JUDAEA, AE Prutah, Herod the Great, 40-4 BC, (Matthäus 2,1– 20)
NGC certification number: 2061665-051
Obv.: Jerusalem, anchor
Rev.: Double cornucopiae with caduceus, dots above. Dark green hue, light finds
Herod the Great was a Jewish client king of Rome. He lived from 73 B.C. to 4 B.C. Herod conquered Jerusalem with Roman support in 37 B.C. and ousted the Hasmonean family that had ruled until then. After the famous battle of Actium in 30 BC, Herod switched to the camp of Octavian, who confirmed his kingship and also expanded his domain. Herod's progressive empire consisted of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population.
The historical significance of Herod is known to us today through the well-known Christmas story from the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-20.
Here Herod plays a decisive role as a rival and persecutor of the newborn Jesus of Nazareth. Furthermore, he is said to have ordered the so-called infanticide in Bethlehem, which involved the killing of all male infants in Bethlehem in order to eliminate - as the evangelist Matthew calls him - the newborn King of the Jews, Jesus of Nazareth.