Roman Republic, Denarius

Both faces of this coin celebrate the campaign of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus in Judea. The issuer of the denarius, A. PLAVTIVS, had fought in Judea himself and was a political supporter of Pompey.

The obverse depicts the goddess Cybele with a turret-like crown. Cybele embodied the fertile earth, but also caverns and mountains, walls and cities. On this coin she stands for the capture of Jerusalem that Pompey had achieved after a month-long siege in 63 BC.

The reverse shows a kneeling figure holding the reins of a dromedary and an olive branch. This supposedly celebrates the surrender of an eastern ruler during Pompey's campaigns, perhaps Dionysius of Tripoli or Aristobulus the High Priest.