“On metrology, there’s been a lot of work by Kushner-Stein and Finkielsztejn on Seleukid weights. I wonder where these fit into F.’s theory (no enshrined in a narrative in this big article by Honigman et al. in a vol. on Antiochos III from a few years ago) of a major reform in the time of Antiochos IV.
Finkielsztejn, G. “Poids de plomb inscrits du Levant: une réforme d’Antiochos IV?” edited by M. Sartre, 35–60. Topoi Suppl. 8. Lyon: Maison de l’orient méditerranéen, 2007.”
The first release of Schaefer’s die study (RRDP) was just the binders. NOW you can see all the analyzed specimens! All digitized clippings have been uploaded to Archer, the ANS archival portal, in batches of 100 Crawford numbers. Again, using CRRO is the best way to find the images of a type. Just like you’d do to find a specimen in the Binder (direction here), you just go to the bottom of the CRRO page and click the link to Archer.
Processed clippings means that they represent photographs of die-analysed specimens that for MOST issues represent dies are already illustrated in the binders. Typically Schaefer left the two specimens that best represented a die in the binder and then placed the rest in his drawers (output).
To scan the drawers Dr. Richardson dealt out the images with the first image in the drawer at the top left corner of the scan and then down in a column before then starting an new column. This allows you to reconstruct a drawer. Some types took more than one scanner page. You will need to consult the binders for the die study, in particular to match die names in the processed clippings to the die names on specimens in the binders.
The exception to all this is ODEC (One Die for Each Control Mark). These types are only processed clippings and do not have corresponding pages in the binders. For example, you might check out my favorite, Papius (RRC 384/1).
For ODEC the order that the images are laid out in the scans are the die study. The die names are also labelled and should always be double checked against layout. (Human error is real, esp. in a project of this scale)
Is that it? Has Schaefer’s archive given up all its treasure? Sadly no.
Schaefer has thousands and thousands of un-analysed (prepossessed) clippings only a very small fraction of these could be scanned because of time constraints. Dr. Richardson did put together a spreadsheet documenting the extent of this collection. The clipping are organized by type, just not die organized.
Things to expect in the future.
A full finding aid to the collection incorporating and refining much of the preliminary information archived here on my personal blog in draft form.
Disambiguation to improve links on CRRO. Schaefer did not always use Crawford’s subtypes (a, b, c…) and this means that it is more difficult to create links from CRRO pages that follow Crawford to the right Schaefer pages. HOWEVER, just because you don’t see a link in CRRO doesn’t mean there aren’t pages in Schaefer’s Archive. It more likely means we’ve not yet manage to create the links. I welcome emails to help identify these types. For clippings you can easily find these yourself, but if you cannot locate the right binder, I’m happy to provide this service.
I’m very grateful to Prof. Sinclair W. Bell for reading the below post and sending me the following article which I had not read when I wrote the original post! I’ve annotated my original post to highlight our agreements and disagreements.
—Original post with annotations based on Daoust–
I am very grateful to Dr. Jeremy Haag for sending me an email asking my thoughts on this relief. I found I had quite a few… As often happens.
BM 1954,1214.1has since Vermuele been taken as a possible illustration of some mint workers. This interpretation cannot stand.
Two men are pictured, both formerly enslaved. The man on the left, Philonicus was a lictor. Lictors not only carried fasces but also carried another thinner rod perhaps what is called by Festus a commetaculum, or maybe it would be called a bacillum (staff) as in Cic. Agr. 2.93. Regardless of what the right Latin word is for this little rod, never the less we see it in the hands of lictors all the time! There is a good case to be made that it’s “the get out of my way” stick–the stick that actually got used as opposed to the ceremonial bundle.
Details of above monument:
Why did anyone ever think Philonicus might have not been a lictor? Because they were misled by the idea that the Mariemont Relief represented a scene of emancipation rather than a scene from the circus with a presiding official and three desultores.
[Update: Daoust p. 239ff. is concerned, as Ashmole and Manning before him, that the axe shape is strange and describes it as archaic following Schäfer’s chronology (dang, I want that book on my shelves forever–pandemic book access is such a pain…). Not having Schäfer to hand I can’t decide how convinced I am but I’m generally skeptical. Some times representations of fasces are consistent (e.g. on Norbanus coinage), but often the die engravers are very casual about variations in style and not all iconography ‘evolves’ in the chronologically meaningful way–look at the mess Fittschen hair styles got us into for the Antonine dating. I agree that the fasces are occupational; I do not believe the men worked for the Roman state as blacksmiths or reported to lictors, I believe Philonicus may have started life as a blacksmith and then became a lictor.]
The man on the right is Demetrius and he was owned by the late Philonicus and made the monument for both himself and his patronus [Update: Daoust concurs, p. 232-3]. I concur strongly with Manning that the tools are the right represent are to be associated with carpentry, a view endorsed by Roger Ulrich (p. 31 of his book Roman Woodworking). The only thing I have to add is the observation that some of the tools are also depicted in the fresco of Icarus from the House of Vettius, namely bow-drill, adze.
