Tag: Ancient history

Alexander the Great: between god and man

According to historian N.G.L. Hammond, no individual changed the history of civilisation more than Alexander the Great. Yet, Alexander as a person is still a topic of discussion: was he a military genius or rather a murderous conqueror? High time, therefore, to put this deified general and his coins ‘in the spotlight’.

Monetary practices In ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is certainly one of the most fascinating civilisations. Its economy is no exception and deserves a bit of attention; that’s why it has been chosen as the theme for this latest Object of the month. So how were monetary practices organised in this civilisation which had no knowlege of money itself?

From the aes rude to the aes grave

During the first millennium BC, the Italian peninsula played a key role in Mediterranean history. As early as the 8th century BC, Etruscan cities sprang up as major commercial powers which were for a long time able to trade on a level footing with the Carthaginians and the Greeks. It is nevertheless surprising to note that, despite their respective importance, the Etruscans and the Romans did not mint their own coins until later.

Gaulish money

By the end of the 4th century BC, coinage had been introduced into Gaul. In those days, the Gauls began hiring out their services as horsemen or foot soldiers to the great Mediterranean warlords. In exchange for their services they were given gold coins, and thus became familiar with the monetary system.

The Athenian drachma, a long tradition … from antique coin to euro

Greeks love their history and the introduction of the euro coins and notes offered them a perfect occasion to pass on this passion to the rest of Europe. With the owl and the olive branch on the national side of their 1 euro coin they underline their rich past, the historic importance of the Athenian city-state and last but not least the fact that Greece is the cradle of European coinage.

One of Julius Caesar’s last coins

There’s hardly any discussion amongst historians that Julius Caesar was a great statesman. He was also the first Roman who dared to depict himself on one of his coins. And even 20 centuries later his name is still on people’s lips and continues to appeal to one’s imagination. Who was this famous ruler?

Celtic effigies under the microscope

Abstract, stylised, non-figurative … These are just a few of the words that come to mind when looking at the obverse of this Celtic coin. It certainly appears as if a number of meaningless signs or symbols have been arbitrarily combined. But is that really the case? Does the obverse of this coin not tell […]

The millenary anniversary of the city of Rome

The dawn of the year 2000 prompted many people to think about the past, the present and the future. It was a time for reflection, the central question being what the third millennium would bring.