Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Iconographic Ambiguities in Greek Coinage: The Corpus Nummorum and the So-Called Torches of Byzantion

Sep 12, 2022, 2:00 PM
20m
Auditorium Maximum - Adam Mickiewicz Hall

Auditorium Maximum - Adam Mickiewicz Hall

Speakers

Ulrike Peter (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie Der Wissenschaften) Vladimir Stolba (Staatliche Museen Zu Berlin, Münzkabinett / Berlin-Brandenburg Academy Of Sciences And Humanities)

Description

This paper explores the potential of new digital tools in the study of numismatic iconography, taking as an example the Corpus Nummorum Portal—which produces iconographic authority data and aims to create a hierarchical, multilingual Thesaurus Iconographicus Nummorum Graecorum (ThING). It focuses on a specific motif present in the Roman provincial coinage of Byzantion that reoccurs on the issues spanning the period from Trajan to Gallienus and represents objects whose nature remains obscure. Although their identification as fish traps goes back to the 19th century, the corpus study by Edith Schönert-Geiß, who discussed this topic in detail, accounts for the popularity of an alternative interpretation favoured already by Eckhel: namely, their identification as beacons or torches. Based on iconographic evidence of coinage and other visual testimonies, the “readings” of this motif are re-examined.

Primary author

Ulrike Peter (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie Der Wissenschaften)

Co-author

Vladimir Stolba (Staatliche Museen Zu Berlin, Münzkabinett / Berlin-Brandenburg Academy Of Sciences And Humanities)

Presentation materials

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