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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

Announcing a new publication from the Royal Numismatic Society

Kenneth A. Sheedy and Gillan Davis (editors), Metallurgy in Numismatics 6. Mines, Metals, and Money: Ancient World Studies in Science, Archaeology and History.

Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 56. Distributed by Spink & Son Ltd., 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4ET

The Mégala Pefka mine, Laurium

Metallurgy in Numismatics 6. Mines, Metals, and Money: Ancient World Studies in Science, Archaeology and History contains 23 studies on geology and mining in ancient Greece, the manufacture and metallurgy of ancient Greek coins and the analysis and conservation of these coins. In the tradition of the Metallurgy in Numismatics series, the chapters collectively place numismatics within an interdisciplinary context. The volume uses the framework of behavioural archaeology to explore the life history and technology of coin manufacture and subsequent use, both ancient and modern. It covers topics ranging from the geological forces which created ores to mining, manufacture, loss and excavation through a broad range of scientific and numismatic techniques used to analyse and conserve coins.

Silver tetradrachm of Athens, c. 515-480 BC

A key strength is the inclusion of contributions from leading international scholars translated into English. These provide access to French, German and Greek scholarship to an English-speaking audience, all with extensive bibliographies. The book will be of interest to historians, archaeologists, numismatists and others wanting a good understanding of the role and state of numismatics presented in an holistic and easily comprehensible format.

Kenneth Sheedy is the founding director (2000-) of the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney and a member of the teaching staff of this university’s Department of History and Archaeology where is an associate professor. He is the author of The Archaic and Early Classical Coinages of the Cyclades, Royal Numismatic Society SP 40 (London 2006). He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2010. 

Gillan Davis is the Director of the Program for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Macquarie University where he teaches ancient Greek history within the Department of History and Archaeology and runs the Ancient Israel Program including organising its annual excavations. He is the Managing Editor of the Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia.  His main research interests are the political and economic history of Archaic Athens, numismatics and archaeometallurgy as well as ancient communications, in all of which he has published extensively.

Price: £50 (Fellows of the Royal Numismatic Society: £33). To order: visit

pp. xii + 326, 396 illus., including one folding map in colour. ISBN 0–901405–37–X.

2020 Presidential Address: ‘Problems in Ancient Numismatics 2: Single finds versus hoards: what kinds of information can we gain from them?’

This year has been a strange one. The Coronavirus pandemic meant our AGM had to be postponed, and, for a while, it looked like the annual Presidential Address might not go ahead.

Thankfully, it was possible to host the Address online via the video conferencing service Zoom. One positive result of this is that many members of the society who wouldn’t ordinarily make it to meetings in London were able to log in and hear our President, Roger Bland, speak on ‘single finds versus hoards’. We were also able to record the presentation, complete with slides, for everyone to enjoy.

Abstract: The study of numismatics in recent years has been dominated by the study of coin finds and these are normally divided into hoards and single (or stray) finds. The two categories have often been studied in isolation from each other. This paper will look at the blurring at the edges of these two categories and will consider the different sorts of information that can be gained from them, drawing on the work of a recent research project on Iron Age and Roman coin hoards from Britain and the database of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.