Monday, December 15, 2014

Figure 103

Photo CNG
Silver Denarius coin (AD 82–83) of Domitian, which features his deified infant son, who was born in AD 73 and died young (Suetonius Dom. 3.1), seated on a globe surrounded by seven stars. The child has been identified as the empress Domitia Longinas’ son (AD 82–96 left). DIVVS CAESAR IMP DOMITIANI: “The Deified Caesar, Son of the Emperor Domitian.” The stars symbolize the child’s divine status. The globe suggests that the Romans believed the earth was a sphere although Eratosthenes (276–194 BC) of Cyrene (modern Libya) was the first to discover that the earth is round. Did John have this coin in mind when he penned “and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to His feet … He had in His right hand seven stars” (Rev 1:13, 16).

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