17 Aprile 2023 - 18 Aprile 2023
Silver coinage formed the backbone of state finance in Classical antiquity. The fineness and quality of a coinage is often taken by historians to be a comment on the fiscal health of the issuing state, yet very little is really known about its fineness and chemical composition, and many of the existing analyses are inadequate to answer key questions. The aim of the RACOM project is to examine financial and monetary strategies from c. 150 BCE to a major coin reform in c. 64 CE – a period that witnessed the creation of an overarching currency for the Mediterranean world and increasing monetisation – by providing a detailed and reliable set of analyses of the chemical composition of all major silver coinages of the period, obtained by taking samples from deep within the coins.
In the fourth year of the project, as the analytical section of the RACOM project draws to a close, the team are hosting a two-day international conference on ‘Rome and the Coinages of the Mediterranean’, with 20 invited speakers, composed of team members, postdocs, members of our advisory panel and other experts in the field, who are collaborating with the team on interpreting the new data.
The conference is being held at the British School at Rome, with which the University of Warwick has strong links. Placing it in Rome raises the international profile of the project and pays homage to the city from which many of the coinages studied originated.
The RACOM project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 835180).
Professor Kevin Butcher & Maxine Haddleton – The University of Warwick, England, Department of Classics and Ancient History