S C in exergue, palm tree; to left, Vespasian standing right, foot on helmet, holding spear and parazonium; to right, Jewess seated right on cuirass, in attitude of mourning. RIC II 167 var. (break in rev. legend); Hendin 1504 var. (same). VF, dark gray-green patina, light smoothing, a few design features have been strengthened. Unlisted variety with break in reverse legend.

From the Patrick H. C. Tan Collection.

The main Judaea Capta coinage was a series of imperial issues struck in gold, silver, and bronze, and provincial issues struck in silver and bronze, to celebrate the Roman defeat of Judaea, the capture of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the Jewish Second Temple during the First Jewish War (66-73 CE). Generally, the reverse of this coinage shows a Jewish female seated in an attitude of mourning beneath a palm tree. Sometimes a bound male captive, or the figure of the victorious emperor or Victory, is found standing on the other side amid weapons, shields, and helmets. While some gold and silver coins bear no legend on the reverse, most issues are inscribed IVDAEA CAPTA, IVDAEA DEVICTA, or simply IVDAEA. The imperial coins were struck for only Vespasian and Titus. Provincial drachms were minted in Asia Minor for Titus (who oversaw the capture of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple). The provincial bronze coinage for Titus and Domitian (who did not participate in any of the actions, but was included by familial association) was struck in Judaea by the Roman administration at Caesarea Maritima and even by the Romanized Jewish ruler, Agrippa II, who was a friend of Titus and his supporter during the war.