[Update: Daoust p. 237 also mentions this fresco and sees in it Icarus using a tool like the ‘knife’ in the relief–what he identifies as a mortise chisel. This was my very first thought as well for the identity of the tool on the relief, so I am tempted. I shied away from this interpretation as I couldn’t find a good parallel image in Ulrich but this may be about which profile of the chisel is shown. I was inclined to emphasize its knife-like qualities because of the similarity in profile to knives in cutler iconography. I grant these are not exact parallels, but neither is the chisel (yet…)]
One of the mysteries is why the adze and tanged paring chisel, the lowest two tools on the right hand side are shown without handles, whereas the drill is shown with its finely turned spoke and the knife is also shown with a handle (Daoust, p. 238 also emphasizes this point). I have a speculation, but I’m going to wait to share until we’ve dealt with the pediment.
Manning has already observed that the tongs do not hold a flan but instead had a flange to ensure closure and improve grasp [Update: on this feature of tongs and relationship to the production of small tools, Daoust p. 236]. The really kicker though is the two part anvil. One part anvils are known in Roman art, but two part anvils like the one seen here are very common. The top portion of the anvil is NOT a die.
[Daoust p. 236 refers to this type of relief of a blacksmith expert in lock making for comparative evidence of tools and product both appearing on such occupationally themed memorials.]
So do we have three professions held by two men here? Maybe. Maybe Philonicus started off as a blacksmith became a lictor upon being freed and then set up Demetrius in business as a carpenter. Lictors are essentially bully-boys or body guards and Philonicus does have a meathead look to him and who better than a blacksmith to make a lictor?
But I also think it just possible that Demetrius was a blacksmith specializing in the creation of carpentry tools especially hard to make stuff like drill bits and precise knives. It’s a simpler explanation, two professions instead of three AND it fits with the last two tools being shown with out handles.
[Update: Daoust believes the tympanum must refer to both men and a share profession. This is logical. p. 234 following. He emphasizes on p. 235 that the hammer is a a cross-pene type and thus for finer work. I’d put less emphasis on on this as identifying the type of blacksmith or try to marshal more comparative evidence to support it. That said I don’t have Zimmer, G. 1982. Römische Berufsdarstellungen, AF 12. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag to hand and if I did I might be more convinced.]
Smiths with specializations are known:
As are those that specialize in blades. Tomb 29 from Ostia might be a good comparison point.
(I thank Donna Levinsohn for first raising these questions. PLEASE email me at yarrow [at] brooklyn [dot] cuny [dot] edu if you cannot find an issue in Schaefer’s binders or the index and I will updated this post.)
ODEC = One Die for Each Control-Mark
Status of release for issues not (yet) linked to CRRO
316– not indexing correctly, must troubleshoot and update data; for now this this issue can be found in Binder 2, on pages 50, 51, 54, 55, 58, 59, 64, 65, 68, 70, 71, 74, 76, 77, 80, 81, 84, 85, 88, 89, 92, 93, 96, 97 100, 101, 104, 105, 112, 113, 115; there are also seventeen (!) clippings images that have not yet been released, but those will contain no new dies.
378 – part of ODEC, likely to be released by September 2020
394 – disambiguation of sub-types in underlying data is required before the online indexing will reflect location, for now this this issue can be found in Binder 6, on pages 104, 106, 107, 112, 113; there is also one clippings image that has not yet been released, but that will contain no new dies.
442– disambiguation of sub-types in underlying data is required before the online indexing will reflect location, for now this this issue can be found in Binder 9, on pages 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 20; there are also four clippings images that have not yet been released, but those will contain no new dies.
453 – disambiguation of sub-types in underlying data is required before the online indexing will reflect location, for now this this issue can be found in Binder 9, on pages 178, 179, 182, 184, 185, 190, 191; there are also three clippings images that have not yet been released, but those will contain no new dies.
The poor coin copiers of yesteryear how could they ever imagine we would now be able to share information so well! I really never suspected a thing either until I asked what I thought was just an ignorant question to some lovely twitter friends.
This RRC 513/2specimen in the Ashmolean has an odd punch mark. I’d not seen anything like it exactly on a Roman Republican specimen so I wanted to know more about the phenomenon. An ancient counter-mark of some type seems to be consensus. (Do you know of similar counter-marks on RR coins? Please do let me know!)
The beaded border on the Oxford specimen is clearly too large for the impress made by the die and must be the result of tooling.
So someone in the 18th century sold the Reverend Charles Godwyn a cast of the Paris specimen (when did that specimen arrive in Paris? That is one piece of the puzzle not yet answered). He then bequested to the Ashmolean and now as the collection is being digitized and references attached to each digital record we now see the fraud. Or perhaps Godwyn knew and just wanted a copy for his collection of a rare type and then in the bequest the knowledge of its status as a copy was lost.