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Several new & forthcoming numismatic books, programs, website additions, etc.


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A few items of interest I've come across recently.

1. Forthcoming book on Roman Republican & early Imperial Provincial coins, Local Coinages in a Roman World, Second Century BC–First Century AD. The Richard B. Witschonke Collection of Coins in the Early Roman Provinces . Scheduled to be published by American Numismatic Society in "early 2024." It seems to me that this book should go a long way towards filling the gap left by the decision to have the "Roman Provincial Coinage" volumes and website begin only with Augustus.

See https://numismatics.org/lt166/ re December 15 program for ANS members:

Friday, December 15
1:00 PM ET

The Andrew M. Burnett Associate Curator of Roman Numismatics at the ANS, Lucia Carbone, will discuss Local Coinages in a Roman World, Catalogue of the Richard B. Witschonke Collection of Coins in the Early Roman Provinces, scheduled to be published in early 2024 by the American Numismatic Society. Most of the 3,727 coins in the catalogue are of great historical and numismatic value and provide the prologue to the study of Roman provincial coinage. This catalogue will offer a unique overview of the diverse coinages minted all over the Roman Empire, ranging from Daco-Getan, Spanish and Italian imitations of Roman coinage, Macedonian and Athenian tetradrachms to Asian, Cilician, and even Cretan cistophori. 

ANS Members only. A link will be sent to members the day of the event.

See also https://www.brepols.net/products/IS-9780897224017-1 :

Local Coinages in a Roman World, Second Century BC–First Century AD
The Richard B. Witschonke Collection of Coins in the Early Roman Provinces

Lucia F. Carbone
Pages: 330 p.
Size:216 x 280 mm
Illustrations:176 b/w
Publication Year:2023

€ 155,00 EXCL. VAT
ISBN: 978-0-89722-401-7
Forthcoming (Dec/23)


The Richard B. Witschonke Collection of nearly 4,000 coins, bequeathed to the American Numismatic Society in 2015, are now published fully for the first time. These coins provide the historical and numismatic prologue to the study of Roman provincial coinage. Most of the specimens are of great historical and numismatic value, as explained in the historical introductions preceding each of the 38 sections of this catalogue. This collection offers a unique overview of the diverse ways in which the monetary systems of the Mediterranean basin responded to the Roman conquest in the second and early first centuries BCE and to the related necessity of interconnectivity.

Preface (Michel Amandry)
Introduction (Lucia Carbone)
2. Spanish Imitations of Roman Republican Coinage
3. Gaul
4. Roman Republican Coinage
Introduction (Liv M. Yarrow) 
Catalogue (Liv M. Yarrow and Lucia F. Carbone) 
5. Italian Imitations of Roman Republican Coinage
6.Non-State Coinages of Central Italy
Introduction (Clive Stannard) 
Catalogue (Clive Stannard and Lucia F. Carbone) 
Introduction (Federico Carbone) 
9.Sicily and Adjacent Islands
Introduction (Suzanne Frey-Kupper) 
Catalogue (Suzanne Frey-Kupper and Lucia F. Carbone) 
10.Geto-Dacian Imitations of Roman Republican Coinage
11.Eraviscan Imitations of Roman Republican Coinage
13.Crete and Cyrenaica
Introduction (Federico Carbone) 
15.“Fleet Coinage”
Introduction (Sophia Kremydi) 
Catalogue (Sophia Kremydi and Lucia F. Carbone) 
17.Thrace and Moesia
Introduction (Oliver D. Hoover) 
Introduction (Oliver D. Hoover) 
Introduction (Oliver D. Hoover) 
Catalogue (Oliver D. Hoover and Lucia F. Carbone) 
23.“Cistophoric” Countermarks
24.Early Cistophori

2. New Open Access book by Clare Rowan entitled Tokens and Social Life in Roman Imperial Italy, available online as free pdf download. A subject I know nothing about!

See https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/tokens-and-social-life-in-roman-imperial-italy/19CCED5AACE529587F3E921C0D0A82F0 . Pdf is at https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/19CCED5AACE529587F3E921C0D0A82F0/9781316516539AR.pdf/Tokens_and_Social_Life_in_Roman_Imperial_Italy.pdf?event-type=FTLA 

Tokens and Social Life in Roman Imperial Italy

Clare Rowan, University of Warwick

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Online publication date: November 2023
Print publication year: 2023
Online ISBN: 9781009030434
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009030434

Tokens are under-utilised artefacts from the ancient world, but as
everyday objects they were key in mediating human interactions. This
book provides an accessible introduction to tokens from Roman
Imperial Italy. It explores their role in the creation of imperial
imagery, as well as what they can reveal about the numerous identities
that existed in different communities within Rome and Ostia. It is
clear that tokens carried imagery that was connected to the emotions
and experiences of different festivals, and that they were designed to
act upon their users to provoke particular reactions. Tokens bear
many similarities to ancient Roman currency, but also possess important differences.

