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Alexander Jannaeus and the Widows Mite  
 

 
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 Posted 09/12/2017  11:45 pm Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Alexander Jannaeus, Hebrew Name: Yehonatan or Yonatan was the High Priest and King of Judaea from 104-76 BCE.

Upon the death of his brother and High Priest Aristobulus I, Jannaeus became High Priest and for the first time since before the invasion by Babylonia in 587 BCE assumed the title of King.

Jannaeus was a warrior king, ambitious to conquer lands. In the early years of his reign he was able to conquer the entire coastal region of Palestine from Mt Carmel to Egypt.

In 89 BCE Demetrius III of Syria attempted to invade Judaea and won a victory againt Jannaeus at Shechem. This loss sparked a renewed loyalty to the king and the Jews were able to drive Demetrius out of Palestine.

Jannaues was known to be a heavy drinker which led to his death.

The coin pictured here is the one known as the Widows Mite that is mentioned in Luke 21:1-4 of the Bible. The term mite is not and accurate name of this coin. It first appeared in the King James versions of the New Testament in the 17th century. The correct name of these coins and all coins that are know as Prutah is Lepton

In those days coins were know to have been in circulation and used for hundreds of years, hence why we see this type appearing the time of Jesus.

AE Prutah (Lepton)
Obverse: Star enclosed with rays, between the rays are the Paleo-Hebrew legend: "Yehonatan the King".
Reverse: An anchor with the Greek legend "Of King Alexander".
15mm x 1.49g
Henden 1150




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 Posted 09/13/2017  12:41 am  Show Profile   Check TNG's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TNG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Upon getting one of these as a gift from Finn recently, I was told Alexander Jannaeus was a bad man, a detestable individual. I looked him up. That was putting things lightly.
Here's mine with a star and an anchor. Kind of weak but better in hand than the images.
I always wanted one of these because of the Bible story.
Mark 12:42
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.




revised image Finn ... LOL had wrong one and never knew it. These are pretty good taken with the microscope. I would say it is a star and anchor for sure.

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Edited by TNG
09/13/2017 8:47 pm
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 Posted 09/13/2017  07:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A "must have" in any Judaean collection, and one of the most famous of ancient coins. Good write-up, Ron. Thanks for sharing.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  07:44 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Bob, I hope to pick up a better example soon.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  08:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As common as they may be, I've bought a couple poor counterfeit examples, both housed in "special" holders listing a bit of history. Probably tourist fakes, but I like them as examples of same.

Great write up and history. Thank you.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  09:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coin and write-up, Ron.

Expanding on his darker side, his actions leading up to and after the civil war. He intentionally defiled a sacrificial offering during a holy ceremony (instead of pouring the water over the altar as a libation, he washed his feet with it) and then had his guards slaughter the 6,000 outraged onlookers. This sparked all-out rebellion, and he was almost defeated with Seleucid aid, but the Jews then remembered their hard-won victory under the Maccabees, had a change of heart, and put Jannaeus back on the throne. As punishment, he had 800 rebels rounded up, crucified, and murdered their families in front of them while on the crosses. Barbarism to make even the likes of Nero and Caracalla blush.

Anyway, I have a couple to share:

AE Prutah, Star / Anchor type (posted this one before)




AE Lepton (widow's mite), degenerate star / anchor design




E:

@TNG, I'm embarrassed I didn't correct this before, but you actually have your images switched up. Your second picture should be the star, not the crossed cornucopiae. I like that one for its very prominent flan handle, perhaps a relic of the casting of molten bronze into flans, or maybe put there intentionally to make the hot coins easier to remove from the anvil with tongs.
Selling authentic Roman denarii, starting @$8:
http://goccf.com/t/299965
Edited by Finn235
09/13/2017 09:33 am
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 Posted 09/13/2017  1:43 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Steve, thanks for expanding on the history. I especially like your first example, you can clearly see the Paleo Hebrew letters in the rays of the star.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  8:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Arkie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gave these to a couple pastors of poor rural churches. I figure they will appreciate them.


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 Posted 09/13/2017  8:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orfew to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the writeup Ron. I found it interesting because I know nothing about these coins.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  8:48 pm  Show Profile   Check TNG's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TNG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Got er fixed Finn. Thanks.

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