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WIU History Professor Lee L. Brice
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WIU Professor Awarded Fellowship to Conduct Research in Greece

March 9, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University faculty member has been granted a prestigious fellowship to spend a year conducting historical research in Athens, Greece.

History Professor Lee L. Brice was awarded the Elizabeth A. Whitehead Visiting Professorship at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA).

"This is an extremely prestigious and important research fellowship in my field – ancient history," said Brice. "This is also an extremely competitive fellowship – every year one or two scholars are chosen for the following year. The ASCSA is the oldest American foreign research center."

Brice will conduct his research during the 2017-18 academic year. The fellowship provides him with a stipend, room and board in Athens, research facilities and a travel allowance.

"In addition to the fabulous library and facilities at the ASCSA , I will have access to the excavations, records and artifacts in Athens and Corinth," said Brice. "In Athens itself, there are several museums and private libraries with collections pertinent to my research, especially the Hellenic National Numismatic Museum, with its collection, library and study center."

Brice's research project is titled, "Wealthy Corinth Revisited: A Greek Legacy of Small Denomination Coins," which has previously received funding from a University Research Committee grant at Western and external grants from the Royal Numismatics Society and the American Philosophical Society.

The research project will study the silver coinage of Corinth from the fourth to the second century BCE.

"The core of my project is the die-study of the later silver drachmas," said Brice. "It will establish the chronology and pace of minting in Corinth during a period of political and economic transition."

Brice said coins are a useful source for this type of historical investigation, especially because they allow the calculation of mint activity and help draw better conclusions regarding the regional economy.

"This project will make a major contribution to the field by providing a case study for using numismatic data from a die study to explore minting patterns and the relationship between minting and other evidence for regional economic activity of the same period," he said. "The significance of the study is not limited to Corinth, however, since the examination of small denomination coins and minting activity will contribute to the ongoing debates over how the ancient economy worked and the transformative nature of coinage on economic and social thinking. In so doing, it will further our understanding of coinage, monetization and the ancient economy."

Brice added that a year in Athens will be instrumental in allowing him to dedicate more time to this project. Once completed, Brice said his research will result in several peer-reviewed publications.

For additional information about the ASCSA, visit

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