In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Greek and Roman Numismatics

  • Introduction
  • Bibliographies
  • Coins and Archaeology

Classics Greek and Roman Numismatics
Oliver D. Hoover
  • LAST REVIEWED: 30 September 2011
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 September 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0143


The coins struck by the ancient Greeks and Romans have been a subject of scholarly interest since at least the 16th century, but there is evidence that they were collected and studied already in Antiquity and the medieval period. Much early inquiry revolved around the attribution of portrait coins to well-known historical figures and the appreciation of the ancient die engraver’s art. The modern study of Greek and Roman coinage, however, is heavily nuanced. It requires an understanding of the information conveyed by the coin as object in the form of its iconography, epigraphy, metrology, and metallurgy as well as an understanding of the relationship of the single coin to others produced from the same dies, to others with which it was found in a hoard context, or to features and objects with which it was associated in an archaeological context. From such an understanding it is possible to reach conclusions or raise new questions about the political, economic, technological, artistic, and cultural milieus in which the coins were produced and functioned.


In addition to the important bibliographical collections Clain-Stefanelli 1985, Daehn 2001, and Grierson 1979, the most current bibliographies (often with abstracts) can be found in Numismatic Literature and the Survey of Numismatic Literature.

  • Clain-Stefanelli, E. E. 1985. Numismatic bibliography. Munich: Battenberg.

    The most important general bibliography of numismatic monographs and articles, including ancient numismatics.

  • Daehn, William E. 2001. Ancient Greek numismatics: A guide to reading and research; A bibliography of works written in English with summaries of their contents. Cold Springs, MN: Davissons.

    A useful bibliography for Greek numismatics but restricted in scope by the exclusion of items written in languages other than English.

  • Grierson, Philip. 1979. Bibliographie numismatique. 2d ed. Brussels: Cercle d’Études numismatiques.

    In French. A general numismatic bibliography, including ancient numismatics, now superseded by Clain-Stefanelli 1985.

  • Numismatic Literature.

    The annual numismatic bibliographical publication of the American Numismatic Society, often including abstracts.

  • Survey of Numismatic Literature.

    The numismatic bibliographical publication of the International Numismatic Commission. Includes critical discussion of the works cited. Published every six years.

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