Podcast Season 2 Episode 8 – Breaking the Mold: Quasi-Official Coinage in Roman Egypt with Irene Soto Marín

Headshot of Dr. Irene Soto Marín.
Dr. Irene Soto Marín

On this episode of the Peopling the Past podcast, we are joined by Dr. Irene Soto Marín, an assistant professor of classical studies at the University of Michigan and the assistant curator of numismatics at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology (University of Michigan). Dr. Soto Marín’s research interests include the ancient economy, numismatics, papyrology, trade, and taxation, especially in Roman Egypt. She has excavated in Turkey and Egypt, and contributed to research projects on Roman coins in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Listen in, as she discusses the role of Quasi-Official Coinage in Roman Egypt — that is, Egyptian coins produced by state agents outside of the official mint in Alexandria in order to respond to local needs.

Interested in learning more? Check out this related article by Dr. Soto Marín:

Soto Marín, I. (2020). “Coin Molds and a Decentralized Monetary Policy in Tetrarchic Egypt”, American Journal of Numismatics Second Series 32: 309-334.

Looking for a transcript of this episode? Click here.
Bronze coin with the head of Diocletian in profile. There is a Latin inscription around the outside of the coin, which reads: IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG.
Bronze AE1 of Diocletian, Alexandria, AD 300. This type of coin was used in pay soldiers in the early-fourth century CE
(American Numismatic Society; Public Domain)
A coin mould made from red ware pottery with the edges chipped around the top. The coin mould displays a profile view of Constantine I with the inscription: IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG.
Fragment of a pottery coin mould  of a nummus of Constantine I, from Egypt
(© The Trustees of the British Museum)
A coin mould made from red ware pottery with part of the top pf the mould missing. The coin mould displays a standing nude figure with a partial inscription that reads: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG.
Fragment of a pottery coin-mould of a nummus of Licinius I
(© The Trustees of the British Museum)

Additional Resources Related to this Podcast

Valk, J. and Soto Marín, I. (2021). Ancient Taxation: The Mechanics of Extraction in Comparative Perspective. NYU Press.

The Social Lives of Coins: Archaeology and Numismatics at the Kelsey

Roman Provincial Coinage Online

Recent Lectures by Dr. Soto Marín

“Late Antique Ceramic Contexts at Amheida, Egypt”

“The Question of Gold in Fourth-Century Egypt” (ANS Money Talks)

“Numismatic Collection at the Kelsey”

Interview on Ancient Fashion

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