Noah’s Ark on a Roman coin By: Phil Robinson
“The first known coins were produced in the 7th century BC. Ever since, images on coins have represented various items valued by the nation for which they were minted—for instance, its religion, politics, head of state, and various symbols or historical events thought to be important.
Imperial Rome produced a series of now-rare bronze coins depicting Noah’s Ark—the first known coins depicting a biblical scene. These coins, averaging about 3 cm in diameter, were produced during the reigns of five Roman Emperors: Septimius Severus, Macrinus, Gordian III, Philip, and Trebonianus Gallus, covering a period of 61 years (AD 192–253).
The coins were all minted in the Roman city of Apameia Kibotos (or Cibotus in its Latinized spelling) in Asia Minor. It was originally a Phrygian city established by Antiochus I (280–261 BC), and is now the modern-day town of Dinar in Turkey. The original Phrygian city was named Apameia, and sometime before the turn of the 1st millennium BC appears to have had a nickname, Kibōtos, added to it. This word, meaning chest or box, is thought to be a reference to its coffers, as it had become a very wealthy city as it rose to prominence. The word kibōtos (κιβωτός) is also the Greek word used to describe Noah’s Ark in the New Testament and the Septuagint. . . “