Anastasios P. Tzamalis: A Birthday Celebration

by Hans Wilski and Kenneth M. MacKenzie

One of the more remarkable collections of ancient coins is housed in the Alpha Bank in Athens (Greece). Over the last decade, this collection has grown from a small bank depository into a major collection of ancient coins. A recent publication of the over 1,100 Macedonian coins in this collection has brought its importance to the attention of collectors and academics. The curator behind this collection is Anastasios P. Tzamalis, who celebrated in late October of 2002 his 65th birthday. Known as a renowned scholar and man full of charm, he is also the president of the Hellenic Numismatic Society and, with his wife Marion, the editor of Nomismatika Khronika, the only Greek journal dedicated solely to numismatics.

Tasos and Marion Tzamalis

Anastasios Tzamalis, better known as Tasos, was born in October 1937 in Athens, Greece. After a varied career ranging from insurance agent to director of a magazine for collectors, Syllektikos Kosmos, which he soon turned into a periodical mainly for numismatists, he has become a leading figure in Greek numismatics. He has written many articles for both Greek and foreign journals and has published such books as Coins of the Greek World, 1184-1976, in 1977, followed by Coins of Modern Greece, 1828-1979, in 1980, and Coins of the Frankish Occupation of Greece, 1184-1566, in 1981. A popular treatise appeared in 1981: Coins of the Olympic Games.

Since Tasos was appointed curator of the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection in 1991, the Alpha Bank, under the leadership of its Chairman Iannis Costopoulos, has supported Tzamalis in his efforts to build an outstanding private ancient Greek coin collection, which is now one of the best in the field.

The numismatic interests of Tasos Tzamalis cover a wide range. He is extremely well versed in the coins of ancient Greece, the Crusaders, emergency money and the copper coins with Greek countermarks struck in the Ottoman period. His interest in modern Greek coins is reflected in an interesting article “Farewell to the Drachma”, published in a recent issue of Nomismatika Khronika. Despite their busy work schedule, the Tzamalis’ hospitality at their home in Halandri is famous. Their many friends in the numismatic community were delighted to congratulate Tasos Tzamalis on his 65th birthday.