U.S. Constitution – Examples From Archives and Special Collections

On September 17th, 1787, the United States Constitution was approved by delegates to a special convention with the goal of creating a set of reasoned legal standards for those who would be elected to lead and share in the welfare of their new nation.  Since its ratification, the Constitution has provided the framework for a democratic form of government that has distinguished domestic leadership and its impact on the American populace over the past 230 years.  In more specific terms, the content found in this document outlines the continued aspiration for shared and balanced authority between the three branches of government – executive, judicial, and legislative not only nationally, but also on the state and local level.  The original authors were also aware that changes might be needed over time, and to date there have been 27 separate amendments made with the first ten comprising the Bill of Rights and the rest covering different aspects of civil equality.

Since its introduction, the Constitution has not only been a part of secular society since its official release, but from an academic perspective this text has been studied widely and given rise to special courses and independent study that stands alone, or paired with various disciplines from law to sociology to history among others.  A major part of this rise in wider interest came after the American Revolution concluded with the need for schools, growing literacy rates, and spread of print media as a means of educational outreach. These incentives helped to create the means of inform the public about legislative developments that impacted upon the citizens of a new and developing country.

Banner from the first pubic presentation of the United States Constitution (September 19, 1787)

The first unveiling of the Constitution to the masses came two days after it was finalized through the efforts of John Dunlap (1747-1812) who was the founding editor of The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, the first daily newspaper in the United States.  This milestone gave rise to a series of printed books that offer full-text treatment along with details on the process of different sections were crafted, commentary on the subject matter, and significance of the final content depending upon each individual volume and its particular focus. The examples presented in this exhibit represent not only the first published copy, but also select early nineteenth century works that cover the words of first president George Washington, early amendments, and perspective from the New Jersey delegation representing the third state to officially ratify the Constitution.

The Federalist, on the new constitution. By Publius. Written in 1788. To which is added, Pacificus, on the proclamation of neutrality. Written in 1793. Likewise, the Federal Constitution, with all the amendments. 2 vols.  (New York: George F. Hopkins, at Washington’s Head, 1802)

Select bibliographic examples and relevant pages from our collection can be found not only within this post, but in the bound volumes located within our collection.  These include – The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, No. 2690, 19 September 1787 (Facsimile extract from: Farrar, Frederic B. This common channel to independence: revolution and newspapers, 1759-1789. (Garden City, NY: Farrar Books, 1975); The Federalist, on the new constitution. By Publius. Written in 1788. To which is added, Pacificus, on the proclamation of neutrality. Written in 1793. Likewise, the Federal Constitution, with all the amendments. 2 vols.  (New York: George F. Hopkins, at Washington’s Head, 1802); and Eliott, Jonathan. The debates in the several state conventions on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787. Together with the Journal of the Federal Convention, Luther Martin’s letter, Yate’s minutes, Congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of ’98-’99, and other illustrations of the Constitution / collected and revised from contemporary publications by Jonathan Elliot. Published under the sanction of Congress. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1836)

In addition to these aforementioned works, further information on the United States Constitution and resources related to this subject area are accessible via the University Libraries through the following link –

U.S. Constitution – University Libraries Resources

More detail on the titles featured in this exhibit and additional volumes found within the Archives & Special Collections Center related to the United States Constitution can be referenced here –

U.S. Constitution – Archives & Special Collections Resources

  • Examples from our collection will be on exhibit through September, 2018 in the First Floor foyer of Walsh Library located across from the stairs and elevator.

For additional background on the United States Constitution and questions about relevant holdings and other research topics please feel free to contact us at – archives@shu.edu or (973) 761-9476.

