Ancient Coins for Education - SPRING 2007
"REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST" Essay Contest -
IMPORTANT: Those schools wishing to participate in this essay contest should register ASAP with me at
Your school referencer number is on your invoice and MUST be used to identify your student's essay submission.... Email me if you can't find it.
General: This academic year ACE holds 2 Essay Contests as well as Image Contests.. In this Spring 2007 Essay Contest, we are "spreading the net wide" in a historical sense, because we want to encourage the various students to research and learn about a wide variety of ancient historical backgrounds. The directions are given on page two as a handout for your students. The essay characters may be a stretch from your curriculum, but we encourage you to get your students to enter, and not just because they will be competing for a small prize!
Further Clarification as to how to treat the subject :
Having spread the net so wide in coin terms, I now add this clarification for teachers so as to define more clearly to their students what is expected. The students should look at a map to see clearly the coin's area of origin, read up on the history of the area at the time of the coin and the ruling power/s of the area. When it comes to Romans or Byzantines, you have an Emperor and thus a date and thus a historical background tie in which can be worked into the storyline, and the same is true for a lot of those which fall in the Ancient Greek sector..... Macedonian, Seleukid, Ptolemaic, Pergamene, Pontic, Baktrian Kingdoms, small tyrants from Greek Sicily who minted coins, etc etc and also obviously including history and culture when it comes to Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, etc.
We are NOT looking for " my sister's wedding" " where copious wine from Chios is poured from amphorae, having survived their perilous journey by galley" !
The point is to make the students research, read, look things up and " Learn " .
We really did not want to give examples for fear that these would turn up too often when students lazily preferred to " let us do the thinking" but you as the teachers should read them in order to guide your young writers!
We want the students to delve into such subjects as, for example, the amazing times of:
Almost any Seleukid monarch,
Part of the long life of Mithradates the Great of Pontus,
An incident in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphos or another Ptolemy,
The civil wars of the Roman Republic,
The confusing period after the death of Nero before Vespasian took control
The time of Byzantine Emperor Isaac II.
scenes relating to, say,
A temple official in Ephesus,
A ship's captain from Carthage
Sicily divided between Greek colonies in the east and Punic control in the west.
Christian differences/heresies before the Council of Nicaea
The Iconoclasts in Byzantium.
You can see how wide the net is, and what a wide variety of essays can result.
The students should pay special attention to the reverses of coins - there are some great ones from Greece and Magna Graecia, and a wide and interesting selection amongst the Roman Provincial coins ( also known as Greek Imperials where Romans ruled over Greek speaking peoples), where a little effort to research the background meaning can lead to a great story.
To be even more specific : if the student chooses, say, a coin of Seleukid king, Antiochos VII, be it minted in Tyre or elsewhere, then I expect the student to research his life, find out how he came to power, what he did and what happened to him, where he ruled ( the rough extent of the Seleukid Empire during his reign, since that varied through the years) and who were the other major players of the time who might be mentioned - we want a story based on and woven through with researched background.... and by giving a huge field from which to choose, we want to " stretch" the students, make them examine things outside their normal syllabus, get lots of interestingly different essays and have the feeling that we have " introduced them" to topics well beyond the field of Constantinian coins.
After your students have written their essays, you will submit the ONE essay per age category you choose as the BEST among your class essays to the ACE finals competition. ( It might happen that your students enter into 2 of the age categories....in that case you obviously submit 2 essays.) EACH of these essays submitted are called "School winners" and will receive a clean identified Ancient bronze coin. Then, after marking by a panel of ACE judges , the 1st place winner for EACH of our three age categories (below) will receive a Roman silver coin with a certificate. The 2nd place winners receive 2 bronze Ancient coins, and the 3rd place winners a special bronze coin.
The entries are judged in the categories of
Junior (12 years and under),
Intermediate (13-14 years)
Senior (15 +)
Directions for submitting the essay: Please read carefully and follow the format directions given in the student handout on page 2 (single-spaced, font size 12, 2-3 pages, Microsoft or Wordpad format - No jpegs !). These directions are also provided in the "Basic Contest Information" document on the ACE CD.
After you have chosen the WINNING essay from among your students, send it as an e-mail attachment both to me at
and to Kevin Ingleston at
who will post them at the ACE website for the ACE judges to read. The essay MUST be labeled in the following way:
(Top Right Hand Corner of the essay)
School's REFERENCE NUMBER
Student's FIRST NAME & LAST INITIAL only
School # 6782
Remember to register ASAP to participate in the contest.
The winning entry from your school must be received no later than 20TH APRIL, 2007.
Any questions, please e-mail me..............Thanks,
Souzana Steverding for ACE,
Ancient Coins for Education
"Remembrance of Things Past" Essay
Student Directions - March 2007
Each student taking part in this contest must
1) Go to www.wildwinds.com on the Internet. At this site you must choose one coin, it can be Ancient Greek; Roman Republican, Roman Imperatorial or Roman Imperial; or Romaion (aka Byzantine). ( Sorry- no Celtic or English coins can be chosen as the subject of this Essay).
You will record the URL of the chosen coin and reproduce the URL and a small version of the coin at the Top of your Essay. This is most important so that the judges know at once the "time and place" focus of your essay.
2. Having chosen the coin - and thus its historical setting, go on to research the time and place of the coin. From this research, you should create an interesting essay with the correct background geographically as well as historically, it must show creativity and great attention to the conditions of life at that time. You may write from the point of view of any person living at that time. You may choose to focus on only one major event of the period, or several. Your main character must tell the story in the Past Tense - this is his or her Remembrance of what occurred in the past.
Incorporate elements of the relevant culture as you describe the experience of your character. A good essay will be RICH in vivid and accurate historical/cultural details. With such a wide choice of subject matter, we have further clarified to your teachers, what sort of essay we are looking for and please do discuss your choice with them.
3. Historical accuracy of dates, places, context, cultural practices, and people is CRITICAL!!!
4. No "Time travellers" / "Wake up from a dream"/ "found this coin on holiday in Italy" essays will be accepted / judged.
5. A good essay must include proper spelling and grammar and be proofread for typos.
6. Your essay should be single spaced, font size 12, with a minimum of 2 complete pages and a maximum of 3 pages (excluding bibliographical notes at the end). It must be written in Microsoft Word or Wordpad format ONLY. No Jpegs accepted.
7. The final DEADLINE for submission of your winning essays to ACE is 20th April, 2007, but your teacher will add your class deadline here ____________________.
Your teacher will choose the best essay from your school and submit it to the ACE contest. To see samples of essays which have done well in past ACE contests, click HERE
Congratulations to the winners!!