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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 34, August 23, 2009, Article 3

NEW BOOK: OVERSTRUCK GREEK COINS BY DAVID MACDONALD

Dennis Tucker forwarded this information about the latest title from Whitman Publications. -Editor

MacDonald_Overstruck_Greek_Coins Whitman Publishing announces the release of Overstruck Greek Coins: Studies in Greek Chronology and Monetary Theory, by David MacDonald. The 288-page hardcover book will be available online, in bookstores, and from dealers nationwide in late September 2009, and can be preordered at www.WhitmanBooks.com.

Overstruck Greek Coins is intended for serious collectors of ancient coins, but it is intriguing enough to appeal to general collectors and historians. It is the first book-length study to explain how Greek coins were overstruck, when they were overstruck, and why they were overstruck. Its revelations offer new understanding to students of ancient history.

"The sophistication of ancient cultures in monetary terms was revealed to me by this remarkable volume," said Harlan J. Berk, author of 100 Greatest Ancient Coins, who wrote the book’s foreword.

Overstruck coins are those that have been "recoined" by striking them with new and different dies, without first having the original design completely removed. In ancient times, this was done for various reasons: to certify the coins’ quality; to encourage their circulation in a faraway land; to restrict their export and keep them in local economies; to validate them for mercenary soldiers’ pay; to raise revenue; to avoid mandated recoining fees; or to make a political or patriotic statement.

MacDonald Overstruck Greek Coins2 "Overstrikes have been recognized since the early days of numismatics, but the attention paid to them was, for a long time, sporadic and uneven," writes award-winning author David MacDonald. "The study of overstrikes has now become a standard part of numismatic methodology."

MacDonald’s engaging study includes more than 300 high-resolution photographs and line drawings showing overstruck coins and their undertypes; an appendix on previously published Mesambrian overstrikes; a gallery of actual sizes; detailed notes; and an extensive bibliography of pertinent books and auction catalogs. The author explores the regions of Gaul and Italy, Sicily, Bosporus, Macedonia, Thrace, Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Judaea, North Africa, and Indo-Greece, along with a study of several enigmatic pieces.

Overstruck Greek Coins: Studies in Greek Chronology and Monetary Theory
By David MacDonald
Foreword by Harlan J. Berk
288 pages ∙ Full color ∙ 6 x 9 inches ∙ Hardcover ∙ Retail $39.95 U.S.

I haven't seen the book yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I was familiar with overstruck coinage, but hadn't been aware of overstruck ancients. This is an interesting topic. It will be equally interesting to see how well the title sells (very well, I hope).

Whitman Publishing focuses on popular titles, and a work with an academic-sounding subtitle (Studies in Greek Chronology and Monetary Theory) is unusual for them. But hooray! I hope this portends a wider range of titles in the company's high quality, affordably-priced line. -Editor


Wayne Homren, Editor

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