Monday, 27 January 2020

Rare Roman Aureus found at Mount Zion

In 2017 archaeological excavations at Mount Zion in Jerusalem for the first time discovered a gold coin bearing the likeness of Roman Emperor Nero. The coin had been struck in either 56 and 57 AD. The gold coin (aureus) bears the portrait of the younger Nero as Caesar.

The coin would have been minted a little more than a decade before the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The archaeologists hypothesized that the gold coin was part of a Jewish store of wealth, amassed before their mansions were razed – along with the rest of the city – by Titus and the Roman legions.

The coin was likely hidden prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and simply overlooked by Roman soldiers looting in the aftermath of their demolition.
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War. The destruction of both the first and second temples is still mourned annually as the Jewish fast Tisha B'Av.

The Arch of Titus, celebrating the Roman sack of Jerusalem and the Temple, still stands in Rome.