Welcome to The PtolemAE Project

Updated October 13, 2015 for the new stand-alone domain hosting structure.

This web site is dedicated to education and information about
Ptolemaic Bronze Coins.

COIN PHOTOS - View Mint and Denomination Series of Ptolemaic Bronzes
Offprint of the American Journal of Numismatics (2013) Paper on Ptolemaic Bronze Coin Metrology (online PDF)
Offprint of the Numismatic Chronicle (2011) Paper on Sicilian Ptolemaic Bronzes (online PDF)
All Web Supplemental Material For The 'Sicilian' Paper
NEW ARTICLE - Further Observations on Sicilian Ptolemaic Bronzes and their Imitations
Read About Ptolemaic Bronzes Minted By Hieron II Of Syracuse
FREE ONLINE PtolemAE Ptolemaic Bronze Attribution Software
FREE ONLINE Numismatic Die Analysis Statistical Calculators
Interesting Questions about Ptolemaic Bronze Coinage
Read Svoronos Online
View the British Museum Collection of Ptolemaic Coins Online
Read O. Hoover's Scathing Review of Matthew Kreuzer's 'Cleopatra' Book
Read Matthew Kreuzer's Book
Introductory web site of Olivier Picard
Learn about how Ptolemaic bronzes were manufactured
Learn about the 1992 Coinex Hoard
Translate numismatic terms into a variety of languages
See Ptolemaic Coin Info and Sales Data at Wildwinds.com
Extensive Bibliography on Ptolemaic Coinage
Brief biographies of the Ptolemaic kings
Coin Photography Method and Setup

This project would not have been possible without the generous help of Catharine Lorber.
Additional features will be added and updates will continue. Thank you.

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Reference Works and Attribution Software for PC

Recommended books of scholarly value on Ptolemaic Coins

Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion (The Coinage of the Ptolemaic Empire) - by Svoronos. The most important and comprehensive reference work on Ptolemaic coins covers over 650 bronze types (and another 1000 or so silver and gold coins). Known as 'Svoronos', for short. This work is long ago out of print (having appeared over 100 years ago) but it is enormously important to collectors of Ptolemaic coins (gold, silver and bronze). You can read and learn to identify Ptolemaic bronzes using the online translation of this Greek language work (translated by Catharine Lorber) that has been provided, gratis, in an online version by Ed Waddell. The link is shown above. This is the gold standard to which all subsequent analysis and research is referenced.

Catalogues of the Greek Coins in the British Museum (Vol. 6 The Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt) by R. S. Poole, 1883. This book, though long ago outdated (esp. by Svoronos), is nevertheless valuable as a source of photos for type comparisons. A link to an online set of the plates from this book is found above.

Die Muenzen der Ptolemaer - Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main (The Coins of the Ptolemies - Historical Museum of Frankfurt am Main) - by Hans-Christoph Noeske (available in paperback). This book is in German and covers a number of bronzes (as well as silver and gold coins) in the collection of the museum mentioned in its title. This book has nice plates and its own catalog numbering but there are handy cross-reference tables to Svoronos and SNGCopenhagen catalog numbers.

Katalog Ptolemaischer Bronzemuenzen Der Sammlung Des Instituts Fur Altertumskunde Der Universitat Zu Koln (Catalog of Ptolemaic Bronze Coins of the Institute for Ancient Culture of the University of Cologne) - by Wolfram Weiser (out of print, paper). This book is also in German and covers only bronzes (about 170 pcs) in the collection of the museum in its title. With good plates this is a valuable reference because it takes an updated approach to some of the reignal attributions and shows a few coins that aren't in Svoronos. The difficulty is that the analytical support for the revised attributions is said to be 'coming in a future publication' but has never appeared in print. Some of the reignal attribution changes are likely mistaken but overall a very interesting collection with excellent photographs.