 

Douai-Rheims Bible – Revolutionary Catholic Text in Context

Counted among the earliest and most influential volumes found in our Rare Book Collection is the Douai-Rheims Bible which is the English language translation of scripture designed specifically for Catholic readership from the original Latin Vulgate that was created by theologian and historian Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, or Jerome (345-420 AD), the present day patron saint of translators and librarians.
The enduring title for this work comes from the geographical connections to the adapted work hosted by the English University at Douai (Northern France) and Reims, France where the Old Testament and New Testament were evaluated from the translations made by St. Jerome centuries earlier.  The first mass published volume was created in 1582 which featured the New Testament proper.  This served as a prelude to the companion Old Testament version that was published in two volumes between 1609-10 by the University of Douai.  This particular compilation illustrated here encompasses the Books of Genesis to Job (first volume) and transitions to the Psalms, Machabees, and Apocrypha of the Vulgate (second volume) and includes source notes on the translation process via the Hebrew and Greek versions of the Latin Bible.
With a proliferation of Protestant-created bibles including the King James version (1604-11) and many earlier examples from the 16th century, the primary rationale for the creation of the Douai-Rheims Bible centered around the need by Catholics in England to create a clearly legible sacred text as a means of helping to discourage conversion in the face of conversion temptation brought on by Counter-Reformation preachers and to clearly articulate the articles of faith in a vernacular that could be easily understood and interpreted.
This work was first published through the intercession of Lawrence Killam at Douai and the text once it went through the printing press came in a flat case leather binding measuring 6 1/2 x 9 in.  Examples of the title page and frontispiece can be found in the illustrations provided.  Subsequent reprints and editions have been made of this trailblazing work making it one of the read religious-centered tomes over since its first appearance over 400 years ago.  For more information contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist/ Education Coordinator via e-mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Object of the Month-Pima Tray Basket


Pima Tray Basket 3 ½” h x 10 ¼” w M92.5.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akimel O’odham women of southern Arizona (also known as the Pima) use techniques passed down through generations to create fine baskets. Though baskets are now treated as art objects, they were originally created for storing, carrying, serving, drinking, and protecting food items. Beginning in the 1880s, more and more tourists, scientists, and collectors traveled by the new railroad lines to the southwestern United States, resulting in the creation of increased numbers of baskets, such as this one, for the tourist trade. The pattern shown on this basket is known as coyote track.

This basket is part of the Seton Hall Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology Collection.

Newark’s Catholic Advocate Now Digitized and Searchable

Printed and microfilm versions of the Catholic Advocate in Seton Hall University Special Collections
Printed and microfilm versions of the Catholic Advocate in Seton Hall University Special Collections

Based on research by Professor Alan Delozier

Selections from the Catholic Advocate, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark, have now been digitized in a cooperative project between Seton Hall University’s Special Collections and the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA).  The newspaper has been published regularly since 1951; however, the issues selected for this digitization project were limited to the years 1958-1964, the era of the Second Vatican Council, enabling researchers to examine this period and its impact on the Newark Catholic community.  The project digitizes newspapers from around the country, enabling scholars to examine differences and similarities between regions during this period.

Screenshot of Catholic News Archives
Screenshot of Catholic News Archives

Seton Hall Special Collections and University Library staff selected the best quality images to scan and provided description of the materials to allow for the detailed searches that are now possible.  As part of the digitization process, the text was captured using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to allow for keyword searches of the entire text of each article, not just the titles.  If a word or name is mentioned anywhere in an article or even in a photograph caption, it will be found in the powerful search engine used in the portal.  However, because the contents were read by machine, interpretive errors are possible in the text.  Therefore, the public is invited to read and correct the text, and particularly active commentators are acknowledged on the website in a “Hall of Fame.”

Article text interface
Article text interface

The CRRA has digitized many more newspapers as part of its project, including the San Francisco Archdiocese’s Monitor, the Clarion Herald of New Orleans, and the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati, among others.  The project and the construction of the Catholic News Archive website was the recipient of a Catholic Communications Campaign grant from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Student working with online resources
Student working with online resources

The digitized materials are currently being utilized in classes at Seton Hall University.  Professor Alan Delozier, University Archivist, has introduced students to this new resource in his class “New Jersey Catholic Experience,” offered through the Department of Catholic Studies.  Students are able to use this powerful new tool to conduct in-depth research on the history of the Catholic New Jersey community.

The new portal and all of its content can be explored here; the Catholic Advocate content specifically be found here.

Discovering the namesake of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives

Written by Rev. Michael Barone

The Spring 2018 semester at Seton Hall University found Archives staff at the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center beginning to process the collection belonging to the eponymous former University Archivist, Director of Special Collections, and Rare Book Librarian, who died in December 2000.

