The Numismatics (from ancient Greek : νομισματική [τέχνη, μάθησις] to νόμισμα, Nomisma or Italo Greek nú (m) misma "the Legitimate, the valid, the coin"), even Münzkunde called, is the scientific study of money and its history. Often, collecting coins is also called numismatics as a hobby .
The most important object in numismatics is the coin . But other forms of money such as paper money , pre- coinage means of payment ( premonetary ) and coin-related objects such as medals , tokens or religious medals up to tesserae ( tokens , for example dye stamps ) are examined by numismatics. The coin-related objects are also referred to as paranumismatics or exonumia.
In epochs from which few written sources have come down to us, coins have a high value as primary sources for chronology as well as for economic and cultural history. This is especially true for ancient Greece and Rome and for areas outside of the ancient Mediterranean cultures (such as the Parthian and Scythian empires), but also for the early and high Middle Ages.
For these periods, coin finds, i.e. coins that are found during excavations together with other objects or are discovered by chance as treasure finds , are not only important dating aids for the chronological classification of archaeological findings , but also a primary historical source. A real find coin numismatics has developed here, which today forms the most dynamic and methodologically innovative part of the subject, because the source material of the coin finds continues to increase. More recently, the individually found coins (individual finds, lost finds) have also gained attention and are also recorded in find inventories.
Since the Middle Ages, numismatics, with the increasing density of written sources, has been particularly dovetailed with monetary history , for which there are both historical and economic manifestations. The most recent times set a certain end point for numismatics with the strongly declining importance of coins.
On the one hand, a highly specialized historical and archaeological sub-discipline, numismatics, on the other hand, has numerous connections to related subjects such as economic and social history , art history or onomatology . Numismatics is traditionally one of the most important auxiliary sciences, especially in the context of Ancient History .
The methods of numismatics in the narrower sense are mainly tied to the object, the coin; other methodological approaches are based on questions of the history of money. Coins are uniform mass products that have been handed down in large numbers. In this they resemble the archaeological group of ceramics. Nevertheless, due to the production method, every coin is an individual with special characteristics (minting defects, material defects and irregularities) that can be used for an evaluation.
The most important numismatic method used to reconstruct the original coinage sequence is stamp analysis. It is based on the observation that every (two-sided) coin is made from a front and a back stamp. The two stamps, used as upper and lower stamps in hammer embossing , wear out unevenly. The upper punch usually has to be replaced earlier than the lower punch. This leads to different so-called “stamp combinations”; the various combinations are lined up to form the stamp chain and this in turn corresponds to the sequence in the production of the individual coins. The stamp analysis was first used in the 19th century and introduced into Greek numismatics by Friedrich Imhoof-Blumer . Today the stamp analysis is also used to verify the attribution of anonymous coins and to assess the quantitative significance of coin issues.
In addition, typology and style analysis are important methods for discovering the chronology and association of coin types. The limits of all these methods lie in the fact that only a very small number of the originally minted coins have survived; Estimates based on coin finds suggest that we only have about 1 per thousand of the originally minted coins available today. As the basic measures of the money economy, especially with precious metal coins, their mass and material purity are of essential importance (see also gold standard , silver standard ). The metrology dedicated by detecting as many individual weights of the question of what weight each standard was sought. Of great interest today are scientific studies such as metal analyzes , which provide information on the origin of the coin metal, but can also provide information on questions of coin policy (e.g. changes in fineness in the context of devaluations).
Find coin numismatics is less concerned with the individual coin than with coin groups in the form of the various categories of coin finds . It examines the distribution and geographical distribution of coin types with regard to questions of money circulation and economic , traffic and trade history (economic areas, precipitation from trade and traffic routes, etc.).
Numismatics is not just concerned with the meaning of coins at the time they were made, but can encompass many phases in the "life" of a coin. A consideration of the history of an object is roughly divided into three phases: production, use, reception. These phases can be further supplemented or subdivided. Examples of special events in the usage phase would be over-embossing or counter-stamping . An interruption of the usage phase could mean hoarding, especially if the hoard is forgotten and is only re-opened as a coin find. As a rule, the reception of a coin only begins after the end of its usage phase, when it is identified, described, inserted into a collection and, if necessary, exhibited or published.
