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COINS in HISTORY Powered By Docstoc

                    GREEK COINS IN GREEK HISTORY
                    (Sixth Century to end of Fourth Century B.C.)

                              COURSE HANDBOOK

                            SPRING SEMESTER 2009

This booklet is presented in three Sections:

I. General information about the course.
II. Course protocol.
III. Detailed information about teaching arrangements, assessment, deadlines for
     submission of work and other specific arrangements for the course.

You should use this Coursebook in conjunction with the Classics Honours Handbook
2008-9. You will find there information on course protocol, in particular on plagiarism
and penalties for late coursework, and a section on assessment. If you do not have a copy
of the Handbook it can be downloaded from:; it is
also available from the Classics Office on the fifth floor (5.01/5.02) of the DHT.

SECTION I: General Information

The course organiser is Prof. Keith Rutter.
The easiest way to contact me is by e-mail:
I will be available for consultation after each class, and by appointment in DHT Room
10.08. My home telephone number is 447 4974.
Other helpful contacts are the classics secretaries: Elaine Hutchison (DHT 5.01,
afternoons only) and Jill Shaw (DHT 5.02, mornings only).


Coins were issued by ancient Greek communities over a very wide range of space and
time: from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Indian subcontinent, and from the sixth to the
first centuries BC and beyond. Such coins can speak to us about many aspects of the
societies that produced them: for example, about their history, economic and social life,
art, religion and mythology. This course will follow the history of the Greeks from the
archaic period (sixth century BC) to the reign of Ptolemy I of Egypt (end of fourth
century BC), with special reference at each stage to the coins they produced. Why was
coinage invented? How and why did it develop in the ways it did? How do we study
coins? How do we set about interpreting their types and inscriptions? These are just
some of the questions that will be raised in classes. In addition, visits will be arranged to
the superb collection of Greek coins in The Hunterian Museum of Glasgow University,
where there will be opportunities to handle coins, and to discuss with the curator practical
topics, for example, matters to do with the conservation and public exhibition of coins.


Teaching consists of two class meetings per week, consisting of a mix of lectures and
class discussion. In addition, visits will be arranged to the collections of Greek coins
in the Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh) and the Hunterian Museum of the
University of Glasgow.

Class meetings: 3p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in room 2.8, 10 Buccleuch Place.
The first class will take place on Tuesday January 13th., 2009.


The course will be assessed by a combination of prescribed coursework, which will count
for 30% of the final mark, and a two-hour examination (taken at the end of the academic
session in which the course is taught), which will count for the remaining 70%.
For a more detailed breakdown of these elements of assessment, see Section III of this
Handbook. There is no resit examination for this course, unless it is being taken as part
of an Ordinary degree programme.


Students who successfully complete the course will have:
    Broadened and deepened their knowledge and understanding of the history of the
       Greek world in the Mediterranean and beyond from the sixth to the late fourth
       centuries BC
    Sharpened their appreciation of some of the problems raised by the study of the
    Developed their skills in the methodologies of collecting, analysing and
       comparing different forms of evidence for the period studied, in particular the
       numismatic evidence
    Gained practical experience of the study of coins and evaluated the information
       that can be derived from them in several different historical and cultural contexts
    Developed their skills in evaluating and criticising the work of other historians,
       both contemporary and in earlier periods
    Developed their skills in the oral and written presentation of their own ideas and

The above outcomes will be achieved on the basis of lectures, seminars, written work,
oral discussion and at least one visit to a major collection of Greek coins.

SECTION II: Course Protocol


The course consists of both lectures and seminar discussions. The former are designed to
introduce you to the themes and numismatic material to be covered in the course, the
latter to explore and discuss specific issues arising from the themes of the lectures. It is
very important to prepare when preparation is required, since your contributions will
contribute to the quality of everyone else’s experience of the class. Persistent absence
without sufficient justification will be reported to the student’s Director of Studies.

Information about the course may be displayed periodically on the appropriate Ancient
History notice-board, in the lobby of the fifth floor of the DHT, opposite the lifts. Check
this notice-board regularly; failure to see a notice will not count as an excuse.

Messages about the course will also be circulated to students by e-mail. It is now a
University requirement that students must respond to e-mails sent to their University e-
mail address, and it will be assumed that every member of the class can be contacted at
this address ( and checks incoming mail regularly.

Feedback from students is always welcome. You may either speak to the course
organiser (Prof. Rutter) personally, or speak to the Class Representative, whose name and
contact details will be posted on the notice-board. At the end of the course you will be
asked for your anonymous comments on a course assessment questionnaire.


Students with special needs or requirements (e.g. for examinations or course materials),
should let the course organiser know immediately. Where assessment is concerned,
appropriate reasonable adjustments may be made for students who have declared a
disability to the University.

Students who are dyslexic are assessed by the University’s specialists and given the
assistance they require, including where appropriate extra time in examinations, word-
processing facilities or scribes. You should ensure that the course organiser knows what
arrangements you have made in your case, so that this can be taken into account when
assessing your work. Be assured that we are fully in sympathy with the University’s
policies on supporting and encouraging dyslexic students.

Mature students who may have particular issues to discuss with the course organiser
should not hesitate to do so.

This course is open to visiting undergraduates. You must complete all the work of the
class in order to gain full credit. If you are taking other courses taught in the second
semester, you must take the degree examination at the end of the year. If you are to be in
Edinburgh only in the first semester, you will be required to take a special written
examination at the end of that semester.


The procedure which must be followed for the submission of all assessed written work is
explained in the Classics Honours Handbook: please make yourself familiar with this
procedure and ensure that you follow it in all respects.


