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    Bar Kokhba Year 2 Sela

    JUDAEA. Bar Kokhba Revolt (AD 132-135). AR sela (26mm, 14.34 gm, 1h). NGC MS 4/5 - 3/5. Dated Year 2 (AD 133/4). Paleo-Hebrew Jerusalem, facade of the Jerusalem Temple, the holy ark seen from end in center of entrance, + over architrave / Year two of the freedom of Israel, lulav with etrog at left. Hendin 1386. Mildenberg 16 (O4/R10). Extremely rare die combination, with only one example noted by Mildenberg! Overstruck on an Antioch tetradrachm of Trajan, with some of undertype legend legible. Obverse well struck, minor doubling on reverse. An excellent example of a scarce issue, struck on a broad flan.

    Shimon Bar Kokhba ("Son of a Star") led the great Second Revolt against Roman oppression in AD 132-135. Under his guidance, the Jews of the Levant mounted an intense guerilla war against the Romans, forcing the Emperor Hadrian to deploy a large and costly legionary force to crush the insurgency. We know little about Bar Kokhba as a man, although his great reputation as a warrior and leader of men suggest military training. The coins of Bar Kokhba were overstruck on Roman provincial coins of Syria, often with remnants of the undertype visible. The designs reflect the traditional Jewish taboo on portraying the human form, although they carry the image of the long-destroyed Great Temple, which the rebels hoped to rebuild. The obverse of this rare variety spells out the name of "Jerusalem" on the obverse in Paleo-Hebrew letters, while the reverse legend carries the defiant cry "Year 2 of the freedom of Jerusalem." It is now debated whether the rebels actually succeeded in gaining control of Jerusalem (renamed by Hadrian as Aelia Capitolina) during the rebellion, and the actual location for the minting of the Bar Kokhba coinage is unknown. It was a true "underground war," as countryside was honeycombed with artificial caves and tunnels from which the rebels could  stage hit-and-run attacks. 


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
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