Holy card, 2000
Holy card, 2000

Speaking to people who knew him, one learns that “Father Field” was a fixture on campus and in the Archdiocese of Newark, for which he was ordained a priest in 1940.

While the arrangement and description of the collection is still an ongoing project, looking through Monsignor’s papers and ephemera, one sees the story of a priest, scholar, lecturer, and traveler beginning to take shape.  After all, archivists process and maintain the collections of persons so that their lives and work might be preserved for future generations of researchers and historians.  While tedious at times, the task of archiving invites oneself to experience a sense of reverence or respect for the subject and creator.

Being himself an archivist for 30 years, Msgr. Field’s papers gives insight into the work of a Dean of Library and Special Collections Director, who earned his MLS from Columbia University in 1961.

Daybook, 1940-1970
Daybook, 1940-1970

Most of the collection is structured to organize his academic papers. However, Monsignor Field was also a gifted poet who sent and received numerous greeting cards from all across the globe. These are part of a correspondence series.  Msgr. Field kept detailed travel logs, postcards, and brochures from years of travel.  Beloved chaplain and member of several professional societies, the numerous awards, religious and devotional objects, owned and collected by the priest, will be discoverable by use of a detailed finding aid describing its inventory of materials and their structure.

Entering the reading room, one notices a prominently placed bust and portrait of Msgr. William Noé Field, welcoming visitors to his beloved

Archives, which bear his name.  Founded during his lifetime, and organized with help of Peter Wosh, the Center remains a valuable repository and resource.  For more information, or to schedule a visit to the Archives at Seton Hall University, located on the ground floor of our Walsh Library.  We look forward to this collection being available to the public in the very near future.

Archives sign
Namesake of the Archives

 

Seton Hall Community College – The Associate Degree Experience (1952-64)

From its first semester forward, Seton Hall has offered students the option of pursuing a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree through its undergraduate studies program which on average typically lasted four years to complete. However, there have been exceptions to this traditional approach as educational trends changed over time.  For example, Seton Hall offered not only collegiate level instruction, but a preparatory school option during the earliest decades which encompassed a seven-year curriculum until this was discontinued in 1897 with “Seton Hall Prep” establishing its own identity.  Otherwise, during the twentieth century, Setonia began to develop various professional, or extension schools (not only its South Orange campus, but also in Newark, Jersey City, and Paterson) outside of the customary post-secondary model including such study options as certificate programs, distance education, graduate degrees, and other specialized curricula.  In general terms, many of these programs were designed to help educate and build specific skill sets for those who wanted to learn outside of the undergraduate model.  In many cases, these programs usually last two-three years (or less) depending on the major and curriculum involved.  This led to an experimental school known as the Seton Hall Community College which helped train a number of individuals for work in the white collar world.

Seton Hall Community College (SHCC) followed a wave of other accredited two-year schools (also known as junior colleges) that were established nationwide. During the post World War II and Korean War-era when the GI Bill helped pay for tuition for college education this led to an explosion in college attendance and offered increased learning opportunities for veterans, but also others who wanted to explore different vocational options.  On a more local level within New Jersey, for a number of years SHCC shared company with independent junior colleges that featured Catholic-affiliation including  the now defunct Alphonsus, Don Bosco, Englewood Cliffs, Maryknoll, and Tombrock Colleges for example.  Today most accredited community colleges are public institutions administered on a county-wide basis, but although no longer in operation, SHCC still retains its place in the annals of junior college history.

SHCC was founded in 1952 as a two-year school that offered classes at its original campus located within the 12-story structure situated at 31 Clinton Street in Newark or in the building situated at 3055 Boulevard in Jersey City.  From its start, SHCC was co-educational and mainly designed for those who worked during the day as classes were typically held during late afternoons, evenings, and on Saturdays.  However, before anyone could enroll they had to meet admission requirements.  As noted in SHCC catalogs of the period the school  offered “young men and women” who attended high school and had adequate grades along with good “ . . . health (and) character . . .” along with passing “ability (and) placement” tests and a post-exam interview helped to assure admission.  Furthermore, the individual had to complete an official application and offer official transcripts for board review.

