Eastern Coins in the Early Modern World: Antiquarianism and the Oriental Artifact 1500-1800, Trujillo, Spain, September 26–29, 2017
CALL FOR PAPERS
Martin Mulsow (Erfurt), Stefan Heidemann (Hamburg)
Fundación Xavier de Salas / Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel
From the 15th to the 18th century, collecting, studying antique coins and exchanging them as gifts was an antiquarian interest and a social pattern among scholars and learned individuals, even princes. Numismatics was regarded as a comparatively inexpensive approach for the reconstruction of history and as a token of memory of the vanished glory of antiquity, its history, its customs, and its institutions. The centers of imagination were almost invariably Rome and Greece, the worlds of the two classical languages. But in the course of the re-discovery of Oriental languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic and Arabic and some more), erudite individuals turned also their attention to the Oriental artefacts and as the most accessible of all, coins.
Some of them even published short articles on coins and commenting them such as Johann Heinrich Hottinger De nummis orientalium (1659), Hermann Conring Paradoxa de nummis Hebraeorum (1675), Otto Sperling De nummis non cusis (1700), Jakob Rhenferd Periculum Phoenicium (1706), and Adrian Reland De nummis Hebraeorum (1709). The first monograph, even scholarly in the modern sense, was authored and illustrated by Georg Jakob Kehr Monarchiae Asiatico-Saracenicae Status (1724). He described a hoard of Kufic Dirhams with almost accurate descriptions and its provenance from the vicinity of Gdansk. This monographs stands even at the beginning of Islamic archaeology. In Spain Bernardo Aldrete studied already in 1614 in Varias antiguedades de España, Africa y otras prouincias Punic coins. But Vincenzio Juan de Lastanosa’s Museu de las medallas desconoçidas Espannolas (1645) was the first witness of this antiquarian curiosity in Islamic coins. Recent studies showed that in order to go further back to the origins of early modern interest in Oriental artefacts and coins in particular, we have to go beyond the printed matter and step down into archives and study manuscripts and letters.
The proposed conference in Trujillo likes to explore the early beginnings of western ‘Orientalism’ with an artefact, comparatively abundant in Europe: coins? The conference will be held in Trujillo, a beautiful medieval and Renaissance city in the Estremadura. Conference language will be English. The program will include an excursion to Cáceres. A conference volume will be published in the series of the Herzog-August-Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
One or two papers can be sponsored with travel and accommodation. Please submit your CV title of the presentation and abstract until July 15, 2017, to Martin Mulsow (email@example.com) or Stefan Heidemann (Stefan.firstname.lastname@example.org).