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Numismatics | Money Through The Ages


The study of coins, banknotes and medals

Numismatics is the study of how different forms of money have been used across different times and places. Our researchers use these objects to better understand the people and societies that used them. The Department of Classics and Ancient History is one of Europe's strongest numismatic research hubs, a strength formally recognised in REF 2014.

The challenge

There are thousands of ancient tokens in collections around the world, but there is little research into the role they played in economic, political, religious and cultural life. By analysing these tokens and their contexts, Warwick’s research is uncovering more about the Hellenistic and Roman world.

In doing so, we are helping to understand the significance of tokens today, at a time when currency is shifting from physical to virtual.

Elsewhere in this field, Warwick researchers are interrogating longstanding historical debates concerning the debasement of currency and potential financial crises alluded to by Roman historians. Using high-tech sampling to analyse the chemical composition of Roman coins, Warwick numismatists and their collaborators are building a more detailed and accurate picture of the Roman economy and how it changed over time.

Our approach

We cover all aspects of ancient numismatics:

  • Studies of iconography

  • Metallurgy and scientific analysis

  • Metrology

  • Finds

  • The economy

  • Numismatics in the Renaissance

  • Paranumismatics

Explore our Token Communities in the Ancient Mediterranean projectLink opens in a new window

Read more about our Rome and the Coinages of the Mediterranean 200 BCE - 64 CE project

Our impact

We have developed a strong internationally-renowned hub of excellence at Warwick. We have multiple national and international collaborations and we host a yearly numismatic conference which is joined by specialists from Europe and abroad. It helps us to showcase our current research and develop new ideas, methodologies and networks. We also host several externally funded projects.

Pictured below: Some contributors to our Coins at Warwick blog.

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Explore other work from Classics at Warwick