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A Random Pickup


kirispupis
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Recently, I decided to pick up some Judean and Nabataean coins at an auction for my Kingdoms After Alexander collection. I was mainly after two coins - John Hyrcanus and a Nabataean overstrike that may be Aretas II, but I figured I'd bid on several other coins since they had a number of them.

One of them was the coin below. Technically, though, it was more a purchase of stupidity than my typical one that includes a fair amount of research. I'd seen the type before and the high prices for such an ordinary-looking coin took me by surprise. Supposedly Salome danced at an event for Herod Antipas, who offered her anything up to half his kingdom. She responded (on the advice of her mother who bore a grudge) with the head of John the Baptist. This was provided, and the merriment continued.

Since I'm not Christian, the story was unfamiliar to me but did sound like a typical fun episode from the times. However, when I went down the list, I mistook Aristoboulos (Salome's later husband) for Aristobulus I (who ruled Judea from 104-103 BCE), so I put in a bid. I knew this coin trended high, so it was a lowball offer. I realized my mistake before the auction took place, but figured I was unlikely to win it anyways. But, I won it.

The one thing that surprises me about this coin, and it's something I've seen on Roman ones too, is didn't engravers know what women looked like? I mean, perhaps these guys were locked up and were unlikely to have seen Salome in person, but didn't they have mothers and sisters? I honestly had to look up which one is Aristoboulos and which one Salome. Even on the much better condition coins that sell for tens of thousands, I can't tell.

I must admit that I need to be better at doing my research before randomly bidding on coins in the future, but I'm happy to have this one.

678A3660-Edit.jpg.ad38a1109fd6e93709c64653d4f7bee1.jpg

Aristoboulos, with Salome
Kings of Armenia. Aristoboulos
54-92 CE
Æ 21 mm, 5,38 g
Ex Savoca

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Fantastic coin at an even better price! I was the underbidder on this one 😉

It was a great deal - Salome played an incredibly important role in world history, as some historians believe that it was the death of John the Baptist that pushed many of his followers over to the ministry of Jesus, which may or may not have provided enough numbers for that little religion to reach the tipping point and snowball into the #1 most followed religion in the world today.

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5 hours ago, Finn235 said:

Fantastic coin at an even better price! I was the underbidder on this one 😉

It was a great deal - Salome played an incredibly important role in world history, as some historians believe that it was the death of John the Baptist that pushed many of his followers over to the ministry of Jesus, which may or may not have provided enough numbers for that little religion to reach the tipping point and snowball into the #1 most followed religion in the world today.

Thanks! Sorry for grabbing this coin. It is a cool piece of history, even though I'm sure Salome didn't look anything like that. 🙂

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