All work will be assessed in accordance with the University’s common marking scheme.
Full details of this are to be found in the Classics Honours Handbook, along with grade
descriptors applicable to each subject area within Classics.


Plagiarism is the act of copying or including in one’s own work, without adequate
acknowledgement, the work of another, for one’s own benefit. Unacknowledged use of
others’ work is never an acceptable academic practice, and, when it is intentional,
constitutes a form of cheating. For a full account of what constitutes plagiarism and its
consequences, please refer to the Classics Honours Handbook



A. Burnett, Coins (1991).
I. Carradice, Greek Coins (1995).
I. Carradice, M. Price, Coinage in the Greek World (1988).
P.J. Casey, Understanding Ancient Coins (1986), esp. ch. 1.
Coins and Numismatics, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Numismatic Museum, Athens
M.H. Crawford, ‘Numismatics’, in M.H. Crawford (ed.), Sources for Ancient History
(1983), pp.185-233.
B.V. Head, Historia Numorum. A Manual of Greek Numismatics (2nd. edn., 1911).
G.F. Hill, Historical Greek Coins (1906).
M. Hirmer, C.M. Kraay, Greek Coins (1966).
C. Howgego, Ancient History from Coins (1995).
C.M. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (1976).
L. Kurke, Coins, Bodies, Games and Gold. The Politics of Meaning in Archaic Greece
A. Meadows, K. Shipton (eds), Money and its Uses in the Ancient Greek World (2001).
J.R. Melville Jones, Testimonia Numaria. Greek and Latin Texts Concerning Ancient
Greek Coinage (1993).
Price, M.J., Coins. An Illustrated Survey 650 BC to the Present Day (1980).
N.K. Rutter, Greek Coinage (1983).
M. Thompson, O. Mørkholm, C.M. Kraay (eds), An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards
(1973). [From 1975 until 1994, information about Greek coin hoards was published in
the journal Coin Hoards; from 1995 onwards, in the Numismatic Chronicle].

Many of the above books are in the Main Library. Others will be placed in the
cupboard in the Class Library, for consultation within the Class Library only.

B. SOME WEBSITES WORTH BROWSING [Head’s Historia Numorum on line]. [Searchable archive of auctions of ancient coins].
[Coins of ‘Magna Graecia’, which for this site means ‘Southern Italy and Sicily’]. [Pictures of coins]. [Coins of Asia Minor]. [Coins recently and currently for sale].


Ancient Economy    = W. Scheidel, S. von Reden (eds), The Ancient Economy (2002).
Austin             = M.M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the
                     Roman Conquest. A Selection of Sources in Translation
                     (2nd. edn., 2006).
CAH2               = Cambridge Ancient History, second edition.
Davies             = J.K. Davies, Democracy in Classical Greece (2nd. edn., 1993).
Erskine            = A. Erskine (ed.), A Companion to the Hellenistic World (2005).
Grant              = M. Grant, The Rise of the Greeks (1987).
Kraay, ACGC        = C.M. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (1976).
Money and its Uses = A. Meadows, K. Shipton (eds), Money and its Uses in the
                     Ancient Greek World (Oxford, 2001).
Murray             = O. Murray, Early Greece (2nd. edn., 1993).
Osborne            = R. Osborne, Greece in the Making, 1200-479 (1996).
Shipley            = G. Shipley, The Greek World after Alexander, 323-30 BC (2000).
Walbank            = F.W. Walbank, The Hellenistic World (3rd. impression, 1992).


Class Meetings will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3.00 to 3.50 p.m. in
room 2.8, 10 Buccleuch Place.

Classes 1-4 are introductory: they raise the basic question, ‘What is a coin?’, and provide
guidance on how to get the most out of the rich and varied bibliography on Greek
Classes 5-14 explore how coinage was invented and in western Asia Minor and spread
westwards to Greece, Sicily and Italy.
Classes 15-18 look at the spread of coinage in the northern Aegean and in the east, in the
Persian Empire and Cyprus, developments aided by the Macedonian kings Philip II and
Alexander III (the Great).
Classes 19-22 look at aspects of coinage in the world (which we call ‘Hellenistic’) that
emerged from the conquests of Alexander the Great.

CLASS 1. Tuesday, January 13. Introduction to the course. What do Greek coins look

Content of Class:
Introduction to the course, with particular reference to its historical/geographical range.
The Greek alphabet – capital letters. [Handout].
Discussion, based on a number of ‘electrotypes’ (copies of actual coins) distributed in
class: ‘What are the characteristics of a typical Greek coin?’

CLASS 2. Thursday, January 15. The Bibliography of Greek Numismatics.

Preparation for Class 2:
Explore the numismatic sections of the Class Library and of the Main Library (books on
Floor 3, Ref. no. 737.37; periodicals on Floor 4, Ref. no. Per.73), and prepare to
contribute to class discussion of the following two questions:

Content of Class 2:
1. What categories of publications are there on Greek numismatics, and in what ways
does each category contribute to our study of ancient Greek coinage?
[Follow-up Handout].
2. How do we interpret a typical catalogue entry of a coin? [Handout].

CLASS 3. Tuesday, January 20. Money and Exchange.

Preparation for Class 3:
Read Course-pack, Item 1: extract from Money, ed. Joe Cribb (1986), pp.11-32.

Content of Class 3:
Lecture: Money and exchange before coins.       What is a coin?    What does coinage
represent as a stage in the history of money?

