American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Conference: Greek coins and their images: noble issuers, humble users? The French School at Athens

ANS Deputy Director Dr. Andrew Meadows will present The Great Transformation. Civic Coin Design in the 2nd Century BC.

26-28 September, 2012

École française d'Athènes
6 rue Didotou

about the lecture

The second century BC saw a radical change in the nature of civic coin design. Where posthumous Alexanders had been the norm for many states in the late 3rd and early 2nd century, particularly in western Asia Minor, the middle part of the second century saw a shift back to more local iconographic programmes at many cities. The wreathed coinages are one example of this phenomenon, as are those issued in the names of local deities.

But this shift was not simply a return to the designs of the 5th and 4th centuries, it coincided with a paradeigm shift in the nature of the representation of local divinities on coins.

This paper will examine the great transformation against the background of contemporary royal coin design, recent work on the quantification of some of the issues concerned, the epigraphical evidence for the relationships between these cities and their deities, the interrelationships of civic and royal economies, and the broader historical circumstances faced by civic authorities in the 2nd century BC.