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Different Metals, Different Needs?

11 dec 2018 15:00 - 12 dec 2018 18:00
Institut d'études avancées de Paris
17 quai d'Anjou
Hôtel de Lauzun
75004 Paris

Coinage in Western and Mediterranean Europe (5th–8th centuries)

Conference organized by Ruth Pliego (University of Seville / Paris IAS 2017-2018) and Marc Bompaire (EPHE | PSL), with the support of the Paris IAS and the SAPRAT Laboratory


The Germanic kingdoms, as successors of the Roman Empire, were attached to many aspects of the Roman tradition and tried to perpetuate them, and one of the most important was the production of gold and silver coinage as an expression of power and prestige. Numismatic researchers have had at their disposal an important repertoire of precious metal coins from different kingdoms coming from finds and old collections due to the interest and value of these pieces. Nevertheless, besides the high-quality issues in precious metals, the numismatic repertoire of this period also includes small and humble pieces with crude technique and general poor state of preservation which may explain their near-total absence from ancient excavation inventories. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, currently we count with many ensembles of these bronze coins –generally known as minimi–, even the material is in itself problematic, essentially due to the large amount of cleaning and restoring involved, so this material is sent to the ‘back of the queue’ in the priorities of the Museums, which explains why so many of the specimens are reported to feature ineligible legends, this has hampered their analysis and publication.

The different monetary metals do not imply different methods of manufacture but probably a different way of approaching the production of coinage and certainly a different care. However, minting different metals may involve different issuing authorities, and generally and almost certainly involves different social uses and different dispersion of coins. Broadly speaking, we would have different environments of coin circulation that rarely match exactly: the coinage in precious metals, principally in gold, minted for every kingdom and is used principally (but not only) in a ‘regional’ economy of gifts, being, thus, limited in explaining the market economy, and on the other hand, the minimi, minted by diverse authorities unlike the gold and silver coins, circulated all mixed together during the sixth and seventh century, and likely extended beyond that period. The wide circulation of these minimi through the Mediterranean indicates that they played an essential role in the economic life of the period.

This Study Day is focused to show the coin repertoire of the Early Middle Ages in several metals and in the different areas of Europe, and trying to establish a nexus between them up to the first decades of the eight century which leads to important changes, that will be notably accentuated with the sudden Umayyad conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and the rise of the Carolingian Empire.




Tuesday, December 11th

15h00 - 15h30   Opening by Saadi Lahlou, director of the Paris IAS
                             Presentation of the conference by Marc Bompaire and Ruth Pliego

Session 1 : Le cadre général : point de départ et point de référence

15h30 - 16h00   L’empire romain au Ve siècle : déchu, ruiné ou en train de se transformer ?
Sabine Panzram, Universität Hamburg

16h00 - 16h30   Εntre unité et fragmentation : les systèmes monétaires méditerranéens (Ve-VIIIe siècle)
Cécile Morrisson, AIBL, Paris

16h30 - 17h00   Break                                                             

Session 2 : En s’éloignant de la Méditerranée

17h00 - 17h30   Life after Rome: The changing monetary landscape of early Medieval Northern and Central Europe
David Wigg-Wolf, ­DAI Frankfurt am Main

17h30 - 18h00   Changer de métaux, changer de besoins ? Angleterre, la Méditerranée et la mer du Nord au VIIe siècle
Rory Naismith, King's College London

18h00 - 18h30   General discussion                                   


Wednesday, December 12th

Session 3 : L’Italie : or, argent et bronze, approches politiques, régionales, chronologiques

9h00 - 9h30   Coins, metal scrap... or both?: coin finds from the Early-medieval castrum of San Martino-Lomaso (Trento)
Andrea Saccocci, Università di Udine

9h30 - 10h00   La moneta in Italia alla fine dell'età antica
Michele Asolati, Università di Padova

10h00 - 10h30   Le bronze dans la circulation monétaire de l'Italie ostrogothe et byzantine (VIe-VIIe s.)
Alessia Rovelli, Università di Tuscia

10h30 - 11h00   Break                                                               

Session 4 : La Gaule

11h30 - 12h00   La circulation des différents métaux en Gaule méridionale
Vincent Geneviève, INRAP Toulouse / Guillaume Sarah, CNRS IRAMAT Orléans

12h00 - 12h30   Les argentei et leur diffusion en Gaule aux Ve et VIe siècles Guillaume Blanchet, Université de Caen / Guillaume Sarah, CNRS IRAMAT Orléans

12h30 - 13h00   Discussion

13h00 - 14h30   Lunch Break                                                        

Session 5 : La Péninsule Ibérique

14h30 - 15h00   Les métaux monétaires de l'Hispania wisigothique : or, argent et bronze
Ruth Pliego, Universidad de Sevilla

15h00 - 15h30   Gold, copper, silver and lead: the metals of the Umayyad conquest of the Iberian Peninsula
Tawfiq Ibrahim, RAH Madrid

15h30 - 16h00   L’argent des Omeyyades : le monnayage des émirs indépendants d’al-Andalus
Sébastien Gasc, Institut National Universitaire Jean-François Champollion, Albi

16h00 - 16h30   Break

16h30 - 17h00   La transition médiévale : en guise de conclusion
Marc Bompaire, EPHE PSL Paris

17h00 - 18h00   Discussion


Date dépassée
'Pocket Money'. The Circulation of the Minimi in the Mediterranean Sea in the Early Middle Age
01 October 2017 - 30 June 2018
12 Dec 2018 18:00
Ruth Pliego
Conferences and workshops
Middle ages
Western Europe