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The Solar Eclipse of 63 BC and Siege of Jerusalem, the start of the Pompeian Era in the Levant

The Roman general Pompey the Great invaded the Levant and sieged Jerusalem in 63 BC. The above coin is from the city of Canatha (Kenath) near Bostra. It was on the border of greater Israel. The front has the bust of Zeus or Jupiter. The star and crescent represents the solar eclipse of 63 BC. It is a coin to mark the foundation of Canatha when Gabinius entered the Transjordan. The Romans looked at solar eclipses in terms of their mythology. The city of Rome was founded at a series of solar eclipses. The Roman Empire interpreted these events as fortuitous for military victories under the war god Mars. Also note that Pompey invaded the Levant from Antioch in Roman Syria where the solar eclipse would have been seen.

Herod was defeated by the Nabateans at Canatha. Some scholars believe Nabatean Petra was the original city of Islam. The connection with the star and crescent symbolism may not be a coincidence.

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