When contemplating a course of study the prospective student had a limited amount of offerings at the start as SHCC granted diplomas in either Business or Secretarial Studies when it began operations.  During its first years within the framework of  different concentrations including General Business, Accounting, Selling, Personnel, Retailing, Insurance, General Secretarial, Medical Secretarial, Insurance Secretarial, or Legal Secretary work were available.  When it came to the core curriculum, the first semester that a typical freshman faced included a total of 9 required credits which included one credit courses in “Apologetics I,” “Survey of the Catholic Religion I,” or “Religion and Reason” and partnered with such two credit offerings as – “Principles of Rhetoric I,” “History of the United States I,” “Voice and Diction I and II,” and “The Natural Sciences.”  During the mid-1950s, a new major was established an Associate Degree in Applied Police Science. For this path of study, he same type of classes were required at the start along with Moral Philosophy and eventually led to such courses as “Traffic Control,” “Swimming and Life Saving,” “Principles of Investigation,” Psychology of the Criminal,” and others.  Along with required and topical classes, optional classes available through the College of Arts & Sciences, Education, and General Studies were also available in subsequent semesters.  When it came to costs, the fee structure for the SHCC included the following: Matriculation Fee (payable once)  – $10.00, Tuition per credit – $13.50, Graduation Fee – $20.00, Registration Fee (per semester) – $3.00, Student Activities Fee  (per semester) – $1.00, Laboratory Fee (Typewriting) – $5.00 and a comprehensive $125.00 for the Applied Police Science program.

In order to make the experience more well-rounded, the school offered students personnel counseling, various extracurricular activities, a student council, placement bureau, and various facilities for Ex-Service Men among other options.  In addition, the ability to transfer into a four-year program either for those who earned the requisite 68 credits (36 in the basic core and 32 in electives) was in the offing for those who wished to advance further.  Once all required coursework, costs, and other goals were met, this led to an Associate of Arts degree for the graduate.

For those who attended and the message after graduation was outlined for the student in the following practical manner:  “Earning A Living.  The practical world today requires that young people acquire skills and understanding if they are to succeed in the highly competitive situation which prevails.  Seton Hall has selected general fields of training that grow out of the needs of the great metropolitan area.  Particular attention has been paid to those fields in which there are the greatest shortages of adequately trained personnel at present.  The programs planned, however, are sufficiently fundamental so that adaptability to general business as well as specific ability in one field may be expected . . . “ Therefore, the SHCC strove to meet this goal for its students and those who called it alma mater.

Although admissions and attendance peaked during the mid-1950s, the days of the SHCC were numbered as more schools were established and Seton Hall concentrated more on its undergraduate division and looming full co-education options on the South Orange campus which occurred in 1968.  The last days of SHCC came about around 1964 when the last two graduates of the program earned their A.A. degrees, but all who attended, taught, or were impacted by the Seton Hall Community College remain part of the institutional history and are pioneers in the educational development of the school.

For more information on Seton Hall Community College and other aspects of school history please contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist at: <Alan.Delozier@shu.edu>  or (973) 275-2378

Object of the Month: Papal Bull of Pope Paul V (1618) – Translated by Dr. Peter Ahr

Papal Bull of Pope Paul V 13” x 20 1/2" 2017.06.0001

 

 

 

 

 

Papal bulls, named after the “bulla” or seal used to authenticate them, are decrees made by popes. Pope Paul V, member of an Italian noble family who is best known for persecuting Galileo and financing the completion of St. Peter’s Basilica, served as pope from 1605-1621. His April 1, 1618 decree begins with the proclamation of Pope Paul II (1464-1471)—included in full as the earlier decree required it—regarding corruption in the alienation of church property by sale or gift. It was believed that property given to the church was a gift to God and could not legitimately be given to anyone else. This was a particularly complicated issue in the medieval world, as many bishops and Church institutions were also feudal lords. This decree centers on the Abbey of Saints Peter and Paul in Ospedaletto Lodigiano, belonging to the Hieronymite order, and the sale one of its properties near the Swiss border. Ultimately, Pope Paul V delegated the decision to a local official.

The decree was translated by Dr. Peter Ahr, with assistance from Dr. Michael Mascio and Dr. Fred Booth of Seton Hall University, and Reverend Dr. Federico Gallo, Director of the Library at Dottore della Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan.

