The Three wise men, their coins…
Some believe that Azes II, ruler of the Indoescita kingdom during the second half of the first century BC, could be one of the three magicians carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh, as it is a contemporary of Jesus Christ and original of the Orient. A belief that is largely due to the existence of numerous numismatic sequences and inscriptions in which the king appears on horseback, with his arm aloft, as if he were following something, perhaps the star of Bethlehem.
A possibility that does not end up coinciding with the expressed by the Christian literary and iconographic tradition of the first centuries after our era, when it was convinced that the magicians who visited Jesus Christ in the Manger came from the Orient, But not of the Indoescita kingdom, but of Persia (present-day Iran).
Between History and Legend
Likewise, the fact that these magicians followed a star led the Pioneers scholars of Christianity to the conclusion that they were also astrologers, as this was a science widespread among the Oriental sages.
The fact that these magicians were to be considered kings could be the fruit of the popular imaginary, but the case is that it was San Cesáreo de Arles the first to call them in this way, already in the 6th century. In fact, the ancient paintings of the catacombs depict them without real symbols and St. Matthew said nothing of this supposed royalty either.
Authentic Bible coins…
Never was the change as valuable as the lepton, the Hebrew term used to designate the lesser-valued bronze coins that circulated through Judea during the first century BC. Because the value of these currencies lies not in their composition, but in their symbolism.
According to different historians, when the Bible speaks of mite is referring to the lepton. This coin is reflected during the passage of the Gospels, in which a widow deposits some coins as alms in the temple; No one realizes, except for Jesus, who tells his disciples that the widow was the one who gave the most, because the rich contributed what they had left, while she gave the money she needed to live.
Thus, the currency with the least value of the collected was for Jesus the most valuable. Because the lepton was the most insignificant currency of the entire Roman Empire, since it was barely worth a 128 ª part of the denarius. In fact, its bad coinage, and the wear by its use, made that the lepton presented in the majority of occasions a strange deformation, since it was seldom round.
Pontius Pilate’s Coin
These coins were therefore contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth. According to various sources, they were coined by Pontius Pilate and circulated by Palestine for several years. As a notable note, they do not present any human effigy or figure, but the staff who used the Roman soothsayers, who were called ‘ lituus ‘