Fascinating coin! The deification of Julius Caesar and it's implications for the provincial coinage is particularly poignant at the holiday season. In Latin, the deified were referred to as divus ("deified", "saint", "god"), quite distinct from deus ("God"). Julius Caesar was the first Roman to be officially deified by decree of the Senate on 1 January 42 BC. Augustus, Tiberius, Nero and Domitian later adopted the title divi filius ("son of the saint", "son of the god"), following the deification of their predecessor. In Greek, however, there is no such linguistic distinction. There is only θεóς ("God"). Thus, divus and divi filius in Latin become θεóς and θeοũ υιóς ("Son of God") in Greek, precisely the same terminology used in the New Testament for "God" (e.g. John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God") and "Son of God" (e.g. Matthew 27:54, where the Roman centurion proclaims "Surely, he was the Son of God!"). The irony would not have been lost on the first-century Christian audience, reading both coins and scripture in Greek!
Edited by Kushanshah
12/22/2018 8:24 pm