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Ancient coin specialist  Dr Clare Rowan visits SCG from the University of Warwick to teach students about ancient currency.

Dr Clare Rowan visited Classical Civilisation students at SCG to delve into ancient civilisation's currency and how it shaped their perspectives of society and early democracy.

Clare is a numismatist, meaning she is a specialist in the area of coins, and she came to not only enhance the Classical Civilisation A Level syllabus, but also enhance student learning of ancient texts by bringing genuine 2,000-year-old coins with her for students to handle!

The examples brought in were borrowed from the University of Warwick’s collection, and included a mixture of Athenian currency, such as the tetradrachm, and various Roman coinage from the times of both Julius Caesar and Augustus, including denominations in bronze, silver, and gold.

She also brought replicas with her, which the college is keeping with the hopes of 3D scanning them and then scaling them up to better examine in class and expand student understanding.

Currency and coinage were an extremely important part of Athenian culture. It was issued by the Athenian democracy and is one of the key pillars of their society with which it’s people considered what it meant to be an Athenian citizen.

Clare also provided lead tokens, which were used in ancient societies like Athens, as payment for services. The lead tokens also provided proof that people showed up to do the work promised and that the job they had done was befitting of payment.

Replica coins

A massive thank you to Clare for this fascinating insight into ancient culture and for gifting the college the replica coins!

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