Press Release | 2018 Fowler Lecture

May 10, 2018
New York, NY
for immediate release

The American Numismatic Society
Announces 2018 Harry W. Fowler Memorial Lecture
Presenter, Professor Walter Scheidel

The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is delighted to announce that the 2018 Harry W. Fowler Memorial Lecture will be presented by Walter Scheidel, Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and History, Kennedy-Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford University, and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at the American Numismatic Society, 75 Varick Street, Floor 11, in New York City.

Prof. Scheidel’s lecture, entitled “The Great Alternative?,” will discuss how the ancient world produced two major independent traditions of coinage: one in the Aegean, which laid the foundations for our own nickels, dimes and quarters, and the other in early China. Chinese coins were distinctive: they avoided naturalistic motifs; were made of base metal alloys rather than gold or silver; and came with a hole in the middle. These features persisted with relatively minor changes into the modern period. In his talk, Prof. Scheidel will seek to identify the reasons for these and other differences between Eastern and Western numismatic traditions, including the relative importance of the two regions’ resource endowments and, most critically, their political development.

Walter Scheidel holds a Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Vienna, and in addition to his appointment at Stanford, has held academic positions and fellowships in Vienna, Innsbruck, Paris, Cambridge, Chicago, New York, Abu Dhabi, and Zurich. His work focuses on ancient social and economic history, premodern demography, and the comparative and transdisciplinary history of labor, inequality, and state formation. He is the author of four books, including The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (2017), and the editor of coeditor of another fourteen.

The lecture will begin at 6:00 pm. It will be preceded by a reception at 5:30. RSVP required to, or 212-571-4470 ext. 117. Government issued photo I.D. required for entry.

A subscription dinner will be held following the event at a nearby restaurant for $95. Pre-registration is required. Contact for details.

The Harry W. Fowler Memorial Lecture was established in 1998 with a bequest from Mr. Fowler and with additional gifts from the Fowler family. Harry W. Fowler served as President of the American Numismatic Society from 1984 to1990, and for his personal generosity was named a Benefactor of the Society in 1986. In 1995 he bequeathed his collection of Bactrian coins to the ANS, which together with the Society’s already strong holdings, has created one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek coins.

The American Numismatic Society, organized in 1858 and incorporated in 1865 in New York State, operates as a research museum under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is recognized as a publicly supported organization under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) as confirmed on November 1, 1970.