Bronze Prutah of the Procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate

SKU C.10270
Circa

29 AD

Dimensions

0.625″ (1.6cm) high

Medium

Bronze

Origin

Jerusalem

Gallery Location

USA


 

Obverse: [IUYLIA KAICAPOP] encircling three bound heads of barley, the outer two drooping
Reverse: TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC encircling Simpulum (a libation ladle) and date “LIS.”

Pontius Pilate, most famously known for being the judge who sentenced Jesus to death was the Procurator of Judea from AD 26- 36. While much literature, both ancient and modern, portrays him as infamous and incompetent, it may be fairer to say he was a complex man beleaguered by extraordinary circumstances in a difficult time. The Romans dominated the world in which Jesus lived, although Rome did make concessions to the sensibilities of other cultures. This powerful coin is a case in point, showing three ears of barley bound together. Out of respect for Jewish sensitivity regarding graven images, coins depicted “still life” subjects such as palm branches, cornucopia, etc. The poignant beauty of this coin matches the simple faith of the most pious. It is a memorial to one of the most momentous eras in history, when Roman paganism, Judaism, and the nascent faith of Christianity all intermingled in the same land.The coins of Pontius Pilate were circulated in Ancient Israel for over thirty years. They knew the scent of spice-stalls, heard the ranting of merchants, and smelled the sweat and dust of daily works. They were alive to the sounds of Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin voices haggling over prices in the marketplaces or offering prayers to YHVH, Jesus, or Jupiter in temples. Holding this work in our hands, we are transported back in history to one of the most fabled times words have recorded, when the Jewish people struggled to be free from Roman occupation and when the Lord Jesus Christ walk the earth, was tried, and executed. We can still feel the power of these events resonate in the energy of this ancient coin.

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