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A True Judaea Capta


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I couldn't pass this one up! Incredible history combined with a neat modern provenance and offered at a cheap price - what more could you ask for?

 

RPC2311.jpg.a5350ed02a54c2e462877ed62f0fda5e.jpg

Titus as Caesar [Vespasian]

Æ20, 6.42g
Caesarea Maritima mint, 71-73 AD
Obv: AYTOKP TITOΣ KAIΣAP; Head of Titus, laureate, r.
Rev: ΙΟΥΔΑΙΑΣ ΕΑΛWΚΥΙΑΣ; Nike standing to r., foot on helmet, inscribing a shield set on a palm tree
RPC 2311 (28 spec.). Hendin 1446.
Acquired from Zuzim, July 2022. Ex H. Nussbaum Collection, purchased from George Moomjian, 60's-70's.

The Roman authorities in Judaea struck a localised 'Judaea Capta' issue at the Caeserea Maritima mint early in the reign of Vespasian. The series, featuring the reverse legend 'Judaea Capta' in Greek, strongly echoes the imperial bronze types produced at Rome and Lugdunum. The Judaean issue likely dates around the time the imperial ones were struck in the spring and summer of 71, perhaps not long after the celebratory 'victory lap' Titus enjoyed in the immediate aftermath of the siege of Jerusalem. It is interesting to note this coin would have circulated in the very region where the Jewish Revolt took place. The emphasis on Titus Caesar the conqueror of Jerusalem is readily evident.  A true Judaea Capta! This specimen is the more common variant of the type with the shield mounted on the palm tree.

The modern provenance is of interest too. Purchased from one of the old time Jerusalem dealers in the 1960's or 70's mentioned by David Hendin in his Guide to Biblical Coins.

Thanks for looking!

Edited by David Atherton
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That is a cool type and an interesting provenance (I like it whenever collector/dealer info is preserved somewhere in the literature, when it could otherwise be lost to history, especially dealers who didn't produce much in the way of print catalogs). I don't know if I have much in the way of (presentable) Provincial Judaea Capta coins, but I did recently acquire this Judaea ("Judea") Capta AE As at CNG. (Apologies if I've posted it on another of your threads elsewhere, not sure, it's a new favorite...)

It fits perfectly into both of my favorite sub-collections: (1) Roman Captives and (2) the impact of WWII on the world of ancient coins.

image.jpeg.3b33edc63af5d5231119221f90d04b3d.jpeg

IVDEA CAPTA: CNG had it attributed erroneously as RIC II.1 1233 (Lyons, 79 CE / COS VIII / IVDAEA) [OCRE (RIC 1233; 10 specs.)]. I believe it should be RIC II.1 305 (Rome, 71 CE / COS III / IVDEA) [OCRE (RIC 305; 14 specs.)]. Note the missing first "A" (Judea v. usual Judaea), sometimes described as an accidental misspelling (e.g., A.S.W. in "Nomos 24 Highlights," email rec. 15 May 2022, Lot 397).

Salton-Schlessinger & Bressett: I bought a bunch of mostly budget coins from the coll. of Kenneth Bressett (b. 1928 - [also: Smith, American Numismatic Biographies, p. 51]) at CNG Keystone 6 (his Ptolemaic & Byzatine are coming up in Keystone 8), but this is my favorite. Bressett bought it in 1957 ($8) from Mark Salton-Schlessinger (1914-2005; born Schlessinger, he went by Salton or Salton-Schlessinger after coming to America post-WWII) and still had the tag/envelope. Salton's "inventory" and "collection" clearly overlapped significantly, and he did collect RIC and made some donations. I didn't get anything at the recent sale of his Greek collection (I did get some ex-Salton books & auction catalogs), but this will do. (Mark & Lottie Salton are surprisingly absent from Pete Smith's otherwise excellent ANB, but see the CoinsWeekly summary (English verson of MünzenWoche) or Ira Reza’s essay “Remembering Mark & Lottie Salton” in Kolbe & Fanning 161 [direct to .pdf], reprinted from ANS Magazine (Spring 2006) [link now broken].

Especially significant because Salton was from the prominent extended Schlessinger-Hamburger-et al. family of German Jewish numismatists who were largely wiped out by the Nazis (his parents were killed at Auschwitz, his father the famous Felix Schlessinger). (See U. Kampmann's great new volume on this, On the Origins of the German Coin Trade... [on Issuu, English translation], published online [free] by Künker.) 

I'm sure the parallels between the Roman conquest of Judaea and the Holocaust were very salient for Salton (especially since Hitler styled "the Third Reich" as a continuation of ancient Rome).

