This page includes brief answers to frequently asked questions. For more detailed information, follow the links in each answer.

What is FLAME?

FLAME is an acronym for “Framing the Late Antique and early Medieval Economy”. FLAME is a collaborative digital humanities project, centered at Princeton University but involving scholars around the world who gather and organize the data in FLAME’s database.

What is FLAME’s purpose?

FLAME aims to reconstruct the late antique and early medieval economy using large quantities of data over a large spatial and chronological range. Our current goals are to gather information about over a million published coins from Ireland to India. FLAME will then provide scholars with tools to analyze this information.

We also intend to make these tools intuitive enough for non-expert members of the general public and academia to understand and to be able to use. Check our About page and the next answer for more information.

That sounds interesting. Where should I start?

If you want to learn more background, check our Introduction to Ancient Numismatics page. If you prefer to go over a shortened narrative of the main events going on in the period in question, use our Map Journal. If you want to explore our applications by yourself, head to our Minting Application.

Who is behind FLAME?

FLAME’s director and manager is Lee Mordechai (HUJI). Its chair and academic advisor is Alan Stahl (Princeton). Our participants, staff members and developers are mostly from academia and come from the US and Europe. For more information, see our Project Team page. We have been generously supported by academic sources in Princeton.

When was FLAME founded? How did it evolve?

FLAME formed out of a series of discussions at Princeton University between staff members, graduate students and faculty in 2013 and 2014. A 1-day colloquium followed in 2015, with larger conferences taking place in May 2016 (preceded by the launch of this website), and 2022.

When will FLAME open?

The first phase of FLAME’s results (minting) have been openly accessible through this website since May 2016. Work on FLAME’s second phase (circulation) has begun then, and we’ve launched our beta phase in May 2021.

What is a beta phase?

This is a term from software development, in which the app would be feature complete but would still contain many bugs and inconsistencies – in particular in the data underlying the application. Users of FLAME’s app during this phase must be aware of these issues when analyzing FLAME’s outcome.

How can I get involved?

This is a massive undertaking, so we’re always looking for more people to get involved! See this page for more details, then shoot us an email. You do not need numismatic experience or knowledge to contribute, and in fact this has been a learning experience for most of us as well!

This page was last updated on June 3, 2022.