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Proposal for a research network call 2011/1 logo_cost

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Belgium Location


Monetary history and numismatics are well represented in Belgium. The Coin Cabinet preserves a large collection of coin found on the border of the Roman Empire and a collection of splendid Greek coins.

Due to the geographic position of Belgium, all the coins struck during the medieval and modern periods by the main European nations are represented in the collections. The large series of achieves are also helpful to study and understand the history of the main monetary unions.

The Coin Cabinet of the Royal Library, Brussels.

Royal Library logoThe coin cabinet of the Royal Library possesses a collection of about 250,000 objects, including coins (among which c. 10,000 Greek and c. 17,000 Roman), medals, banknotes, tokens, weights, decorations, etc. Especially strong in coins and medals produced during the rich history of the Low Countries, the Brussels cabinet is proud to possess the unique tetradrachm of Aitna, a silver Greek coin struck in Sicily in c. 465 BC, widely acclaimed to be the most valuable ancient coin worldwide. › Website

Johan Van Heesch Pr. Johan Van HeeschJohan van Heesch is curator of the Coin Cabinet of the Royal Library of Belgium. He teaches numismatics at the University of Leuven (KULeuven), is vice-president of the Royal Numismatic Society of Belgium and one of the directors of the Revue belge de Numismatique. His main field of research is on Roman coinage.
The study of monetary unions and monetary integration in Antiquity is fascinating and can contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms and the psychology of unification in recent times. The Hellenistic kings as well as the Roman emperors ruled  gigantic empires and used standardized monetary systems that had to compete with local economies using local coinages. The history of integration, competition between systems, local pride versus imperial dominance and the way empires tried to respect local traditions and in the same time transform the newly conquered territories is a recurrent theme in history. The study of monetary systems and of coin finds of sites from all over Europe in ancient times can throw a novel and stimulation light upon this process.
The only way to study this in a large and well documented context will be through the collaboration proposed by this COST initiative.

Watch this short presentation by Johan Van Heesch ›

Centre européen d’Études Numismatiques (CEEN, formerly CEN).

CEEN LogoThe CEEN is an association of independent researchers founded in 1964. The new direction taken in 2010 mainly concerns the issue of contextualization of the currency (including paleo-currencies), in an archaeological or historical context, from prehistory to modern times. The main activity of the CEEN is now to centralize, in a digital form, the literature dealing with the coin circulation in Western Europe, particularly the papers involving numismatics and archeology. › See letter of support (.pdf)

Dr. Jean-Marc Doyen Dr. Jean-Marc DOYEN Archaeologist and historian of antiquity (b. 1954), president of the Centre Européen d'Études Numismatiques (CEEN, formerly CEN) in Brussels, co–editor of the Bulletin of CEEN (BCEEN) and editor of the new Journal of Archaeological Numismatics. Associate Member of the UMR 8164 CNRS (HALMA-IPEL, University Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, France). Main research fields: money circulation in northern Gaul (especially in the Ardennes, an area overlapping the territories of six EU countries: B, F, Lux. A., NL), from the Celtic period to the modern era. Other areas of research: numismatics Seleucid, Parthian and later Roman Empire.
My participation in the COST project would allow me to integrate my regional researches at a European level that is indispensable to understanding the coin circulation.


Moneta logoMONETA is a publishing house specialized, since 1995, in numismatics, monetary economy, and publication of books on all the aspects of currency. Moneta is interested in all the periods and all the regions of the world, publishing books in several languages, French, English, German, Romanian, Armenian, etc., related to all the continents. Moneta published volumes in cooperation with the main European institutions, Institute of Archaeology of Bucharest, Moscow, Warsaw, National Museum of Georgia, Slovenia, British Museum, Le Louvre, Monnaie de Paris, etc., and with the main European or US universities.
At the end of 2009, more than 100 volumes are available. Since the mid-90's the number of pages and plates of each book increased, including now color plates. The actual rhythm of publication is about one volume every three weeks.

Moneta will publish volumes prepared during the COST or related to the meetings of the COST in accordance with the Management Committee. › Website

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