The Book of Kells and Gradual of St. Katherinenthal – An Exhibit of Legendary Texts

Based on research by Professor Alan Delozier (Book of Kells) and Sarah Ponichtera (Gradual)

The Seton Hall University Archives & Special Collections Center is currently exhibiting two recently acquired high quality facsimile volumes of the original Book of Kells and The Gradual of St. Katherinenthal donated to our institution through the generosity of Mr. Peter Graham.  These works each have a distinguished history both in terms of literary content and aesthetic value which allows our community the opportunity to view and study copies of these editions in close detail.

Book of Kells  (Fine Art Facsimile Volume).  Fox, Peter, (Faksimile-Verlag, Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) Library, Dublin and Lucerne: 1990)  [Latin: Codex Cenannensis.  Irish: LEABHAR CHEANANNAIS] ]

According to scholars, this work was created around the year c. 800 AD and produced through the artistry of a triad of unidentified Columban Monks.  The Book of Kells is most famous for its ornate illustrations.  Abstract designs and images of plants, animals and Biblical figures not only serve the purpose of glorifying Jesus’ life and message, but also constitute a rich symbolic system in themselves.  Symbols of the evangelists Matthew (the Man), Mark (the Lion), Luke (the Calf) and John (the Eagle) adorn related sections of the text; in addition, there are full depictions of the Virgin and Child; a portrait of Christ, and complex narrative scenes, which were the earliest to survive in gospel manuscripts, representing the arrest of Christ and his temptation by the Devil.  The text grew increasingly well known throughout the nineteenth century.  It is thought of as one of the central artistic works of Celtic culture, and a source of national pride for Ireland.

The text proper includes the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from the Vulgate (Latin translation) version of the Bible as translated by St. Jerome, and also contains texts from an earlier Old Latin translation featuring more specialized religious texts.  It was only brought to the altar a few times per year and only during important liturgical events within the Church, especially the Easter Vigil.  The book remained in Kells until 1654 when the original was moved to protect it from the invading armies of Oliver Cromwell and transferred to Dublin and the Library at Trinity College where it remains on display to this day and seen by upwards of half a million visitors per year on average. This facsimile edition was produced with scrupulous attention to detail, hand-sewn, and compared against the original by an expert at Trinity College, Dublin.  At present, approximately 81 other libraries across the globe own a copy.  The original has been completely digitized by Trinity College and made available to the public free of charge.

Gradual of St. Katherinenthal, Upper Rhine, 1312. (Fine Art Facsimile Volume No. 729).  Duft, Johannes, (Faksimile-Verlag, Luzern: 1980).

The Gradual of St. Katherinenthal is a collection of church hymns, which were recited by the Gregorian choir during mass in the 14th century.  The sheet music is embellished with brightly colored pictures backed with the finest gold leaf.  The work is widely regarded as the finest example of Gothic book art in the world.  The unusual size is meant to allow all the singers of the choir, even those standing further away, to easily read the pages.  The book opens with two pages that contain calendric information.  The following pages contain musical scores in the Gregorian four line system, that each incorporate staves and lines of text.  The book includes 71 elaborately designed miniatures with gold decoration, 13 flowers painted to form letters, and a considerable amount of calligraphy.  The origin of the gradual from the St. Katherinenthal monastery and its time of creation, circa 1312, is recorded in handwriting on the inside of the front cover.  At least six artists were involved in the creation of the work, but their names were not recorded here.  The St. Katherinenthal Abbey was a monastery of Dominican nuns located near Lake Constance, Switzerland, and represented one of the oldest communities of nuns in that part of the world.  The original Abbey, along with the town, was burned to the ground in 1388, but was rebuilt in the beginning of the fifteenth century.  The community was exceptionally well-documented for that time period, and we have personal stories of many of the nuns recorded in the “Sister Book” of the Abbey.

This is one of the stories written by the nuns who would have sung the songs in The Gradual of St. Katherinenthal.  This book, written in Medieval High German, is being translated by Amiri Ayanna, a project for which she won the PEN translation award in 2011.  These stories give a window into the world of the nuns of that day.  Today the Abbey continues to operate in what is now the town of Weesen, and runs a bakery that produces Eucharistic breads, as well as a guesthouse.

