Ancient Judea - Bar-Kochba - Jewish Second Revolt - Circa 133-134 CE

Denomination:  Bar Kochba, 24-26mm. Bronze.                              

Date: Circa 133-134 CE

Mount: 14K gold

Description: The 24-26mm. bronzes of Bar Kochba. Obverse:  A grape vine leaf. Reverse: 7-branched palm tree.

History: The seven branches of the palm tree could well allude to the holy 7-branched Temple Menorah, that was considered too holy to depict on coins (with the isolated exception of the small bronze Menorah coin issued in the last desperate days of the reign of Antigonus Mattathias). Bar Kochba’s given name appears on the palm tree side in full with his title: Shim’on the Prince of Israel, or without the title: Shim’on, or shortened as Shim’.

It is estimated that over half a million Jews fell in battle during the Second Revolt, with countless more sold as slaves after the final defeat of Bar Kochba at Betar. The Romans too suffered such heavy losses that when Hadrian sent a written report of the campaign to the senate, he omitted the usual introductory remarks that the emperor and the army were well.