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The Society’s new bye-laws approved by the Privy Council

Council has been aware for some time that the Society’s Bye-Laws, last updated in 2006, were in need of further revision. Our AGM in June approved a revised version of the bye-laws and on 13 August we received confirmation that these had been approved by the Privy Council, no less.

The main changes are intended to reflect the current way in which new fellows are elected and to give the Council greater flexibility in the when and how often we hold council and ordinary meetings, while also giving the Society’s membership a greater opportunity to be involved in electing officers and council members at the AGM, bringing them into line with best practice as laid down by the Charity Commission. 

In particular, the new bye-laws will:

  • simplify the method for recruiting new Fellows and bring it into line with current practice, as formal elections are no longer held;
  • bring in simplified way for recruiting young and student Fellows at a reduced subscription;
  • mean that Council will not need to meet ten times a year and will give Council flexibility over the frequency of these meetings;
  • give Council flexibility over the frequency and timing of Ordinary meetings;
  • bring the procedure for examining the Society’s accounts into line with Charity Commission guidelines;
  • give greater flexibility over the roles of the Society’s officers;
  • modify the procedures for electing Council at the AGM in line with the Charity Commission’s best practice.

Society Lecture, AGM and Summer Party, 18th June

On 18th June at 6pm the Society will hold its Annual General Meeting at Spinks. This will be followed by a lecture, presented by Society President, Dr Roger Bland. Following the lecture, all Society members and attendees are warmly invited to the Society’s summer party.

The President’s lecture will be on the topic:

Problems in Ancient Numismatics I: Die-studies versus coin finds: how to   estimate the size of a coinage

The data from coin hoards and single finds have long been used by numismatists to determine the relative size of coin types within an issue or over a longer period such as an emperor’s reign, while die-studies have been used as a way of quantifying the absolute size of a coinage. This paper will look at the limitations of these two methods and the different types of information that can be obtained from them and an example of using the two methods to quantify the same coinage.

Society Lecture, 21st May: Tracing loot: the fate of European coins in Viking hands in the ninth century

On Tuesday 21st May at 6pm Dr Jane Kershaw, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, will present a lecture to the Society at the Warburg Institute.

Abstract:Written sources indicate that huge numbers of coins were seized by Vikings during their raids on the Continent during the ninth century. Yet remarkably few Carolingian coins survive within the Scandinavian homelands. Do the written sources exaggerate the amount of wealth seized, or did the Vikings take this wealth with them to their new Western settlements, melting down coinage into ingots and rings? In this talk, I discuss recent results of archaeometric analysis which allows us the trace the fate of Carolingian coins for the first time.

Society Lecture, 16th April: “So rare, so barbarous, so little known”: Revisiting the coinage of Crusader Edessa

On Tuesday 16th April at 6pm Dr Richard Kelleher of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, will present a lecture to the Society at the Warburg Institute.

Abstract: The County of Edessa is probably the least known of the four mainland Crusader states established in the wake of the First Crusade (1095-1099). It was the first state to be established and the first to be annihilated in 1144. Despite its short existence copper coins, showing Byzantine, Islamic and Norman influence were struck at Edessa under its four counts and their regents.

It has been more than 40 years since John Porteous published his seminal article on the crusader coins of Edessa in the Numismatic Chronicle. This work outlined the chronological arrangement of the heavy types of follis attributed to Edessa through studying the complex, and occasionally baffling, sequence of overstrikes seen on many coins. Porteous gave us the relative sequence in use today and updated the arrangement devised, more than a century ago, by the eminent French numismatist and scholar Gustave Schlumberger in his classic Numismatique de l’Orient Latin.

Since the publication of Porteous’s work there has been four decades of new coins coming through the trade. Bringing together material from museum collections in Europe and America and from auctions and sales, this paper will evaluate the full sequence of heavy and light Edessene folles and offer some opinions on the chronology and identity of some of the more enigmatic pieces, which have hitherto been known from just one or two specimens.