Callataÿ, François de

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Former director of the Belgian coin cabinet and head of the collections of precious objects, professor at the Sorbonne and the Free University of Brussels, author.

François de Callataÿ (*1961) studied archaeology, art history and philosophy at Université Catholique de Louvain (1979-1983), after which he completed his PhD (Philosophy and Letters 1988.) After a research period at the Ècole Française d’Athènes (1984-1985), he was appointed research fellow at the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (1989-1991). In 1991, he became first assistant and Chef de Travaux at the coin and medals cabinet of the Royal Library of Belgium, which he headed from 1996-1997. From 1997 to 2006 he was the head of all the collections of precious objects of the Royal Library meaning manuscripts, prints, coins and medals. From 2006 to 2014 he was curator of all collections of the Royal Library (manuscripts, rare books, maps and plans, musical equipment, prints, coins and medals.) Since March of 1998 he has been Directeur d‘études at the École pratique des Hautes Études (Paris-Sorbonne). He received his postdoctoral lecture qualification in 2003 and in 2008 he was appointed professor at the Free University of Brussels. 

François de Callataÿ’s numismatic publications are virtually inexhaustible: At this time (February 2016), his publications encompass more than 6,000 pages, published in 24 countries, including 13 monographs (of which 8 are single contributions) and 200 individual contributions. He has organized about 10 conferences on the topic of monetized economy in and outside of Belgium, most recently in 2014, on the topic of “Urban versus rural contexts: differences of monetization from ancient Greece to the early middle ages”, on which he cooperated with Johan van Heesch. 

As an academic, as stated by the jury of the Francqui-prize, using new methods, he accomplished breakthrough research for ancient cultures. He has rendered outstanding research in Hellenistic coin and monetary history, in questions of quantification of the ancient monetary economy, and in Greek-Roman macro economics. Another focus of François de Callataÿ is the early modern research- and reception history. He is the initiator and founding member of FINA (=Fontes Inediti Numismaticae Antiquae.)

Next to his academic career, he is an active fiction writer and has published narratives, short stories and essays.

François de Callataÿ has been awarded many prizes, including the Colin Kraay Award in 1992, the Bodin-prize for best classic antiquity book in 1998, the Jeton de vermeil in 2006 (highest award of the French Numismatic Society), the Francqui-prize in 2007 (highest academic award in Belgium), and the Archer Huntington Medal Award in 2008 (highest American award in numismatics.) In 2013, he was awarded the Belgium Leopold Order, making him a commander. 

He is corresponding member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres des Institut de France (since 2008), member of the Académie royal de Belgique (since 2014), as well as the Academia Europaea (since 2011), and secretary of the International Numismatic Council (since 2015.) He is a member of countless committees, associations and institutes and regular visiting scholar to many renowned numismatic organizations. 

If you would like to contact François de Callataÿ, you may do so here.

On his profile at, you can find more than 250 of his articles.

Here, you can see and listen to François de Callataÿ talking about research in history and numismatics: Part 1 and Part 2 (in French.)

View a wonderfully eloquent lecture about the beauty and sublimeness of Greek coins (in French and English) and about Cleopatra (in French.)

There is also an Wikipedia-article about François de Callataÿ.

Here, you can find François de Callataÿ on the websites of the Académie royale de Belgique and the AIBL (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.)

Find an author entry on the pages on the Académie des Sciences de Belgique here.

Here is a link to an entry at Academia Europaea.

Here you can find an entry about François de Callataÿ’s award of the Prix Bodin prize in 1998.