Joseph Eckhel (1737–1798) in Florence and the Making of the Systema Eckhelianum: A New Foundational Text for Ancient Numismatics [Book Review]

Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 85 (1):249-281 (2022)
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Abstract

Joseph Eckhel was the most influential numismatic scholar of the Enlightenment. Eckhel’s key contribution was the creation of the ‘system’ named after him: a novel arrangement of ancient Greek and Roman coins that was swiftly adopted in major international collections and publications and largely still stands today. This article presents and discusses a previously unknown manuscript in Latin written by Eckhel in 1775, the Animadversiones in methodum, secundum quam nunc digestum est Museum numismaticum Magni Ducis (‘Observations on the Method according to which the Coin Collection of the Grand Duke is Now Arranged’). This new source is the earliest attested methodological text by Eckhel. It sheds light on a crucial phase in the development of his system for the first time and demonstrates how Eckhel shaped his ideas while ordering the coin collection of Grand Duke Peter Leopold in Florence in 1773, together with Raimondo Cocchi.

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