Trapezites: An Ancient Currency Conversion Website Alpha Release!

Salvete omnes! Big news: my postdoctoral project for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Engaged Scholar Initiative is finally live!

Behold, Trapezites!

Trapezites takes the form of a standard online currency converter, but in this case the conversion is from one ancient currency to another, accompanied by information about purchasing power in antiquity. Most anyone who has travelled internationally has been forced to exchange money. This was the reality in the ancient world as well, in which a vast range of individual entities minted coins on a variety of regional standards, so that currency exchange, conversion, and the establishment of equivalencies between monetary systems were crucial to social, political, and economic interaction. Weight standards were fundamental to the development, spread, and function of ancient money and carried a great deal of cultural significance to the peoples involved (and still do: why else would the United States staunchly hold on to ounces and pounds when the vast majority of the world uses a logical and uniform metric system?). I am working to bring this knowledge and its implications to a wider audience.

This website would not have been possible without the generous support and assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Engaged Scholar Initiative (ESI), Mr. Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, Dean Mia Carter and the staff of the UT College of Liberal Arts and ESI: A Texas Model, Dr. Ethan Gruber, The UT Department of Classics and especially Professor Adam T. Rabinowitz, and finally Ms. Estella Sun, Mr. Rodrigo Villareal, and Mr. Stacy Vlasits of the UT Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS). I would also like to thank Professor Cristina Carusi, Mr. Caolán Mac An Aircinn, Mr. Colin MacCormack, Professor Alexander Mourelatos, Professor Andrew Riggsby, Professor Mariah Wade, Mr. David Welch, and all the others who provided feedback and supported me in this project.