Coin collectors in the good old times

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by GinoLR, Jun 21, 2024.

  1. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Jean de La Bruyère was a French moralist of the late 17th century. In 1688 he translated in French the Characters of Theophrastes, an ancient Greek author, and added some modern ones.

    Here is (in 1881 English translation) what he wrote about ancient coins collectors...

    philologus_1, galba68, Factor and 9 others like this.
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  3. lardan

    lardan Supporter! Supporter

    I wonder if any here see themselves (including me) at least a little bit. Thanks for posting this.
  4. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark all my best friends are dead Romans Dealer

    a bit about Petrarch (1304-1374)

    In Italy during the fourteenth century some men began to study ancient Roman coins. This should not be a surprise though, as it was the Renaissance, and there was a great interest in the classical past. The humanist Petrarch was the most famous of these early numismatists. Petrarch said in a letter that often people would approach him with a request to identify a newly discovered ancient coin. “Often there came to me in Rome a vinedigger, holding in his hands an ancient jewel or a golden Latin coin, sometimes scratched by the hard edge of a hoe, urging me either to buy it or to identify the heroic faces inscribed on them.” At this time, people were mostly concerned with iconography— they mainly wanted to know which emperor was on the front of their coin. A quote from Petrarch illustrates the Renaissance interest in the portraits on the coins. In 1354, Petrarch gave some Roman coins to Emperor Charles IV. “I presented him with some gold and silver coins, which I held very dear. They bore the effigies of some of our rulers—one of them, a most life-like head of Caesar Augustus—and were inscribed with exceedingly minute characters.”
  5. rasielsuarez

    rasielsuarez Active Member

    Ha! So true (and quotable) :)

    philologus_1 and lardan like this.
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