The tokens of Roman Italy were objects used by a wide
variety of groups for particular events or moments in time; their
designs reveal experiences and individuals otherwise lost to history.
This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Clare Rowan is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics
and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. Her previous
books, Under Divine Auspices: Divine Ideology and the Visualisation
of Imperial Power (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and From
Caesar to Augustus: Using Coins as Sources (Cambridge University
Press, 2018), have demonstrated the enormous potential of coin evidence for understanding the Roman world. She held a European Research Starting Grant, entitled Token Communities in the Ancient Mediterranean, from 2016 to 2021, and this volume represents the
findings of this work. She is currently the ancient editor for the
Numismatic Chronicle.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
1 Introduction
2 Tokens and the Imperial Family
3 Creating Identities in Rome, Ostia and Italy
4 Cult, Euergetism and the Imagery of Festivals
5 Tokens, Finds and Small-Scale Economies
6 Conclusion: Tokens and the History of Roman Imperial Italy

3. New additions to Roman Republican Die Project Database.

See https://numismatics.org/pocketchange/marks/  (see link for illustrations, omitted below). 

A Variety of Control Mark Systems on Roman Republican Denarii
By Alice Sharpless

Another batch of control-marked denarii has recently been added to the Roman Republican Die Project (RRDP) database. The new RRC types included in this release are:








All these types are (more or less) part of the group of issues which Richard Schaefer has termed ODEC (One Die for Every Control-mark), i.e., issues which use only one die for any given control mark. ODEC is an especially important subset of issues because many actually have sequential numerical control marks, which allow us to test methods of die quantification, as has been discussed in previous blog posts. Not all issues use numerical control marks, but these issues can, nevertheless, still offer hints to die quantification and offer insight into the organization of the mint by showing the various control marks systems that were utilized. The control mark systems for each of the issues in the new RRDP release use letters accompanied by dots to the right, left, above, below, or some combination of these placements. Even though these systems appear related, when we look at the internal pattern of marks on any given issue we see instead that each system is unique, despite their initial similarity.

The earliest of these issues dates to 112 or 111 BCE. The moneyer’s name is known only as Ti. Q, perhaps Ti. Quinctius or Quinctilius. The obverse features a bust of Hercules, while the reverse shows a desultor riding left with a rat or mouse below (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. RRC 297/1b. BnF, REP-17704. 3.88 g.

Crawford distinguished two subtypes based on the position of the rat: 297/1a (rat left) and 297/1b (rat right). Only 297/1b is part of the current release, but we hope to release 297/1a in the near future. The control marks of this type appear on the reverse behind the rider’s back. They are comprised of the 21 standard letters of the Latin alphabet, plus the less common Y and Z borrowed from the Greek alphabet. It seems that each letter was used four times: once each with a dot above, below, to the left, and to the right. It is likely that the die engravers cycled through the alphabet four times, moving the placement of the dot with each new cycle. This system suggests that this subtype was produced from ca. 92 reverse dies. RRDP includes 89 observed reverse dies, though five of these are duplicates of existing control marks. Duplicates are not uncommon in ODEC issues—probably most of these were accidentally produced by careless die cutters, though some may be unofficial imitations.

RRC 311/1e is again a subtype of a larger issue, produced by L. Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus in 106 BCE. The obverse has a head of Jupiter facing left, while the reverse shows Jupiter driving a right quadriga with a scepter and thunderbolt (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. RRC 311/1e. BM, 2002,0102.1264. 3.85 g.

Crawford identified five subtypes of RRC 311/1 based on the placement of the control letters: 311/1a-b have control marks on the obverse, in left (311/1a) or right field (311/1b); 311/1c-e instead have the control mark on the reverse which can appear to the left of Jupiter’s scepter (311/1c), to the right of Jupiter’s scepter (311/1d), or below the quadriga (311/1e). There is currently a group of students from Sapienza Universitá in Rome who are helping to process these subtypes which will be part of the next RRDP data release. For 311/1e, the control marks are the standard letters of the Latin alphabet and seem to have been used three times each: once alone, once with a dot to the left, and once with a dot to the right, implying an estimated 63 original reverse dies.

RRC 322/1, produced by C. Fabius in 102 BCE, is split into two subtypes distinguished by control marks on the obverse (322/1a) or reverse (322/1b). What is especially interesting about this issue is that the two subtypes use different control mark systems. The obverse control marks of RRC 322/1a (Fig. 3) are the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet, either alone, with a dot above, with a dot below, with dots above and below, or with dots above, below, and to the right.

