RNS Medallist: Pere Pau Ripollès 2016

This is part of a series of posts about recent recipients of the RNS Medal.


In awarding the medal at the Ordinary Meeting of the Society on 20 December 2016, the President, Andrew Burnett, said:

Per Pau Ripollès, picture from Andrew Burnett.

Pere Pau Ripollès is Professor Catedrático at the University of Valencia, Spain. He has worked for most of his career in the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, rising up the ranks to the top level of professor.

He himself is a prolific author, as his list of publications indicates. There are so many, beginning in 1977,  that it is hard to know where to start or which ones to cite: his academia.edu site offers a mere 17 books and 66 papers! I shall mention only a small selection, grouped thematically.

The first group is an excellent series of several catalogues of Iberian coins in important museum collections, such as those in Paris, in Stockholm, in the Royal Historical Academy in Madrid, the Vatican Library and several Italian collections: Monedas Hispánicas de la Bibliothèque nationale de France (Madrid, 2005) ; Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. Sweden II. The Collection of the Royal Coin Cabinet. National Museum of Economy, Stockholm (Stockholm, 2003); Las acuñaciones provinciales romanas de Hispania (Madrid, 2010);  ‘Corpus Nummorum Hispanorum. I. Medagliere Vaticano’ (Italica 6, 1982); and Le monete ispaniche nelle Collezioni Italiane (Bollettino di Numismatica, Serie Speciale, Roma, 1986).

Secondly, he has authored or co-authored several mint studies of ancient Iberian cities: Valencia, Segobriga, Lauro, Saguntum and, most recently, Saitabi: La ceca de Valentia (València, 1988); Las monedas de la ciudad romana de Segobriga (Saelices, Cuenca) (Madrid-Barcelona, 1996, with J.M. Abascal); Les encunyacions ibèriques de Lauro (Granollers, 1998, with M.M. Llorens); Arse-Saguntum. Historia monetaria de la ciudad y su territorio (Sagunto, 2002, with M.M. Llorens); and Las acuñaciones de la ciudad ibérica de Saitabi (Valencia, 2007).

Thirdly, he has published a series of studies of regional circulation, such as those about the areas of Valencia and Tarraco, and many, many coin hoards: La circulación monetaria en las Tierras Valencianas (Asociación Numismática Española, Barcelona, 1980); La circulación monetaria en la Tarraconense Mediterránea (Valencia, 1982); Hallazgo Numismático en la calle Libertad.  Seu de les Corts Valencianes (Valencia, 1994, with M.M. Llorens and C. Matamoros); and El tesoro de la familia Ferrer de Plegamans (Valencia, 1997, with A. Martínez).

He has also collaborated on the Roman Provincial Coinage project and was of the principal authors of Volume I (Roman Provincial Coinage, From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 B.C.-A.D. 69) (London-París, 1992, and subsequent editions). Since then he also has taken on the broader role of responsibility for the publications of supplementary material to RPC, and three such supplements have already appeared. I first got involved together on the RPC project on the special train to York that was chartered for the excursion to York from the 1986 London International Numismatic Congress, and Pere Pau has been a hard-working colleague and a good friend ever since, not least introducing me to Spanish gastronomic delights, such as horchata and churros. Sometimes his interests have taken him in what may seems to us to be surprising directions such as his studies of the contributions coins can make to our understanding of the ancient fauna and flora of Spain.

But, more generally, he has raised the level of numismatics in Spain to a truly international level, from the somewhat mundane state it was in when he began his career, for example by introducing the new methods of die studies, statistics and metal analysis. He has been a regular traveller to other countries, such as France and the UK, and this has led to many fruitful exchanges of ideas and collabortaive initiatives.

He has had several distinguished students, such as Maria del Mar Llorens and Manuel Gozalbes, and he himself has been deservedly honoured elsewhere. He has been visiting scholar at the American Numismatic Society. He is a member of the Real Academia de la Historia. and he was awarded the jeton de vermeil of the Société Française de Numismatique in 1998. He is a member of the International Numismatic Commission, currently its Vice-President. He has done his bit. So I am delighted that we are honouring him today with the award of the silver medal of the Royal Numismatic Society.


In accepting the medal, Pere Pau Ripollès said:

Colleagues and friends:

Thank you, Dr. Burnett, for your kind and generous introduction. I want to thank the Royal Numismatic Society for this very great honour. I never thought I would achieve such an honour when eandre Villaronga showed me the RNS medal, when he was awarded it in 1989.

At that time, I had a pleasant feeling when I handled it, not just because the medal was impressive in itself, in its design and weight, but also because he shared with me his pride and joy of having been awarded it.

In accepting this recognition with which you have honoured me, I would like to acknowledge the debt I owe to many people, some of whom are present here today, because a large part of my research has been conducted in the United Kingdom or with British colleagues. When I was notified of this medal, I thought about my experiences in the United Kingdom and I realized how enriching and valuable they have been. Honestly, I always have received great opportunities from this country. My first contact with British colleagues was in 1986. After the International Numismatic Congress held in London that year, I remained a few days working in the British Museum. The visit was very fruitful in another way, since it was the occasion on which I was invited, by Andrew Burnett and Michel Amandry to work in the Roman Provincial Coinage project.

Since then, I have had the privilege of working in all the leading British institutions. All my stays have been wonderful, but the months spent at the Ashmolean Museum and the British Museum especially have given me many valuable perspectives on numismatics and numismatic research.

In addition, I don’t want to forget the University of Valencia, since it has been my great fortune to be teaching in it for many years, and it is there that I have developed my entire academic curriculum.

Needless to say, I have had and continue to have a lot of support from my wife María José, who has always been at my side.

I am certainly fortunate to have been selected for this honour from among many deserving scholars and colleagues. So, once again, I thank the Royal Numismatic Society for bestowing this honour on me.

Thank you again.

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