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Paqid Yirmeyahu
Apr 2, 2008, 06:06 AM
I know almost nothing about coins. I've seen the coin below attributed to Herod Agrippa I.

On the coin below, can anyone tell me if the lambda zeta (???) in the gable identifies that it was struck in year 6? (If not, what are these two letters and what do they signify?)

Also, I'd really appreciate a xlit and xlation of the inscriptions and all of the description I can get of the depictions, particularly the reverse.

(Unrelated, but my curiosity is eating away at me: what does the "SC" stand for on so many coins of this period? Amazingly, everyone shows photos but no one explains.)


http://www.livius.org/a/1/judaea/agrippa_i_coin.jpg

curtislclay
Apr 2, 2008, 04:49 PM
Roman Provincial Coins I, 4983, Agrippa I, Year 7 = 42/3 AD:

TIBEPIOC KAICAP CEBACTOC GEP, laureate head of Claudius r.

BACILEYC MEGAC AGPIPPAC FILOKAICAP, temple with two columns containing King Agrippa, Claudius, and two other figures; in pediment, LZ (Year 7).

Andrew Burnett's interpretation of the scene: consecration of the treaty between Agrippa and Claudius in the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter in Rome.

S C on Roman bronze coins means "By decree of the Senate."

Paqid Yirmeyahu
Apr 3, 2008, 04:07 AM
Thanks.

Can you verify or correct my xlatn of the inscription on the reverse ("Great Basilicus of Agrippa, Friend of Caesar")?

CEBACTOC GEP (sebastos ger/p) eludes me (and I don't know from the xlit whether the final letter is pi or ro).

Can you tell me what is the "r." in "Claudius r."?

I thought lambda zeta would mean year 36 of some reign, then to 42/3 C.E., How does it work out to 7?

Thanks again for your help.

SMinnoch
Apr 3, 2008, 06:58 AM
CEBACTOC = Augustus
ΓΕΡ is short for Germanicus.

r. = right.

L is short for year, so LZ = year 7. It is not a lambda. (although the Ls Curtis gives in the main legend are).

I think your translation should be amended to read "Great King Agrippa".

Steve

Paqid Yirmeyahu
Apr 3, 2008, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the info on GER, r., the "Great King" correction and "L." These msgs have answered a lot of questions.

I think I've see AUG used for Augustus like GER is used for Germanicus? Doesn't sebastos mean worshipful, honorable or venerable?

As soon as I read your msg about the "L" I realized that I had confused a xlit "L" (instead of a lambda) on the coin that doesn't fit with the Greek. (Can't believe that one slipped by me.) What is this symbol and why does it mean "year" (Greek etos or xronos)?

And why does the sixth Greek letter stand for 7?

I notice on most coins featuring a gable there is a disc (sun?), star or other symbol in the pediment. Does anyone have a rundown on what symbols were popular in the pediment (under the gable) and what they meant?

Thanks again.

Paqid Yirmeyahu
The Netzarim
www.netzarim.co.il (http://www.netzarim.co.il)
Ra'anana, Israel

SMinnoch
Apr 3, 2008, 06:01 PM
The Latin word Augustus had a very similar meaning to the Greek word Sebastos. On provincials, sometimes the title is given phonetically, ΑVΓ, AVΓΟVCΤΟC, and sometimes it is given as the equivalent word in Greek, CEB, CEBACTOC. The same applies for Augusta/Sebasta.

The symbol L for year is almost ever-present on Alexandrian coins, I have never seen a convincing explanation for how it came to be. It seems obvious that it isn't a Latin L, but a symbol that evolved independently to have the same shape.

Z was the 6th letter of the classical alphabet, but it was the seventh letter in earlier alphabets - the numeral for 6 was a digamma, which represented the F sound, but normally when seen on coins looks like an S. Other archaic Greek letters were used as numerals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_numerals has it mostly correct.

I can't answer the pediment question.

Steve

hydatius
Apr 4, 2008, 07:45 AM
Z was the 6th letter of the classical alphabet, but it was the seventh letter in earlier alphabets - the numeral for 6 was a digamma, which represented the F sound, but normally when seen on coins looks like an S. Other archaic Greek letters were used as numerals.

The digamma was pronounced like a modern English W, not an F, which is what the letter originally looked like (ϝ). When used as the number six it was a square C and then later a ϛ (which we now use as the final sigma of a word).

'etos' is the Greek word for year. 'chronos' is the word for 'time'. The 'L' symbol is just a shorthand symbol, like the modern ampersand '&' (which is actually a ligatured 'et' [Latin for 'and']) or $ for 'dollars'.

Richard