Numismatic Course: Coins & the City

KNIR Course for (R)MA and PhD students

In collaboration with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) at Rome, the John Felice Rome Center of Loyola University Chicago and the Dutch National Research School for Classical Studies (OIKOS)

20 – 30 September 2019 (Rome) Deadline for application: 1 July 2019

Course content

Roman coins provide glimpses into the urban past: they often bear images of buildings and monuments that stood, and are sometimes still standing, in the city of Rome. Similarly, Early Modern papal medals also display ancient and contemporary architecture as well as views of the entire urban landscape. This course deals with the use of these particular coins and medals as historical sources. Consisting of material, iconographic and textual evidence, all merged in one object, coins and medals offer a wealth of information to historians of all periods in which they were used. This course challenges students to decipher and interpret the information these exceptional sources provide, with a specific focus on the social, political and cultural history of the city of Rome in Antiquity and the Early Modern period.

In this ten-day course in Rome the following questions will be addressed: What is the significance of the images on the coins and medals in the specific historical context in which they were produced? How were the images of the coins and medals perceived by their users? How can we connect the information that the coins and medals give us with other material and textual sources? What are the similarities and differences between ancient Roman coins and papal medals regarding the ways in which we can use them as a historical source?

The course will provide students with theoretical knowledge on the use of coins and medals as a historical source, as well as on different numismatic methods. In addition, practical knowledge about coin production and skills in coin identification will be gained through workshops and ‘hands on’ sessions in museums.


Drs. Paul Beliën (Amsterdam), Dr. Liesbeth Claes (Leiden), Dr. Nathan Elkins (Baylor), Dr. Martin Hirsch (München), Prof. Dr. Fleur Kemmers (Frankfurt am Main), Dr. Erika Manders (Nijmegen), Dr. Marleen Termeer (Amsterdam).

Coordinator KNIR -Dr. Tesse Stek

Target groups

MA-, RMA students and PhD candidates in (Ancient) History, Art History, Classics and Archaeology from the KNIR partner universities (UvA, VU, UL, UU, RU and RUG) as well as from German universities. The course is part of the OIKOS education program for PhD students. No specific knowledge of Greek or Latin language is required.

Form of education
  1.  Seminars and lectures
  2.  Individual study and research (under supervision) in the library of     the KNIR, DAI andIstituto Italiano di Numismatica;
  3.  Workshops on numismatic methods;
  4.  Museum visits
  5.  Excursions;
  6. ‘Hands on’ sessions.
Course material

Will be made available some weeks before the start of the course.


The study load is the equivalent of 5 ects (140 hours) and comprises ten days of study in Rome. Each student should arrange with his/her university whether the course can be part of the existing curriculum. Upon successful completion of the course, the KNIR will provide a certificate mentioning the study load and evaluation tools.

The study load is based on:

  • Before arriving in Rome: independent study of course material: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
  • Seminars and workshops in KNIR and DAI, excursions and museum visits in Rome:active participation: 2 ECTS (56 hours)
  • Individual research & study for presentation on site in Rome and paper: 2 ECTS (56hours)
Application and admission

The master class is a selective course with a maximum of 15 participants. The selection of (R)MA students is based on grades, the positioning of the course in the student’s curriculum, and a letter of motivation. The selection of PhD students is based on the letter of motivation and curriculum vitae.

Students can apply via the link below. Include in your application:

  • a letter of motivation
  • a cv
  • for (R)MA students: a recent list of grades officially provided by your university
Deadline application

1 July 2019


All Dutch and German students receive support from the KNIR or DAI for their travel costs and accommodation.

More information

Course Flyer