Skip to main content

Society of Classical Studies 155th Annual Meeting

JANUARY 4-7, 2024


Call for Papers for Panel Sponsored by the

Friends of Numismatics

Coins, Copies, and Prototypes

Organized by Roberta Stewart (Dartmouth College) and Nathan Elkins (American Numismatic Society)

Every element of coin design (legend, portrait, symbols, and their placement) is a product of conscious selection and also of coining traditions. The images on coins relate directly to other visual media and traditions in the time and place that they were made. Coins also carry words that mirror epigraphic conventions and models. Together, word and image on coins reflect political, social, and cultural ideas iterated in ancient prose and poetry. As mass-produced objects used in commerce, coins were a primary means of communication and they and their designs were subject to copying and imitation. Copies and near copies of ancient coins could be made by communities for various reasons or by individuals seeking illegal profits. Some coins and their designs also served as prototypes for later numismatic designs to recall particular concepts, especially in a political context.
Historians, archaeologists, numismatists have studied coin design across time and place, both the re-use of types or the use of modified types, in order to plot manufacture, to track cross-cultural communication, as well as to study historical processes of continuity and change. The study of types, copies, imitations, and prototypes also allows scholars to consider the function of coins to communicate, their intelligibility, within and across cultures.
Coins, Copies, and Prototypes seeks papers that address the myriad ways that coins reflect, mediate, transform, and communicate ideas related in other visual or textual media, or how those other media might have been influenced by the coinage. We are also interested in papers that address the phenomenon of copying itself, whether it be coins drawing from other numismatic prototypes or from models in the visual arts or literature. We also welcome papers that explore the role of ancient fakes and forgeries.

Questions may be directed to Roberta Stewart ( or Nathan Elkins (

Please send abstracts for a 15-20 minute paper by email to Roberta Stewart (Dartmouth College) at Deadline: March 1, 2023. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words and follow the SCS guidelines for individual abstracts (see the SCS Guidelines
for Authors of Abstracts). Please do not identify yourself in any way in the abstract itself. The organizers will review all submissions anonymously, and their decision will be communicated to the authors of abstracts by early March, with enough time that those whose abstracts are not chosen can participate in the individual abstract submission process for the upcoming SCS meeting.