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Antioch Ram Coin under Nero 55 AD

The above coin series from 55 AD shows the ram looking back at two solar eclipse events. The Roman god Fortuna or "Tyche" is on the obverse. Notice the moon is pictured as a ball with surrounding rays in the first picture. The sun to the ancients was not 3 dimensional. This appears to be a hybrid or near total solar eclipse. The solar eclipse in the second picture shows a planetary body with a much smaller dot and light rays. The star is the moon, the brightest star in the sky. the crescent is the sun. This appears to be a partial solar eclipse. The astronomical event which was the Star of Bethlehem is likely not represented on these coins as the previous posts show. The Roman government in Antioch merged astronomical events into the politics of war and peace. These coins may be indicative of the solar eclipses of 49 and 52 AD. The solar eclipse of 29 AD and the unknown Crucifixion Darkness were two events that affected the perception of Roman occupied Judea and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Jewish Rebellion was near and Nero was well aware of it. Josephus reports banditry and gangs controlled the countryside in Judea in the mid 50's. Rome enjoyed conquest but rebellion was a sin against the emperor. Rome did not try to appease rebellious provinces. This coin communicates the choice of accepting the "fortune" of the Roman religion and for Judea to look back on the dark events of war, i.e. Nabatean war with Herod Antipas. Additionally, war was brewing with Parthia over Armenia. The proxy wars over regions in the Levant always were supported directly or indirectly between Rome and Parthia. The ram as described in previous posts likely is in reference to the peoples of the Levant including Israel.

Representative of the first pictured coin. Note 49 AD is the likely date when Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews and Christians from Rome for proselytizing.

Representative of the second pictured coin

Photo from the Cartwright collection on Numiswiki

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