YOU ARE INVITED TO THE ANNUAL
THOMAS P. ROCKWELL MEMORIAL LECTURE
7 PM, MONDAY APRIL 11, 2016.
Prue Morgan Fitts, Speaker
Visual Propaganda on Coins of the Eastern Roman Empire, (Byzantium) Perception and Reality
Trinity Church (New Light Korean Church)
730 Main St. (Rt.20)
Boston Numismatic Society, Currency Club of New England and Collectors Club of Boston
This year we are pleased to have Prue Fitts as our speaker. Her name may be familiar to you as she is a past Governor of the ANA and a keynote speaker for their Sundman Lectures. She recently authored the book published by Spink, London, 2015: TheBeginner’s Guideto Identifying Byzantine Coins. Prue earned her Associate of Arts degree at Bradford Jr. College and her BA degree at Bradford College then received her Master of Education degree at Harvard University.
Currently Prue is president (Empress) of: The Association of Dedicated Byzantine Collectors, past president of Women in Numismatics (WIN) and a past governor of the ANA. She is also an active member of other local and national collector organizations and a speaker for many of these.
Prue has always felt extremely lucky to have spent time during her teens exploring the ruins of Corinth while her father was excavating. A handful of scyphates given to her by her father decades ago kindled an interest in Byzantine and other antiquities and brings her to where she now stands as an expert on the subject and a speaker in demand. Also, the opportunity to share research and new finds with her husband Arthur, a noted collector and researcher of English coins, has been a positive experience for both of them.
“Earliest representations mirrored some traditional Western coinage until the transition into new, fresh and mind seducing images. I believe that these were purposeful techniques of propaganda designed to proclaim that Romaion or what we call Byzantium was the true seat of government and remove, once and for all, the perception of a “Janus” Empire.”
“Positioning on coinage was a visual representation of “who’s on first”. There were rules of precedence of course, but these were broken by murderous ambition by some. Misrepresentation of image on coinage caused the downfall of at least one emperor. Women were represented sparingly, some with honor (but no power) as wife of emperor and some with considerable influence. One became Empress in her own right, via infanticide.”
There are many excellent references for the collector who is familiar with Byzantine coinage but there was nothing which tackled the beginner’s efforts to understand the coinage. For example, legends are in both Latin and Greek together as well as separately. The Beginner’s Guide to Identifying Byzantine Coins is a primer which gives basic information on denominations, legends, metals and symbols.
The members of the three Boston area clubs are happy to present this program of our yearly combined meeting, the “Rockwell Lecture Series” and hope you will be able to attend, meet with and enjoy Prue’s presentation along with us. Refreshments (finger food, sweets, cheese and crackers, cake, coffee and soft drinks) will be available. Additional parking may be found on street and behind the library building across the street.