ARISTEIA // InCoMac, a project of the Section of Greek and Roman Antiquity (KERA / Institute of Historical Research) about “Inscriptions and Coins: New Documents from Ancient Macedonia”
Welcome to InCoMac, a project of the Section of Greek and Roman Antiquity (KERA / Institute of Historical Research) about “Inscriptions and Coins: New Documents from Ancient Macedonia”.
The project is funded by the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning, and Religious Affairs, in the framework of the NRSF 2007-2013 (action Aristeia).
InCoMac was ranked third out of a total of 141 research projects submitted in the field of the Humanities, out of which only eleven were approved.
The Section of Greek and Roman Antiquity of the Institute of Historical Research is hosting InCoMac (Inscriptions and Coins: New Documents from Ancient Macedonia), a project of basic research about ancient sources. The project is closely connected to the Institute’s profile as a leading institution with an international reputation in the field of historical, epigraphic, and numismatic studies.
The objective of InCoMac is the systematic study and publication of primary sources, namely inscriptions preserved on stone and coins, which provide evidence about the history of ancient Macedonia. Both these categories of material evidence constitute primary sources of unparalleled significance for the study of institutions, diplomacy, social hierarchy, economic structure, the circulation of wealth and many other facets of ancient societies. This kind of contemporary evidence is a valuable supplement to the literary sources for ancient Macedonia, which in many cases were composed by authors writing in later periods.
The specific aims of this project are twofold:
A. To produce two complete corpora, collections of the material, which can be used as sources to construct more comprehensive narratives of ancient Macedonian history.
A1. The second volume of inscriptions from Lower Macedonia, the area extending from the Axios river to Mt. Bermion and known in antiquity as the Third Macedonian District and
A2. A corpus of the Hellenistic coins struck in the name of the Macedonians, the Amphaxians and the Botteatai.
Both these corpora will be compiled on the basis of geography and genre, in the case of inscriptions, and on the basis of issuing authorities and die identifications, in the case of coins.
B. To create a digital platform that will enable research groups and public institutions to cooperate in the task of recording and studying inscriptions and coins. Two digital collections will be embedded in this platform.
B1. A collection of the inscriptions on stone from central Macedonia (the area between the Axios and the Strymon rivers, known since antiquity as the Second Macedonian District) and
B2. A collection of coins from two important Macedonian cities, namely Aigai and Amphipolis.
This infrastructure will facilitate close collaboration of all interested parties, research institutes, museums, Universities and the Archaeological Service.
SGRA’s (KERA’s) long-standing, systematic and committed work in the field of Macedonian epigraphy dates back to the early 1980’s, when, through a series of official agreements between the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) and the Ministry of Culture, the creation of an archive of the Greek and Latin inscriptions from Macedonia and Thrace, and the consequent publication of these inscriptions, became one of the main avowed aims of the Institute.
The constantly updated archive has so far led to the publication of the following corpora:
1. Θ. Ριζάκης, Γ. Τουράτσογλου, Επιγραφές Ανω Μακεδονίας (Ελίμεια, Εορδαία, Νότια Λυγκηστίς, Ορεστίς). Κατάλογος Επιγραφών. Αθήνα 1985.
2. Λ. Γουναροπούλου, Μ. Β. Χατζόπουλος, Επιγραφές Κάτω Μακεδονίας (μεταξύ Βερμίου όρους και Αξιού ποταμού). Τεύχος Α. Αθήνα 1998.
3. P. Petsas, M. B. Hatzopoulos, L. Gounaropoulou, P. Paschidis, Inscriptions du sanctuaire de la Mère des dieux autochtone de Leukopetra (Macédoine). ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ 28, Athens 2000.
4. Λ. Λουκοπούλου, Α. Ζουρνατζή, Μ. Γ. Παρισάκη, Σ. Ψωμά, Επιγραφές της Θράκης του Αιγαίου: μεταξύ των ποταμών Νέστου και Εβρου (νομοί Ξάνθης, Ροδόπης και Εβρου). Αθήνα 2005.
Within the framework of InCoMac, the aim is to continue SGRA’s publication of epigraphic corpora with the second volume of Greek and Latin inscriptions from Lower Macedonia (with the exception of the inscriptions of Beroia and its territory, already published by the SGRA), under the title: Inscriptions from Lower Macedonia, vol. II, co-authored by L. Gounaropoulou, M. B. Hatzopoulos and P. Paschidis, with the collaboration of D. Andrianou, M. Kalaitzi and E. Martín González. The 633 inscriptions of the corpus come from important cities, such as Aigai, Pella, Edessa, Mieza, Skydra, Kyrrhos, Europos, as well as the region of Almopia.
The aim of this part of the project is to produce a complete collection of ancient Greek and Latin texts inscribed on stone in the area between Mt Bermion and the Axios river from the fifth century B.C. to the sixth century A.D. These documents, which include laws and decrees, Macedonian royal and Roman imperial letters and ordinances, civic decrees, lists and financial reports, consecrations, manumissions of slaves, honorary inscriptions, deeds of sale, inscribed tombstones, even poems, provide valuable insights into ancient political, religious, social and domestic life, which the ancient literary sources do not provide. The publication of such a corpus has required decades of field work for the collection and recording of the material in form of photographs, copies and squeezes. It has also required a comparable amount of library work for the study of previous publications -if any- and for a thorough study of the geography and history of the area, since the collected material will be divided according to the corresponding political units, i.e. the poleis existing in Antiquity. Each ancient city will receive a complete analysis, consisting of an introductory chapter including the relevant ancient testimonia, a short history of the city, its geographical and topographical setting, its archaeological remains and the history of previous research about each region. This will be followed by the edition of the inscriptions, with full descriptions, bibliography, critical notes and commentary. Exhaustive indexes and full photographic documentation will complete the volume.
