K. Buraselis and K. Meidani Eds . Athens: Tachydromiko Tamieuterio Ellados, (2011). Pp. 687. €20. 978601424613.The Journal of Hellenic Studies


Christy Constantakopoulou
Archaeology / Linguistics and Language / Language and Linguistics / Archaeology / Classics / Literature and Literary Theory / Visual Arts and Performing Arts


REVIEWS OF BOOKS themes are: ‘international’ civic – not royal – coinages, i.e. Athenian (C. Boehringer, J.H. Kroll,

C. Flament and K. Konuk) but also Cyzicene (Kroll), Eginetan (Kroll) and Rhodian (E.

Apostolou); the distribution patterns of local coinages as revealed by hoards, i.e. Thasian (O.

Picard), Thracian (S. Psôma), Epirote/

Aitolian/Acarnanian (D. Tsangari), Thespian (C.

Grandjean), Cypriot (E. Markou) and

Pontic/Paphlagonian/Bithynian (F. de Callataÿ); and, not least, distribution patterns revealed through excavation contexts in south Illyria (G.

Gjongecaj), Epirus (Gjongecaj), Macedonia (C.

Gatzolis and T. Kourempanas), Chalkidike (Gatzolis and P. Tselekas), Thrace (K.

Chryssanthaki-Nagle and Psôma), western Asia

Minor (A. Meadows, Z. Çizmelı-Öğün and M.-C.

Marcellesi), Cos (V.E. Stefanaki and A.

Giannikouri) and Egypt (T. Faucher). Epigraphic evidence shows that Delos struck its own bronze coinage on reduced Attic weight and accepted various coinages, initially predominantly

Athenian, but, after it became a free port in 167

BC, it opened up to receive other coinages as well (V. Chankowski). Unlike all the other areas listed above, Egypt did not host any foreign issues (Faucher). F. Duyrat concludes (through a study of 321 hoards ranging between the Achaemenid period and the first century BC) that not all wars prompted intense hoarding patterns in Syria.

Finally, the penetration of Roman silver and bronze coinages into eastern Mediterranean markets dates to the third century BC at Illyria and

Epirus, and developed from the second century

BC onwards.

The thorough presentation of archaeological (hoard and excavation) numismatic finds by region is by far the uncontested, major contribution of this rich survey. Certain regions have been omitted, ie. Sicily, Italy, regions of Asia

Minor, the Peloponnese and Crete, alongside a number of themes such as the impact of international royal coinages upon local economies; but it is perfectly understandable that it is not possible to cover everything. Even though the articles on iconography address monetary circulation rather superficially, Boehringer’s original view of ‘immobilized’ coin types, i.e. established international issues such as Athenian owls or posthumous royal and confederal issues, highlights a distinct numismatic habit with a significant impact upon the international coin pool of the Classical and

Hellenistic periods, yet without actually explaining its causes. 204

Comparing the initial aims with the results achieved, one realizes that there is progress to be made in order for these accounts to go beyond the plain description of material into a more thorough comprehension of the motors that regulated coin movement through space and time. M. Amandry notes that the two limitations set by the evidence are: (a) hoards are often incomplete and (b) the fragmented nature of excavated coins in relation to the historical topography of ancient sites. Few contributors associate their material with mainstream economic motors: Flament’s cogent explanation of the absence of owls from allied territories due to the taxes (in owls) the allies had to pay to Athens, the description by Meadows of the gradual integration of the cities of western Asian

Minor into the Chian weight standard and the quest by Çizmelı-Öğün and Marcellesi to determine ‘networks of regional exchanges’ in western Asia

Minor constitute promising attempts to integrate data with economic practices and theory.

The prolific archaeological material brought together in this rich volume promises to enhance our understanding of microeconomic relations within regions, if properly exploited by economic historians, and renders the promotion of programmes such as Nomisma absolutely worthwhile.


University of Crete panagop@uoc.gr

BURASELIS (K.) and MEIDANI (K.) Eds Αποταμίευση και διαχείριση χρήματος στην Ελληνική ιστορία. Athens: Tachydromiko

Tamieuterio Ellados, 2011. Pp. 687. €20. 978601424613. doi:10.1017/S0075426914001918

It seems that not all consequences of the current financial and banking crisis of the modern Greek state are abysmally depressing: the current crisis has focused modern Greek attention on the history of banking and investment of money in Greek history, as this handsomely edited volume shows.

The volume is arranged chronologically in four parts: antiquity (both Greek and Roman), the

Byzantine period (the largest section), modern times (17th–19th century) and the 20th century.

The chapters on each section are written by specialists in the field and act as excellent introductions to the current state of scholarly debate and the problems with the evidence. Each part is followed by an extensive specialized bibliography.


In the introduction, the editors rightly emphasize mentality as an important shaping factor in the processes of banking and investment. S. Psôma offers an excellent overview of uses of coinage, explaining thoroughly the practices of different standards; she produces an almost comprehensive regional account of standards used and coin hoards found in the extended Greek world. V. Chankowski discusses the movement of money as an indication of the economic development of the

Classical and Hellenistic world. She focuses on the role of temples as spaces of deposits of money; this differentiates them from banks since temples did not, on the whole, invest their capital (here, Classical Delos is the exception to the rule). Banks, on the other hand, engaged in activities of investment. N. Giannakopoulos examines the Roman practice of storing wealth in domestic contexts; he produces an extremely useful list of coin hoards found in the Greek world. The argument here is that benefactions and investments show high levels of liquidity available to the upper classes; indeed, the primary role of various processes of savings and credit was the continuation of existing class stratifications. G.