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Sterling Silver Earrings, Antonius Felix, Ancient Judaean Prutah Coin, 6809


Denomination:  PRUTAH                                                       Date: 52-60 CE


Judaea, Antonius Felix procurator, AE Prutah. Year 14 = 54 AD. V KAICP, two crossed shields and spears / BRIT, six branched palm tree bearing two bunches of dates; L-I K-AI across field.

Antoninus Felix was a Roman Procurator under Claudius. Antoninus Felix was the younger brother of the Greek freedman Marcus Antoninus Pallas, who served as a secretary of the treasury during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. Antoninus Felix began ruling Yehuda  in year of 52. He was known as a cruel ruler whose relationship with the Jewish people was constantly complex and violent, which lead to a great increase in crime in Judeea.

Felix issued all his coins in year 54, the year of his marriage to Dorusilla, sister of King Agrepus the second (after convincing her to leave her husband Azizo king of Amsa). The relationship between Felix and the Jewish was complicated. On one hand he was married to a Jewish woman, the king’s sister, but on the other he treated her people with violence and cruelty. The duality of this relationship is marked on his coins. On one side we find Hebrew symbols; palm trees and palm branches, and on the other side the symbols of the Roman Empire; such as the shield and spear, symbols taken from the Roman coins which emphasize the power of the roman role.