Further reading:
M.S. Balmuth (ed.), Hacksilber to Coinage. New Insights into the History of Money in
the Near East and Greece (American Numismatic Society, 2001).
G. Chimirri-Russell, Money/L’Argent, Catalogue of an Exhibition held at the Nickle Arts
Museum etc. (2000).
J. Cribb (ed.), Money. From Cowrie Shells to Credit Cards (1986).
J. Deyton, ‘Money in the Near East before Coinage’, Berytus 23 (1974), pp.41-52.
P. Grierson, Numismatics (1975).
S. von Reden, Exchange in Ancient Greece (1995).
S. von Reden, ‘Money in the Ancient Economy: a survey of recent research’, Klio 84
(2002), pp.141-74.
J. Williams (ed.), Money. A History (1997).

Points to consider:
Coins in the history of money: what makes a coin a coin?

CLASS 4. Thursday, January 22. Coins and Minting

Preparation for Class 4:
Read Course-pack, Item 2: ‘Coins and Minting’, in Kraay, ACGC, pp.1-19.

Content of Class 4:
Lecture: How were ancient coins made [Handout] and what are the consequences for
modern study? (The concept of die-sequences. Estimating the size of an issue of coinage:
can it be done?).
What were, typically, the types (i.e. the designs) on coins? Five basic categories.
How do we look at a coin? Naming the parts.

Further reading:
Estimating the size of a coinage:
D. Sellwood, ‘Some experiments in Greek minting technique’, Numismatic Chronicle
1963, pp.217-231.
P. Kinns, ‘The Amphictionic coinage reconsidered’, Numismatic Chronicle 1983,
T.V. Buttrey, two articles: ‘Calculating ancient coin production: facts and fantasies’,
and, ‘Calculating ancient coin production II: why it cannot be done’, in, respectively,
Numismatic Chronicle 153, pp.335-352, and 154, pp.341-52.
Fr. de Callataÿ, ‘Calculating ancient coin production: seeking a balance’, Numismatic
Chronicle 155, pp.289-311.

On coin types:
G. Macdonald, Coin Types: their Origin and Development (1905).
J. Spier, ‘Emblems in archaic Greece’, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies
37 (1990), pp.107-129.

Points to consider:
How were Greek coins made?
What is a die-study? Give examples.
Why are die-studies important, and what further knowledge might be gained from a
proper die-study?
What were the main categories of Greek coin types?
Fully describe a Greek coin known to you.

CLASS 5. Tuesday, January 27. The Beginning of Coinage

Preparation for Class 5:
Read Course-pack, Item 3: I. Carradice, M. Price, Coinage in the Greek World (1988),
pp.20-28. Usefully supplemented by: C.M. Kraay, ‘Coinage’, in CAH2, vol.IV, pp.431-
445, especially pp.431-437.

Content of Class 5:
Lecture: The beginning of coinage in the Lydian/Greek world:
    The Lydian kingdom and the Greeks in Ionia: historical/cultural background.
    The first coinage: when was it ‘invented’? what was its nature (electrum;
       denominations)? why was it invented?
    The early spread of coinage in Asia Minor.
[Handout: Specimens of early coinage].

Further reading:

The Greeks of Asia Minor.
Herodotus I, chs.141-8 (Ionians), 149-51 (Aeolians).
J. Boardman, The Greeks Overseas, chapter 2.
J.M.Cook, The Greeks in Ionia and the East (1962).
J.M. Cook, CAH2 III.3 (1982), chapter 39a, pp.196-221.

Herodotus I, 6-22, 25-26, 69-82, 84, 94, 154-6, 207-8; III, 34, 36; VI, 37, 125.
J. Boardman, The Greeks Overseas, chapter 3.
CAH2, Plate volume III (1984), pp.164-177 (native monarchies of Anatolia).
G.M.A. Hanfmann, ‘Lydian Relations with Ionia and Persia’, in E. Akurgal (ed.),
Proceedings of the Xth. International Congress of Classical Archaeology (Ankara,
1978), pp.25-35.
G.M.A. Hanfmann, Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman times (1983), esp. ch. 5,
‘Lydian society and culture’.
M. Mellink, CAH2 III.2, ch.34a, ‘The native kingdoms of Anatolia: The Lydian
Kingdom’, pp.643-655.

Early coinage: what and when?
W.L. Brown, ‘Pheidon’s alleged Aeginetan coinage’, The Numismatic Chronicle
1950, pp.177-204.
F. Cairns, ‘XRHMATA DOKIMA: IG XII, 9, 1273 and 1274 and the early coinage of
Eretria’, Zeitschrift für Papyrlogie und Epigrapkik (ZPE), 54 (1984), pp.145-55.
R.R. Holloway, ‘The date of the first Greek coins: some arguments from style and
Hoards’, Revue belge de numismatique et de sillographie 130 (1984), pp.5-18.
D. Kagan, ‘The dates of the earliest coins’, American Journal of Archaeology (AJA)
86 (1982), pp.343-60.
S. Karwiese, ‘The Artemisium coin hoard and the first coins of Ephesus’, Revue
 belge de numismatique et de sillographie 137 (1991), pp.1-28.

J.H. Kroll and N.M. Waggoner, ‘Dating the earliest coins of Athens, Corinth and
Aegina’, AJA 88 1984), pp.325-40.
E.S.G. Robinson, ‘Coins from the Ephesian Artemisium reconsidered’, JHS 71
(1951), pp.156-67.
M.C. Root, ‘Evidence from Persepolis for the dating of Persian and archaic Greek
Coinage’, The Numismatic Chronicle 148 (1988), pp.1-12.
M. Vickers, ‘Early Greek coinage: a reassessment’, The Numismatic Chronicle 145
(1985), pp.108-28.
R.W. Wallace, ‘The origin of electrum coinage’, American Journal of Archaeology
91.3 (1987), pp.385-97.

