Why, it truly is a Hanukkah miracle! A bronze penny bearing the face of Antiochus IV Epiphanes was recently discovered during a cleaning at the Tower of David.
Orna Cohen, chief conservation officer at the Tower, is said to be the one who found the coin, which bears the face of the monarch on one side and what is believed to be the depiction of a pagan goddess on the other. What makes this finding especially timely, is that this took place a few days before the first day of Hanukkah, and Antiochus IV served as an antagonistic figure in the story of Hanukkah.
You see, Antiochus IV was a Seleucid monarch who promoted Hellenization and suppressed the Jewish people. His persecutions of the the Jews lead to the Maccabean Revolt. After the Jews rededicated the Holy Temple, a certain oil lamp lasted eight nights when it should have lasted one, and now we have Hanukkah. Whether the holiday celebrates the military victory or the miracle of the oil is a story for another day, so just watch the puppets.
The coin was later sent to the Israel Antiquities Authority for authentication. Coin Department head Donald Ariel said in a released statement that the coin was “the second most common coin type from the Seleucids,” and was likely minted to be used to pay the soldiers who fought the Maccabees. My, did that backfire horribly! In truth, however, it is not a rare coin, and copies can even be found for sale on eBay.
And remember, when you end up on the bad side of history, people will be writing about you millennia after you are dead, so be good for goodness sake. Wrong holiday, but you get the gist.