Figure 3. RRC 322/1a. ANS, 1948.19.59. 3.84 g.

Based on observed dies, it seems that every letter was used once each alone, with dot above, and with dot below. Dies with two dots (above and below) may have used every letter of the alphabet, but currently only dies with Α, Ζ, Ξ, Ο, Π, Υ, Φ, Χ, Ψ, and ω are known. Letters with three dots (one above, one below, and one to the right), are only known on each of the letters from Α to  Ξ. This may suggest these last two systems were actually one sequence, with a switch from three to two dots at Ξ, with A, Z, and Ξ having accidental duplicates. But this is not certain. Based on these two possible systems (either using every letter once with each system of dots or the two and three dot systems being one sequence), we can estimate an original number of reverse dies between 96 and 120.

The reverse control marks of RRC 322/1b, on the other hand, are only Latin letters, either alone, with a dot above, dot below, dots above and below, dot to the left, or dot to the right. Interestingly, letters with dots above do not strictly fit the ODEC pattern and are duplicated more than seems to be due to a simple accident. A, B, C, and D with dots above each appear on three dies, while most letters from E to O with dots above are regularly used on two dies. It is possible that some of these duplicates were meant to have dots above and below, since Schaefer has only found these beginning from the letter M. According to Crawford’s classification, 322/1b “usually” has control marks on the reverse, but Schaefer has found only three reverse dies without control marks, one of which is also used with 322/1a (Figs. 4-5) and another of which is probably an imitation. It is not uncommon for control marked issues to include one or two dies without control marks.

Figure 4. Specimen of RRC 322/1b without a reverse control mark. This reverse die was also used with RRC 322/1a (Fig. 5). Harlan J. Berk, Auction 96 (18 Jun 1997), lot 303 = SITNAM 3fd3bc05.

Figure 5. Specimen of RRC 322/1a with a reverse die that was also used with RRC 322/1b (Fig. 4). Alex G. Malloy, Mail Bid Sale 14 (2 Jul 1979), lot 832 = SITNAM 554f5198.

RRC 322/1b is also interesting because it is one of a group of types that include the special formula EX·A·PV (ex argento publico, “from public silver”). The exact purpose of adding this formula to certain issues is unclear, but the possibilities are explored further in an earlier blog post.

As with 322/1, the two subtypes of RRC 366/2, a joint issue of C. Annius and L. Fabius Hispanensis from 82-81 BCE, have control marks on different dies. 366/2a (Fig. 6) has obverse control marks which likely used each letter of the Latin alphabet, usually with a dot to the right, though the letters I and M seem to not include a dot, while the letters R (Fig. 6), T, and V have dots on both sides.

Figure 6. RRC 366/1a. BnF, REP-4968. 3.70 g.

There are 21 observed dies, perfectly fitting the pattern that each letter was used once, although there are actually two observed dies with N and none with L. 366/2b uses reverse control marks, which are also Latin letters with a dot to the right, but in this case there are only five observed dies, with letters A, C, D, E, and F. Crawford also only observed dies for 366/2b with letters A through F (RRC table XXXI).

Figure 7. RRC 377/1. BM, 1843,0116.1116. 3.85 g.

Finally, the denarius serratus struck by L. Volumnius Strabo in 81 BCE, RRC 377/1, uses obverse control marks (Fig. 7). The control marks are Latin letters alone. Crawford’s analysis of this issue showed letter A through L (RRC table XXXII), with A and F each having three dies while all other letters have only one die. RRDP also includes control marks only with letters A through L, but instead shows four dies with A, three with F, two with I, and two with L. For L, the second die seems to be used mostly (if not solely) with plated specimens so it may not have been an official die. The duplication of I may be accidental, but the production of four A dies and three F dies is unlikely to have been an accident. It is not clear, however, why only these two letters would have intentionally been duplicated while others were not. The team members of RRDP would like to acknowledge the contribution of and thank Francesco Paratico, a Masters student at Sapienza Università in Rome, who transcribed this issue.

As we can see, the Roman republican systems of control marks were diverse even when they appear to use the same patterns (i.e., letters with dots). The fact that no standard system of control marks was ever adopted by the republican mint has been used to suggest that these marks were never really intended for any purpose other than identifying individual dies. There are cases, however, where die marks do seem to be used to track and control production, as I have explored in a case study on RRC 335/3. What seems clear is that control marks systems were not intended to serve a single purpose but rather could be used to track production, keep track of the number of dies produced (as seems to be the case at least for 297/1b and 311/1e), or even sometimes used to communicate particular ideas or ideals, as for the issue of L. Papius where the control symbols allude to various trades. This variability suggests that individual moneyers had great freedom to create their own organizational systems in the production of their coinage.

Edited by DonnaML
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