Early coinage: why?
R.H.J. Ashton, ‘The coinage of Rhodes, 408-c.190 BC’, Money and its Uses,
R.M. Cook, ‘Speculations on the origins of coinage’, Historia 7 (1958), pp.257-62.
C.J. Howgego, ‘Why did ancient states strike coins?’, The Numismatic Chronicle 150
(1990), pp.1-25.
H. Kim, ‘Archaic coinage as evidence for the use of money’, in Money and its
Uses, pp.7-21.
H. Kim, ‘Small change and the moneyed economy’, in P. Cartledge, E.E. Cohen,
L. Foxhall (eds), Money, Labour and Land. Approaches to the Economies of
Ancient Greece (2002), pp.44-51.
C.M. Kraay, ‘Hoards, small change and the origins of coinage’, Journal of Hellenic
 Studies (JHS), 84 (1964), pp.76-91.
J.H. Kroll, ‘Silver in Solon’s laws’, in R. Ashton, S. Hurter (eds), Studies in
Greek Numismatics in Memory of M.J. Price (1998), pp.225-232.
L. Kurke, Coins, Money, Games and Gold (1999), esp. chapter 1.
T.R. Martin, ‘Why did the Greek polis originally need coins?’, Historia 45 (1996),
O. Mørkholm, ‘Some reflections on the production and use of coinage in ancient
Greece’, Historia 31 (1982), pp.290-305.
M.J. Price, ‘Thoughts on the beginning of coinage’, in C. Brookes et al. (eds),
Studies in Numismatic Method Presented to Philip Grierson (1983), pp.1-10.
D.C. Snell, ‘Methods of exchange and coinage in western Asia’, in J.M. Sasson (ed.)
Civilisations of the Ancient Near East, vol.III (1995), pp.1487-97.

Points to consider:
Describe the elements in, and the nature of, the cultural relations between Ionian Greeks
and Lydians.
Where did coinage begin?
What were the characteristics of the earliest coinage? (Metal (what was electrum?),
weights, denominations, types).
When did coinage begin? How do you account for the differences in modern ideas
about the date?
Why was coinage invented? In what ways was early Greek coinage like/unlike our

CLASS 6. Thursday, January 29. The Early Coinages of Aegina and Corinth.

Preparation for Class 6:
Read Course-pack, Item 4: Kraay, ACGC, pp.41-45 (Aegina); 78-82 (Corinth), and ask:
what are the differences/comparisons between the coinages of the two cities, e.g. in
metals, fabric, types, weight standard, etc.
For a useful account of economic and social conditions in the late archaic Greek world,
see also CAH2, vol.III, Part 2, pp.417-441.

Content of Class 6:
Brief lecture: Summary of the historical context of late archaic (6th. cent.) Greece: a
world of city states (Gk., poleis) such as Aegina, Corinth, Sparta, Athens.
Discussion: Early Aegean coinages: Aegina, Corinth, What are the differences/
comparisons between the coinages of the two cities?

CLASS 7. Tuesday, February 3. The Coinage of Athens (I)

Preparation for Class 7:
Read/revise on the historical background to Athens in the sixth century from any of:
Grant, pp.46-70 (Solon, Pisistratus, Cleisthenes);
Murray, ch. XIII (‘Life-styles: the Economy’), pp.220-245; pp.182-200 (Solon); pp.268-
281 (the Peisistratid tyranny and Cleisthenes);
Osborne, pp.217-225 (Solon); pp.283-285 (Pisistratus); pp.292-314 (Cleisthenes).
[Fuller accounts of Solon and Pisistratus in CAH2, vol.III, Part 2; of Cleisthenes in CAH2,
vol.IV, pp.303-325.
Read Course-pack, Item 5: N.K. Rutter, ‘Early coinage and the influence of the
Athenian state’, in B. Cunliffe (ed.), Coinage and Society in Britain and Gaul: Some
Current Problems, Council for British Archaeology, pp.1-9.

Content of Class 7:
Lecture: The history and coinage of Athens (I): the later sixth and early fifth centuries
(esp. the Pisistratids and Cleisthenes). When and why was coinage introduced at Athens?
Hoard evidence and its interpretation.

Further reading:
C.M. Kraay, ‘The archaic owls of Athens: classification and chronology’, The
Numismatic Chronicle, 1956, pp.43-67.
C.G. Starr, ‘A sixth-century Athenian tetradrachm used to seal a clay tablet from
Persepolis’, Numismatic Chronicle 136 (1976), pp.219-22.
C.J. Starr, The Economic and Social Growth of Early Greece, 800-500 BC (1977),
esp. chapter V, ‘Cities and coinage’, pp.97-117.

Points to consider:
The character of the archaic Greek world: why was the period important (‘perhaps the
most important period in Greek history’: Austin/Vidal Naquet)?
Outline the political and cultural developments of Athens in the sixth and fifth centuries.
Wappenmünzen, their characteristics, possible date and significance.
Weight standard(s).
‘Owls’: their nature and the date of their introduction.

CLASS 8. Thursday, February 5.       The Coinage of Athens (II).
CLASS 9. Tuesday, February 10.       The Coinage of Athens (III).

Preparation for Classes 8 and 9:
Read further: Course-pack, Item 5 (N.K. Rutter, ‘Early Greek coinage and the influence
of the Athenian state’ (1981)); and Davies, chapter V, pp.64-86 (‘The Athenian Empire’);
chapter VI, pp.87-116 (‘Athenian Society in the Fifth Century’).