Edited by Curtis JJ
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18 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

I believe it should be RIC II.1 305 (Rome, 71 CE / COS III / IVDEA) [OCRE (RIC 305; 14 specs.)]. Note the missing first "A" (Judea v. usual Judaea), sometimes described as an accidental misspelling (e.g., A.S.W. in "Nomos 24 Highlights," email rec. 15 May 2022, Lot 397).

You are correct - Rome mint, 71 AD. A wonderfully rare acquisition!

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Lovely examples.  Here's mine from the same series as David's.  I wonder now did I misattribute this one?  Will have to check the difference between  1446 and 1447.  Plus their's a new Hendin number anyway...

 

ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΤΙΤΟ Σ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ
Laureate head right.

ΙΟΥΔΑΙΑΣ EAΛ ΩΚΥIΑΣ
Nike standing right, left foot on helmet, writing on shield supported by her knee, palm tree at right.

Caesarea Maritima; 79-81 CE

22mm, 7.23g


Hendin 1447, Meshorer 382

 

 

Titus_Hendin_1447.jpg

Edited by Jay GT4
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7 hours ago, Jay GT4 said:

Lovely examples.  Here's mine from the same series as David's.  I wonder now did I misattribute this one?  Will have to check the difference between  1446 and 1447.  Plus their's a new Hendin number anyway...

 

ΑΥΤΟΚΡ ΤΙΤΟ Σ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ
Laureate head right.

ΙΟΥΔΑΙΑΣ EAΛ ΩΚΥIΑΣ
Nike standing right, left foot on helmet, writing on shield supported by her knee, palm tree at right.

Caesarea Maritima; 79-81 CE

22mm, 7.23g


Hendin 1447, Meshorer 382

 

 

Titus_Hendin_1447.jpg

Hendin 1447 has Victory holding the shield on her knee, while 1446 shows it mounted on the palm.

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I have two coins from this series. A denarius (RIC 2) and a sestertius (RIC 159), both depicting Vespasian. Both are far from impeccable, but still it's neat to have some coins which could be pinpointed to commemorating a specific historical event.

 

image.png.859177e10bafa11bba961464b392cdef.png

Edited by Troyden
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Those are the TRUE Judaea Captas… how about UNTRUE (?) Judaea Captas?

@David Atherton will have seen (and commented) on one or both of these ones elsewhere. As I say, I'm particularly fond of coins that are the subject of debates, reattributions, and controversies. These two Titus denarii are often called Judaea Capta commemoratives, but I don’t think either has strong evidence (the opposite for at least one). (To the sellers’ credit, neither were advertised as such when I bought these.)

If I understand right, both are struck by Titus c. 79 (Tribune 9th, Consul 7th [first] & 8th [second], IMP 14 & 15).

The first is a Quadriga type, which reportedlyhas been copied from two moneyers' denarii of Augustus that apparently depict a procession in honor of Ceres.

 

image.jpeg.626e620cdddb307b2c398757f837a2c4.jpeg

 

This type is often called a Judaea Capta commemorative. (Just a few examples from 4 different sellers.) I think it’s a confusion (or wishful thinking) based on a different quadriga type under Vespasian:

Hendin catalogs different Quadriga types under Vespasian as Judaea Capta commemoratives, noting of one type (GBC1 214) that it “shows a scene identical to one shown on the arch of Titus, commemorating victory over the Jews.”

Importantly, those ones all show a laureate figure (the emperor) standing in the quadriga. My type shows a grain ear (possibly torch?) “riding” in the quadriga on the type above. Why would grain ears be celebrating Judaea Capta? This one must be about feeding the Romans (invoking Ceres’ help or celebrating a dispersal).

 

 

image.jpeg.4638d57f243aacd038739e1f80e80ef7.jpeg

 

The second supposed-Judaea Capta type may have more adherents. Titus did strike “IVDAEA CAPTA” bronzes (e.g., RIC 145 through 153; RIC 500 to 506).

So, I don’t rule these out based on timeline. But I don't think any of the Titus (c. 79-81) denarii have a legend indicating Judaea, or local imagery (another relevant type still missing from my "captives" collection: captive kneeling under trophy AR denarii copying the old Fundanius quinarius design, the first "captive & trophy" coin).

