Coin prutot of Pontius Pilate
Description
Additional information
  • Set of Two Prutot showing Pontius Pilate as Procurator of Judaea under Tiberius (26-36 CE) | General Description of Coins: At the center is either ears or barley (Coin 1) or a lituus (Coin 2), a curved staff used by Roman fortune tellers. Though this pagan religious symbol was used frequently on Roman coins minted outside Palestine, Pilate was the only Roman prefect to have put it on money issued for commerce among Jews. His use of a pagan religious symbols on Judean coinage is another of Pilate’s acts that demonstrated his deliberate disregard for Jewish religious feelings.

    Pontius Pilate ruled Judaea as a procurator of Rome under the emperor Tiberius from 26-36 CE. His rule over the Judean Province was generally seen to as very harsh and unyielding. So much so that the end of his reign of the direct result of his being recalled to Rome to give an account of his actions while procurator. The most famous of his draconian acts was the execution of Jesus Christ during the later half of Pilate’s reign. “ “When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.” (Matthew 21: 1-2)

    Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from 26–36 A.D, He served under Emperor Tiberius, and is best known today for the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ | Coins come in an Olive Wood Box Made in Israel of Native Olive Wood | Comes with COA from previous owner | Provenance: Formerly of the Biblical Artifacts Collection, Jerusalem.

    Coin 1: Minted Year 16 (29 AD) Obverse: Three bound ears of barley surrounded by IOVLIAC KAICAPOC. Reverse: Simpulum surrounded by TIBERIOY KAICAPOC LIV. Diameter: 15.2 mm; Weight: 2.31 g | Coin in Fine condition given age and metal composition | Bibliography: Hendin, 648 SNG ANS 367

    Coin 2: Minted Year 17 (30 AD) Obverse: Lituus surrounded by TIBERIOY KAICAPOC. Reverse: Date surrounded by wreath. Diameter: 15.4 mm Weight: 2.09 g Coin in very fine condition. Bibliography: Hendin, 649
    | Coin in Fine condition given age and metal composition

    Dimensions: Diameter: 15.2 mm; Weight: 2.31 g: Diameter: 15.4 mm Weight: 2.09 g
    Literature: Hendin, 648; SNG ANS 367: Hendin, 649
    Date: 29-30 AD

    Prutah (Hebrew: פרוטה) is a word borrowed from the Mishnah and the Talmud, in which it means “a coin of smaller value”. The word was probably derived originally from an Aramaic word with the same meaning. The prutah was an ancient copper Jewish coin worth about one thousandth of a pound. A loaf of bread at that time was worth about 10 prutot (plural of prutah). One prutah was also worth two lepta (singular lepton), which was the smallest denomination minted by the Hasmonean and Herodian Dynasty kings. Prutot were also minted by the Roman Procurators of the Province of Judea, and later were minted by the Jews during the First Jewish Revolt (sometimes called ‘Masada coins’).

    Roman Procurator coinage were coins issued by the Roman Procurators and Prefects of the province of Judea between 6 – 66 AD. They minted only one denomination and size, the bronze prutah. Not all of the Procurators issued coinage. Those that did were Coponius, Marcus Ambivulus, Valerius Gratus, Pontius Pilate, Antonius Felix and Porcius Festus, who between them issued a total of 19 different coins. The last three Procurators Lucceius Albinus, Gessius Florus and Marcus Antonius Julianus didn’t issue any coins as the tidings of the First Jewish-Roman War was in the air and the leaders of the revolt started issuing their own coins.

    Pontius Pilate Prutah: The bronze coins (or ‘prutah’) issued by Pontius Pilate between 26 – 36 AD are of especial interest to Christians and Jews because of his connection with Jesus Christ and his involvement in Jewish history. The evidence of his coinage and the Pilate inscription found at Caesarea seems to reveal that Pontius Pilate as Prefect was determined to promote a form of the Roman religion in Judaea regardless of whether this was offensive to the Jews. Unlike those of his predecessors, the coinage issued by Pilate depicts Roman symbolism connected with the imperial cult such as the simpulum and lituus. However, it has been argued that if Pilate was deliberately trying to offend the Jews he would have put the head of the Emperor on the obverse of his coinage. Instead, he depicted three ears of barley. A third type showed crossed palm branches and a wreathed inscription.

    The lituus was the wand of an augur, and was used to interpret natural phenomenon such as lightning flashes, the flight of birds, etc. The simpulum was a ladle used to make libations during sacrifices and was a common symbol of the Roman priesthood. These symbols were guaranteed to offend Jewish religious sensibilities being placed on coinage that they would have to handle on a daily basis.

    According to the Caesarea inscription, Pilate dedicated a Tiberieum to the deified Augustus. Philo wrote that Pilate was “…inflexible, merciless and obstinate…(and did not) wish to do anything that would please his subjects.” Josephus stated that Pilate set up shields, also associated with the Roman imperial cult, in honour of Tiberius in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, which also caused great offence to the Jews, who protested until they were removed.

  • Weight

    2lb.

    Height

    .75"

    Width

    .75"

    Depth

    .5"

    Weight

    2lb.

    Height

    .75"

    Width

    .75"

    Depth

    .5"

    Date

    1st Century

    Kind

    Numismatics

    Origin

    Israel

    Subject

    Coin