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

Session

S23. ANTIQUITY 3. THE ISSUE OF AUTHORITY ON TOKENS OF THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN

S23
Sep 12, 2022, 4:00 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall A

Auditorium Maximum - Hall A

Conveners

S23. ANTIQUITY 3. THE ISSUE OF AUTHORITY ON TOKENS OF THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN: ANTIQUITY 3. THE ISSUE OF AUTHORITY ON TOKENS OF THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN

  • Clare Rowan (University of Warwick)

Description

Org. and chair: Clare Rowan

Ancient token studies have witnessed a resurgence in recent years, seen most vividly with 'Tokens: Culture, Connections, Communities' (ed. Crisà, Gkikaki & Rowan), 'Tokens, Value and Identity', (ed. Crisà), as well as the ongoing publication of unpublished material across Europe.
In spite of recent advances, the issue of who was responsible for the issuing of tokens, and how this authority was (or was not) communicated on these objects remains relatively unexplored. This session therefore focuses on the issue of authority in relation to tokens from Rome and Athens. Two papers focus on tokens from Athens, with Gkikaki presenting Hellenistic tokens from the Agora and Karra discussing a group of tokens with numeric values from a residential quarter to the immediate southeast of the Acropolis. The other two papers will focus on the Roman Empire, with Rowan focused on the lead tokens of Rome and Ostia, and Mondello the bronze and brass tokens from late antique Rome.
These papers will explore the issue of authority on tokens, and what this might reveal about the function of these enigmatic artefacts. Questions addressed by the session include: how was authority communicated on tokens, and how did this differ from official coinage? What does the absence of an authority reveal about the operation of tokens in antiquity? What types of authority can we identify? To what extent does the communication of authority align with the creation or communication of identity? How might tokens become an official channel of expression for cult associations or civic corporations? In what ways did tokens contribute to the roles of individuals, thereby imitating the structures of the state? How did the distribution and circulation of tokens create bonds between authority and users? The session will shed further light on the historic and numismatic significance of these often overlooked objects.

Presentation materials

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