Practicum: Material Culture

Coinage and the construction of identity in Antiquity and the Renaissance

Date: 3-10 October 2016

Deadline for applications: 20 August 2016

KNIR course for (R)MA and PhD students, in collaboration with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) at Rome and the Dutch National Research School for Classical Studies (OIKOS)

Course Content
Coins and identity are intricately linked. Greek cities, Roman emperors and Renaissance rulers all used coins to strengthen a sense of collective identity. This was achieved mostly by depicting commonly accepted symbols on their coins and medals, such as city emblems and deities, or by connecting themselves with such shared values as piety, military prowess and justice. Through creating or strengthening a collective frame of reference, an appeal was made to unity and continuity. In this way, leaders aimed to legitimize their position of power; coinage and the construction of a collective identity were crucial for reigning effectively.

This one-week course in Rome focuses on the role of coins and medals in the process of identity formation in the Greco-Roman world as well as in the Renaissance in a comparative perspective. The main questions that will be addressed during the course are: How can we use coinage to study the identities of cities and larger politico-geographical areas on the one hand and identities of emperors and dynasties on the other hand? Who issued the coins and who used them? Could the messages on coins target specific audiences? What was the influence of tradition on the messages spread by this medium? What do we gain from comparing coins from different periods (Antiquity and the Renaissance), different types of rule (city states and empires) and different scales (local and imperial)?

Dr. Liesbeth Claes (Leiden), Dr. Erika Manders (Göttingen), Dr. Martin Hirsch (München), Prof.Dr. Fleur Kemmers (Frankfurt am Main) and Dr. Marleen Termeer (Leiden).
Coordinator KNIR: Dr. Jeremia Pelgrom

Target groups
MA-, RMA students and PhD candidates in (Ancient) History, Art History, Classics, and Archaeology from the KNIR partner universities (UvA, VU, UL, UU, RU and RUG) as well as from the German universities. The course is part of the OIKOS education program for PhD students. No specific knowledge of Greek or Latin language is necessary.

Form of education
– plenary classes (introduction to numismatic studies, coin messaging and targeting);
– individual study and research (under supervision) in the library of the KNIR;
– several guest lectures;
– museum visits;
– other excursions;
– presentations of their research by the students.
A final paper is to be submitted three weeks after the conclusion of the course.

Course material
Will be made available some weeks before the course starts.

The study load is the equivalent of 3 ects (84 hours) and comprises seven days of study in Rome. Each student should arrange with his university whether the course can be part of the existing curriculum. The KNIR will provide a certificate mentioning the study load and evaluation tools only when a student has completed the course successfully.

The study load is based on:
– Before arriving in Rome: independent study of course material: 0.5 ECTS (14 hours)
– Classes in KNIR and DAI, excursions and museum visits in Rome: active participation: 1.5 ECTS (42 hours)
– Self study, presentation of preliminary research as well as writing and finishing essay three weeks after the course (deadline to be established): 1 ECTS (28 hours)

Application and admission
The master class is a selective course with a maximum of 10 participants. The selection of (R)MA students is based on grades, the positioning of the course in the student’s curriculum, and a letter of motivation. The selection of PhD students is based on the letter of motivation and curriculum vitae.

Students can apply via the link below; include in your application:
•    a letter of motivation
•    a cv
•    for (R)MA students: a recent list of grades officially provided by your university

Deadline application
20 August 2016

Regarding travel costs and accommodation, the KNIR provides standard support for the selected Dutch students. The selected German students will receive active support in applying for funding for their stay in Rome.

More information
Dr. L. Claes (Leiden University):
Dr. E. Manders (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen):