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ACUH member Marleen Termeer organizes a ten-day workshop on coins as a historical source, hosted by the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome from 20 to 30 September 2019. Deadline for applications is 1 July.

Detail Summary
Start date 20 September 2019
End date 30 September 2019

Roman coins provide glimpses into the urban past: they often bear images of buildings and monuments that stood, and are sometimes still standing, in the city of Rome. Similarly, Early Modern papal medals also display ancient and contemporary architecture as well as views of the entire urban landscape. This course deals with the use of these particular coins and medals as historical sources. Consisting of material, iconographic and textual evidence, all merged in one object, coins and medals offer a wealth of information to historians of all periods in which they were used. This course challenges students to decipher and interpret the information these exceptional sources provide, with a specific focus on the social, political and cultural history of the city of Rome in Antiquity and the Early Modern period.

By way of example, consider this aureus from the reign of Emperor Severus Alexander, with the head of the emperor on the obverse, and an image of the Colosseum on the reverse. Why does the amphiteatrum flavium figure on a 3rd century coin? Why is the coin made out of gold? Are there other, similar coins? And what does this coin tell us about the Colosseum in the third century, two centuries after it was built?

In this ten-day course in Rome the following questions will be addressed: What is the significance of the images on the coins and medals in the specific historical context in which they were produced? How were the images of the coins and medals perceived by their users? How can we connect the information that the coins and medals give us with other material and textual sources? What are the similarities and differences between ancient Roman coins and papal medals regarding the ways in which we can use them as a historical source?

The course will provide students with theoretical knowledge on the use of coins and medals as a historical source, as well as on different numismatic methods. In addition, practical knowledge about coin production and skills in coin identification will be gained through workshops and ‘hands on’ sessions in museums.