Saturday, June 24, 2023

Seleucid Coins Online (SCO)

[First posted in AWOL 21 December 2017, updated 24 June 2023]

Seleucid Coins Online (SCO)

In January, 2018, the American Numismatic Society launched Seleucid Coins Online. At the time it was announced that the development of Seleucid Coins Online (SCO) would take place in two parts in imitation of the print volumes, Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalogue by Arthur Houghton, Catharine Lorber, and Oliver Hoover, published in two parts in 2002 and 2008 by the American Numismatic Society and Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The first part, by Houghton and Lorber, presented and interpreted all the numismatic material for Seleucus I to Antiochus III known up to 2002. The second part, by Houghton, Lorber, and Hoover, did the same for the Seleucid kings from Seleucus IV to Antiochus XIII. In total, more than 2,491 primary coin types were published in these volumes.

This current version of SCO (v.2), launched in November, 2018, completes the type corpus incorporating material related to Seleucid Coins, Part I, covering the reigns from Seleucus I to Antiochus III (c. 320–187 BC), and the material in Part II covering the reigns from Seleucus IV to Antiochus XIII (187–64 BC) as well as the posthumous Roman imitations (63–14/13 BC). Note that the numbering system of SCO now corresponds fully to the print publications; the numbering system used in SCO v.1 has been deprecated.

As part of the National Endowment of the Humanities funded Hellenistic Royal Coinages project, Seleucid Coins Online (SCO) is a new research tool that will provide wide access to the coins listed in the print volumes of Seleucid Coins—not only the entries in the main catalogue, but also pieces presented separately in the appendices (e.g., plated issues, non-Seleucid coins bearing Seleucid countermarks, etc.). While the Seleucid coins in the ANS collection (some 5,129 pieces) serve as the core of the searchable catalogue, all types in the original publications will be included in the database, ultimately with links to coins (many of which are unique) in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the British Museum, the Munzkabinett der Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and other public and private collections. When necessary, entries in the catalogue will provide corrections to descriptions and interpretation with explanatory commentary by Oliver Hoover. Links to relevant bibliography in DONUM, the ANS online library catalogue, and eventually to articles are envisioned for the future in order to make Seleucid Coins Online virtually a one-stop research tool for Seleucid numismatics.

Seleucid Coins Online will also stand at the cutting edge of the discipline through the inclusion of new coin types and varieties that have been recorded since 2008. Previously unknown material has been appearing at a rate of about 100 coins per year and there is no indication that the flow is likely to stop anytime soon. Seleucid Coins Online will be the only place where researchers can keep track of such new coins comprehensively and the expanding picture of Seleucid economic, political, and art history that they reveal. Frequent updates to the website will permit users to find and learn about new material almost at the rate at which it is discovered, thereby making Seleucid Coins Online the most up-to-date catalogue available to students of Seleucid coinage.

students of Seleucid coinage.

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