News and Events: Archive:

The Development of Roman Republican Coinage:
The Louis Bishop III Lecture - Tues. Sept. 27, 2005 at 5:00 pm

Professor Ernst Badian, John Moors Cabot Professor of History Emeritus at Harvard University will deliver the annual Louis Faugéres Bishop III lecture at Rutgers University Libraries, "The Development of Roman Republican Coinage," on September 27, 2005.

Professor Badian is the author of six books and over 200 articles in the field of ancient history, as well as the founder, and, until 2001, the editor of the American Journal of Ancient History. Born in Austria and educated in New Zealand, Professor Badian taught at universities in England and in the United States before coming to Harvard in 1971. He received the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Arts in 1999.

The lecture celebrates the opening of an important exhibition, "Early Coinage of the Roman Republic," which will be on display at the Special Collections and University Archives Gallery, Rutgers University Libraries, from September 27 until December 31, 2005. Acquired over six decades, the Rutgers collection of Roman coins is remarkable for its comprehensiveness, historical value, and the fine condition of individual pieces, making the university an important locus for research and teaching in this area. The collection comprises over 550 coins, the earliest dating from before 300 B.C.E. and the latest to the late first century B.C.E., and we have chosen about one hundred and fifty of the most interesting and illustrative of these coins for our exhibition.

The exhibition will have three major themes: the evolution of the technical aspects of Republican Rome's coinage (for instance, minting practices, and the emergence and patterns of use of various coin denominations); political and social developments of the early Roman Republican period as reflected in the coinage; and rare and unusual coins in the Rutgers collection. Taken as a whole, the collection contains practically every significant coin issue of the earlier Republican period. Of particular interest is the sudden appearance of "personal" types in the mid-second century B.C.E., when individuals who held the annual post of moneyer start to replace traditional generic imagery with highly individualistic (indeed propagandistic) representations meant to aggrandize themselves and their families. The exhibition amply shows how this tendency intensified during our chosen time period.

The lecture and following reception will be held at 5:00 p.m. in the Scholarly Communication Center on the fourth floor of the Archibald Stevens Alexander Library at 169 College Avenue in New Brunswick. To RSVP, please contact or call (732) 932-7505. For more information or to arrange a tour of the exhibition, please contact Fernanda Perrone, Head, Exhibitions Program, at (732) 932 7006 x363 or at

This exhibition and public program are made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Posted September 15, 2005