Research and Teaching
Due to a displacement process, numismatics has become a typical museum science since the 19th century , because meaningful work is usually only possible close to the source material, the coins (according to Bernd Kluge). The large public coin collections have therefore always been centers of research and are the initiators of large catalog and overview works. In addition to London, Paris, St. Petersburg and New York, the world's most important coin collections also include the Coin Cabinet of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Prussian Cultural Heritage) and the Coin Cabinet of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. There is no comparable collection in Switzerland, but a large number of medium-sized and smaller coin cabinets . In addition, learned collectors, who are often among the best experts in their respective fields, also make important contributions to research, mostly in the form of detailed studies or coin catalogs.
Modern, interdisciplinary numismatics is not only based on coins, but on a variety of sources, including written sources and coin finds. In Germany, it is not only operated intensively at museums, but also at universities and non-university scientific institutions. Against the background of the fertile pluralism of large and very effectively working small institutes, which is particularly characteristic of Germany, the Numismatic Commission of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany is coordinating in the field of scientific organization and with its own long-term projects.
In the traditional canon of subjects in university education, numismatics is viewed as part of the historical auxiliary sciences and accordingly operated at universities in the context of history and classical antiquity. Numismatics has remained rather marginal there until today; In German-speaking countries there is only one chair for numismatics (in Vienna); In the course of the introduction of the European study architecture, the globally unique main subject Numismatics and Monetary History has only been offered as a 'minor subject' at the University of Vienna (extension curricula in the Bachelor's degree, individual Master's degree), but of course with the option of acquiring the philosophical one PhD degrees.
In many places today it is possible to study numismatics. At various universities, in Germany for example in Berlin, Dresden, Göttingen, Marburg, Munich, Münster and Tübingen, there are regular courses and z. In Munich, for example, you also have the opportunity to focus on numismatics in your master's degree or doctorate. In Cologne, ancient numismatics can be taken as a minor as part of a master’s degree. At the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt a. M. belongs ancient numismatics to the chair for archeology and history of the Roman provinces and auxiliary sciences of the ancient world. At the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen , ancient numismatics is an integral part of the training in classical archeology . For the BA and MA courses, numismatic modules with a lecture and advanced seminar are compulsory, numismatic theses are possible in the BA and MA courses and as a doctorate. For Switzerland, the universities of Basel and Zurich should be mentioned, in Austria the universities of Vienna and Salzburg.
In 2015, on the occasion of its 650th anniversary, the University of Vienna organized a symposium "Numismatics Teaching in Europe", at which the teaching concepts of numismatics and monetary history were presented in a comprehensive comparison.
If one may believe the descriptions of the Roman historian Suetonius (70–140 AD), Emperor Augustus was one of the first to collect “old royal and foreign coins” more than 2000 years ago. There are also references to other collections and collectors in Roman times; In contrast to works of art, however, when collecting coins, aesthetic enjoyment was probably not the focus.
The first attempts to deal scientifically with coins date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The poet Petrarca and Bishop Stephan von Neidenburg are known from this period, each of whom owned an extensive collection of historical coins or, as it was called at the time, “coins from all countries”. In Germany, the aspiring sovereigns were among the first major coin collectors. Large coin collections such as the State Coin Collection in Munich , the Coin Cabinet of the Art Collections in Dresden , the Coin Cabinet of the Württemberg State Museum and the Berlin Coin Cabinet are essentially based on such princely collections. In the first half of the 19th century, more and more regional coin cabinets emerged, which were supported by the newly emerging history associations and which also became important for research.
In Austria, a coin collection was part of the art chamber of the Habsburg emperors as early as the 16th century ; Rudolf II in particular acquired a large number of coins. In Switzerland, the citizen libraries of the 16th century are at the beginning of the later coin cabinets. Only in Basel are these beginnings linked to a specific person, the humanist and collector Basilius Amerbach .
- Office for papyrology - epigraphy - numismatics of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences , founded by Reinhold Merkelbach , (currently 2009) headed by Jürgen Hammerstaedt
- Institute for Archaeological Sciences, Department II at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main ( archeology and history of the Roman provinces as well as archeology of coins, money and the ancient economy , headed by Hans-Markus von Kaenel )
- Institute for Numismatics and Monetary History at the University of Vienna
- Münzkabinett in Berlin with over 540,000 objects
- Coin Cabinet (Dresden)
- Coin cabinet in Friedenstein Castle in Gotha
- Oriental Coin Cabinet Jena
- State Coin Collection Munich
- Museum of the Berlin State Mint
- LWL Museum for Art and Culture in Münster with around 130,000 objects
- Coin cabinet in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier with the Trier gold treasure from 1993
- Coin collection of the Gustav-Lübke-Museum in Hamm, one of the oldest and largest in Westphalia with approx. 30,000 exhibits.
