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by Claudia Perassi

Every year a section of the Numismatics Course (Laurea Triennale and Laurea Magistrale) is devoted to teaching how to catalogue coins. A small photographic exhibition was also held at the University during the academic year 2003/04. On this occasion, the 87 Roman Republican coins in the University collection were identified and studied. The catalogue and the essays submitted for this exhibit were published in a small volume titled EX NVMMIS COGNOSCERE (Milan 2004). After the publication of the first 66 specimens in 1985, the University's numismatic collection thus gained new visibility.

The students' positive contribution to this project gave them the opportunity to learn not only how to identify coins but also how to disseminate numismatic information. Therefore I decided to repeat the initiative in a slightly different way. In a workshop conducted during the Academic year 2006/07 the attention of the students was focused on the gold coinages of the ancient world, beginning with a hands-on examination of the few gold coins in the University collection.

This time we relied on the World Wide Web for the presentation of our work. We still kept the paper format - a short catalogue published by ISU - but we opted for this virtual exhibition in order to test the possibilities of the Internet for publicizing and enhancing the value of Cultural Heritage and, especially, of Numismatics. As a title we chose the words spoken by Captain Ahab before the gold doubloon from Ecuador promised to whoever first spotted Moby Dick. We thought that these words best conveyed the evocative power of a gold coin.

© 2008 UCSC Milano