Content of Classes 8 and 9:
Lectures: The history and coinage of Athens (II and III): the fifth century
Some questions: What were the political and social circumstances of Athens in the fifth
century? What sort of coins did Athens produce? For what purpose(s)? How were the
coins used? How far did Athenian coins travel? The Athenian decree on coinage,
weights and measures.
[Handout: ‘An imperial coinage’].

Further reading:
J.J. Buchanan, Theorika: a Study of Monetary Distribution to the Athenian Citizenry
during the 5th. and 4th. Centuries BC (1962).
E. Burke, ‘The economy of Athens in the classical era’, Transactions of the American
Philological Society (TAPA), 122 (1992), pp.199-226.
P. Cartledge, ‘The economy (economies) of ancient Greece, in Ancient Economy,
E.E. Cohen, Athenian Economy and Society. A Banking Perspective (1992).
J.K. Davies, Wealth and the Power of Wealth in Classical Athens (1981).
J.K. Davies, Ancient economies: models and muddles, in H. Parkins and C. Smith (eds),
Trade, Traders and the Ancient City (1998), pp.225-256.
J.K. Davies, ‘Temples, credit and the circulation of money’, in Money and its Uses,
T. Figueira, The Power of Money. Coinage and Politics in the Athenian Empire (1998).
D. Harris, The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion (1995).
L. Kallet-Marx, Money, Expense and Naval Power in Thucydides’ History 1-5.24
L. Kurke, ‘Money and mythic history: the contestation of transactional orders in the
fifth century BC’, in Ancient Economy, pp.87-113.
W.T. Loomis, Wages, Welfare Costs and Inflation in Classical Athens (1998).
T.R. Martin, ‘Coins, mints and the polis’, in M.H. Hansen (ed.), Sources for the Ancient

Greek City-State, Acts of the Copenhagen Polis Centre, vol.2 (1995), pp.257-91.
M.M. Markle, ‘Jury pay and assembly pay at Athens’, in P. Cartledge and D. Harvey
(eds), Crux: Studies Presented to G.E.M. de Ste Croix on his 75th. Birthday (1985),
I. Morris, ‘The Athenian economy twenty years after The Ancient Economy’,
Classical Philology 89 (1994), pp.351-366.
R. Osborne, ‘Pride and prejudice, sense and subsistence: exchange and society in the
Greek city’, in Ancient Economy, pp.114-132 [abridged reprint from J. Rich and A.
Wallace-Hadrill (eds), City and Country in the Ancient World (1991), pp.119-145].
D.M. Schaps, ‘The monetisation of the market-place in Athens’, in J. Andreau et al.
(eds), Prix et formation des prix dans les Économies Antiques. Entretiens d’
Archéologie et d’Histoire III (1997), pp.91-104.
W. Scheidel and S. Von Reden (eds), The Ancient Economy (2002)
R. Seaford, ‘Tragic money’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 108 (1998), pp.119-39.
K. Shipton, ‘Money and the elite in classical Athens’, Money and its Uses, pp.129-144.
C.G. Starr, Athenian Coinage 480-449 B.C. (1970).
J. Trevett, ‘Coinage and democracy at Athens’, Money and its Uses, pp.23-34.
S. von Reden, ‘Money, law and exchange: coinage in the Greek polis’, Journal of
Hellenic Studies 117 (1997), pp.154-76.
U. Wartenberg, After Marathon: War, Society and Money in Fifth-Century Greece

Points to consider:
The nature of Athenian coinage in the fifth century.
What factors helped the development of coinage in Athens in the fifth century?
What do we mean by the term ‘monetization’? To what extent did Athens become a monetized
economy in the fifth century?

CLASS 10. Thursday, February 12. Greek Colonization in the Western Mediterranean.

Preparation for Class 10:
Read: Murray, chapter V, pp.69-80 (‘Euboean Society and Trade’); chapter VII, pp.102-
123 (‘Colonization’); Course-pack, Item 6, N.K. Rutter, Greek Coinages of Southern
Italy and Sicily (1997), chapter 1, pp.1-16.

Content of Class 10:
Lecture: ‘Go west, young man’: the causes and geographical spread of Greek
colonisation in the western Mediterranean. The founder (oikistes). Relations with
neighbours. [Handouts: 2 maps of Sicily and one of southern Italy].

Further reading:
Herodotus I.163-7 (Phocaeans and the West); I.170 (advice of Bias at the time of the
Persian conquest); VI.22-4 (Samian refugees at Zankle after the Ionian revolt); VII.
153-67 (Gelon of Syracuse: the appeal of the Greeks in 480; war with the
Thucydides VI.2-5 (Greek colonization of Sicily).
For descriptions of ‘ideal’ colonial sites, see Homer, Od. VI.262-72; IX.116-41;
Xenophon, Anabasis VI.4.3ff.

J. Boardman, The Greeks Overseas, chapter 5.
M. Crawford, D. Whitehead, Archaic and Classical Greece (1983), pp.52-65.
T.J. Dunbabin, The Western Greeks (1948).
M.I. Finley, ‘Colonies – an attempt at a typology’, Transactions of the Royal Historical
Society, 5th. series, 26 (1976), pp.167-188.
M.I. Finley, Ancient Sicily to the Arab Conquest (2nd. edn., 1979), chapters 1-4.
A.J. Graham, in CAH2 III.3 (1982), chapter 37 (The colonial expansion of
Greece), at pp.94-113 (Sicily and Southern Italy); chapter 38 (The western Greeks),
Murray, chapter 7 (Colonization).
R. Osborne, ‘Early Greek colonisation? The nature of Greek settlements in the West’,
in N. Fisher and H. van Wees (eds), Archaic Greece. New Approaches and New
Evidence (1998), pp.251-270.
N.K. Rutter, ‘Sicily and South Italy, the background to Thucydides Books 6 and 7’,
Greece and Rome 33 (1986), pp.142-155.
A.G. Woodhead, The Greeks in the West (1962).

