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Numismatics, Roman Imperial, in C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (Berlin, 2014), 5522-5529

Numismatics, Roman Imperial, in C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (Berlin, 2014), 5522-5529
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  Claire Smith Editor Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology With 2619 Figures and 106 Tables   Editor  Claire SmithDepartment of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaide, SAAustraliaISBN 978-1-4419-0426-3 ISBN 978-1-4419-0465-2 (eBook)ISBN 978-1-4419-0466-9 (print and electronic bundle)DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2Springer New York Heidelberg Dordrecht London Library of Congress Control Number: 2013953915 # Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way,and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software,or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. Exempted from thislegal reservation are brief excerpts in connection with reviews or scholarly analysis or materialsupplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Duplication of this publication or parts thereof ispermitted only under the provisions of the Copyright Law of the Publisher’s location, in itscurrent version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer. Permissions for use may be obtained through RightsLink at the Copyright Clearance Center. Violations are liableto prosecution under the respective Copyright Law.The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in thispublication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names areexempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use.While the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors nor the editors nor the publisher can accept any legalresponsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty,express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.Printed on acid-free paper Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media (  A PERGHIS , G.G. 2004.  The Seleukid royal economy: the finances and financial administration of theSeleukid empire . Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress.A RNOLD  B IUCCHI , C. 2006.  Alexander’s coins and Alexan-der’s image . Cambridge (MA): Harvard UniversityArt Museums.B INGEN , J. 2007.  Hellenistic Egypt. Monarchy. Society,economy, culture . Berkeley: University of CaliforniaPress.B URNETT , A. 1991.  Coins.  London: British MuseumPress.C ARRADICE ,I.1995. Greekcoins .London:BritishMuseumPress.C ARRADICE , I. & M. P RICE . 1988,  Coinage in the Greek world  . London: Sheaby.C RAWFORD , M. 1983. Numismatics, in M. Crawford (ed.) Sources for ancient history : 47-64. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press. DE  C ALLATAY¨ , F. 2003.  Recueil quantitatif des e´missionsmone´taires archaı¨ques et classiques.  Wetteren:Universite Libre de Bruxelles.F LAMENT ,C. 2007.  Lemonnayage enargent d’Athe`nes. Del’e´poque archaique a` l’e´poque helle´nistique (c. 550-c. 40 av. J. -C.) . Louvain-La-Neuve: AssociationNumismatique Hoc.H EAD , B.V. 1910.  Historia Numorum . London. Availableat: edn. in progress).K RAAY , C.M. 1976.  Archaic and classical Greek coins .London: The British Museum Press.L E R IDER ,G.2003.  AlexandreleGrand.Monnaie,financeset politique . Translated by W.E. Higgins. Paris:Presses Universitaires de France. LE  R IDER , G. & F.  DE  C ALLATAY¨ . 2006.  Les Se´leucides et les Ptole´me´es. L’he´ritage mone´taire et financier d’Alexandre le Grand  . Monaco: E´d. du Rocher.M EADOWS , A. & U. W ARTENBERG . (ed.) 2002.  Coin hoards,Volume IX:Greek hoards .London: RoyalNumismaticSociety.M ELVILLE  J ONES , J.R. 1986.  A dictionary of ancient Greek coins . London: Seaby.- 1993.  Testimonia Numaria. Greek and Latin textsconcerning ancient Greek coinage, Volume I: textsand translations . London: Spink and Son.- 2007.  Testimonia Numaria, Volume II  . London: Spinkand Son.M ØRKHOLM , O. 1991.  Early Hellenistic coinage .Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.N ICOLET -P IERRE , H. 2002.  Numismatique grecque . Paris:Armand Colin.P ICARD , O.2007. Monnaies et circulation mone´taire a`l’e´poque classique.  Pallas  74: 113-28.P ICARD ,O.2008.  E´ conomieset socie´te´senGre`ceancienne (478-88 av. J.-C.). Paris: Sedes.P RICE , M.J. 1991.  The coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus . 2 vols. London/ Zurich: The Swiss Numismatic Society in associationwith the British Museum Press.S HEEDY , K.A. 2006.  