Tokens, Value and Identity: Exploring Monetiform Objects in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
The British School at Rome (Rome – Italy)
18-19 October 2018
Tokens have actively shaped culture and civilisation throughout history, beginning with their contribution to the invention of writing and abstract number in the ancient Near East. Discussions at the Tokens: Culture, Connections, Communities conference (University of Warwick 2017) suggest that tokens might act as external memory devices, as proof of relationships and obligations, embody intimate sentiments, establish and maintain social hierarchies, and create feelings of ‘inclusion’ and ‘seclusion’ in different communities. Tokens also possess a complex relationship with money, enabling the distribution of goods, services and benefactions without the existence of coins or notes, at times functioning as a type of alternative currency. Unlike money, however, many tokens appear to have been intended as single-use items, to be used in a single context, or to represent a single good or service. These characteristics suggest that tokens operated in a more complex way than the traditional definition of these objects as “something that serves to indicate a fact, event, object, feeling, etc”. The multiple uses of these objects continue to pose a challenge for research in this area.
Debate remains surrounding the roles and functions of tokens and the workshop will contribute to this dialogue through a series of detailed case studies from antiquity and the middle ages. In particular, the workshop focuses on two areas:
1. how tokens are related to value (emotional, economic, social, cultural, personal);
2. how tokens (their material, legends, iconography and use) express and contribute to the identities of their makers and users.
Thursday 18 October 2018 (DAY 1)
14:15-14:30 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
SESSION 1 (Chair: Antonino Crisà, University of Warwick, Coventry)
14:30-15:00 François de Callataÿ (École pratique des hautes études, Paris): Spintriae: a rich forgotten past historiography (16th-18th c.). Why it matters for our present understanding.
15:00-15:30 Bill Dalzell (Classical Numismatic Group, Lancaster, Pennsylvania): Personal, public, and mercantile themes on unpublished lead tokens from a private collection.
15:30-16:00 Denise Demetriou (University of California, San Diego): Token diplomacy: authenticating embassies in the ancient Mediterranean.
16:00-16:30 COFFEE BREAK
SESSION 2 (Chair: Niccolò Mugnai, British School at Rome)
16:30-17:00 Antonino Crisà (University of Warwick, Coventry): Deities, small communities and tokens in Hellenistic and Roman Sicily.
17:00-17:30 Mairi Gkikaki (University of Warwick, Coventry): Tokens and festivals in Athens from the late Classical age to the Herulian destruction.
17:30-18:00 Maria Cristina Molinari (Musei Capitolini, Rome): Two Imperial portraits. Pewter tesserae of Claudius/Messalina and Nero from the temple of Hercules in Alba Fucens: new considerations on the use of official Imperial tokens.
Friday 19 October 2018 (DAY 2)
SESSION 3 (Chair: Andrea Saccocci, Università degli Studi di Udine)
09:30-10:00 Philip Kiernan (Kennesaw State University, Georgia): Imitations as tokens and imitation images.
10:00-10:30 Peter Franz Mittag (Universität zu Köln): Roman medallions.
10:30-11:00 COFFEE BREAK
SESSION 4 (Chair: Denis Demetriou, University of California, San Diego)
11:00-11:30 Clare Rowan (University of Warwick, Coventry): Everyday expressions of being Ostian: tokens and local identity in the port of Rome.
11:30-12:00 Denise Wilding (University of Warwick, Coventry): Tokens from Roman Gaul in the collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
12:00-12:30 Marie-Laure Le Brazidec (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris): Proposal to identify a female deity on a series of lead tokens in Roman Gaul.
12:30-13:00 Gunnar Dumke (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg): A ‘hoard’ of clay coins from Seleucia at the Tigris.
SESSION 5 (Chair: Clare Rowan, University of Warwick, Coventry)
14:00-14:30 Yoav Farhi (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva): An assemblage of unpublished Roman lead tesserae from Caesarea Maritimae.
14:30-15:00 Cristian Mondello (University of Warwick, Coventry): Re-reading the so-called ‘Asina coins’: tokens and religious identities in Late Antiquity.
15:00-15:30 COFFEE BREAK
SESSION 6 (Chair: François de Callataÿ, École pratique des hautes études, Paris)
15:30-16:00 Arianna D’Ottone (Università di Roma La Sapienza): On Islamic tokens and jetons.
16:00-16:30 Andrea Saccocci (Università degli Studi di Udine): The so called ‘Lombard jettons’, a Medieval multi-tasking card?
16:30-17:00 FINAL REMARKS
For further information please contact Antonino ‘Nino’ Crisà (A.Crisa.email@example.com).
BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME
Via Antonio Gramsci, 61
00197 Roma RM (ITALY)
Tel. +39 06 326 4939
Egyptian tessera, 2nd-3rd century AD (ex Roma Numismatica Ltd, E-Sale 40)
The British School at Rome
(Last page update: 18/10/2018)