The Roman Republican Die Project (RRDP), a digital repository of Roman republican coin dies based on the archive of Dr. Richard Schaefer, has announced the beginning of the fourth phase of its work with help by a grant from the Arete Foundation. The main goal of this fourth and final phase is to show how the RRDP informs current scholarship and catalyzes research collaboration. The two-year grant will fund the full-time work of lead researcher Dr. Alice Sharpless, who is assigned to the project through the American Numismatic Society (ANS) until June 2025. The Arete Foundation has provided additional funding for a conference hosted by the American Academy in Rome (AAR) April 9-11, 2025. The conference will generate an open-access volume of the Supplements to the Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome (SMAAR).
RRDP relies on the foundational research of Dr. Schaefer, who has compiled a significant archive of over 300,000 images of Roman republican coins he identified by die. While Schaefer’s materials are publicly available through ARCHER, the ANS’s archival database, the RRDP seeks to make his work accessible to researchers through a searchable, linked open data die database (RRDP) and specimen database (SITNAM). These resources are then linked to Coins of the Roman Republic Online (CRRO). The integrated database provides a valuable tool for research, including understanding the connection between military and domestic projects and monetary production, and vetting the accuracy of ancient sources on these subjects. The project will also facilitate research on the scale of Roman coin production in comparison to other contemporary coinages (especially in the Greek East), and the reliability of Michael Crawford’s production estimates based on hoard counts in his well-known and standard catalog, Roman Republican Coinage (Cambridge, 1974).
The conference at the American Academy in Rome will expand the scope of the project, which in previous phases focused on control-marked coinage and issues from the period 95-75 BCE, and to showcase potential methods of using the RRDP for other scholarly research. The Roman Republican Die Project has invited conference participants to submit requests for specific Roman republican issues to be processed: over the next 16 months, selected issues will be transcribed and the data will be shared through the project’s databases. Conference participants will share their original research on these issues utilizing data provided by RRDP.
A final conference program will be published in late 2024: confirmed speakers include Richard Schaefer, Seth Bernard, Andrew Burnett, Kevin Butcher, Alberto Campana, Pierluigi Debernardi, Claudia Devoto, Elizabeth Heintges, Wilhelm Hollstein, Fleur Kemmers, Roberto Lippi, Kris Lockyear, Andrew McCabe, Guillaume Méritens de Villeneuve, Charles Parisot-Sillon, Annalisa Polosa, Matthew Ponting, Mariangela Puglisi, Clare Rowan, Marleen Termeer, Lucia F. Carbone, Liv Mariah Yarrow, and Alice Sharpless. Researchers interested in regular updates can contact Alice Sharpless at [email protected] to be added to the conference mailing list.
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