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I may add that I have read with attention all the papers on the subject printed since 1864 that I have been able to obtain, and that the matter hereinafter to be given will embrace a general résumé of their contents. For the purpose of reference, I shall give in an "Appendix" a list of the works or papers on Jewish coins written since the year 1849, to which I have made frequent reference in the following pages.
§ I. SILVER SHEKELS, HALF SHEKELS, AND COPPER COINS, USUALLY ATTRIBUTED TO SIMON MACCABÆUS.
Every student of Jewish numismatics must be well aware how obstinately, to use Professor Grotefend's expression,' M. de Saulcy has maintained that the shekels and half-shekels, together with the copper coinage of similar style, without the names of the issuer should be attributed to the high priest Jaddua, and not, as most other numismatists are of opinion, to Simon Maccabæus. The controversy which arose after the publication of my work in 1864 as shown in papers by writers in all parts of Europe must be still fresh in the minds of those interested in this subject. After the issue of my paper in 1866 on the "Coins of the Two Revolts of the Jews,"2 very little attention was for several years given to this branch of the science. In the year 1871, however, a paper by M. de Sauley, written by him in the month of October, 1870, was published in the NUMISMATIC CHRONICLE, on which, in the early part of the year 1872, I made a few remarks.*
1 Jahrbücher des Vereins von Alterthumsfreunden im Rheinlande," 1865, p. 289.
2 Num. Chron., N.S., vol. vi. p. 36.
In this paper of De Saulcy's he makes no mention of the shekels, etc., nor of their attribution to Simon Maccabæus. So far, then, as De Sauley was concerned, it seemed as if the question was at rest. How great, then, my astonishment to find and to become acquainted with, only in the year 1874, a new theory of De Sauley's respecting these coins which he had published as long ago as the year 1868. As this theory is an important one, it is advisable to at once lay it before English readers.
The work of M. de Saulcy's to which I refer is a pamphlet of about a hundred pages, entitled "Étude Chronologique des Livres d'Esdras et de Néhémie,” and was published by him in 1868.5 In this work the whole question of the dates of the reigns of the Persian kings, and of the events during their reigns as recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah, is submitted to critical examination, and it seems that the theories therein set forth by De Saulcy generally disagree with all previous recognised conclusions. It is not necessary for our purpose to re-examine that part of the question here, and I beg to refer the chronological student to De Saulcy's work, and to other writers on this subject. I therefore pass at once to the numismatic portion of my inquiry.
In the seventh chapter of the Book of Ezra and at the eighteenth verse it is written, "And whatsoever shall seem good to thee and to thy brethren to do with the rest
A. Lévy, libraire-éditeur, 21, Rue Bonaparte, Paris. am indebted to M. François Lenormant for informing me where I could obtain this volume.
See, inter alia, Smith's " Dict. of the Bible; " Smith's "Dict. of Biography;" Kitto's "Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature," 3rd edition, 1870; Clinton, F. H., vol. ii. p. 312; Rev. Canon Rawlinson, The Book of Ezra, in "The Bible Educator," vol. iv. p. 42.
of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God."
According to De Sauley this firman was granted to Ezra by Artaxerxes II. Mnemon, who reigned from B.C. 405 to B.C. 362; and he is of opinion that Ezra and his companions undertook the journey to Jerusalem in B.C. 398 or 397. Most scholars have, however, attributed the issue of this decree to Xerxes (B.c. 485-465), or to his son Artaxerxes I. Longimanus (B.c. 465-425).8
As previously stated, I do not propose to enter into an examination of the dates. Let us pass on to De Saulcy's remarks on this verse. De Saulcy's words are
"Ce passage me paraît donner le mot de l'énigme soulevée par l'existence des sicles et des demi-sicles Hébraïques. On s'est obstiné, contre toutes les lois de la science numismatique, à classer ces belles et rares monnaies à Simon l'Asmonéen, tandis que je maintenais leur émission au pontificat de Jaddouâ. Aujourd'hui, sans entrer dans de plus grands détails, j'attribue cette émission à Esdras, et je regarde ces monnaies comme frappées pour les contributions sacrées, avec l'argent de reste dont il vient d'étre question, et qui provenait de la générosité du Roi des rois, et des souscriptions volontaires des Juifs de la Babylonie."
