Why Rome ?
I still remember vaguely when I first came across a Roman coin. A mint condition Constantinus I from the just opened mint of Constantinopolis. This was more than 30 years ago, on the way to school, waiting for the tram in Munich, Germany, Roman province of Raetia. An elderly lady - so she seemed to me back then as a school boy- had a little antique schop with plates full of Roman coins, cleaned and uncleaned for 2-4-8-10-20 German Marks, to pick from. I got hooked immediately....... Why ? Because the Roman world surfaced in my area all over the place, Trier had the Porta Nigra, Köln the Römisch Germanisches Museum, the Limes stretched from Danube to Rhine, and opposite my highschool was the Munich Archeological Museum. And beyond those Alps was Italy, Verona, Firenze, Rome, Napoli....
Rome had brought my people initially military conquest, rape, pillage, occupation, taxes, but also roads, cities, peace, law, technology, wine, mediterranean life style. Worth to look back with interest, awe, but also thoughtfulness of the way empires rise and fall. Living in the period of the Great American Empire there are lessons to be learnt from the past.
Why a Webmuseum ?
Yesterday's propaganda medium were the coins, today's is the web. So this internet museum project was a very natural one, marrying Roman past with today. I first came across a web site about Traian on coins in the early 1990s (Unfortunately this website disappeared soon afterwards, like so frequent with internet content, and whatever I had downloaded from it got lost in one of those computer crashes that haunt all of us in irregular intervals). What an interesting concept it was ! What possibilities to present to a wide audience ! I decided to do something of my own on the web, taught myself some basic webmaster skills and off I went. The birth of the Roman Numismatic Gallery 10 years ago.
I soon realized that contrary to a traditional museum or private collection that has to buy real artefacts for substantial amounts of money, a web museum based on collecting fotos is essentially free of cost beyond the server space, and can reach levels of excellence in content that no individual collection can ever achieve. Also - in the age of internet dealers and auctions- the issue of artefacts popping up transiently in some auction and then disappearing again forever turned out to be a major issue for research. Traditional books and auction catalogues stay around so scholars can analyze them over the decades if not centuries, the usual internet auction is on only for a few days. So the concept of the Roman Diploma Online mission was born to capture such information. A very fruitful collaboration started to better cover the "tsunami" of new diplomas coming to the Western art markets from the Balkans in the past 10 years. Texts/Data from some 150 out of only 800 diplomas known to date were secured through this effort.
The RNG has since outgrown this humble beginning, with close to 3000 fotos, multiple sections far beyond Numismatics, close to 1000 visitors a day from more than 120 different countries around the globe. And a network of contributors. We moved to the free and fast Vcoins server (Thanks to Bill Puetz) and are thus now "virtually" based somewhere in the US. The Roman Empire meets the American Empire. The Open directory project (dmoz.org), Google and Yahoo list the RNG prominently for the merit of its content, as do many many other websites and search engines.
And the new sections like the Roman Military Diploma museum as well as the Roman Countermarks museum, and the Roman Military Equipment museum are really museums of their own merit using our platform to reach the interested public and scholars alike. More to come I am sure.
And beyond this website lies the new book project on portraits on Roman coins, which will combine flawless macro coin fotography with detailed analyses of the portrait development of all Romans shown on Roman imperial coinage, planned to be public by end 2011.
Feel free to contact us with new images, suggestions, comments, romancoins.info @yahoo.com (without the blank between the name and the @).
Ewige Alpen Eternal
Die Zugspitze und das Alpenvorland The Alps in the distance
Starnberger See Lake Starnberg (Oh Varus give me the millions I'd need to live there)
Die römische Provinz Raetien vor 2000 Jahren The
Roman Province of Raetia 2000 years ago
Gaubodenmuseum Straubing Roman Cavalry Face Masks
München 1000 Jahre alt Munich
1000 Years old
König Ludwig I vor 200 Jahren
King Ludwig I 200 years ago
König Ludwig II vor 150 Jahren
King Ludwig II 150 years ago
Olympiade 1972, BMW Gebäude Olympics 1972, BMW Headquarters