Herod The Great, Reign from 37-4 BC


The coin above best represents the Roman influence over Judea with astrology. It was minted by Herod the Great who ended the Jewish Hasmonean Dynasty and did more to "Romanize" Judea then any other previous ruler. The obverse shows a military helmet and the reverse shows a solar eclipse which was directly over Judea when Herod the Great came to power in 37 BC. Herod obviously was paying close attention to the Star of Bethlehem story and this coin clearly shows how he viewed the heavens giving him the power to rule Judea. He had to be very careful as placing any sign on a coin that would show he has gained favor from the "gods" would be offensive to Augustus. He indirectly placed it on a Macedonian shield design. There are other shield designs in this series of coins. Photo from David Hendin and his store Amphora coins.


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