Points to consider:
What are the different kinds of evidence we have for constructing our picture of
Greek colonisation?
Definitions: What was a colony to the Greeks? How did it differ from a trading post?
What factors caused Greeks to migrate? Where to and when?

CLASS 11. Tuesday, February 17. The History and Coins of Sicily (I): Sicily in the
Archaic Period.

Preparation for Class 11:
Read Course-pack, Item 7: Pindar, First Pythian Ode; also, CAH2, vol.V, pp.147-70
(‘Sicily, 478-431’).

Content of Class 11:
Lecture: The history and coinage of Sicily (I): the period of tyrannies in the late sixth and
early fifth centuries.

Further reading:
G.K. Jenkins, Coins of Greek Sicily (2nd. edn., 1976).
N.K. Rutter, The Greek Coinages of Southern Italy and Sicily (1997).

Points to consider:
Outline of the history of Sicily in the fifth century.
Which Sicilian cities produced coins? What were their types? Assess the significance
of the types.
The history and coinage of Syracuse in particular.

CLASS 12. Thursday, February 19. The History and Coins of Sicily (II).
CLASS 13. Tuesday, February 24. The History and Coins of Sicily (III).

Preparation for Classes 12/13:
Read Course-pack, Item 8: N.K. Rutter, ‘Coin types and identity: Greek cities in Sicily’;
and Item 9: N.K. Rutter, Greek Coinages of Southern Italy and Sicily (1997), pp.143-50.

Content of Class 12/13:
Lecture: The history and coinage of Sicily (II): the later fifth century. Athenian
intervention and defeat, followed by a flowering of numismatic art in Sicily.
[Handout: the ‘Signing Artists’].

Points to consider:
Who were the ‘signing artists’? Where and when did they work? What effects did they
have on the depiction of the types on many Sicilian coins? Are we right to call them
‘artists’, or were they simply ‘craftsmen’?

CLASS 14. Thursday, February 26. The History and Coins of Southern Italy.

Preparation for class 14:
Read Course-pack, Item 10: ‘Magna Graecia’, in Kraay, ACGC, pp.161-89.

Content of Class 14:
Lecture: The history and coinages of Italy in the sixth and fifth centuries:
    Historical background
    The first (incuse) coinages
    Taras (Tarentum), Thurium, Velia, as examples of city coinages

Further reading:
N.K. Rutter (ed.), Historia Numorum: Italy (3rd. edn., 2001).

Points to consider:
Describe the ‘incuse’ coinages of southern Italy. What theories have been proposed
to explain their unique appearance?
Outline the types chosen by cities in southern Italy for their coins, and assess their

CLASS 15. Tuesday, March 3. The History and Coins of the Persian Empire.
(The order of Classes 15 and 16 may be reversed).

It’s now time to introduce the spread of coinage in the East, beginning with the Persian
Empire and its coinages.

Preparation for Class 15:
Read/revise on the history and organisation of Persian Empire. Useful are:
A. Kuhrt, The Ancient Near East, vol.2 (1995), pp.647-75 and pp.676-701.
J. Wiesehöfer, Ancient Persia 550 BC – 550 AD (1996), pp.1-101.

Content of Class 15:
Lecture: The Persian Empire and its coinages: coins issued by the Persian kings, by
satraps, by local rulers.
Handouts: Persian royal coins; Persian satraps.

Further reading:
J.M. Balcer, ‘The Greeks and the Persians: the processes of acculturation’, Historia
32 (1983), pp.257-267.
P. Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander. A History of the Persian Empire (2002), Part 3:
‘Territories, populations and the dependent economy’, pp.357-511.
A.R. Burn, Persia and the Greeks (new edn., 1984, with postscript by D.M. Lewis)
CAH2 IV, pp.1-286.
J.M. Cook, The Persian Empire (1983).

M. Crawford and D. Whitehead, Archaic and Classical Greece (1983), pp.183-232.
C. Tuplin, ‘The administration of the Achaemenid empire’, in I. Carradice (ed.), see
below, pp.109-166.

P. Naster, ‘Les monnayages satrapaux, provinciaux et régionaux dans l’empire perse
face au numéraire official des Achéménides’, in E. Lipinski (ed.), State and Temple
Economy in the Ancient Near East (1979), pp.597-604.
I. Carradice, ‘The regal coinage of the Persian empire’, in id. (ed.), Coinage and
Administration in the Athenian and Persian Empires (British Archaeological Reports
343, 1987), pp.73-108.
A.R. Meadows, ‘The administration of the Achaemenid empire’, in J. Curtis and
N. Tallis (eds), Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia (British
Museum Exhibition Catalogue, 2005), pp.181-209.

Points to consider:
The growth and organisation of the Persian empire: would it be right to say that the
empire was governed in a flexible way? What evidence do we have for that idea, and
what contribution do coins make to the total picture?
Relations between Greeks and Persians and the role of coinage.
Describe the various coinages of the Persian empire. What kinds of coins were issued?
By whom? Where? With what types? For what purpose(s)?

CLASS 16. Thursday, March 5. The Coinages of the Cypriote Kingdoms.
(The order of Classes 15 and 16 may be reversed).