I think the case is stronger that this type refers to Agricola’s Britannia / Caledonia (if it references anywhere specific at all), because of the IMP XV (to the extent that the following source is accurate). From Cassius Dio, Epitome of Book LXVI [66, 20: 3]), discussing the conquest of Caledonia: “As a result of these events in Britain Titus received the title of imperator for the fifteenth time…”

Others have called it Britannia as well: Cody 2013; Sear [RCV.1] 2511; Mattingly in BMCRE II (who seemingly suggested Judaea and Britannia in different places).

David Hendin usually refers to this type as a Judaea Capta (Hendin GBC5 1584a; cf. Hendin GBC1 215 [head right]). Gorny & Mosch did not (in 2019), but it’s clear that the consignor considered it so, Shlomo Moussaieff (1925-2015), an Israeli antiquities dealer/collector who reportedly began collecting in the 1940s after fighting with the British against the Nazis in WWII. It was later in the Orfew – Short Collection, and sold by CNG (Triton XXV, Session 6 (Online only, 11 Jan 2022), Lot 6953). Now in my sub-collections of "Captives" and "WWII-relevant provenance."

Edited by Curtis JJ
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On 8/3/2022 at 5:41 PM, Curtis JJ said:

Those are the TRUE Judaea Captas… how about UNTRUE (?) Judaea Captas?

@David Atherton will have seen (and commented) on one or both of these ones elsewhere. As I say, I'm particularly fond of coins that are the subject of debates, reattributions, and controversies. These two Titus denarii are often called Judaea Capta commemoratives, but I don’t think either has strong evidence (the opposite for at least one). (To the sellers’ credit, neither were advertised as such when I bought these.)

If I understand right, both are struck by Titus c. 79 (Tribune 9th, Consul 7th [first] & 8th [second], IMP 14 & 15).

The first is a Quadriga type, which reportedlyhas been copied from two moneyers' denarii of Augustus that apparently depict a procession in honor of Ceres.

 

image.jpeg.626e620cdddb307b2c398757f837a2c4.jpeg

 

This type is often called a Judaea Capta commemorative. (Just a few examples from 4 different sellers.) I think it’s a confusion (or wishful thinking) based on a different quadriga type under Vespasian:

Hendin catalogs different Quadriga types under Vespasian as Judaea Capta commemoratives, noting of one type (GBC1 214) that it “shows a scene identical to one shown on the arch of Titus, commemorating victory over the Jews.”

Importantly, those ones all show a laureate figure (the emperor) standing in the quadriga. My type shows a grain ear (possibly torch?) “riding” in the quadriga on the type above. Why would grain ears be celebrating Judaea Capta? This one must be about feeding the Romans (invoking Ceres’ help or celebrating a dispersal).

 

 

image.jpeg.4638d57f243aacd038739e1f80e80ef7.jpeg

 

The second supposed-Judaea Capta type may have more adherents. Titus did strike “IVDAEA CAPTA” bronzes (e.g., RIC 145 through 153; RIC 500 to 506).

So, I don’t rule these out based on timeline. But I don't think any of the Titus (c. 79-81) denarii have a legend indicating Judaea, or local imagery (another relevant type still missing from my "captives" collection: captive kneeling under trophy AR denarii copying the old Fundanius quinarius design, the first "captive & trophy" coin).

I think the case is stronger that this type refers to Agricola’s Britannia / Caledonia (if it references anywhere specific at all), because of the IMP XV (to the extent that the following source is accurate). From Cassius Dio, Epitome of Book LXVI [66, 20: 3]), discussing the conquest of Caledonia: “As a result of these events in Britain Titus received the title of imperator for the fifteenth time…”

Others have called it Britannia as well: Cody 2013; Sear [RCV.1] 2511; Mattingly in BMCRE II (who seemingly suggested Judaea and Britannia in different places).

David Hendin usually refers to this type as a Judaea Capta (Hendin GBC5 1584a; cf. Hendin GBC1 215 [head right]). Gorny & Mosch did not (in 2019), but it’s clear that the consignor considered it so, Shlomo Moussaieff (1925-2015), an Israeli antiquities dealer/collector who reportedly began collecting in the 1940s after fighting with the British against the Nazis in WWII. It was later in the Orfew – Short Collection, and sold by CNG (Triton XXV, Session 6 (Online only, 11 Jan 2022), Lot 6953). Now in my sub-collections of "Captives" and "WWII-relevant provenance."

If any dealer is advertising the Titus Ceres quadriga as a 'Judaea Capta' type they are flat out wrong. It has nothing to do with Judaea!

The captives and trophy type I'll give a little more leeway since the evidence is rather vague and scanty. Personally, I see it as related to Agricola's campaigns, for which Titus received imperial acclamations.

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