The new book Échanger en Méditerranée: Acteurs, pratiques et normes dans les mondes anciens turned up in my pigeon hole this week – and I’m thrilled to see it in physical form at last! I was also sent some beautifully produced physical off-prints of my chapter – I haven’t seen one of them in ages, and they look great.
The book is edited by Anne-Florence Baroni, Gwladys Bernard, Béatrice Le Teuff and Coline Ruiz Darasse, and deals with all sorts of exchange and trade in the ancient Mediterranean, looking particularly at actors such as craftsmen, traders and businessmen. It’s a great collection addressing a lot of current issues around ancient mobility and migration, and particularly people who acted as the vectors of culture, technology and language.
My chapter is called “Les langues de l’échange en Italie : artisans, monnaie et négociants dans la région osque méridionale”, and it talks about all the Oscan and Greek inscriptions from my PhD that have anything to do with exchange and trade, including coins, letters, stamps and makers’ marks. I never considered these inscriptions as a single group as part of my thesis, so I really enjoyed putting them together for this chapter. Actors like craftsmen and traders are behind so much of the language contact and creative use of language that we see in the inscriptions, particularly in coin legends and the designs of coins, and that’s what I wanted to try to draw out here.
Many thanks to Coline Ruiz Darasse for inviting me to write this piece, and for her support with the translation and editing process. And very special thanks to my mum, Julie, who also cast a careful eye over my French!