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Krakow Conference on Coinage in Imperial Space

May 11, 2017 – The second book of the pseudo-Aristotelian ‘Oikonomika’ famously divides economies into four types: Royal (basiliké), Satrapal (satrapiké), Civic (politiké) and Personal (idiotiké). As a theoretical examination of the nature of economies in the ancient Greek world it is all but unique. Although generally given to late 4th century BC, and the school of Aristotle, it is clear from the structure and the terminology of this broad analysis that it was written certainly with the Achaemenid Empire and its satrapal institutions in mind, even if it does belong to the period of foundation of the first Macedonian kingdoms in the East. It is thus a text of capital importance for the investigation of the transition from the practices of the Persian Empire to the Greeks. 

In this context, its discussion of monetary administration becomes a matter of potentially major significance in the interpretation of the nature and role of coinage in this period of profound change. The administration of coinage, for the author of this treatise, belongs solely in the realm of the King. This presupposition raises a number of questions. Is this true for the period of Achaemenid reign over coin-producing areas? It has become conventional among numismatists to attribute coinages to cities, satraps, ‘karanoi’, minor kings and dynasts as well as to the Great King himself. Do we need to re-think the categorisation of these coinages? Do we need to reassess the agents behind these coinages and their ability to strike coinage? Or is the ‘Oikonomika’ simply wrong? And what about the years after Alexander’s conquest? Can the new world of his empire and the kingdoms that immediately followed provide a better or different context for the assumption so strongly asserted in the ‘Oikonomika’? Did the post-Achaemenid world see a transformation in the role and nature of coinage on the new imperial territories? Did coinage become the prerogative or concern of the king alone? Did the Macedonian conquest mark a period of massive change in the monetary administration of large imperial territories?

The conference ‘Coinage in Imperial Space. Continuity or change from the Acheamenid to Hellenistic kingdoms?’ is designed to arrange a dispute over these questions and to discuss other issues related to the monetary administration of the Mediterranean Achaemenid empire and of Alexander the Great and the early successor kingdoms. It will in part take a regional approach by asking experts in specific regions to examine the coinages either side of the conquest and apply the filter of ps.-Aristotle to the data they find there. Historians and historians of the economy will attend it either to set this specifically monetary history against a broader framework of administrative and economic practices from the ‘Achaemenid’ to the ‘Hellenistic’ period.

This is the preliminary programme: 

Thursday, 29th June
Start: 9.15
9.15-9.30 Welcome; Jaroslaw Bodzek and Andrew Meadows 

Session 1 (chair Michael Alram)
9.30-10.00 Andrew Meadows: “Coinage in Imperial Space: Control, Convention or Chaos?”
10.00-10.30 Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert: “The Royal Lydian Coinage before Croesus: Walwet and Kukalim”
10.30-11.00 Christopher Tuplin: “Of darics, disks, staters and Samarians: some issues in Achaemenid imperial space”
11.00-11.15 Discussion
11.15-11.45. Coffee break 

Session 2 (chair Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert)
11.15-11.45 Jaroslaw Bodzek: “King, Satraps, Local Dynasts and Cities in Achaemenid Imperial Space – Pseudo Aristotle’s Oikonomika and Numismatic Reality”
11.45-12.15 Ute Wartenberg Kagan: “A New Persian Coinage of the Archaic and Classical Period”
12.15-12.45 Bernhard Weisser: “The Hoard of Demanhur and the Persian Empire. Remarks on Late Archaic and Early Classic Coinage”
12.45-13.00 Discussion
13.00-15. 00 Lunch break 

Session 3 (chair Ute Wartenberg Kagan)
15.00-15.30 Selene Psoma: “The SYN (symmachikon) Coinage of the Classical Period. Agesilaus versus Lysander”
15.30-16.00 Koray Konuk: “Two Case Studies in Coinage and Imperial Space: Caria and Lycia under the Achaemenids”
16.00-16.30 François de Callatay: “Not civic but imperial: the abundant silver coinages in the name of Pamphylian and Cilician cities (c. 450-333 BC)”
16.30-17.00 Frédérique Duyrat: “Money in Transeuphratene during the Achaemenid Period”
17.00-17.30. General Discussion
18.00-20.00 Opening exhibition “Coin and Empire. From Achaemenids to Hellenistic Kingdoms” 

Friday, 30th June
Session 4 (chair Frédérique Duyrat)
9.00-9.30. Peter van Alfen: “Payment, Profit or Prestige? The Rationalities of Coin Production in (Post-) Achaemenid Imperial Space”
9.30-10.00. Mariusz Mielczarek
“Paying Mercenaries. In Imperial Space and not only”
10.00-10.30 Haim Gitler and Oren Tal: “Fourth-century BC Indigenous Coinages in Palestine. Towards an Understanding of Achaemenid-Macedonian Monetary Administration”
10.30-10.45. Discussion
10.45-11.15 Coffee break 

Session 5 (chair Peter van Alfen)
11.15-11.45 Evangeline Markou: “The Kings of Cyprus from Achaemenid to Hellenistic Rule: an Autonomous Royal Coinage?”
11.45-12.15 Ulrike Peter: „Die Umbrüche in der Münzversorgung in der zweiten Hälfte des 4. Jh. v. Chr. in Thrakien: Überblick und Diskussion“
12.15-12.45 Panagiotis Iossif: “Between East and West: The Origin of Alexander's Zeus Aetophoros. A Greek or an Oriental Model?"
12.45-13.00 Discussion
13.00-15. 00 Lunch break 

Session 6 (chair François de Callatay)
15.00-15.30 Marek Jan Olbrycht: “The India-related Coins of Alexander the Great: New Insights”
15.30-16.00 Karsten Dahmen: “Money and Legitimacy after Alexander”
16.00-16.30 Slawomir Sprawski: “Shaping the Past. The Royal Coinage and the Process of Formation of the Macedonian State”
16.30-17.00 Alicja Jurkiewicz: “Dynastic Myths and Legends in the Hellenistic East in the Case of Seleucid and Bactrian Coin Iconography”
17.00-17.30 Aleksandra Jankowska: “Coinage in the Civic Space of the Hellenistic Polis. Continuity or Change?”
17.30-18.00 General Discussion
18.00-18.30 Michael Alram: “Conclusions”
18.30. End of conference

Conference Venue: The Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum, 12 Józefa Pilsudskiego Street, 31-109 Krakow, Poland

To register until 31st May 2017, please click here.

For more information visit the Conference’s website.

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