The italics are mine.
This theory is of so great importance that it is to be regretted that M. de Sauley did not think it advisable "to enter into fuller detail," or failing this that he has not published his new attribution in an accessible numismatic
Op. cit., p. 42. De Sauley gives the dates of the reign of Artaxerxes II. as B.C. 404 to B.c. 359.
Canon Rawlinson (op. cit.) inclines to this latter view.
publication. The important point, however, for us to consider is how far this new theory can be accepted. One French scholar has without hesitation adopted it in the most decisive terms. M. François Lenormant, who is at present engaged on an elaborate and valuable work on "The Phoenician Alphabet "9-a work the more valuable as M. Lenormant has evidently studied the writers of all nations-in speaking of the "Primitive Hebrew Alphabet," writes as follows:-10
"Pour ce qui est de la troisième colonne, les lettres qu'elle contient sont empruntées aux anciens sicles au flan épais, que je considère comme des monuments de la fin du cinquième siècle ou du commencement du quatrième, et pour lesquels je n'hésite pas à adopter la nouvelle opinion de M. de Saulcy, tendant à les faire regarder comme frappés par Esdras ou par Néhémie. En effet, comme le reconnaîtra tout homme de bonne foi qui a l'habitude de manier et de classer des médailles, les considérations numismatiques de style et de fabrication, qui doivent passer ici en première ligne, ne permettent absolument pas de maintenir l'ancienne attribution à Simon Macchabée, vainement défendue par Monseigneur Cavedoni, le Docteur Levy et M. Madden; car les pièces sont certainement antérieures de plus de deux siècles. D'un autre côté, les raisons historiques, non moins puissantes, contredisent l'opinion proposée d'abord par M. de Saulcy dans ses Recherches sur la Numismatique Judaïque,' attri
"Essai sur la Propagation de l'Alphabet Phénicien dans l'Ancien Monde." Vol. i., 1st and 2nd livraison, and vol. ii. 1st livraison (Paris, 1872-3), at present published. The work will be completed in five volumes, and will appear by halfvolumes.
buant les sicles au pontificat de Jaddouâ, contemporain d'Alexandre le Grand. Au point de vue des caractères intrinsèques proprement numismatiques, les anciens sicles ne peuvent pas être séparés des différentes séries de monnaies frappées par les dynastes des cités de Phénicie et de Syrie sous la suzeraineté des Perses."
M. Lenormant then goes on to say that the Macedonian kings and the Seleucidæ were especially jealous of the "droit monétaire," and that the concession of this right to Simon Maccabæus was quite an event; moreover, if Alexander the Great had accorded such a privilege to Jaddua, there would be sure to have been some mention of it in Josephus. This latter statement is however not quite in accordance with the facts before us, for it does not appear that Josephus either makes any mention of the permission granted to Simon Maccabæus and recorded in the Maccabees.
It may not be uninteresting to observe that the writer of the apocryphal book of Esdras" quotes the portion of the firman which we are discussing in nearly the same words" And whatsoever thou and thy brethren will do with the silver and gold, that do, according to the will of thy God;" whilst Josephus12 gives generally the tenour of the decree as in Ezra, though he makes Xerxes to be the king instead of, as De Saulcy, Artaxerxes Mnemon.
One of the strongest proofs of the probability of M. de Sauley's new suggestion is that afforded by the papers of Mr. Waddington on "The Right of Coining." 13 This scholar says: "Le droit monétaire était essentiellement
1 Esdras, viii. 16.
12.66 Antiq.” xi. 5, 1.
Médailles frappées au Ve siècle en Carie et en Ionie," in the Revue Numismatique, 1856, p. 50.