The June 28, 2012 issue of Coins Weekly had this obituary of Corpus Nummorum author Dr.
Edith Schönert-Geiβ by Ulrike Peter.
Edith Schönert-Geiβ was born on August 7, 1933 in Dresden. There she went to school from 1940 to
1952 leaving with a college degree. After moving to Berlin she studied history at Humboldt University. As
early as September 1, 1956 Edith Schönert-Geiβ was appointed assistant at the Central Institute
for Ancient History and Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (Zentralinstitut fúr Alte Geschichte und Archãologie der Akademie der
Wissenschaften der DDR). Since the beginning she was dedicated to the 'Griechisches Münzwerk'. In
various positions all her life was linked to the Corpus Nummorum. After World War II she revived
this project that had once been started by Theodor Mommsen and published much on city issues. Hence, until
now the 'Griechisches Münzwerk' of Thracian cities is connected closely with her name.
In May 1960 Edith Schönert-Geiβ received her PhD degree in Ancient History and Numismatics with
a work on 'Provincial Issues of the city of Perinthos' at Humboldt University. This study was to form the
core of the first Corpus volume. The second volume (issues from Byzantium) was based on her book 'Early
silver issues from Byzantium', her habilitation thesis in numismatics at the same university in 1966.
Besides the edition of Corpora of Thracian cities Edith Schönert-Geiβ has dedicated herself
especially to the late Roman coins found at the castrum Iatrus at the Danube part of the limes.
What Edith Schönert-Geiβ did she accomplished always on a very high level of quality and
accuracy. She never saw compilation and publication of the material as an end in itself but always as a
first step to ask the 'bigger' questions: illuminating the history of the cities, working on
iconographical and metrological problems, illustrating hence the importance of coins for enhancing our
knowledge of the ancient world. Also she passed her profound acquaintance with the material to the younger
generations by teaching at Humboldt University and Freie Universitãt, Berlin.
In 1963 Edith Schönert-Geiβ was appointed honorary member of the Numismatic Society of Romania,
in 1987 she became honorary member of the Numismatic Society in Stara Zagora (Bulgaria) receiving from the
city of Stara Zagora (ancient Augusta Traiana) the honorary citizenship on behalf of her final Corpus
volume on the coinage of Augusta Traiana and Traianopolis. In the same year she was distinguished by the
Central Committee of the Numismatic Society of Bulgaria in Sofia on behalf of her merits for 'the
popularization and conservation of the numismatic wealth'.
To conclude her academic life she compiled a comprehensive bibliography of the numismatics of Thracia and
Moesia. By this, once again, she revealed her precise working, her distinguished sense of duty and her joy
of working applied to numismatics. When she was 65 she left the Academy of Science of Brandenburg-Berlin
after 42 years of service on August 31, 1998. However, until the last moment she had remained an active
member and a constant patron of the Friends of ancient numismatics in Berlin.
On June 12, 2012 the life of Edith Schönert-Geiβ was consummated. In her we loose a
distinguished and respected scholar and colleague.
To read the complete article, see:
Dr. habil. Edith Schönert-Geiβ (b. August 7, 1933 – d. June 12, 2012)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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