Thesis Defense Announcement
College of Communication and Fine Arts announces the Final Thesis Defense of
for the Degree of Master of Arts
April 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM in Arts and Communications Building, Room 244 A
Advisor: Fred Albertson
At the Turn of a Coin: Numismatic Images of Cleopatra VII and Regional Variation in Royal Iconography
ABSTRACT: This thesis examines the numismatic portraits of Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, from her accession to the throne in 51 B.C.E. to her death in 30 B.C.E. It will specifically analyze three distinct obverse types featuring the portrait of Cleopatra VII are identified, with each type associated with a specific mint or group of mints located at Alexandria, on Cyprus, and in Syria. Based on their origin and intended area of distribution, and their combination with certain reverse types, it is argued that the variation in iconography observed on these three coin-types are a result of Cleopatra's conscious utilization of coins as a means of conveying different messages to different regional audiences based on their ethnic and cultural background. Such a regional-oriented, audience-specific program is unique when compared to the more uniform dynastic-oriented coinage of Hellenistic monarchs or the more uniform nationalistic coinage of contemporary Roman triumvirs.