The Stanford Classics Department presents: A Numismatics Workshop with Dr. Bernhard Woytek and Dr. Peter van Alfen.
"The Depth of Knowledge and the Speed of Thought. The Imagery of Roman Republican Coinage and the Contemporary Audience" will be presented by Dr. Woytek.
Roman Republican silver coins struck from the 130s BC onwards are famous for their incredible typological diversity - a feature that sets this class of coins apart not only from earlier denarii (for which static types were preferred), but also from contemporary Hellenistic silver coinages. This talk deals with the contrasting typological choices made in different Republican time periods and various problems connected with them. Which political or social mechanisms governed coin design? To what extent were Late Republican types intelligible to coin users? Did Republican coin images have different meanings to people with different education levels? And is there evidence for specific "audience targetting" in pre-imperial series?
Dr. Bernhard Woytek is the head of the division "Documenta Antiqua" (a research center for numismatics, epigraphy and papyrology) at the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. Dr. Woytek specializes in the study of ancient numismatics, financial history of the ancient world, and the history of classical scholarship.
“Symbols of What Exactly? Archaic Coins and the Powers to Decide What to Put on Them.” will be presented by Dr. Alfen.
He will be discussing the evolution of archaic coin types from the barely controlled chaos of early electrum to the late 6th c. civic types, charting the evolution of the the power(s) that lay behind their production.
Dr. Peter van Alfen is Margaret Thompson Curator of Greek Coins, Curatorial Department Head. Peter van Alfen works on problems of ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern monetary, fiscal and trade systems spanning the Late Bronze Age to the early Byzantine period. He has published on a variety of topics including Mycenaean administration, Athenian public finance and coinage, market regulations, Arabian monetization, and Late Roman amphoras.