Seminar: Coinage and Identity

Cities, Emperors and Popes: Coinage and the construction of identity in Antiquity and the Early modern period

Date: 2-11 October 2017

Deadline for applications: 1 July 2017

KNIR seminar 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. Cities and rulers used coinage to strengthen a sense of collective identity. In the ancient Roman world, this was achieved mostly by depicting commonly accepted symbols on the coins and medals, such as city emblems and deities, or by connecting themselves with such shared values as piety, military prowess and justice. During the Early modern period, popes reverted to Roman iconographic traditions and copied ancient themes on their medals. In both periods coins and medals were deployed to create or strengthen a collective frame of reference, by which 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 ten-day course in Rome focuses on the role of coins and medals in the process of identity formation in the Roman world as well as in the early modern period from 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 the medals? 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 early modern era), different types of rule (city states and empires) and different scales (local and imperial)?

This course will provide the students with theoretical knowledge on the ideological function of coins and medals as well as on different numismatic methods. In addition, practical skills will be gained; together the students will create an exhibition, focusing on the theme of the course, of the numismatic objects in the plaster cast collection of the DAI.

Drs. Paul Beliën (Amsterdam), Dr. Liesbeth Claes (Leiden), Dr. Martin Hirsch (München), Prof. Dr. Fleur Kemmers (Frankfurt am Main), Dr. Erika Manders (Göttingen), Dr. Marleen Termeer (Leiden), dr. David Wigg-Wolf (Frankfurt am Main) and guest lecturers.

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 German universities. The course is part of the OIKOS education program for PhD students. No specific knowledge of Greek or Latin language is required.

Form of education
• Seminars (introduction to numismatic studies, coin messaging and targeting);
• Individual study and research (under supervision) in the library of the KNIR, DAI and Istituto Italiano di Numismatica;
• Workshops on numismatic methods and exhibiting coins and medals;
• Guest lectures;
• Museum visits;
• Others excursions;
• ‘Hands on’ sessions and determination exercises.

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

The study load is the equivalent of 5 ects (140 hours) and comprises ten days of study in Rome. Each student should arrange with his/her university whether the course can be part of the existing curriculum. Upon successful completion of the course, the KNIR will provide a certificate mentioning the study load and evaluation tools.

The study load is based on:
• Before arriving in Rome: independent study of course material: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
• Seminars and workshops in KNIR and DAI, excursions and museum visits in Rome: active participation: 2 ECTS (56 hours)
• Creating of coin exhibition (during the ten days) and a group paper encompassing the scientific analyses on which the exhibition is based and a detailed exhibition plan (deadline to be confirmed): 2 ECTS (56 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
1 July 2017

All Dutch and German students receive support from the KNIR or DAI for their travel costs and accommodation.

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