The exhibit also features a 3D printed Gothic cathedral, to give a richer sense of the aesthetic that produced the gradual.  The cathedral was printed at Space 154.

For more on rare books at Seton Hall, see our LibGuide.

 

Marian Devotion and Archbishop Walsh – A Prayer for Peace During World War II

May Day is observed in various celebratory ways and this is no different within the Catholic Church as this diurnal it is a starting point for month-long devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary across the globe.  Counted among the most evident displays of homage include the annual “May Crowning” of Mary statues found within churches worldwide, creation of art works depicting the image of the Holy Mother, increased prayers, group recitations, and other means  homage that invoke and honor her name and example. This increase in commitment to Mary has been nurtured over time especially from the 18th century forward.  Within the Pre-Vatican II era, the official pronouncement of the “Queenship of Mary” and her connections to May as a time of greater ceremony came in the Marian Year of 1954 when Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) made in his encyclical – Ad Caeli Reginam.  This inspired an oft-recited hymn that reads – “Hail Virgin, dearest Mary! Our lovely Queen of May! . . . ”

Mary herself was a Nazarean who lived in the 1st century BC and is known according to New Testament texts as the mother Jesus Christ by way of conceiving miraculously through the Holy Spirit.  The Mother of God was assumed into Heaven after her mortal life ended and her example has led to several assertions that she has appeared in miraculous fashion to different followers over the years.  This has led to Mary being the most venerated and admirable of all saints to most within the Catholic Church.

The example of Mary served the faithful not only in times of peace, but especially in times of turmoil.  A decade before the “Queenship of Mary” was formally established, and as the Second World War raged, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Amleto Giovanni Cicognani (1883-1973) reached out to the American hierarchy on behalf of Pius XII to encourage focused prayer during the month of May.  In particular, he made special note of all to call on the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in helping all people to lead a true life and to always remember – “. . . the needs of humanity and for the attainment of a just peace . . . at this time of conflict across the world.”  In response to this request, Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh (1873-1952) asked the faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark to not only participate in daily contemplation, but engage in the Holy Crusade of Peace as a means of honoring the Solidarity of Mary.  This was a means of joining the call of the Vatican in other shows of spiritual commitment on a daily basis as outlined in the April 27, 1943 circular letter illustrated on this page.

Archbishop Walsh also expressed the wish that the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, Litany of Loreto (a special Marian-centered prayer first uttered in 1587), and the “Prayer for Peace” (found below) each be read after each Mass throughout the month of May.

In addition, further demonstrations of faith included public services that featured the recitation of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary and honoring the Mother of Christ with a Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament at each parish and mission chapel throughout the Archdiocese of Newark.  Additionally, in accordance with the hope that the Catholic youth of the Newark See would be more active in spiritual exercises of this type, it was requested by Archbishop Walsh that students make a devotion to their nearest church every school day in addition to worship on Sundays.

This circular was read to parishioners at each parish throughout the Archdiocese of Newark during Masses conducted on Sunday, May 2, 1943.  In looking back 75 years later, this devotion to Mary shows how the words of the hierarchy and enlistment of the faithful helped in making peace a reality and further strengthened belief in the Blessed Virgin and her example through continued dedication throughout the month of May and even beyond.

For more information on Marian traditions, Archdiocese of Newark history, and other research subjects please feel free to contact at: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu / (973) 275-2378.

Object of the Month: Roman Coin from the age of Caesar Augustus (27 B.C.E. – 14 C.E.)

Denarius Coin 0.6875 inches x 0.625 inches 2015.16.0054

This hammered silver coin was made during the reign of Caesar Augustus (27 B.C.E. – 14 C.E.), the first Roman emperor. He spearheaded the transformation of Rome from a republic to an empire through military strength and governing. The chariot and laurel wreath symbolize this military success, while the robes represent those worn by highly ranked government officials called consuls. This coin is from a distinguished collection of Etruscan and Greco-Roman antiquities, including over 400 coins, donated by alumnus Ronald D’Argenio (MS ‘76/JD ’79).