The Making of ‘Displays of Power’

by Gabriël de Klerk

The whole process of not only writing an article but also actually shaping, formulating, and editing an academic journal was a precious and instructional asset of my Master’s education. Especially the ‘interdisciplinary’ angle that this journal has offered me was such a rare and unequalled experience, as a faculty-wide Master’s course of this size is not found anywhere else within the Leiden University. Furthermore, it offered me the opportunity to sharpen my research skills while also addressing a theme I have wanted to tackle for such a long time (the ‘short’ coin-types of emperor Galba). However, I had to do this in a completely new setting, far from the confines of the Master’s curriculum that I have grown accustomed to. Furthermore, the course facilitated the opportunity to be part of the editorial board of the first edition of the journal, thus allowing me to really make my mark on the process, which has shaped to be, in my opinion, a landmark in the Master’s programmes of the Humanities at Leiden University.

As already stated, I have wanted to write on Galba’s coinage for quite some time. Some time ago, it has occurred to me that while the Julio-Claudians and Flavians have received a lot of attention of numismatists, no articles are published on the different emperors’ coinage of 68/69 A.D. The choice for concentrating on Galba’s coinage, therefore, was quickly made, especially given the fact that it really suited the overarching theme of ‘crisis’. While I first wanted to write on all four emperors and their coinage (Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian), I quickly came to realise that this was untenable within the scope of the journal. Reflecting on this choice, I am glad that I chose to discuss Galba only because, as will become apparent from reading my article, there is so much to tell about these fascinating coins alone.

Looking back at the past six months, it is really fascinating to see how the journal has shaped to be the product of our collective imagination, perseverance, and educational background. As a group, we have tackled ‘crises’ in our articles and in creating an interdisciplinary journal, which has brought up all sorts of challenges that come with a group project of such a size. Group discussions, peer-reviews, formatting, designing, presenting, sharing and rephrasing ideas have all led to the fact that I am extremely delighted with the final result, and I cannot wait to share it with the world. Furthermore, I am looking forward to seeing how the journal will be shaped and filled in the future, as it is my wish that new editions of the journal (with new themes and articles) will continue to be created.

June 2021.

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