In the Eye of the Beholder. The Aesthetics of Roman Coins

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Dokumentart: Book
Date: 2020-09-09
Source: Von Krösus bis zu König Wilhelm Neue Serie ; 5
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Archäologie
DDC Classifikation: 730 - Plastic arts; sculpture
930 - History of ancient world to ca. 499
Other Keywords: Altertumswissenschaft
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Roman coins are peculiar objects. In the first place, they were the official means of payment of the Roman Empire and thus the most important mass product of the pre-modern era. Because of the many images and texts depicted on ancient coins, we can also correctly refer to Roman coins as the first mass medium of antiquity. Given their intrinsic monetary function, they reached the remotest corners of the empire and were able to communicate the messages of the imperial administration to the people. However, in their aesthetics—both in their materiality and in their function as a means of communication—Roman coins differ fundamentally from their modern relatives. It is precisely this that the present exhibition takes as a starting point, aiming to present a broad perspective of the phenomenon of Roman coins and their peculiar aesthetics and significance in an ancient context. To this end, we have chosen five representative thematic areas, which we believe can be used to present the most important perspectives on ancient life: Beautiful and Ugly / Portraits / Representations of Nature / Dynasties / Role Models. The broad spectrum of themes makes it clear; the beauty or specific nature of these objects is and was truly in the eye of the beholder.

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