Re: Pontius Pilate Coin Inscription

From: Paul J. Bodin (
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 14:25:27 EDT


On Thu, 23 Sep 1999 07:09:32 PDT, Marvin W. Huddleston wrote:

> The coin is described as "AE Prutah. TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC. Lituus. Rv. Greek
> date within wreath denoting either 30 or 31 A.D. Hendin 649-50. AJC II,
> Supp. V,23."
> The actual inscription on the face of the coin reads --unreadible
> character-- sriog ka -- (the iota is not a subscript)

The actual appearance of Greek characters on inscriptions, coins and
documents varies considerably over time and to some extent with
geographical region. In fact the gradual change in writing conventions
is regular enough to use as evidence for the date and provenance of the
written artifact--this is one of the things that is subsumed under the
discipline of paleography.

Your transcription of the inscription on your coin seems to indicate
that it reads "TIBERIOY KAICAROC", meaning that is is a coin "of
Tiberius Caesar", that is struck under the authority of Tiberius during
his reign. What you read as an "s" is probably the epsilon, followed
by iota, omicron and upsilon, then the kappa-alpha of "KAICAROC" (the
"C"s represent sigmas: cf. Luke 3:1).

 Paul J. Bodin <>
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