Cities, Emperors and Popes: Coinage and the construction of identity in Antiquity and the Early modern Period
Coins and identity are intricately linked. Cities and rulers used coinage to strengthen a sense of collective identity, both in the ancient Roman world and the Early modern period. In both periods coins and medals were deployed to create or strengthen a collective frame of reference, by which an appeal was made to unity and continuity. In this way, emperors and popes aimed to legitimize their position of power. Coinage and the construction of a collective identity were crucial for reigning effectively.
This ten-day course in Rome focuses on the role of coins and medals in the process of identity formation in the Roman world as well as in the early modern period from a comparative perspective. The main questions that will be addressed during the course are: How can we use coinage to study the identities of cities and larger politicogeographical areas on the one hand and identities of emperors and dynasties on the other hand? Who issued the coins and the medals? Who used them? Could the messages on coins target specific audiences? What was the influence of tradition on the messages spread by this medium? What do we gain from comparing coins from different periods (antiquity and the early modern era), different types of rule (city states and empires) and different scales (local and imperial)?
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