cnrs maison de l'orient site numismatique


Description of the program, methodology

A historical reality guides the documentary collection. The coinage of the Roman Empire is preserved at the core of the great numismatic collections that were created in the 16th century and that have been unceasingly enriched over time (ca. 90% of the documentation). In Paris, London, Vienna, Berlin, Budapest, Milan, etc. is concentrated a monetary documentation that is of unparalleled richness but largely unpublished.
This primary documentation, this essential source for the history of the Roman Empire, thus remains inaccessible to research and to the public – to the historians, archaeologists, specialists in the history of religions and of ideas, economists, etc. – called upon to deal with this indispensable resource. One must go to these great collections to search it.

Roman imperial coinage is studied under its two aspects, the “central” coinage and the “provincial” coinage. The former, with Latin legends, was controlled by a centralized administration and issued by a network of workshops that became denser in the third century, mostly near its principal consumer, the Roman army.

The latter, generally with Greek legends, was issued by a multiplicity of cities in which the number of workshops also exploded in the third century, particularly under the Severans. The ANR project covers the preparation of these two corpora: Central Roman coinage of the “crisis of the third century” 268-295 AD (Partner 1. Sylviane Estiot CNRS dir.); Roman provincial coinage of the Severan dynasty 193-222 AD (Partner 2. Michel Amandry BNF dir. )

The ANR program presented here will be centered on three points:

a) the documentary collection and its methodological options
b) the work of publishing and scientific development
c) the placement of the documentation at the disposal of the scientific community.