Preparation for Class 16:
Read Course-pack, Item 11: V. Karageorghis, Cyprus from the Stone Age to the Romans
(1982), pp.152-166.

Content of Class 16:
In the fifth and for most of the fourth centuries BC Cyprus was part of a satrapy of the
Persian Empire. Politically, the island was divided into a number of city-states, each
ruled by its own king.
Today’s lecture on the coinages of the Cypriote kingdoms will be given by Dr. Evi
Markou, of the Numismatic Museum in Athens.
The timing of the lecture will be extended to allow for discussion.

CLASS 17. Tuesday, March 10. Philip II of Macedon.

Preparation for Class 17:
Read/revise on Philip II, from, e.g.:
J.B. Bury and R. Meiggs, A History of Greece, 4th. edition, 1975, chapter 16,
‘The rise of Macedonia’, pp.414-444.

CAH2, vol. VI, chapter 14, ‘Macedon and north-west Greece’, pp.723-790.
P.J. Rhodes, A History of the Classical Greek World (2006), ch.22, pp.294-327;

Content of Class 17:
Lecture: The kingdom of Macedon and its coinage, with particular reference to Philip II.
[Handouts: Map of Macedonia; Philip II of Macedon: the basics; Macedonian kings
of C.5 and C.4; Coins of Philip II, 1 and 2; Coins of the Chalcidian League].

Further reading:
G.L. Cawkwell, Philip II of Macedon (1978).
R.M. Errington, A History of Macedonia (1990).
G.T. Griffith, ‘The Macedonian background’, Greece and Rome 12.2 (1965),
N.G.L. Hammond, Philip of Macedon (1994).
N.G.L. Hammond, G.T. Griffith, A History of Macedonia, vol.II (550-336 B.C.) (1979),
Part 2, pp.203-726.

The standard work on the coinage of Philip II is: G. Le Rider, Monnayage d’argent
et d’or de Philippe II (1977). See also: M.J. Price, Coins of the Macedonians (1974).

Points to consider:
Describe the silver and gold coinages of Philip II.
What ‘messages’ did Philip’s coins convey? (Think about, e.g. the types and weight-
standards adopted).
What aspects of Philip’s coinage were new to the Greek world?

CLASS 18. Thursday, March 12. Alexander III, the Great.

Preparation for Class 18:
Read/revise on Alexander, from: Walbank, ch.2, pp.29-45, or any of the books listed in
‘Further Reading’ for Class 18, below.

Content of Class 18:
Lecture: Alexander III, the Great, his conquests and coinage.
[Handouts: Alexander’s march; Alexander: the basic chronology; Coins of Alexander, 1
and 2; Alexander: Income, expenditure, Mints].

Further reading:
The bibliography on Alexander is enormous. The following is a small selection
of general items:
E. Badian, ‘The administration of the empire’, pp.166-182 of ‘Various authors’,
listed below.
A.B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: the Reign of Aexander the Great (1988).
A.B. Bosworth, ‘Alexander the Great’, chapters 16 and 17 of CAH2, vol.VI (1994),

P. Green, Alexander of Macedon (1974).
S. Hornblower, The Greek World 479-323 BC (3rd. edn., 2002), ch.18.
R. Lane Fox, Alexander the Great (1973).
R.D. Milns, Alexander the Great (1968).
P.J. Rhodes, A History of the Classical Greek World (2006), chapter 24.
R. Stoneman, Alexander the Great (1997).
Various authors, Alexander the Great, Greece and Rome XII.2 (October, 1965).
I. Worthington, Alexander the Great, a Reader (2003).

The standard work on the coinage of Alexander is: M.J. Price, The Coinage in the
Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus (1991).

Points to consider:
What are the sources of information for the career of Alexander the Great (literary,
epigraphic, numismatic), and what are the problems of interpreting them?
Describe the silver and gold imperial coinages of Alexander.
What ‘messages’ were Alexander’s coins meant to convey?
Outline the development of the need to issue coins (imperial expenditure and income),
and outline the establishment of the mints that were to issue coins.
Do the coins tell us anything interesting/important about the administration of
Alexander’s empire?

CLASS 19. Tuesday, March 17. The Hellenistic World (I): Introduction.

Preparation for Class 19:
Read from Walbank, ch.3 (‘The Formation of the Kingdoms, 323-276’), pp.46-59;
Shipley, pp.36-52; A.B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire. The Reign of Alexander the
Great (1988), pp.174-181.

Content of Class 19:
Lecture: The shaping of the Hellenistic world and the emergence of Hellenistic kingship.
[Handout: map of the Hellenistic world].

Points to consider:
How would you define the Hellenistic world, in terms of its chronological span, its
geographical extent, its organisation and its cultures? How ‘Greek’ was it?
What kinds of evidence contribute to our picture of Hellenistic kingship?

CLASS 20. Thursday, March 19. The Hellenistic World (II): Royal Ideology.

Preparation for Class 20:
Read: Any selection of items in the ‘Further reading’ for this class listed below.
For short introductions to the evidence of the coins, see: Austin, pp.9-17; Shipley,

Content of Class 20:
Lecture: The Hellenistic World, Royal Ideology

Further reading:
On coins, consult:
N. Davies and C.M. Kraay, The Hellenistic Kingdoms. Portrait Coins and History
O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage from the Accession of Alexander to the Peace
of Apamea (336-188 B.C.) (1991).

For an illuminating variety of epigraphic and other evidence, consult:
Austin, General Index, under ‘Monarchy’.