Within the framework of InCoMac, a digital collection of the inscriptions of the Second Macedonian District, the area of central Macedonia between the Axios and the Strymon rivers (with the exclusion of the inscriptions of Thessaloniki, published in the IG series) will be compiled by M. Kalaitzi, E. Martín González, P. Paschidis, and S. Psoma. This area is the heart of the "New Lands," conquered by successive Macedonian kings during the Classical period and incorporated into the Macedonian kingdom by Philip II. The area's mixed ethnic composition is an intriguing aspect worth studying: the political, social and cultural dynamics of the pre-Macedonian past of the Greek colonies of the coast and the indigenous tribes of the interior, blended with the new Macedonian settlements established by conquest.
This infrastructure promotes collaborative editing for the production of highly functional, open-ended and constantly renewed collections of primary sources. In order to achieve this, an information management platform will be built with Open Standards and leading Open Source Technologies; it will be designed, set up and configured for the creation of both data-banks (epigraphic documents and coins).
SGRA’s (KERA) long-term work in the field of Macedonian coinage has so far led to the publication of the following corpora:
1. G. Le Rider, Monnayage et finances de Philippe II; un état de la question, ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ 23, Athens 1996.
2. S. Kremydi-Sicilianou, Multiple Concealments from the Sanctuary of Zeus Olympios at Dion: Three Roman Provincial Coin Hoards. ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ 35, Athens 2004.
3. K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle, L'histoire monétaire d'Abdère en Thrace (VΙe s. av. J.-C.; IIe s. ap. J.-C.). ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ 51, Athens 2007.
4. S. Psoma, C. Karadima and D. Terzopoulou, The Coins from Maroneia and the Classical City at Molyvoti: A contribution to the History of Aegean Thrace. ΜΕΛΕΤΗΜΑΤΑ 62, Athens 2008.
Within the framework of InCoMac, a study about The coins in the name of the Macedonians, the Botteatai and the Amphaxians during the late Hellenistic period by S. Kremydi with the collaboration of A. Iakovidou will provide a corpus of c. 3,000 silver and bronze coins from over 70 public and private collections, excavation finds and sales catalogues, issued in the name of the Macedonian ethnos and the regions under the royal regime. These long known coinages were first discussed by Hugo Gaebler in his article in ZfN 20, 1897 and published in his monumental work: Die antiken Münzen von Makedonia und Paionia, erste Abteilung, Berlin 1906.
However, abundant new material has come to light since Gaebler published his detailed catalogue, and methodology in numismatics has changed considerably. The contribution of die and quantification studies, and, more important, the contribution of information from the study of coin hoards have both emerged as new methodological tools in numismatic research. These new tools have helped shed new light on the material and allowed a new dating of the so-called autonomous Macedonian issues. As a result, the historical context within which we should view the material has changed. In addition, the study of the iconography and the metrology of these issues can help to identify their function.
Until its abolition by the Romans in 168 B.C., the Macedonian State was a kingdom within which urban life and civic institutions had certainly existed. The extent to which these institutions were controlled by the central authority is, however, still a matter of debate. This is a discussion to which coinage can contribute significantly, helping further to refine our understanding of the nature of the Macedonian monarchy.
Aigai, the heart of the early kingdom and capital of Macedonia until the reign of Amyntas III, and Amphipolis, an Athenian colony conquered by Philip II, the most important Macedonian polis in the "New Lands" and the seat of the second royal mint, provide material for two important case studies about the circulation of coins in Macedonia.
Within the framework of InCoMac, a digital collection on the Numismatic circulation at Aigai and Amphipolis, shall be compiled by S. Kremydi, K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle, and A. Iakovidou. The collection will include the coin finds that came to light through excavations at these two important cities, namely the coin finds of the excavations conducted by the 17th Ephorate of Antiquities at Aigai, and the finds of the old excavations of Dimitris Lazaridis at Amphipolis in the 1960s. The study of the circulation of coins in these two cities will bring valuable unpublished material to the attention of scholars and will shed new light on the general circulation of bronze coinage in Macedonia. This evidence also provides crucial information about the movement of people within this region and beyond. Finally, this evidence reveals the role that the two cities played within the Macedonian kingdom.
Preliminary results of our research have already been presented and published.
S. Kremydi and K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle, “Aigai and Amphipolis: Numismatic circulation in two major Macedonian cities” at the international conference:
« Les monnaies de fouille du monde grec (VIe-Ie s. av. J.-C.). Apports, approches et méthodes » organised by Fr. Duyrat and C. Grandjean. Athens, French School of Archaeology, 28 and 29 November 2014.
S. Kremydi, “ ‘Autonomous’ coinages under the Royal Regime: issues of the Botteatai, the Macedonians and the Amphaxians under the late Antigonids”, at the international conference: « Βορειοελλαδικά. Histoire du monde des ethné. Colloque international en l’honneur de Miltiade B. Hatzopoulos » organized by M. Kalaitzi and P. Paschidis. Athens, National Hellenic Research Foundation, 20 and 21 February 2015.
S. Kremydi, «Ένα ψηφιακό αποθετήριο ανασκαφικών νομισμάτων: Το παράδειγμα των Αιγών» and
K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle, «Ανασκαφικά νομίσματα Αμφίπολης»,
Both presented at the annual colloquium: «Το Αρχαιολογικό έργο στη Μακεδονία και τη Θράκη: 28η Επιστημονική Συνάντηση». 5th-7th March 2015.