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Dr Clare Rowan

Dr Clare Rowan

Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies (Terms 1 and 2); PG SSLC (Terms 1 and 2); IT officer

Tel: 024 7615 0407
Email: C dot Rowan at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room FAB 212, Faculty of Arts Building, University of Warwick,
Coventry, CV4 7AL


After completing her doctorate on the Severans at Macquarie University, Sydney, Clare was the Macquarie Gale Scholar at the British School at Rome, where she worked on the Severan transformation of the city. She then moved to a postdoctoral position at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, where she worked on the project Coinage and the Dynamics of Power: the Western Mediterranean 500-100 BC, and was an associated postdoctoral researcher in the Research Training Group Value and Equivalence: the Genesis and Transformation of Values from an Archaeological and Anthropological Perspective. Clare came to Warwick in 2012 and in 2015 was awarded a Warwick University Award for Teaching Excellence, and a European Starting Grant for a major new project on ancient tokens.

Research interests

My research focuses on the potential of numismatic evidence for the understanding of broader historical and archaeological questions. I am particularly influenced by anthropological research in my approach to money, and am interested in how ancient coinage was used as a medium for the negotiation of power, the expression of identity, and as a point of commensuration between different ancient cultures. I am also interested in coinage as an object that could be used in numerous 'non-economic' contexts (e.g. in rituals, as mementoes, as decoration, as a public record). More broadly I work on Roman visual culture, imperial and Republican history, as well as the Roman economy.

Token Communities in the Ancient Mediterranean

This project, funded by the European Union Research Council, will provide the first comprehensive analysis of the role played by tokens in the ancient Mediterranean. Tokens are frequently found on archaeological sites and within museum collections, but are little studied and poorly understood. These objects played a central role in cultural, religious, political and economic life in antiquity; closer study of these objects is thus imperative in gaining a fuller picture of the ancient world and its cultural legacy. An interdisciplinary team will examine tokens and their contexts within the ancient world, focusing on the periods when they are in highest use: the Hellenistic period and the Roman world. The project will combine an analysis of museum material with the known archaeological contexts of these objects. It will be the first project to approach these items in a cross regional and fully contextualised manner. This approach will enable researchers to better define what tokens were in antiquity, and what roles they played. Moreover, through a careful consideration of type, context, and distribution, the project will also explore how these objects actively contributed to the generation of different types of community. The envisaged outcomes will provide a basis for the study of tokens more broadly, generating insights that will inform the display, scholarly use and understanding of these objects within museums and other spaces. The exploration of how tokens and token-communities within antiquity existed alongside official currencies and groups will also provide an important historical parallel for the contemporary development of alternative currencies, their associated values, and communities.

Teaching and supervision

I teach the following modules

  • Introduction to Roman History
  • The Roman Empire from Antoninus Pius to Constantine
  • The Roman Everyday
  • The Hellenistic World

Current postgraduate supervision:

  • Victoria Vening-Richards, Eastern Provincial Coinage of the Flavian Imperial Women (with Andreas Krupp, Nottingham)
  • Richard Allard Meldrum, The Role of the Imperial Women During the Reigns of the ‘Soldier Emperors’: 235-285 CE (with Alison Cooley)
  • Abby Wall, The Natural World on Roman Coinage (with Zahra Newby)

Administrative roles

  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • IT officer

Professional associations

  • Editor (ancient numismatics), The Numismatic Chronicle.
  • Council member, Royal Numismatic Society
  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia.


  • BA (Macquarie University, Sydney)
  • MPhil (Cantab.)
  • PhD (Macquarie University, Sydney)

Drop In Hours Term 3 2024

Please email me for an appointment in Term 3. Thanks!


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