KOINON – Common currencies and shared identities

Understanding the structures and daily realities of Greek federal states through an analysis of coin production and coin circulation in the Aetolian and Peleponnesian Koina (5th-1st BC)

The aim of the project is to obtain a better understanding of the functioning of Greek federal states (koina), both at a structural and a day-.‐ to-.‐ day level, by a comprehensive and integrated analysis of their coinages. To this end the Achaean, Arcadian and Aetolian koina were selected (5th-.‐ 1st c. BC). Three lines of research will be pursued: 1) How were competences and decision making divided between the authorities of the koinon on the one hand and the local authorities of the cities on the other? 2) How integrated were the cities within the federal state? 3) How was a federal identity created and communicated? In all three lines of enquiry, developments will be traced from the time of origin of the League until after its dissolution.

Three complementary approaches to numismatic material will be used in these three research lines: metrological and iconographical analyses, coin hoard and single find studies, and archaeometallurgical analyses. Archaeometallurgical analysis of bronze and silver coins will be performed, using complementary analytical methods, at the University of Frankfurt and at the IRAMAT Centre Ernest-Babelon at Orleans. The historical/numismatic team in Tours/Orleans will work on the production, technical and iconographical features of the coins, both those produced by the koinon as an institute and those issued by the individual members of the koinon. The archaeological/numismatic team in Frankfurt will study the circulation, use and loss of these same coinages. Together the teams will study the historical and archaeological background to contextualize the numismatic data. Combined and integrated these results will lead to more insight into the functioning of coinage as an instrument and a witness of federal policy and power during the Classical and Hellenistic periods. An important tool for the project will be the creation of a weblinked project database, where all data obtained can be gathered and interlinked.


Prof. Dr. Sabine Klein (Projektteil Analytik Deutschland)


Prof. Dr. Catherine Grandjean, Centre Tourangeau d’Histoire et d’études des Sourcees, Université Francois-Rabelais, Tours

Prof. Dr. Fleur Kemmers, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Abt. II, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.


Amélie Perrier, Université s’Orleans

Maryse Blet-Lemarquand, CNRS, Orleans

Frederique Duyrat, Julien Olivier, Bibliothèque nationale de France

Denis Knöpfler, College de France Université Neuchâtel, CH,

Florian Duval, CEMHTI CNRS Orléans

Angela Ganterm, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


DFG-ANR, Franco-German funding. For the German part: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(2009-2014)