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Title: Local elites and local coinage : elite self-representation on the provincial coinage of Asia 31 BC- AD 275
Author: Bennett, Robert George
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 0930
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The focus of this thesis is the nature of the interaction between the civic elites and the civic coinage for which they were responsible. The Roman Province of Asia provides the ideal context for the study of local elites and their coinage because of the prevalence and prominence of the names of individual local notables, henceforth known as eponyms, recorded in civic coin legends. By combining the study of the function of coin eponyms and the prosopographical analysis of individual eponyms in the epigraphic record, it is possible to identify and explain the profound changes that affected civic coin production in the first three centuries AD. Local elites perceived coinage not only in terms of a functional means of exchange, but as a medium for personal and civic display. In this way the local elites exploited coin iconography in ways that paralleled other media of monumental display. New coin legends were developed, which identified explicitly the dedicatory nature of the coinage and the iconographic repertoire of coin types was radically expanded to express the cultural agendas and priorities of the civic elites. The first half of the thesis is devoted to the study of the relationship between office holding and coinage and the development of coin legend formulae during the first three centuries AD. The pattern and distribution of the various legend formulae is analysed in order to determine the extent of the eponym’s involvement in the production of coinage. In particular, this section intends to establish the extent to which coinage production was funded privately. The fourth chapter is arranged into a series of case studies discussing individual cases of personalized coin iconography. The final chapter of the thesis outlines how the civic elite’s conceptualization of coinage changed over the course of this period. It is argued that contact with the Roman monetary tradition affected civic elites’ attitude to coinage and that this manifested itself in the iconography and the fabric of the coins themselves.
Supervisor: Howgego, Chris ; Thonemann, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of the ancient world ; Ancient Numismatics ; Roman Asia Minor ; Roman Provincial Elites