P. Bilde et al. (eds), Aspects of Hellenistic Kingship (1996).
K. Bringmann, ‘The king as benefactor’, in A.W. Bulloch et al. (eds), Images and
Ideologies: Self-definition in the Hellenistic World (1993), pp.7-24.
A. Chaniotis, ‘The divinity of Hellenistic rulers’, in Erskine, chapter 25, pp.431-445.
M. Grant, From Alexander to Cleopatra: the Hellenistic World (1982), ref.
P.Green, From Alexander to Actium (1990), chapter 12.
J. Ma, ‘Kings’, in Erskine, chapter 11, pp.177-195.
A. Samuels, ‘The Ptolemies and the ideology of kingship’, in P. Green (ed.),
Hellenistic History and Culture (1993), pp.168-210.
Shipley, pp.59-86, 156-163
R.R.R. Smith, Hellenistic Royal Portraits (1988).
R.R.R. Smith, ‘Kings and philosophers’, in A.W. Bulloch et al. (eds), Images and
Ideologies: Self-definition in the Hellenistic World (1994), pp.202-211.
A. Stewart, Faces of Power: Alexander’s Image and Hellenistic Politics (1993).
F.W. Walbank, in CAH2, vol.VII.1, chapter 3, pp.87-99.

Points to consider:

What were the characteristics of Hellenistic kingship, and how are they illustrated by the

CLASS 21. Tuesday, March 24. The Hellenistic World (III): the Ptolemaic Kingdom

Preparation for Class 21:
Read: Walbank, ch.6 (‘Ptolemaic Egypt’). Pp.100-122; D.J. Thompson, ‘The Ptolemies
and Egypt’, in Erskine, chapter 7, pp.105-120.
G. Reger, ‘The Economy’, in Erskine, ch.20, pp.331-353, esp. 346-353.

Content of Class 21:
Lecture: The Ptolemaic Kingdom (Egypt).
Handout: O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage (1991), Plate VI (Ptolemy I and

Further reading:
G. Hölbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire (2001).
C. Préaux, L’économie royale des Lagides (1939).
G.Reger, ‘The Economy’, in Erskine, chapter 20, pp.331-353.
Shipley, pp.224-230 (Egypt);
G. Shipley, ‘World-systems analysis and the Hellenistic world’, in P. Bilde (ed.),
Centre and Periphery in the Hellenistic World (1993), pp.271-284.
Walbank, chapter 9, pp.159-175.

Points to consider:
The development of the coinage of the Hellenistic kingdom of Egypt (consider, for
example, what the coins can tell us about the progression of Ptolemy from satrap to king:
portraits, choice of types other than portraits, weight standards, monetary policy).

CLASS 22. Thursday, March 26. The Hellenistic World (IV): the Seleucid Kingdom

Preparation for Class 22:
Michel Austin, ‘The Seleukids and Asia’, in Erskine, chapter 8, pp.121-133; Shipley,
pp.272-286, 296-301 (Seleucids).

Content of Class 22:
The coinage of the early Seleucid kings.
Handout: O. Mørkholm, Plate VIII (Seleucus I and the East).

Further reading:

G.G. Aperghis, The Seleukid Royal Economy (2004).
Z. Archibald et al. (eds), Hellenistic Economies (2001).
M.M. Austin, ‘Hellenistic kings, war and the economy’, Classical Quarterly 36
(1986), pp.450-466.

J.K. Davies, ‘Cultural, social and economic features of the Hellenistic world’, in
CAH2, vol.VII.1 (1984), pp.257-320.
S. Sherwin-White and A. Kuhrt, From Samarkand to Sardis: a New Approach to
The Seleucid Empire (1993).

Points to consider: How did Seleucus I and his immediate successors establish coinage
in their kingdom? Compare and contrast their innovations and policies with those of
Ptolemy I (portraits, choice of types other than portraits, weight standards).


The coursework that you are required to do for this course, making up 30% of your total
mark for the course, consists of one essay of 3,000 words. The deadline by which you
must submit your essay is: Friday, March 27, at 12 noon.
You should hand in your essay to the Classics Secretary (Jill Shaw) in Room DHT 5.02.
The following is a list of topics that you may wish to choose from. However, you can
also write your essay on a topic not listed here, but ONLY after you have DISCUSSED

Essay Topics:

1. How would you define the word ‘monetization’? Would it be true to say that the
Greek world was ‘monetized’ by 400 BC?

2. Greek coins do not normally bear dates, and they rarely attest to specific historical
events. In what ways, then, can the study of Greek coins illuminate the study of Greek

3. What do we know about the reasons why coins were issued in the Greek world?

4. Compare the evidence provided by the Persepolis Archives (Fortification Tablets and
Treasury Tablets) on the one hand and the coins on the other, for the administration of the
Persian Empire. To what extent do the two groups of evidence complement or contradict
one another?

5. Compare and contrast the organisation of coinage in the Persian empire and in the
empire of Alexander the Great.

6. In his review (in Bryn Mawr Classical Review) of The Cambridge Companion to the
Hellenistic World (2006), David Madsen writes: ‘The editor notes the absence of a
contemporary, complete history for the period, but points in particular to archaeology,
papyrology, and numismatics (the last scarcely mentioned again by anyone [among the
contributors to the book]) as major sources of new information.’
What contributions do you think numismatics can make to the study of the Hellenistic


The degree examination will consist of a 2-hour paper, with two sections:
Section A (50% of the total degree exam mark).
You are required to discuss the numismatic and historical significance of two (from a
choice of six) pieces of ancient evidence (texts or images).
Section B (50% of the total degree exam mark).
You are required to answer one (from a choice of six) essay questions.


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