The archaic and early classical coin-ages of the Cyclades . London: Royal NumismaticSociety.S VORONOS , J.N. 1904,  Τ a n ο m ı´  smata t ο u kr ά t ο uB tonPt ο lema ı´  on , Athens (digitalised for easy accessibil-ity, since the book is rare, with a translation by C.Lorber). Available at: dr/svoronos_book2.html. Numismatics, Roman Imperial Nathan T. ElkinsDepartment of Art, Baylor University,Waco, TX, USA Introduction Romanimperialnumismaticsisthestudyofcoinsand medallions of the Roman Empire from thecommencement of the reign of Augustus in 27BCE to the reign of Anastasius (CE 491–518),whose coinage is arbitrarily chosen as the begin-ning of the Byzantine series on account of hisbronze coinage reform. Ancient coins have sur-vived to the modern era either because they werehoarded or randomly lost ages ago. Definition Roman imperial numismatics may be viewed asa subfield of ancient history or archaeology or asa specialized discipline in its own right. Theeducational background of a numismatist largelycolors his or her approach to the subject and thesorts of questions that a numismatist will pose.For instance, historians tend to appreciate coinsas a source material for economic or narrativehistory in concert with textual evidence. Archae-ologists have been more interested in coins aschronological indicators for their sites, althoughcoins in context also say much about the move-ment of populations, localized economic condi-tions, and coin circulation. Art historians attendto the iconography of Roman coins, consider thesemantic meaning of designs, and compare coin N  5522 Numismatics, Roman Imperial  designs with artworks or iconographic themes inother media. Traditionally, those who identifythemselvesasnumismatists,andwhoconcentrateon the medium of coinage alone, grapple with thefield’s specialized methods, such as die studies,hoard analysis, metrology,and so on, allof whichreflect more upon production context rather thanthe context of use or deposition that are of greater concern to archaeologists, art historians, and his-torians. But today, greater care is taken to applyinterdisciplinary methods in the field of numismatics.For approximately 250 years, Roman imperialcoin denominations followed the structureinherited from the Republic that was based onthe silver   denarius  (Fig. 1; an Augustan  denarius is illustrated in Fig. 2). The gold  aureus  was thelargest denomination worth 25  denarii . Theregular productionofasubsidiarybronzecoinagewas an imperial innovation. The largest bronzedenomination, the  sestertius , was introduced byAugustus in 23 BCE. It and the  dupondius  weremadeofacopper-zincalloyknownas orichalcum (brass) that gave the coins a bright, goldenappearance. This srcinal color is not apparentafter centuries of patination. However,  sestertii and  dupondii  from the anaerobic layers at theVindolanda excavations in northern Englandmaintain their srcinal appearance on account of the lack of oxygen. Smaller denominations, the asses  and the irregularly produced  semisses  and quadrantes , were struck in copper which gave Numismatics, RomanImperial, Fig. 2  Silver Denarius of Augustus. YaleUniversity Art Gallery,2001.87.5292 Aureus(gold)AureusDenariusSestertiusDupondiusAsSemis 800 32 8 4 2 1Quadrans 1600 64 16 8 4 2 1400 16 4 2 1200 8 2 1100 4 125 11Denarius(silver)Sestertius(brass)Dupondius(brass)As(copper)Semis(copper)Quadrans(copper) Numismatics, Roman Imperial, Fig. 1  Roman imperial coin denominations and their relative value Numismatics, Roman Imperial 5523  N N  them a reddish color. Even in antiquity as basemetal coins circulated through the years, theydarkened and oxidized. This often caused confu-sion between the  dupondius  and the  as ; althoughthe  dupondius  was heavier, it was approximatelythe same diameter as an  as . In Nero’s principate(54–68 CE), the bust of the emperor on theobverse of the  dupondius  began to be depictedwith a radiate crown (Fig. 3) in order to distin-guish it from the  as , upon which the emperor typically wore a laurel crown.Nero decreased the weight of precious metalcoins and the silver coinage was graduallydebased through the reign of Septimius Severusin the third century CE. Caracalla (211–217 CE)introduced a new silver denomination, the antoninianus , which featured the emperor’s por-trait with a radiate crown (Fig. 4) to differentiateit from the  denarius . The  antoninianus  wasmeant to circulate as a double  denarius  in spiteof the fact that it contained only one and half times the amount of silver than the  denarius .Elagabalus discontinued production of  antoniniani , but they were reintroduced byBalbinus and Pupienus and soon became thesilver standard for the rest of the third century.By the reign of Gallienus, the silver content of the  antoninianus  had become superficial (Fig. 5shows an  antoninianus  with a green patination,the result of high copper content).  Sestertii , dupondii , and  asses  were no longer producedas the  antoniniani  had essentially becomea bronze coinage.It is important to note that the Roman imperialcoinage is distinct from the Roman provincialcoinage, minted by cities for local use. A localcoinage was struck by some cities in the RomanWest until the principates of Tiberius (14–37 CE)and Caligula (37–41 CE) when the western pro-vincial coinage died out. In the eastern RomanEmpire, provincial coinage survived until thelater third century. Roman imperial coinage wasthe official currency of the Roman Empire, pro-duced at the mints of Rome and Lugdunum(Lyon, France) until Vespasian’s reign when theimperial coinage became the prerogative of Rome. Nevertheless, military mints or branchesof the imperial mint were in operation at various Numismatics, RomanImperial,Fig. 3  OrichalcumDupondius of Nero. YaleUniversity Art Gallery,Ruth Elizabeth White Fundwith the assistance of BenLee Damsky, 2007.183.6 Numismatics, RomanImperial, Fig. 4  Silver Antoninianus of Caracalla.Yale University ArtGallery, Promised Gift of Ben Lee Damsky,TR2007.13938.716 N  5524 Numismatics, Roman Imperial
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