Press Release: The Roman Republican Die Project Launches Site

New York, NY
December 2, 2020
For Immediate Release

The Roman Republican Die Project Launches Site

The Roman Republican Die Project (RRDP), sponsored by the American Numismatic Society and generously funded by the Arete Foundation, is the largest die study ever undertaken. It draws from decades of diligent numismatic research and it is based on Richard Schaefer’s archive of Roman Republican Dies, comprising more than 300,000 specimen images. The digitized version of Schaefer’s archive is available on ARCHER, the digital archives of the American Numismatic Society (see here). This project enters a new phase, with the creation of the prototype of its functional integrated database system which comprises:

  • Coinage of the Roman Republic Online (CRRO), now provided with a second phase of advanced functionality, integrating the die links established by Richard Schaefer in his archive
  • SITNAM, a standalone specimen database for private materials or museum collections that have not already been published in CRRO
  • The RRDP project website, publishing, primarily, URIs for each obverse and reverse die of the specimens in SITNAM and connected to RRC/CRRO coin types

This integrated system, once fully developed, will represent an invaluable asset to the study of Roman Republican history, as it will prove instrumental to understand 1) the connection between different military and domestic projects and monetary production, 2) the accuracy of the figures provided by ancient sources in this regard, 3) the scale of Roman production in comparison to contemporary coinages, especially in the Greek East and 4) the reliability (or not) of Crawford (and later) production estimates based on hoard counts.

In order for these integrated databases to fully achieve their potential, the American Numismatic Society is seeking to hire a dedicated Curatorial Assistant.

The RRDP is co-directed by Dr. Lucia Carbone, Assistant Curator of Roman Coins at the ANS, and Prof. Liv M. Yarrow of CUNY–Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Ethan Gruber, ANS Director of Data Science, developed the extensive technical components of the project.

ANS Executive Director Gilles Bransbourg noted: “The Roman Republican Die Project will undoubtedly prove an invaluable resource for researchers.”

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.