Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Richard Abdy's new Hadrianic RIC volume published to OCRE

After a tremendous amount of work by ANS curatorial assistant, Lauren Tomanelli, and with the permission of Spink & Son and British Museum curator and author of the newest edition of Roman Imperial Coinage (Volume II, Part 3, second edition), Richard Abdy, the new coin types of Hadrian have been published to Online Coins of the Roman Empire.

The new volume includes more than 3,000 types of Hadrian, with a much more granular description of busts, we have taken a type/subtype approach to the new volume in order to minimize the reduction of physical specimens that are attributed to these types.

For example, RIC II.3 Hadrian 4-6 have three distinct busts:

  • Bust of Hadrian, laureate, bare chest, traces of drapery on far shoulder usually visible, right
  • Bust of Hadrian, laureate, cuirassed, right, viewed from front
  • Bust of Hadrian, laureate, draped and cuirassed, right, viewed from front
These three types have been derived from a single type in the original volume, 2C. Since few, if any, other collections have begun to catalog their collections in the new type numbers, if we published every type without linking Hadrian 4-6 as a supertype, we would end up losing all of the specimen data from Hadrian 2C. There is certainly a disadvantage to this approach, which can be illustrated in Hadrian 14-16:

While II.3 Hadrian 14 maps 1:1 with II Hadrian 4B, II.3 Hadrian 15 and 16 both map to one type in the first edition (4C). Therefore, the same example specimens appear under the Hadrian 15 and 16 types, not having been disambiguated by bust type in the source cataloging from partner collections. We hope these sorts of issues will be cleaned up over time.

On the other hand, the supertype strategy does open the door to archaeological materials to be attributed to the supertype, when the bust is too worn for certain identification.

The Concordance List

Lauren worked to put together a concordance list between the old and new type numbers, which we have published as a Google Sheet here. The relationship is often 1:1, but there are 1:n relationships in either direction. Under the hood in Numishare, 1:1 relationships result in an HTTP 303 See Other redirect to the new type URI. If an old URI corresponds to more than 1 new URI, the user is presented with a choice of possibilities (example, The underlying RDF data include dcterms:replaces/dcterms:isReplacedBy and skos:exactMatch properties, according to precedents we have established in other projects, like Ptolemaic Coins Online.

There are some 400 type numbers from the first edition that are not in the second, including cistophori, which have moved to Roman Provincial Coinage. We plan to create automated redirects to RPC Online for this block of about 100 types in the near future.

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