(Week 2) Tuesday 17th October
'Mouse-Killing Apollo and His Coinage: New Light on the Mint of Alexandreia Troas in the Hellenistic Period' - Dr Aneurin Ellis-Evans, Lecturer in Ancient History, Brasenose College.
Abstract This talk will discuss how, in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, the city of Alexandreia Troas in north-west Turkey produced a long-running silver coinage in the name of a local deity, Apollo Smintheus, who is first attested in the opening lines of Homer's Iliad. The talk will present work in progress on the wealth of new evidence we have for this series which sheds light on the history of Alexandreia Troas during the period of Rome's conquest of the Greek East.
(Week 4) Tuesday 31st October
'Deconstructing a Design: John Flaxman's Lion in India' - Dr Shailendra Bhandare, Assistant Keeper, South Asia and Banknotes, Heberden Coin Room.
Abstract The talk will deal with the 'life' of a famous numismatic design - 'Lion and Palm tree' by John Flaxman. He was a famous British sculptor of early 19th century, a contemporary of Josiah Wedgwood and J M W Turner. He is known for his role in the neo-classical revival, and contributed vastly to funerary sculpture across the country. This design by him was chosen to go on the coins of the East India Company and in India, has had a curious and interesting life of its own. The 'Great Seal' of the Reserve Bank of India, is designed after it, for example. My talk will illustrate how visual stereotypes play a role in the design and its deployment and how the process can be seen in a historical context.
(Week 6) Tuesday 14th November
'"Re-membering" the Coinage of the First Jewish Revolt' - Michael Economou, DPhil candidate, Ancient History, Wolfson College.
Abstract From 66-70 CE, the rebel authorities of the First Jewish Revolt minted coins. Almost two millennia later, these coins are among the most enduringly popular objects from Classical antiquity, and have come to represent Judaism, rebellion against authority and the State of Israel. Partly as a result of their continuing symbolic importance, however, they have often been inserted into wider national and religious narratives, and anachronistically divorced from the visual world they were originally created and used in. In this paper, I will attempt to restore these coins to their material contexts, considering both their place within regional and local artistic trends and their deposition. This will involve examining a wide range of evidence, including several generations of Jewish coins (from the Hasmonean era down to Roman Procurator coins), inscriptions, wall paintings and excavation reports. It will be argued that this approach can fill some of the gaps left by traditional studies, which have generally focused on the coins' supposed 'ideological' significance.
(Week 9) Monday 4th December
Coin Handling Session, Ashmolean Museum: Coins of Aksum - Dr. Shailendra Bhandare, Assistant Keeper, South Asia and Banknotes, Heberden Coin Room.