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Optional Module - Numismatics


Numismatics is the study of systems of coinage. The module covers the coinages of Greece and Rome from the end of the seventh century BC to the seventh century AD. The module looks at the various ways that coinage can be used in the study of the ancient world, as a source for history, art history, archaeology and ancient economics.

The aim of this module is to train students both how coinage may be used as an element in studying the material culture of the ancient world and how to investigate coins as historical entities in their own right.

Convenor and tutor: Professor Suzanne Frey-Kupper

Schedule 2022-23, weekly in term 2

Thursday 1-3 pm FAB2.23, Antiquities Room, if not otherwise stated


Term 2

Week 1 Thurs 12/01, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: Why did ancient states strike coins? The beginnings of coinage

Week 2 Thurs 19/01, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: Archaic to Classical and identities

Week 3 Thurs 26/01, 1-3pm, FAB2.23Hellenistic coinages, die-links and quantification

Week 4 Thurs 02/02, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: Roman Republican coinage and banking & business

Week 5 Thurs 09/02, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: Augustus to c. AD 190 - Propaganda & Reception

Week 6 Mon 13/02, 1-3pm (tbc), FAB2.23 Coin identification and cataloguing

Week 7 No class (replaced by museum visit in term 3)

Week 8 Thurs 02/03, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: The third and fourth centuries AD. Imitations

Week 9 Thurs 09/03, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: Coin hoards and site finds

Week 10 Thurs 16/03, 1-3pm, FAB2.23: Essay presentation

Term 3:

Visit to Oxford, Ashmolean Museum. Heberden Coin Room (tbc)
meet Suzanne at the main entrance of the museum at 2.30pm
(trains from Coventry/Leamington arrive hourly at 14 min past the hour)

  • 5,000 word essay

All essay titles and topics must be discussed well in advance with the module leader.

Deadline for essay titles to be approved by Prof. Frey-Kupper: Friday 10 February, 12 noon
Please submit your title by email.

Deadline for essay to be submitted: Friday 31 March 2023, 12 noon

You can expect to receive feedback within 20 working days electronically via Tabula. You are also encouraged to attend a feedback tutorial with the module tutor.

Numismatic events:

  • The Royal Numismatic Society has a monthly lecture series at the Warburg Institute or the British Museum in London for its members (student annual membership is currently £18).

 Dom with cast

TMA 2014