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Eurydice Georganteli

“The Emperor’s Money: Metal, Function, and Meaning in the Byzantine World”

Eurydice Georganteli

Harvard University, Byzantine Studies Visiting Scholar, Spring

Georganteli’s project explores Byzantine money as one of the most important meaning-making practices in the visual culture of Byzantium and, indeed, the medieval world. The availability, quality, and circulation of Byzantine coins were markers of the empire’s political, economic, and symbolic power throughout its millennium-long trajectory. Using written sources, archaeological data, metallurgical studies, and Dumbarton Oaks’ splendid collection of coins and seals, Georganteli examines issues of identity and meaning for the money’s intended and diverse audiences across the empire and beyond Byzantium’s borders.

Eurydice Georganteli pursued her undergraduate and graduate studies in archaeology and the history of art at Aristotle University and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Before joining Harvard University as Lecturer on Late Antique and Byzantine Studies in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, she was the Keeper of Coins and Lecturer on Numismatics at the University of Birmingham (2000–2016), where she spearheaded the conservation, digitization, and display of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts Coin Collection and directed the graduate program in numismatics. A specialist in the arts of southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, Georganteli has excavated in Greece and held curatorial and visiting positions in Greece, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 2012–2016 she was the Principal Investigator of two European projects on Cultural Routes, Heritage, and Digital Humanities. An award-winning author, Georganteli has published and taught on such topics as numismatics, archaeology, portable antiquities collecting, cultural heritage, and storytelling. She uses archaeological evidence, written sources, and the changing patterns in the geography of transport to trace economic and cultural exchange in late antique and medieval Europe and the Middle East.