SNG Copenhagen, vol. 41: Egypt: The Ptolemies, Copenhagen, 1974 (Sylloge Numismorum Graecorum - Collection of the Royal Museum of Copenhagen) - by Otto Morkholm and Anne Kromann - This book covers a large number of Ptolemaic bronzes and has some revisions and updates to Svoronos. Some reignal attributions need revision in light of newer research.

Ptolemaic Coins: An Introduction for Collectors, Toronto, 1995 by R. A. Hazzard

Papers by Catharine Lorber on Ptolemaic Bronzes

Development of Ptolemaic Bronze Coinage in Egypt - Institut Francais d'Archaeologie Orientale; Etudes alexandrines 10 - 2005, p. 135. An overview of this field that is short, to the point, and can help collectors become quickly familiar with the themes, types, sizes, and history of Ptolemaic bronzes. A must-read.

A Hoard of Ptolemaic Bronze Coins in Commerce, October 1992 (CH 8, 413) - (Stephen M. Huston and Catharine C. Lorber) - Detailed analysis of the Coinex Hoard (see web link to more info on the Coinex Hoard, above).

Large Ptolemaic Bronzes in Third-Century Egyptian Hoards - AJN Second Series 12 (2000) pp 67-92. - Another valuable comparison of actual coins found in modern hoards with coin sizes and types, monogram series, and their relationships to time periods and reigns. Another must-read.

The Lotus of Aphrodite on Ptolemaic Bronzes - Swiss Numismatic Revue v. 80 2001 p. 39 - A study of a variety of Ptolemaic bronzes of Cyprus with 'lotus flower' design feature that explains a historical and reignal sequence of types and styles. This paper is of especially important interest to students and collectors of the coins of Cyprus.

PtolemAE - Fast Attribution Software for Ptolemaic Bronzes

Svoronos and the other reference books are extremely valuable, but Svoronos contains over 650 different catalog entries for different types of Ptolemaic bronzes alone. That can make attribution and comparisons very tedious and time-consuming even with the online version at hand in a web browser.

To make it much easier, faster, and more fun to identify a coin with its Svoronos catalog number there is now a software program for PC, called PtolemAE, that uses a few pull-down menus to instantly create a 'match list' from which you can easily find the best match to your coin in seconds. The PtolemAE program essentially *is* Svoronos, in software form. The program is accompanied by a specially created database that catalogs almost all the information about over 650 Svoronos catalog entries for bronzes in a coded form the program can use.

You can try a web-interactive version by clicking on the link below:

Try the FREE Online Demonstration PtolemAE Attribution Software!

Or you may also download the free 'offline' demo version here:

Download free demo attribution software

Just save the .zip file, then unzip it and you'll have a folder which contains the program and all supporting files in one group. You do not neet to 'install' it - just run the program and you'll get the hang of it in 30 seconds. The 'demo' version is a bit simplified and provides a bit less information than the 'full' version and it will shut itself off in a few minutes. You may run it again and again as many times as you like.

A 'full' version of the PtolemAE software attribution program (which provides more information for each 'match' and lets you narrow down your search with a couple more pull-down menus) is available by request. The 'full' version is meant to appeal to ancient coin dealers who need speedier attribution tools and serious collectors who wish to catalog Ptolemaic bronzes without the tedious recourse to Svoronos itself. A modest contribution to the PtolemAE Project web site is requested by the author for the 'full' version of PtolemAE. Those who do contribute the requested amount will get a CDROM with the program and a nice collection of over 200 megabytes of high resolution photos showing detailed images of hundreds of different Svoronos catalog entry types.

Ancient coin dealers who contribute the recommended amount will also be listed on this page as sponsors of the PtolemAE Project. A smaller contribution is requested of part-time ancient coin dealers and a very modest amount from non-commercial collectors.

Email request for the full PtolemAE attribution program on CD with photo gallery

Click on this image-link to see a screen-shot of the 'full' version of PtolemAE.

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