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

The reuse of Roman Coins in the Islamic World

Sep 14, 2022, 11:00 AM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall D

Auditorium Maximum - Hall D


Federica Gigante (University of Oxford ) Jerome Mairat


This paper will introduce a group of Roman coins repurposed in Islamic times through the use of countermarks. The practice of countermarking coins is normally associated with the appropriation and transformation by a different authority of coins already in circulation. The coins under analysis, however, struck between the second and fourth centuries AD, show very little sign of wear, thus revealing that they had not been in continuous usage since Roman times but, rather, had been rediscovered and then transformed to be reused in a new context. Instead of being melted down for metal, or kept as antiquities, these coins were countermarked and repurposed to different uses, possibly as weights and measures. This paper will present a preliminary catalogue of such coins as examples of spoliation across several centuries and several civilizations, will analyse their geographical distribution, and will explore the implications of their reappropriation in Medieval times.

Primary author

Federica Gigante (University of Oxford )


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