Countless essays have been written about Giustino Fortunato. Born at Rionero in Vulture, Basilicata in 1848 and died in Naples in 1932, Fortunato was a liberal senator, renowned historian and scholar who focused on economic and social issues. Less known, however, is his attitude towards numismatics and archaeology, a fact which is for many reasons illustrative of the way in which historical research was approached in the thirty-year-period after the Unification of Italy and during the early twentieth century; an era still influenced by the long reach of positivism. The study of the past had to consolidate the moral unity of the Italians and thus coins, alongside other documents, became considered as essential tools for historical research. Coin collecting was recognised as a contributing factor in avoiding the dispersal of coin finds, yet it was not an idea simply advocated by the protagonists of a specific business-driven sector which had gained considerable momentum in Italy during the final decades of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The view that coin collecting was a worthwhile activity was one rooted among professional coin collectors involved in the sale of coins and individual private enthusiasts of antique numismatics. Enlightened archaeology ‘militants’ such as Paolo Orsi, who was among other things President of the Istituto Italiano di Numismatica, also shared this view. In 1925 Fortunato declared that his rich library, abundant correspondence with the most eminent scientific and political personalities, official archives, and coin collection should become public property after his death. The still unpublished coin collection is stored in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples and is the last significant collection nucleus to be placed in the coin and medal cabinet. It includes a thousand Magna-Græcia, Siceliot, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval and modern coins which offer an interesting overview of the series in circulation in the Vulture area across the various historical eras. One of the most debated pieces of the Giustino Fortunato collection is a gold stater from Poseidonia dating back to the fifth century BC and said to come from Lavello, the ancient Forentum. If authentic, it would be of extraordinary importance. The piece displays the same coin-types and inscriptions as the silver staters from the Kraay Group B (around 430-420 BC).

Collezionismo numismatico e meridionalismo: la raccolta di Giustino Fortunato

CANTILENA, Renata
2012

Abstract

Countless essays have been written about Giustino Fortunato. Born at Rionero in Vulture, Basilicata in 1848 and died in Naples in 1932, Fortunato was a liberal senator, renowned historian and scholar who focused on economic and social issues. Less known, however, is his attitude towards numismatics and archaeology, a fact which is for many reasons illustrative of the way in which historical research was approached in the thirty-year-period after the Unification of Italy and during the early twentieth century; an era still influenced by the long reach of positivism. The study of the past had to consolidate the moral unity of the Italians and thus coins, alongside other documents, became considered as essential tools for historical research. Coin collecting was recognised as a contributing factor in avoiding the dispersal of coin finds, yet it was not an idea simply advocated by the protagonists of a specific business-driven sector which had gained considerable momentum in Italy during the final decades of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. The view that coin collecting was a worthwhile activity was one rooted among professional coin collectors involved in the sale of coins and individual private enthusiasts of antique numismatics. Enlightened archaeology ‘militants’ such as Paolo Orsi, who was among other things President of the Istituto Italiano di Numismatica, also shared this view. In 1925 Fortunato declared that his rich library, abundant correspondence with the most eminent scientific and political personalities, official archives, and coin collection should become public property after his death. The still unpublished coin collection is stored in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples and is the last significant collection nucleus to be placed in the coin and medal cabinet. It includes a thousand Magna-Græcia, Siceliot, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval and modern coins which offer an interesting overview of the series in circulation in the Vulture area across the various historical eras. One of the most debated pieces of the Giustino Fortunato collection is a gold stater from Poseidonia dating back to the fifth century BC and said to come from Lavello, the ancient Forentum. If authentic, it would be of extraordinary importance. The piece displays the same coin-types and inscriptions as the silver staters from the Kraay Group B (around 430-420 BC).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3885770
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