Long Table 135. The Thirty Pieces of Silver: Coin Relics in Medieval and Modern Europe.

According to the Gospel, Thirty Pieces of Silver were paid to Judas for the betrayal of Christ, and so the coins of the most perfidious monetary transaction in history became “relics” of the Passion of Christ. I recorded over 50 of these specimens, venerated as holy relics in medieval and modern churches and monasteries of Europe. Most were ancient Greek silver coins, mounted in precious reliquaries or used for the distribution of their wax imprints which were believed to have healing powers. Such coins point to the highly symbolic and powerful role of money, especially those that managed to become relics, and how they can now be seen as a chapter of religious history and of medieval mentality.

This is the recording of my lecture for the American Numismatic Society, published on Youtube under Creative Commons Licence.