- State Coin Cabinet Saxony-Anhalt , Halle (Saale), Moritzburg Foundation
- Money Museum of the Deutsche Bundesbank
- Coin cabinet of the Academic Art Museum of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
- Ancient coins - Coin collection of the Institute for Classical Archeology of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in the Hohentübingen Castle Museum ( Museum of the University of Tübingen (MUT) )
- Islamic Coins - Coin collection of the Islamic Numismatics Research Center (FINT) of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in the Hohentübingen Castle Museum ( Museum of the University of Tübingen (MUT) ); the collection includes 60,000 coins in the series Sylloge Numorum ArabI Corum Tübingen be published
- Het Koninklijk Penningkabinet (1816–1986 in The Hague, 1986–2004 in Leiden)
- Coin cabinet in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
- Coin cabinet of the Universalmuseum Joanneum
- Money Museum of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank around 200,000 objects, including around 30,000 coins, but the focus of the collection is on Austrian paper money
- Argentina - Casa de Moneda de la República Argentina
- Aruba - Museo Numismático Aruba
- Armenia - History Museum of Armenia
- Bahrain - Central Bank of Bahrain Currency Museum
- Belgium - Museum of the National Bank of Belgium
- Brazil - Central Bank Museum
- China - China Numismatic Museum
- Costa Rica - Museos del Banco Central de Costa Rica
- Curacao - Money Museum Curacao
- Denmark - National Museum of Denmark
- Dominican Republic - Museo Numismático y Filatélico
- England - Bank of England Museum
- Estonia - The Eesti Pank Museum
- Finland - Bank of Finland Museum
- France - Cabinet des Médailles
- Georgia - National Bank of Georgia - Museum of Money
- Greece - Athens Numismatic Museum
- India - New Delhi National Museum
- Iceland - The Central Bank and National Museum Numismatic Collection
- Israel - Israel Museum
- Italy - Banca d'Italia Museo della Moneta
- Jamaica - Money Museum
- Japan - Currency Museum
- Canada - Musée de la Monnaie
- Colombia - Casa de Moneda de Colombia
- Korea - Bank of Korea Museum
- Cuba - Museo Numismatico de la Habana
- Lebanon North Lebanon & Akkar Museum
- Lithuania - Museum of the Lietuvos Bankas
- Morocco - Musée de la Monnaie
- Mexico - Museo Interactivo de Economía
- Mexico - Numismatic Collection of the Banco de Mexico
- Philippines - Money Museum
- Portugal - Museum of the Banco de Portugal
- Romania - The NBR Museum
- Russia - Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg)
- Sweden - Uppsala University Coin Cabinet
- Slovakia - Museum of Coins and Medals Kremnica
- Thailand - Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins
- Uruguay - Museo Numismático
- USA - National Museum of American History
- Vatican - Vatican Museums
- Venezuela - Banco Central de Venezuela - Sala Numismática
- German Numismatic Society e. V.
- Society for International Monetary History e. V. (founded 1965)
- Numismatic Society of Berlin e. V. (founded 1843)
- Numismatic Society to Hannover e. V. (founded 1859)
- American Numismatic Association
- American Numismatic Society
- International Numismatic Council, Conseil international de numismatique
- International Association of Professional Numismatists
The directory gives a selection of important (mostly more recent) and further literature.
- Johann Christoph Hirsch: Bibliotheca numismatica exhibens catalogum auctorum qui de re monetaria et numis tam antiquis quam recentioribus. scripsere collecta et indice rerum instructa a Joh. Christ. Hirsch, Felsecker, Nuremberg 1760.
- Johann Gottfried Lipsius: IG Lipsii Bibliotheca numaria sive catalogus auctorum qui usque ad finem seculi XVIII de re monetaria aut numis scripserunt . Leipzig: Schäfer, 1801. Reprint Mansfield Center, Conn., Martino 2000.
Johann Jakob Leitzmann : Directory of all numismatic works published from 1800 to now (1860) as a continuation of the Bibliotheca numaria by JG Lipsius by JJ Leitzmann, pastor of Tunzenhausen. Grossmann'sche Buchhandlung, Weißensee 1841 (2nd edition 1867).
