over Judea, the most important military success of the Flavian house,
was celebrated by a great triumph held in Rome in 71 CE. Josephus
describes the ceremonies at length (see - Jewish Wars VII, 139-152).
This description represents only a part of the long and dramatic
commemoration of the Flavian victory, staged both in Rome and in
the provinces. Statues depicting scenes of battle, and the subsequent
erection of the triumphal arch, or Arch of Titus, were part of the
tremendous imperial effort made to publicize the conquest of Judea.
As part of this procedure, during the reigns of Vespasian and Titus
(until 81 CE), enormous quantities of commemorative gold, silver
and several bronze denominations of coins were struck both in Rome
and in some provincial mints. The majority of the bronze pieces
are distinguished by the inscription: "IVDAEA CAPTA" -
News of an addition of a new province to the empire or of a victory
over an enemy was promulgated by the Roman administration through
the minting of coinage which depicted relevant inscriptions and
designs. For example, following his conquest of Egypt in 28 BCE,
Augustus issued a series of coins depicting the Nile crocodile and
the inscription AEG VPTO CAPTA. Also well known are the coins struck
in commemoration of the Roman victories over the Germans, the Daciens
and the tribes of Spain.
A comparison of the various types as well as of the quantity of
commemorative pieces produced in each issue reveals that the Judea
Capta coins far outnumber the comparable issues. There are several
reasons for this disproportionate amount of coinage. The Roman victory
over Judea was an impressive effort which involved a force of over
three legions, but Rome had undertaken greater campaigns and had
gained more territory with other military activities. The Flavians
desired to publicize this particular victory because of their lack
of other memorable or important campaigns.
The inscription SC on the "Judea Capta" coins as well
as in other coins minted in Rome is an abbreviation of S(ENATVS)
C(ONSVLTO) and means that the coin was minted "By the Decree
of the Senate"