Judaea Capta coinage

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
'Judea Capta' sestertius of Vespasian, struck in 71 to celebrate the victory in the Jewish Revolt. The legend on the reverse says: IVDEA CAPTA, "Judaea conquered".
Roman denarius depicting Titus, c. 79. The reverse commemorates his triumph in the Judaean wars, representing a captive kneeling in front of a trophy of arms.
'Judaea Capta' coin issued by Agrippa II

Judaea Capta coins (also spelled Judea Capta) were a series of commemorative coins originally issued by the Roman Emperor Vespasian to celebrate the capture of Judaea and the destruction of the Jewish Second Temple by his son Titus in 70 AD during the First Jewish Revolt. There are several variants of the coinage. The reverse of the coins shows a female (representing Jerusalem?) seated right in an attitude of mourning at the base of a palm tree, with either a captive bearded male (representing Judah?) standing left, with his hands bound behind his back, or the standing figure of the victorious emperor, or the goddess Victory, with a trophy of weapons, shields, and helmets to the left.

The female figure may reflect the prophecy of Isaiah 3:8, 25-26: "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen ... Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn, and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground".

The Judaea Capta coins were struck for 25 years under Vespasian and his two sons who succeeded him as Emperor - Titus and Domitian. These commemorative coins were issued in bronze, silver and gold by mints in Rome, throughout the Roman Empire, and in Judaea itself.[1] They were issued in every denomination, and at least 48 different types are known.[2][3]

Only bronze 'Judaea Capta' coins were struck in Caesarea, in the defeated Roman province of Judea. These coins are much cruder than the Roman issues, and the inscriptions are in Greek rather than Latin. The designs feature the Goddess Nike writing on a shield, Minerva with a spear, shield, trophy and palm tree, etc. Most such coins were issued during the reign of the Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD).[1][3]

Unusually, a 'Judaea Capta' coin was also minted by the Jewish ruler Agrippa II, the great-grandson of Herod the Great. Brought up in Rome at the court of Claudius, Agrippa was thoroughly Romanised and was a close friend of Titus, whom he supported throughout the First Jewish Revolt. His bronze coin was minted at Tiberias and shows a portrait of Titus on the obverse with the Greek inscription 'ΚΑΙΣΑΡ ΣΕΒΑΣ ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΤΙΤΟΣ', while the reverse depicted the goddess Nike advancing right holding a wreath and palm branch over her shoulder, with a star in upper right field and the inscription 'ETO - KS BA AGRI-PPA'.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Handbook of Biblical Numismatics pg 15
  2. Judaea Capta Coinage by Howard Brin
  3. 3.0 3.1 See http://judaea.chimehost.net/main/ivd.html

External links