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Historia Numorum Online aims to record and publish all types and varieties of the coins minted before the Roman period (c. 650-30 BCE). The first volume will be devoted to Caria and is supported by a two-year funding by the Laboratoire des Sciences Archéologiques de Bordeaux (LaScArBx) and is based at the Institut Ausonius (UMR 5607), which is part of the Université Bordeaux Montaigne (UBM) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

The first volume covers Caria, a southwestern region of Asia Minor (Map). It is expected to be completed by spring 2018 and should include an estimated 8000 coins illustrating some 2300 individual types from 51 identified mints. A paper publication should follow shortly the completion of the online database. It is hoped that further volumes will be undertaken by specialists of other regions. 


Head HistoriaNumorum


Historia Numorum goes back to Barclay Vincent Head (1844-1914), Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. His Historia Numorum, a Manual of Greek Numismatics (PDF), published in 1887, followed in 1911 by an augmented second edition (PDF), became the most important reference on the subject for decades. Since, in his own words "My aim has been to produce a practical handbook in a single portable volume containing in a condensed form a sketch of the numismatic history of nearly every city, king, or dynast, known to have struck coins throughout the length and breadth of the ancient world. I do not attempt to provide a complete catalogue of all the known coins of any city, nor even to describe in minute detail the specimens which I have found space to mention.", the idea to produce a complete catalogue of coin production by region in several fascicles was suggested by Stanley Robinson (1887-1976), another Keeper of the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum (1949-52).

E. S. G. Robinson

He decided that the first fascicle should cover the Greek and Greek-related coinages of the Italian peninsula for which he invited a number of scholars to contribute. With Sir Stanley's passing, the project became dormant and it is only in 2001 that the first issue of the new Historia Numorum covering Italy was published under the principal editorship of Prof. Keith Rutter with contributions by Humphrey Sutherland, Colin Kraay, Martin Price and several other specialists. A second volume of Historia Numorum is anounced and is devoted to the coinages of Sicily and adjacent islands (LINK).