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Ancients

Marc Antony Legion Denarius 32-31 B.C.

The first coin I've owned minted before the birth of Christ! I purchased this coin at the Greater Mississippi State coin show in Biloxi, MS. The dealer was quite enthusiastic about talking coins, and I stayed and talked with him for quite some time. (Wish all dealers were this friendly.) He had an amazing collection of ancient coins, and after explaining this coin to me, I purchased it. This type of denarius was minted for payment of Marc Antony's legions during the Battle of Actium. This particular coin has Legion 20 (LEG XX) inscribed on it. The full inscription reads ANT(ONY) AVG(VSTVS) III VIR R P C on the obverse, and LEG XX on the reverse. The obverse pictures a galley right with banners flying from the bow-mast; the reverse features Aquila between two legionary standards.


Tiberius AR Denarius "Tribute Penny" 14-37 A.D.

Silver Denarius, weighing 3.9 grams. Very historically significant, because this particular denarius, featuring the Roman emperor Tiberius on the obverse and his mother Livia on the reverse, is probably the type of coin Jesus held up in his famous speech. It is the only style of denarius of the reigning Emperor that would have been in circulation at the time.

The Latin inscription on the obverse reads (clockwise from left of emperor's ear): Avgustvs Ti(berius) Caesar Divi Avg(vsti) F(ilius) ["Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus"]. The reverse bears the inscription Pontif(ex) Maxim(vs) ["Greatest Priest"].

Biblical verses:

  • Mat 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said.
  • Mat 22:16 And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
  • Mat 22:17 "Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"
  • Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?
  • Mat 22:19 "Show Me the coin {used} for the poll-tax." And they brought Him a denarius.
  • Mat 22:20 And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?"
  • Mat 22:21 They said to Him, "Caesar's." Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."
  • Mat 22:22 And hearing {this,} they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.


Vespasian AR Denarius "Judaea Capta" 69-79 A.D.

A biblically important coin, commemorating the Roman victory over the tiny Jewish nation in A.D. 70. This denarius, issued by the emperor Vespasian, pictures Judaea weeping beneath a Roman trophy. Inscription reads IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG on the obverse and IVDAEA on the reverse.


Domitian AR Denarius 81-96 A.D.

Silver Denarius of the emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus (Domitian). Obverse inscription reads IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM PM TRP XII; reverse inscription reads IMP XXII COS XVI CENS P P P, which an internet source I found narrows the minting date to between September 92 - September 93. Reverse portrays Minerva standing left, holding a spear. I found this coin at a flea market in September of 2007. I'm definitely not an expert on ancient coins, but there's something about holding a coin this old that I can't explain (even if it isn't made of copper!)



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