- Johann Jakob Leitzmann and Johann Gottfried Lipsius: A bibliography of numismatic books printed before 1800 y J [ohann] G [ottfried] Lipsius. With the suppl. to 1866 by J. Leitzmann. First publ. 1801 and 1867, reprint Drury, Colchester 1977.
- Philip Grierson : Bibliography numismatique . Bruxelles: 2nd edition 1979 (Cercle d'études numismatiques. Travaux 9).
- Elvira E. Clain-Stefanelli: Numismatic Bibliography . Battenberg, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-87045-938-7 , Saur, Munich New York; London Paris 1984, ISBN 3-598-07507-3 .
Introductions / reviews
- Florian Haymann: Collecting ancient coins. Introduction to Greek and Roman numismatics, excursions to the Celts and Byzantines, Regenstauf: Gietl Verlag, ISBN 978-3866461321 .
- Peter Franz Mittag : Greek Numismatics. An introduction, Heidelberg: Verlag Antike, ISBN 978-3938032855 .
- Christopher Howgego: Money in the ancient world: What coins reveal about history, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2000, (English original edition Ancient History from Coins , Routledge, London 1995).
- Robert Göbl : Ancient Numismatics, 2 vol., Munich: Battenberg, 1978, ISBN 3-87045-144-0 .
- Maria R.-Alföldi : Ancient Numismatics , 2 vols., Mainz: Philipp von Zabern (Cultural History of the Ancient World, Vol. 2/3), 1978; Vol. 2: 2nd improved edition 1982, ISBN 3-8053-0230-4 and ISBN 3-8053-0335-1 .
- Hélène Nicolet-Pierre: Numismatique grecque . Armand Colin, Paris 2002, ISBN 2-200-21781-1 .
- Andrew Burnett: Coinage in the Roman World . Seaby, London 1987, ISBN 0-900652-85-3 .
Middle Ages / Modern Times
- Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth : General minting and monetary history of the Middle Ages and modern times . Oldenburg, Berlin 1926; Reprinted 1973 and 1976, ISBN 3-486-47224-0 .
- Hans Gebhart: Numismatics and Monetary History (= study guide, group 1: cultural studies , volume 2). Winter, Heidelberg 1949, .
- Philip Grierson: Coins of the Middle Ages . Office du livre, Friborg 1976.
- Niklot Klüßendorf : Numismatics and Monetary History: Basic Knowledge for the Middle Ages and Modern Times . Hahnsche Buchhandlung, Peine 2015, ISBN 978-3-7752-5968-2 .
- Peter Spufford: Money and its Use in medieval Europe . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1988, ISBN 0-521-30384-2 (English).
- Michael North : Money and its History: From the Middle Ages to the Present . CH Beck, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-406-38072-7 .
- Bernd Sprenger: The money of the Germans: Money history of Germany . 3rd updated and expanded edition, Schöningh, Paderborn 2002, ISBN 3-506-78623-7 .
- Friedrich v. Schrötter (Hrsg.): Dictionary of coinage. De Gruyter, Berlin / Leipzig 1930; 2nd, unchanged edition, Berlin 1970 (reprint of the original edition from 1930).
- René Sedillot: Toutes les Monnaies du Monde. Paris 1955.
- Michael North (ed.): From shares to customs: A historical lexicon of money. CH Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-38544-3 .
- Wolfgang Trapp: Small handbook of coinage and money in Germany , Verlag Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-15-018026-0 .
- Michel Amandry (ed.): Dictionnaire de numismatique. Larousse, Paris 2001, ISBN 2035050766 .
- Helmut Kahnt: The large lexicon of coins from A to Z. Gietl-Verlag, Regenstauf 2005, ISBN 978-3-89441-550-1 .
Magazines and periodicals
- Database of Numismatic Materials of the American Numismatic Society (English)
- Digital Library Numis (DLN) - Online numismatic library
- NUMISPEDIA (online coin dictionary to collaborate)
- Institute for Numismatics and Monetary History at the University of Vienna
- Project Fund Coins of Antiquity of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz
- Bernhard Weisser, Object-historical approach in numismatics, in: MünzenRevue 9/2020, pages 167 to 172 with further references
- Institute for Numismatics and Monetary History at the University of Vienna
- Münzkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
- Museum of the State Mint Berlin
- Karl-Josef Gilles: The Roman gold coin treasure from Feldstrasse in Trier . Trier 2013, ISBN 978-3-923319-82-4 ( Trier magazine - supplement 34 )
- http://www.antikensammlung-muenzen.uni-bonn.de/ Münzkabinett, Academic Art Museum, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn