Friday, June 19, 2020

Hellenistic Royal Coinages union monogram catalog enabled

After making some minor updates to the XQuery that underlies the symbol pages in Numishare, I have enabled the unified monogram interface in the Hellenistic Royal Coinages umbrella site. There are now 2,800 monogram URIs in this interface spread across Seleucid, Ptolemaic, and Argead coinage, including posthumous issues in the name of Alexander the Great published in the PELLA project. These monograms can be filtered by constituent letter, as in individual projects, showing overlap between the various Hellenistic kingdoms. It will become apparent that identical monograms will have different URIs in the different type corpora. This will be addressed eventually, as we combine these images with monograms from other Greek numismatic projects, such as Corpus Nummorum, and issue unique URIs for each monogram concept in the namespace.

Hellenistic monograms consisting of Χ and Ψ

Some minor updates to Numishare were made this morning to index the constituent letters from these monograms into a Solr facet that appears under the symbols section of the browse page in each project, as well as the HRC umbrella site. The letters are indexed at the level of obverse and reverse, but not specific positions, like other symbols. The Javascript that forms the Lucene query has been updated to replace the default operator from OR to AND for letters, since it is more useful to search for types related to all of the associated letters than any of them (in contrast to mints, denominations, etc., where a coin type is typically only associated with one).

Hellenistic coins with monograms that contain Χ and Ψ

Price 874
What interesting here is that there are two pairs of identical monograms in the results. One coin from each pair is from PELLA and the other from SCO. For example, Price 874 is the same monogram as Houghton 570.4. Looking at the types associated with these monograms, Price attributes one type (P151) to Philip III Arrhidaeus from Aradus, but the monogram appears on several Seleucid types. In particular, P151 appears to be identical to, which also includes an identical monogram form (also with two different URIs in PELLA and SCO) in the left field (according to the images, but not the cataloging). The cataloging in PELLA is wrong here and should be fixed. The photographs associated with the Price type clearly show these monograms in left field, and Price 399 beneath the throne (perhaps wrongly encoded as the Greek zeta in SCO).

Price P151 and SC Ad43.9 have not previously been linked together as the same type. Four coins from the Ashmolean and BnF link to the Price URI, but no coins have been cataloged to the SC number. By inserting these types into our concordance list, we will be able to display the images for the coins in SCO. Furthermore, Houghton, Lorber, and Hoover attribute this type to Seleucus, minted in Babylon. While we will not change Price's cataloging to change the authority and mint for the type, ideally we want to to use the SC data as the canonical reference.

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