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NUMISMATIC MANUAL;

OR,

GUIDE TO THE STUDY

OF

GREEK, ROMAN, AND ENGLISH

COINS:

WITH PLATES FROM THE ORIGINALS.

BY JOHN Y. AKERMAN.

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1 A SERIES OF AN EMPEROR'S COINS, IS HIS I.I FK DIGESTED
INTO ANNALS."

Addison on the Usefulness of Ancient Medal*.

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PREFACE.

Although this little work is not intended for the use of the experienced medalist, the author presumes that it will not be found useless as a book of reference; it is, however, rather designed as a help to those who, being desirous of forming a collection of coins, have neither the opportunity to procure, nor the patience to peruse, the many voluminous works which have been written on the subject. Small as it is, it has yet cost the compiler considerable labour; to condense the information contained in the works of various authors, being much more difficult than to comment at length upon their several opinions, especially when experience has since proved many of them to be in error; in fact, more than one work on Numismatics have evidently been written by men who were but theoretically acquainted with the subject.

The study of ancient coins has been a subject of ridicule to some, who have considered it fit only for the mere antiquary; but this is by no means the case. To the historian, a knowledge of the coins of the ancients must be of infinite value; they will present the admirer of classical literature with many illustrations which exist in no other shape, and the artist will discover in them much to instruct him in his historical composmoas. Considered, however, only as a source of amuse ment. the coins of the ancients have been admired and prized by many illustrious individuals during the last three centuries. Petrarch, we are told, presented a fine collection to the Emperor Charles the Fourth. Alphonso, king of Arraron, Cosmo de Medici, Maximilian the First, of Germany, our Sir Robert Cotton, and the Earls of Arundel and Clarendon, may be reckoned among those who delighted in this interesting study, not to mention the many learned and ingenious men of the last century. Charles the First, and Cromwell, had cabinets of coins; and we find, by Yaillant, that Charles the Second was also possessed of a small collection.

The author considers that it would be uselessly swelling the bulk of this volume to enter into an account, and to give the degrees of rarity, of the various medallions and medals which were struck by the Greeks and Romans, particularly as they so much resemble in style the finest specimens of money coined by those nations, to the larger descriptions of which the term medal is given by many writers. All such pieces are of considerable rarity, and consequently bring high prices. Neither has he deemed it advisable to enter into a detail of the various descriptions of fraud which have been practised upon the ignorant by means of false coins, as it must be obvious to all, that nothing short of a minute inspection, upon every opportunity, of genuine specimens, will enable the collector to distinguish the false from the true. Many false coins of all those princes whose money is extremely scarce, and even of those which are common, are in existence; but a shrewd observer cannot be imposed upon. Books like the present may be found useful as a reference for an estimate of their com parative rarity, but the coins alone are the collector' study.

In arranging the account of Roman coins, recourse has been had to a most elaborate and excellent work, by M. Mionnet, one of the gentlemen entrusted with the care of the splendid medallic collection of the French king; but, in many instances, it has been found necessary to make slight alterations, some few Roman coins being more rare in France than in England: another degree has also been used, and the list, as it now stands, is a more perfect one than has ever been given in any English work whatever. It would have been a source of much satisfaction to the author, had he been able to render as complete an account of the Greek Civic and Regal coins,

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