Tetradrachm of the Bar Kochba Revolt



Tetradrachm of the Bar Kochba Revolt




134-135 AD


Roman Empire, Reign of Hadrian


1 x 1/8 in. (2.5 x 0.3 cm)

Object Number



The silver tetradrachm bears on one side the image of the temple façade. At the base of the pillars is a balustrade, representing the court that surrounded the entry to the temple. In the middle of the four pillars of the temple stands a chest-a figure of the Ark of the Covenant. This composite image would certainly have roused nationalistic and religious sentiments in this time, for the Romans had destroyed the temple in 70 AD and the Neo-Babylonians had taken the Ark of the Covenant as booty in another bloody siege 600 years earlier. The paleo-Hebrew script and the images of the temple and ark convey a strong conservatism of ancient traditions. The legend on the outside rim contains the name shim'on (Simon).

The other side of the coin presents the lulav and etrog. The lulav is a foliage arrangement with a palm branch at its center, and the etrog to its left is a citrus fruit indigenous to the region. Both were ritual items used during the feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth). The legend reads, "for the freedom of Jerusalem" (lecherut yerushalayim).

Credit Line

Museum purchase


From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian and Classical Antiquities at Emory, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 14 - April 2, 2006
MCCM Newsletter, March - May 2006.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 37.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
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On View



“Tetradrachm of the Bar Kochba Revolt,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed March 22, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7845.

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