What is numismatist in the understanding of history

Ancient history and numismatics

For ancient history, numismatics, like papyrology and epigraphy, are initially an auxiliary science that opens up direct access to ancient sources in their original materiality and thus opens up access to a large number of topics that are relevant to ancient history. From coining rights and coining sovereignty, it is able to infer political power relations and social structures. The interpretation of coin images and legends provides insights into constitutional, religious and cultural history. Images of history and collective identities are embossed on coins, traditions preserved and recreated or adapted to the circumstances of the times. Coin finds offer invaluable dating clues for the chronology of horizons of destruction, the duration of the occupation of settlements, and allow conclusions to be drawn about the course of the war, internal turmoil, usurpations and expansion. For ancient economic history, the emergence and expansion of coinage and the development of currency circulation is a decisive factor, the supra-regional implementation of currencies is the indicator for the formation of economic areas and an important condition for the establishment of lasting Mediterranean and global trade relations and at the same time intensified a motor cultural exchange.

Classical archeology and numismatics

Ancient numismatics is the scientific study of ancient coins. It encompasses economic and monetary history, political history, the history of religion, epigraphy and the iconography of ancient coins. Because of these diverse facets, dealing with ancient coins requires an interdisciplinary approach. Classical archeology, with its iconographic methods, questions and competencies, makes a decisive contribution to this. In Münster in particular, the iconographic approach to ancient coins is particularly emphasized and the focus is on the coin as an image carrier. In doing so, however, the primary function of ancient coins as a means of payment must never be forgotten and the coin reduced to a pure image carrier. Another innovative field of research in numismatic classical archeology is the consideration of the materiality of coins, which emphasizes the objectivity and the coin is not limited to a two-dimensional image and written medium.

Byzantine Studies and Numismatics

In Byzantine Studies, both the culture and history as well as the written and material evidence of the Eastern Roman / Byzantine Empire from approx. 300 AD. investigated until the 15th century. There is also a multifaceted literature as well as theology and philosophy. Geographically, the research area includes the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. One of the sub-disciplines of the subject is numismatics, which has a solid foundation thanks to the systematic processing and publication of collection material. Byzantine money was the "European" reserve currency until the High Middle Ages, influenced the genesis and design of some payment systems and represented an important factor in the premodern economic systems. Due to the long duration of the empire, not only metallurgical changes but also ideological developments can be read.

Medieval history and numismatics

The materiality, mediality and symbolism of medieval coins bring them into the focus of different sub-disciplines of medieval research. The preoccupation with the object 'coin' counts in the traditional canon of the historical basic or auxiliary sciences. As a means of payment, it is at the same time the object of reference for economic and currency historical research, the operation of the mints combines aspects of legal, rule and technical history. Finally, the graphic design of the embossing makes the coins a profitable source of political iconography. But it is not just the variety of disciplinary approaches and methods that characterize the "numismatic forest of the Middle Ages" (B. Kluge). A look at the coin typology of the era also reveals a wealth of species. Whether Carolingian silver denarii, unilaterally minted hollow pennies from the High Middle Ages or the rival gold and silver currencies of the 14th and 15th centuries: the increasing diversity of coinage reflects monetization and economic differentiation, and therefore significant development processes in medieval society.

Recent and Recent History and Numismatics

The history of coins and money in modern times is a branch of economic history and general cultural and regional history. The field of work ranges from the identification and interpretation of coins, medals, tokens, banknotes and other numismatic objects to the evaluation of sources on coin and monetary history - such as coin finds - to questions of monetary history, such as the history of currency.
Coins and banknotes as state-authorized or recognized money tokens are an important source for the issuer's understanding of rule as well as for currency areas and economic areas. As indicators of monetary crises, e.g. when coins deteriorate, they can also prove political crises. Replacement money in any form, such as brands, provides information about smaller economic cycles. Medals are a medium that, following the example of ancient coins, served the memory of people and events in the early modern period and thus wanted to pass on interpretations to posterity. It could also be an aesthetically sophisticated gift, award, religious souvenir or jewelry.

Islamic Studies and Arabic Studies

Islamic Studies deals with the culture, history, politics and religion of Islamic cultures from the 7th century to the present. Since Islamic scholars deal with a period of more than 1300 years and a geographical area from West Africa to Indonesia, specializations are inevitable. In Münster, the Arabic, Persian and Turkish-speaking regions from Mauritania to Afghanistan are the focus of research and teaching. As diverse as the culture and history of the area is the history of its coins and the importance that coins have in exploring a particular region at a particular time. They are always of economic historical interest. They help to understand times of prosperity and times of crisis and to trace trade relations (from the Indian Ocean on the one hand to Russia and Scandinavia on the other). Since Islamic coins rarely have pictures, but instead have a lot of text and the place and year of their minting is almost always given, they are also historical original sources that can supplement, correct or confirm the chronicles that were only written in retrospect. Owing to their often artful and refined calligraphy, they are also of art historical interest. In many cases, Islamic coins have been imitated by neighboring cultures and thus reveal a lot about intercultural relationships.

Chair of Economics, especially Monetary Economics

The monetary economy deals with topics from the field of monetary theory and policy. In the area of ​​monetary policy, the focus is on the behavior of central banks and the economic effects of central bank policy measures, while numismatics is a branch of monetary theory. Numismatics contributes to a better understanding of the characteristics of today's monetary systems and helps to understand the ongoing process of financial innovation of payment systems. In return, monetary theory allows the existence of money to be justified economically. This explains the use of coins and notes that has existed in different countries and cultures for centuries. This interdisciplinary interaction is what makes the connection between monetary economy and numismatics so attractive.

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