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Bar Kokhba Revolt Coinage

05 Aug 2021  Thu

Bar Kokhba Revolt coins issued by the Judaean rebel state, headed by Simon Bar Kokhba, during the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire of 132-135 CE.

During the Revolt, large quantities of coins were issued in silver and copper with rebellious inscriptions, all being overstruck over foreign (mostly Roman) coins, when a file was used to remove the designs of the original coins, such as the portrait of the Roman Emperor.

The name "Shim'on" (likely referring to the leader of the Revolt, Shim'on (Simon) Bar Koseba) appears on all of the coins of the Bar Kochba Revolt except for a few types issued at the beginning of the Revolt with the name "Eleazar the Priest (Cohen),". The overstruck silver shekel/tetradrachms (see illustration) are among the most religiously significant coins issued by the ancient Jews, because the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem Temple is shown, with the Ark of the Covenant.

The word "Jerusalem" was inscribed around the representation of the Temple. Beginning in the second year of issue and continuing into the final year, a star appeared above the Temple on many coins, probably in reference to Bar Kochba's nickname "Son of the Star". Agricultural symbols connected with the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, such as lulav and etrog, appear on the reverse of some of the smaller bronze coins, surrounded by a Hebrew inscription: 'Year One of the Redemption of Israel', 'Year Two of the Freedom of Israel', or 'For the Freedom of Jerusalem'.

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

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