abd al-Rahman I dirhem obvabd al-Rahman I dirhem rev

Umayyads of Spain, Abd al-Rahman ibn Mu'awiya ibn Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, 138-172H (758-788AD), AR dirhem, al-Andalus mint (Cordoba), 154H.
After the Abbasids ousted the Umayyads as caliphs, Abd al-Rahman, an Umayyad prince and a grandson of the caliph Hisham, fled Damascus, swam the Euphrates, passed through Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa to reach the Fihrid governor of Ifriqiya who was in dispute with the Abbasids. Relations were not good so Abd al-Rahman left for Spain and set up his own emirate based on Cordoba. He managed to retain control of most of the south of the peninsula against the Abbasids and Moroccans in the south, and rebels and Charlemagne in the north. This emirate became the basis of the Caliphate of Cordoba.
Photos © Angela Grant 2020


About us

The Oxford University Numismatic Society (OUNS for short), also known as The Phoenix Society since its reformation, is a student society within the University of Oxford, and is dedicated to the promotion of the study of numismatics (coins, tokens, medals, banknotes) and paranumismatica (tickets, checks, coin-like objects, items made with and for coins). Numismatics is an important part of the academic study of History, Classics, and Archaeology, and we are proud to bring together students, academics, and other interested parties in our meetings.

The Numismatic Society is for both those studying and working with, or collecting, coins and also those who have a general interest in the field. The Society's aim is to encourage interest, and to provide a forum for debate and research in the study of coinage from antiquity through to the present day. Each year the Society invites speakers from a wide range of academic institutions, and also collectors and students, to address it on a variety of topics.

We usually hold four meetings during each of the three university terms including speaker events, socials, and dinners. We have close ties with the faculties of Classics and Archaeology within the University, as well as the staff of the Heberden Coin Room of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. We are formally affiliated to both the University of Oxford and the British Association of Numismatic Societies (BANS).

The Society may be of particular interest to those reading:
History, including Ancient and Modern History (AMH), History of Art, and joint schools,
Archaeology and Anthropology (Arch and Anth),
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (CAAH).

All graduates, undergraduates, faculty members, and those from outside the university entirely, whatever your subject, are warmly encouraged to join. Membership is free of charge to all current students, provided they register with the Secretary. Subscription for all others is £12 a year, and for visitors we ask a contribution of £2 per meeting.


The Committee

The committee is responsible for the day-to-day running of the society, organising its events and publicity.

Thomas Gavin (University)
thomas.gavin [at] univ.ox.ac.uk
Vice President:
Angela Grant (Jesus alumna)
Daniel Etches Jones (New)
daniel.etches [at] new.ox.ac.uk
Gemma Hammond (University)
gemma.hammond [at] univ.ox.ac.uk
IT Officer/Webmaster:
Annee Lyons (Somerville)
annee.lyons [at] some.ox.ac.uk
Senior Member:
Shailendra Bhandare (Ashmolean Museum / St. Cross)
shailendra.bhandare [at] ashmus.ox.ac.uk

We are always on the look-out for new committee members.
If you feel you can contribute to the Society please contact our Secretary.

A pdf copy of the Constitution under which this Committee has been elected is available here.


In Memoriam

Judith Shiela McKenzie, Vice President of the Oxford University Numismatic Society, passed away on 27 May 2019. Many of you will not be conscious of how important Judith has been behind the scenes of the Society. When I became a junior member of the University in 2006 the Society had been inactive for three years and I was determined to restart it. Judith proved to be the key to its reinvigoration. Not only did she involve Michael Vickers so that we had a room in Jesus College in which to meet, but she found enough Classics and Archaeology students to form a Committee and the Society held its first meeting in its new avatar with Chris Howgego of the Heberden Coin Room as the first speaker in 2007. Since that time Judith played a very important role first as Senior Member, then as Vice President. She had a tremendous capacity for problem-solving. Every time we had a panic on because an officer had to depart more suddenly than expected, Judith had the ability to magic (or at least severely arm-twist) someone to take their place at short notice. Judith also kept us informed of visiting academics who might be willing to speak at our gatherings. Without her help in the background keeping the Society running would have been a lot harder work. For that reason, and also for being a great friend of numismatics within the University, she will be sorely missed.

Angela Grant

Judith's Times Obituary
Judith's Wikipedia page


Affiliated to:
BANS logo

Heberden Coin Room logo

Sponsored by:
Dix Noonan Webb logo
Dix Noonan Webb Ltd., Mayfair.

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