Der Bedeutungswandel hellenistischer Motive in der Münzprägung der Hasmonäer

Hans Sonntagbauer
2014 unpublished
Towards the end of the 2nd century BC the Hasmoneans succeeded in shak-ing off the Seleucid domination over Judea and establishing their own inde-pendent state. Even in ancient times, apart from the establishment of inde-pendent political bodies and administrative units, the introduction of a new currency belonged to the first steps undertaken for the creation of state sym-bols of a newly established state. Such symbols are still used today not only for the self-representation of a state and
more » ... y refer to traditions, but they are also signs of solidarity of the citizens and express common values. Thus, they help citizens to identify with their political system. By establishing their own currency (Prutah), based on the monetary system of the Seleucid Em-pire, the Hasmoneans followed this path of self-representation after having obtained independance. The Hasmoneans struck no gold and silver coins, but were restricted to the production of bronze coins, mainly Prutot and semi-Prutot (Lepta). Due to the previous domination of Judea by the Seleucids and the lack of a tradition of striking coins, the motifs on Hasmonean coins followed Seleucid models. So one can find on Hasmonean coins not only general Hellenistic motifs, such as crown, tiara or horn of plenty, but also explicitly Seleucid motifs, such as the anchor, symbolizing the Seleucid dynasty. This widespread adoption of Seleucid motifs raised the question, whether the taking over of the Seleucid motifs by the Hasmoneans occurred without any change of meaning or they perhaps gave them a specifically Jewish connotation. The inquiry showed that the Hasmonean rulers took over the motifs for their coins from their Hellenistic neighbors (Seleucids and Ptolemies). But these motifs were not incorporated unchanged, but underwent minor but typical amendments, specifically tailored for Hasmonean needs. Beside the taking over of motifs from the repertoire of motifs of the Seleucid dynasty, there were also religiously motivated Jewish images that were used by the Hasmonean [...]
doi:10.25365/thesis.35408 fatcat:yhj2axf7jjdtdktlqzn523f2k4