This project seeks to better understand how the Roman Republic transformed into an Empire and how this transformation was visualised in the regions that fell under Roman control. From 168 BC Rome controlled provinces in both the East and the West of the Mediterranean, but it would not be until c. 27 BC that Rome received its first emperor. How was Rome viewed in this intervening period, and to what extent did this prepare the way for later events under Augustus and his successors? Was there a revolution with Augustus? How was Roman domination represented, ritualised or rejected, and what traces of this process can we find in the surviving material? The project will focus on coinage produced in areas under Roman control in this period in order to answer these questions. Through an examination of coinage and its iconography, the project will look at the self-representation of Roman officials who dealt with the provinces, as well as how Rome was perceived by the people who fell under her command.
Although today many see money as a largely neutral and impersonal medium of exchange, research has demonstrated its important role within cultural, political and social contexts. Money is rarely if ever neutral, and this makes it an important medium through which ideologies, power struggles, identity and culture can be expressed. The coins struck by the various cities, tribes and individuals during the intense period of Roman expansion throughout the Mediterranean prove no exception. The aim of this project is to utilise this material in order to:
(a) obtain an overview of the coins struck under Roman control in the period 168-27 BC
(b) achieve a better understanding of how Roman power was received, negotiated and/or rejected in this same period.
(c) identify to what extent the ideologies of Roman control, voiced by both Rome and her subjects, were significantly altered when Augustus became the first emperor of Rome
This is an ongoing project. At the moment, the database has good coverage of Italy, Africa, Macedonia, Iberia, and the coins struck by Roman moneyers outside Rome as listed in Crawford’s Roman Republican Coinage. We are currently working on Greece.
The information gathered in the database has been taken from key scholarly works in the field of numismatics. The source of each entry (sometimes involving multiple works) is provided in the bibliography, and those seeking further information are invited to consult these works.
Those within the field of numismatics are aware that coins of this period can often be only broadly dated, and that new research often changes our interpretation. For those new to coins, the information presented here is current, but our understanding may change in time. Often a range of several years is provided as a date; this is not to suggest that coins were continuously produced over the entire period, but to indicate that coinage was produced at one moment or sporadically within this timeframe. The place where a coin was minted can also be uncertain; when this is particularly the case the suggested location has been marked with a question mark.
This project would not be possible without the efforts of several people. Thanks are due to Robert O'Toole and Steve Ranford, Senior Academic Technologists from Digital Humanities at Warwick, for designing the site.
Clare Rowan, Project Leader.
Entries on Spain, Athens, and Macedonia.
Philip Cox, Research Assistant.
Entries on Italy, Africa, Macedonia, and coins of Roman moneyers outside Rome.
Entries on Crete and Cyrenaica.
Entries on Achaea, and Achaean League.
Entries on Central Greece and Euboea.
Entries on the Peloponnese.