Coins of Agrippa I

King of the Roman Province of Judaea (AD 37-44)

Marcus Julius Agrippa (referred to as “Herod” in the biblical Acts of the Apostles) was a grandson of Herod the Great, who sent Agrippa to grow up at the Emperor Tiberius’ court in Rome. Agrippa’s return home to Idumaea in the east in AD 23 was not a success, and he returned to Rome, only to be accused of treason by Tiberius. However, he had befriended the future emperor Caligula, and upon Tiberius’ death, Caligula cleared Agrippa of the charges and made him a provincial governor. Caligula was murdered in AD 41, but Agrippa was also a friend of the new emperor, Claudius. Claudius granted Agrippa jurisdiction over still more provinces, including Judaea and Samaria. Agrippa now controlled a far greater territory than that of his grandfather and had become a extraordinarily powerful prince.

Accounts of Agrippa’s reign are generally favourable. He was enthusiastic about the Jewish faith and even stood up to Caligula, persuading the emperor not to put a statue of himself in Jerusalem’s temple. However, his power and influence in the east caused Claudius some worry, and Agrippa’s kingdom was absorbed back into the empire after his sudden death in AD 44.

Lepton, Rome
AD 41-42 (Roman Provincial - Judaea)
Obverse:
Canopy with fringe; around BASILEW[S AGRIPPA] with border of dots.
Reverse:
3 ears of barley issuing from between two leaves; across field, date; border of dots.