Giuseppe Simonio Assemani tra manoscritti e monete orientali
The paper wants to pick out one of the probable sources of the passion for Numismatics of Simone Assemani. His great granduncle, Giuseppe Simonio Assemani is likely to have excited this passion on him. Giuseppe Simonio Assemani became famous as great scholar of manuscripts of many oriental languages: Coptic, Etiopic, Arabic, Persian, Turkish and, above all, Syrian. He was dispatched by the Pope Clement XI to Egypt and to the neighbouring countries in order to search those manuscripts. For his reputation, he became Prefect of the Vatican Library in 1739. Generally, we know nothing about his particular interest for ancient Numismatics, interest arisen during his prefecture at the Vatican Library. In those year, in fact, very famous collections of coins and medals entered the Library: 328 Greek and Roman Medallions of the collection owned by the cardinal Alessandro Albani, the collection of medallions, coins and medals of the cardinal Gaspare Carpegna, with 4.000 pieces; the famous collection of 6.666 casts in sulphur of cameos and carvings of Pier Leone Ghezzi, the extraordinary collection of more than 5.000 pieces of papal coins of Saverio Scilla. Giuseppe Simonio Assemani was responsible for arranging and ordering a catalogue of those big collections: When he died, a great number of Greek and Roman coins was found in his apartment, together with medals and carvings, collection that shows his private interest for Numismatics. For these reason, probably he passed this interest on his great grandchild Simone Assemani, when he was still a child.
Polymnia: Numismatica antica e medievale. Studi
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Giancarlo Alteri, "Giuseppe Simonio Assemani tra manoscritti e monete orientali", n Bruno Callegher e Arianna D'Ottone (a cura di): The 3rd Simone Assemani Symposium on Islamic Coins, Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012, pp. 341-357.