Numismatics in the Renaissance

on display in the

This major exhibit comprised a selection of early printed books from Princeton University Library holdings that contain numismatic illustrations based on ancient coins, displayed alongside coins from the Princetone University Numismatic Collection that correspond to those illustrations. The books included treatises on numismatics, works on ancient history, and editions of classical texts such as Suetonius’s Lives of the Caesars. The confrontation of the printed and numismatic sources illuminated the role of numismatics in the development of humanistic writing and publishing and the effect of the inclusion of coin images on the development of book illustration. Additional features of the exhibit were an example of the 1561 map of Rome by Pirro Ligorio, which used ancient coin images as the basis of the illustration of many buildings, and sixteenth-century coins and medals th at display the growing interest in and knowledge of ancient coins in the era.

A Symposium entitle "The Rebirth of Antiquity" was held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit. The Rebirth of Antiquity, the collection of papers given at the accompanying Symposium held on November 9, 2007, is available for purchase.