JUDAEA. Bar Kokhba Revolt (AD 132-135). AR sela (24mm, 14....Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionJUDAEA. Bar Kokhba Revolt (AD 132-135). AR sela (24mm, 14.60 gm, 12h). NGC Choice AU 4/5 - 5/5. Dated Year 2 (AD 133/4). Simon (Paleo-Hebrew) on two sides; star above façade of the Jerusalem Temple, the holy ark seen from end in center of entrance / Year two of the freedom of Israel (Paleo-Hebrew), lulav with etrog at left. Mildenberg 140, 43. Hendin 1388. TJC 233. Solid strike with deep-gray toning.
Unlike coins of the first Jewish War against Rome (AD 66-70), all coins of the Bar Kokhba Revolt were overstruck on Roman Provincial issues already in circulation, mainly silver tetradrachms and drachms of Antioch, Tyre, and Caesarea in Cappadocia, as well as Roman silver denarii. The government of Simon Bar Kokhba mainly controlled the Judaean hinterlands, hiding men and equipment in an elaborate network of underground caves and tunnels, and did not have the time or resources to set up a full-fledged mint with smelting, refining and casting capabilities. All the same, it must have given the rebel mintmasters a certain thrill to hammer flat the images of the Roman emperors and Pagan deities who they hoped to banish from Israel altogether. The imagery of Bar Kokhba coins focuses upon the symbols related to the original Temple of Jerusalem - the façade of which appears on the obverse of the large silver tetradrachm-sized selas, and the Feast of Tabernacles, with the lulav and etrog occupying the reverse. Coins struck during the first and second years of the revolt carry a date ("Year One / Two of the Redemption of Israel"), while coins struck during the third year (AD 134-135) are undated.
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