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The Kindness Of Ancient Numismatics Scholars

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Pillar of the Community
United States
4716 Posts
 Posted 09/07/2017  9:43 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I just thought I'd express my continuing amazement at how willingly some of the "biggies" - the big names in the scholarly world of ancient numismatics - take the time to share their knowledge with us amateurs. I am engaged in a bit of research and, upon getting stuck on a few points, I reached out to Fred B. Shore (Parthian Coins and History: Ten Dragons Against Rome) and Michael Alram (well-known author of numerous articles and books on ancient Eastern series: Sassanian, Parthian, Kushan, Hephthalite, etc.).

Both provided insightful, helpful responses - Alram's reply being the first email in my In-Box this morn. In Shore's case there were several replies a few weeks back as he realized that he wished to follow up on his initial response to my inquiry. I should add that he also helped me in the past, years ago, with other coin inquiries.

Similarly Wayne Sayles (of the Ancient Coin Collecting series, Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins, The Celator, Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, etc.) and Pieter van't Haaff (Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage) have been quite kind to me in the past, spending some time at their computers to help me out. It's clear that all of these folks are seriously invested in the goal of educating us amateurs and fostering enthusiasm for our hobby.

Just never ceases to amaze me. I'm sure there must be some arrogant ancients scholars out there who wouldn't give you the time of day, but I am pleased to say that I have not encountered them. I know some of the frequent contributors to this board have occasionally mentioned their correspondence with experts from their collecting areas too - with similar reports of generosity and support from the big guns. It really is a great, extended community that we are part of.
Edited by Bob L
09/07/2017 9:48 pm
Bedrock of the Community
10197 Posts
 Posted 09/07/2017  10:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Crazyb0 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Some of us, like you, me and many others are always grateful for their willingness to pass it on, just as we are to share it with others. It may not be many among the masses, but it only takes a few dedicated folks to keep the torch going. I may not be a collector of like interests, but I enjoy the history, the back stories of the ancient eras. Keep it up Bob, I've been enjoying the postings here.

Your neighbor, too.
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United States
14784 Posts
 Posted 09/07/2017  11:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@bob, I would like to echo your sentiments. When I reached out to Bob Levinson (Early Dated Coins of Europe 1234 to 1500), I had a similarly fruitful conversation.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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Pillar of the Community
1249 Posts
 Posted 09/08/2017  12:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add orfew to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great post Bob. I am very happy that you have found such helpful experts. Part of what drew me to this hobby in the first place was the allure of studying coins and their historical contexts. I read about ancient coins for several months before buying my first ancient coin. I find there is as much fun in the research as there is in the acquisition of the historical place markers.
"Cave ab homine unius libri"
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22822 Posts
 Posted 09/08/2017  02:01 am  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The great ones always seen to be the ones that are willing to take the time and help us novices.
Bedrock of the Community
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United States
10548 Posts
 Posted 09/08/2017  04:06 am  Show Profile   Check spruett001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add spruett001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't dwell in ancients too much but, from what I've seen here, I'm the most novincial of those saying they're novices. Bob L, Spence, echizento, drnsreedhar... you all have helped with generosity in various areas. I thank all of you for the consideration in what I've posted.

Beware, however, if I may become a diehard Medieval/Ancients collector.
"Oh, cruel fate, to be thusly boned. Ask not for whom the bone bones. It bones for thee."
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"Language is the source of misunderstandings."
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17900 Posts
 Posted 09/08/2017  10:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not only do so many heavily published experts provide detailed research that might otherwise be unavailable, but they usually do so very quickly.

A great well deserved post.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4716 Posts
 Posted 12/13/2019  5:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I searched for this old post so that I could add to it today.

For months I have been studying an enigmatic little AE that appeared in an auction last summer as an "seemingly unpublished" coin of Elymais. I had actually begun an article about the coin, essentially taking an inventory of the coin's iconographic features that both support and challenge the dealer's attribution, and providing some insights into the typology of Elymaean coinage. Long story short: eventually I concluded that the coin was likely Seleucid (thus derailing my article idea), but beyond that, I had no idea.

It turns out that the coin is a very rare issue struck in Susa under Antiochus VII during an eastern campaign against Parthia.

That information was kindly provided by Brian Kritt, who I had reached out to. Earlier in this process I had some correspondence with both Michael Alram and Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis. These are all well known and respected names in the realm of ancient eastern numismatics.

I continue to be impressed with the fact that such smart, busy people - "biggies" as I stated earlier in this thread - are willing to devote time to provide assists like this.
Valued Member
United Kingdom
158 Posts
 Posted 12/13/2019  7:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A great post Bob L, echoing the sentiments of many of the amateurs in this community I'm sure.

I've only been a member of the community for a few days, and it can be rather daunting to post in the forum, knowing that the vast majority of members will know much more than I ever will. However, the warm welcome, the help I have been given to identify some of my problem coins, and the encouragement from senior members such as yourself makes me feel more comfortable.

It is truly amazing to see how many members willingly share the knowledge that it has taken them years to acquire.

Pillar of the Community
United States
612 Posts
 Posted 12/13/2019  8:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add travelcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bob, in a way, these "biggies" are the stewards of this great hobby. They lead by example.

I once reached out to Victor Clark who has written extensively on late Roman Empire Coins, he emailed me within 48 hours without even knowing who I was.

However, many of us here on the forum, consider you and others among the "biggies" in our book.

Novicius - Agree with your post, I credit this forum in maintaining my love for the hobby. I've learned a great deal.

Edited by travelcoin
12/13/2019 8:27 pm
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 Posted 12/15/2019  6:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes I agree Bob!.....
When I started collecting ancients I didn't have a clue what I was doing!....I'd been collecting British Colonial coinage for 25 years or more and whilst living in India kept being shown these abstract, rough shaped and indecipherable coins....This was my lead in to ancients....The help I've received from fellow collectors 'big' and 'small' is absolutely amazing!....What I have learnt I will readily give back to anyone who asks or not...
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