Hellenistic Currency Systems in the Kelsey: The Ptolemies, Part II

Last post we talked a little bit about the closed currency system instituted by Ptolemy I in Egypt in the late 4th century BCE. We talked about how such a system allowed the Ptolemies to control the amount of precious metals in their economy, particularly silver, an element that does not occur naturally in the Egyptian territory, and the metal out of which the international currency of the time was made — the Attic silver standard (for a more detailed analysis on the implementation of a closed currency system by […]

Hellenistic Currency Systems in the Kelsey: The Ptolemies, Part I

As you all know, I have been getting to know the Hellenistic coinages at the Kelsey this month, and I thought it could be interesting for me, a Late Antique person, to have a refresher course on the history of Hellenistic coinages via this blog. Thus, for the next few months, in no particular order, I will write some introductory posts on the Ptolemaic, Seleukid, Macedonian, and Pergamene kingdoms, with special emphasis on the nature of their currency systems (i.e., open, closed, etc.) There are coins in the Kelsey’s collection […]

Alexander in the Kelsey

In the last post I said we would talk about closed currency systems, but as I started studying the Hellenistic coinage in the collection (323–31 BCE), it became clear I needed to talk about a couple of interesting Alexander-type issues in the Kelsey and their history. I am not a Hellenistic numismatist, but fortunately for all of us, there is a substantial amount of current research on Hellenistic numismatics that continues to open major avenues of investigations and inspire numismatists and ancient historians alike. In the study of Hellenistic coinages, […]