Bronze coin of Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judaea


British Museum

British Museum

The Herodian dynasty lost its sole control over Judaea in AD 6, thanks to the irreparable breakdown of relations between Herod Archelaus and his people. The Roman solution was to turn Judaea into a directly governed province. At the head of the of provincial administration was the Praefectus (later Procurator). The most infamous of these, thanks to his role in the development of the Christian religion, was Pontius Pilate, who governed the province form AD 26. Pilate's governorship ended when he was recalled to Rome in AD 36 to give an account to the imperial authorities of his harsh administration.The coin designs of the procurators were in general anodyne: the three first incumbents chose neutral symbols such as ears of barley, palm-trees and cornucopias; none placed their own names on the coins, merely the name of the ruling Roman emperor and the year of his reign. The designs of Pilate's issues strayed from the norm. On the front of his coins appear items of Roman cultic paraphernalia: the simpulum (a form of ladle) and, as on this issue, the lituus (an augural staff). The reverse of the coin carries the regnal year 17 of emperor Tiberius (this is the year AD 30/1).

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  • Title: Bronze coin of Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judaea
  • Date Created: 30/31
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 1.97g; Die-axis: 6.00oc; Diameter: 15.00mm (max)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Subject: religious object
  • Registration number: 1908,0110.530
  • Production place: Minted in Jerusalem
  • Period/culture: Roman Provincial
  • Material: copper alloy
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Authority: Ruler Tiberius. Governor Pontius Pilate
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Hamburger, Leo