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Announcing the publication of an important new work

Coinage in the Orontes Valley of Syria (1st century BC – 3rd century AD), by Jack Nurpetlian

Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 59

This book is a comprehensive study of the coins minted by Apamea, Larissa, Raphanea, Emesa and Laodicea ad Libanum in Syria during the late Hellenistic and Roman periods. It offers a historical overview of the individual cities, followed by in-depth discussions of the production, circulation, metrology and iconography of the coins. The text is supplemented with numerous die studies providing a structural framework of the various issues. A catalogue of 1,367 coins is also provided. Detailed discussions of the coinages and comparisons with contemporaneous issues of neighbouring mints reveal the diverse nature of the coins. The volume bridges the gaps in our understanding of coinage in the Orontes Valley and surrounding regions.
Jack Nurpetlian is a faculty member in the Department of History and Archaeology at the American University of Beirut. His research interests focus on Hellenistic and Roman period coinages of the Syro-Phoenician territories, in addition to investigating coin production and minting techniques with the use of die studies. The author has participated in numerous excavations on the eastern Mediterranean coast and is actively engaged in several multi-national numismatic projects.

Price: £45 (Fellows of the Royal Numismatic Society £30). To order: visit the Spink online store.

Hardback pp. xx + 199, 5 plates. ISBN 0-901405-38-8

RNS Hardship Grants: applications now open

The Society is offering small hardship grants to those who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Anyone based in the UK whose work or study involves a significant amount of numismatic study is eligible to apply.

Ten grants of up to £500, to be used for academic or professional purposes, or living expenses, will be made to those who:

a) have held a temporary post in a UK Higher Education Institute, or in the heritage sector, in the last 12 months and whose employment has come to an end during 2020;

b) self-funded post graduate researchers (MA/MPhil/MSt/PhD students), especially those in their third or fourth year;

c) PhD students whose work in their final year was affected by Covid and whose funding has now come to an end

Applicants should email Andrew Burnett ( with the following details: a brief account of the personal circumstances necessitating the grant, the purpose for which the money is to be used, and the precise sum needed (not more than 300 words in total). They should also include the name of their previous line manager or thesis supervisor as appropriate and ask them to email the same address separately to confirm their personal circumstances in broad terms.

Applicants are responsible for contacting their referee and the reference should arrive before the closing date of 15 January 2021.

Call for Papers – Seventh Century Syrian Numismatic Round Table

Conference to be held at Wolfson College, Oxford (or online, depending on circumstances), Sunday 26th and Monday 27th September 2021

The Round Table aims to bring together numismatists, historians and archaeologist with an interest in Late Antiquity/Early Islam in Syria/Palestine and the surrounding area. We hold small informal conferences at roughly two-yearly intervals which usually include at least twelve papers with ample time allowed for discussion. The central focus is on the Syrian Arab-Byzantine coinage, but papers can cover Byzantine or Post-Reform Umayyad coinage, or deal with aspects of the history or archaeology of Syria/Palestine.  We also normally include one or two papers on related topics (e.g. seals, weights etc.) or adjacent localities (e.g. Egypt or the Sasanian Empire). Papers sometimes present completed pieces of research, but more often they deal with ‘work in progress’.

We are of course very conscious of the current problems associated with Covid-19, so we will only hold the conference in Oxford if we are able to do so without the need for social distancing etc., in other words under ‘normal’ or very nearly ‘normal’ conditions. If this is not practicable we aim to hold the event ‘on-line’ at about the same time, but probably spread over a number of sessions. Whatever happens we will publish all papers in a volume of ‘Coinage and History in the Seventh Century Nera East’ as for previous conferences.

If you are interested in presenting a paper (or would just like more information about the conference) please contact Tony Goodwin on Presentations should normally last no more than 40 minutes, but much shorter papers are equally acceptable.  

New Book Release

Imperial Legitimation: The Iconography of the Golden Age Myth on Roman Imperial Coinage of the Third Century AD by Graham Barker

With a Foreword by Richard Abdy and Sam Moorhead. 

This fascinating study of the iconography of the Golden Age Myth on Roman Imperial coinage of the Third Century AD, which started as a master’s dissertation, also includes all Roman coins that have the Saecular Games types, down to 300 AD.  The first study of its kind, it also gives a reconstruction of the Games and appendices with texts from well-known classical authors. 

This book looks at the extent to which Roman imperial rulers of the third century AD employed the Golden Age myth for the purpose of legitimation. This is principally a study of the numismatic evidence alongside relevant written records and archaeology. The coins issued during the reigns of Septimius Severus and Philip I are examined in detail, as both emperors are on record as celebrating the Saecular Games (Ludi Saeculares) in the third century AD; these spectacular events came mark the end of one saeculum and the start of a new Golden Age. 

Available from Spink. Price £30.


240 x 152 mm 

160 pages with colour illustrations throughout 

ISBN: 978-1-912667-47-5 

Announcing the publication of an important new work

‘The Hidden Treasures of this Happy Island.’ A History of Numismatics in Britain from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

by Andrew Burnett

Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 58; British Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 14. Distributed by Spink & Son Ltd., 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4ET

This book provides, for the first time, a comprehensive account of the collecting and study of coins in Britain from 1500 to 1750. Many new discoveries, such as the existence of a Tudor royal collection, have been made in the course of the research. In addition, important scholars and collectors have been identified, who are otherwise virtually unknown, such as James Cole, John Harrison, Simonds D’Ewes, John Marsham and Francis Sambrooke. The development of the early university collections, at Cambridge and Oxford is also described. Many unpublished documents have been identified, transcribed and, when in Latin, translated. Most are from the British and Bodleian Libraries, but many other manuscript sources have also been used, in the UK and abroad. The book is divided into 37 chapters, which are broadly chronological, with several thematic treatments interspersed. 73 appendices cover specific topics. Finally, there is a substantial ‘Register’, a catalogue raisonée of all the people who are known to have had an interest.

Andrew Burnett was Deputy Director of the British Museum from 2002 to 2013, having spent his previous career in the Department of Coins and Medals. He was appointed a CBE by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours of 2012, and he is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He is past President of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Roman Society and the International Numismatic Commission. He has been awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Jeton de Vermeil of the French Numismatic Society and the Huntington Medal of the American Numismatic Society.

Available as a 3-volume set: £150. To order:

Price to Fellows of the Royal Numismatic Society and Members of the British Numismatic Society: £95.

3 volumes: volume I: pp. xxxvi + 566, 200 illus.; volume II: pp. xvi + 612, 140 illus.; volume III: pp. xiv + 626, 40 illus. ISBN 0–901405–36–1