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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ BritainView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Britain

Before the Roman invasion, Britain was populated by Celtic tribes with well-established cultural and economic links with continental Europe. Although Julius Caesar conducted the first Roman campaign in Britain in 55 B.C., the conquest did not begin until A.D. 43, during the reign of Claudius. The British tribes initially opposed the Roman legions, but by 84 the Romans had decisively conquered southern Britain and had pushed into what is now southern Scotland. In 122 they fortified the northern border with Hadrian's Wall, which spanned what is now Northern England. In 142 Roman forces pushed north again and began construction of the Antonine Wall, but they retreated back to Hadrian's Wall after only twenty years. Following the conquest, native Britons were subject to the Roman governors but mostly kept their land, and a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged. The Roman Empire retained control until its departure about A.D. 430.Romanization of Britain


Celtic, Ambiani, North East Gaul, c. 58 - 55 B.C., Gallic War Issue

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The Ambiani occupied the Somme valley in northern France. These uniface Gallic War staters were struck to fund the war against Julius Caesar in Gaul. The blank obverse is often ascribed to a need for speed in striking this emergency war coinage. There are, however, more than a few other similar uniface Celtic coin types and one blank side would do little to speed up the mint. More likely, they just found one plain side and one detailed side "nice enough." This type is often found in Britain, many of which may have been carried there by Celtic mercenaries retreating after Caesar's victories.
SH85134. Gold stater, Delestrťe-Tache 241, Cottam ABC 16, Van Arsdell 52-1, Castelin 289, De la Tour 8710, SCBC 11, EF, light scratches, weight 6.084 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, obverse plain bulge; reverse disjointed "Celticized" horse right, crescents and pellets around; ex Coins of Antiquity (Hillsborough, NC); $750.00 (Ä667.50)


Celts, Atrebates and Regni, British Tribes, South of the Thames, c. 60 - 20 B.C.

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At the time of Caesar's invasion of Britain, the Atrebates, "the settlers," covered Sussex, Berkshire, west Surrey, parts of Hampshire, north-east Wiltshire. The Regni, originally Regini, "the stiff ones," occupied Sussex in Roman times.
SH01358. Gold quarter stater, uninscribed 'Bognor Cogwheel' type; Cottam ABC 509, SCBC 48, gVF, weight 1.39 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, obverse extremely stylized head of Zeus or Apollo; reverse horse right with triple tail, floral sun above, cog wheel below, wheel right; a beautiful example of Celtic art; SOLD


British Celts, Iceni (East Anglia), 65 - 1 B.C.

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Van Arsdell attributed this type to Boudicca.
CE63429. Silver unit, normal face/horse type; cf. Van Arsdell 792 and 794, Cottam ABC 1567, VF, weight 1.257 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 180o, obverse head right with moustache, trefoil before (unstruck), three pellets below; reverse Celticized horse right, belt lines which are a continuation of legs, large wheel-like object above, lozenge shape below with concave sides; ex CNG auction 146, lot 2; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Allen, D. Catalogue of Celtic Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1987-1990).
Allen, D. The Coins of the Ancient Celts. (Edinburgh, 1980).
Coins of England & the United Kingdom, Standard Catalogue of British Coins. (London, -).
Cottam, E., et al. Ancient British Coins. (Chris Rudd, Norfolk, UK, 2010).
de Jersey, P. Celtic Coinage in Britain. (London, 1996).
de la Tour, H. Atlas de monnaies Gauloises. (Paris, 1892).
Hobbs, R. British Iron Age Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1996).
Nash, D. Coinage in the Celtic World. (London, 1987).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sills, J. Gaulish and Early British Gold Coinage. (London, 2003).
Van Arsdell, R. Celtic Coinage of Britain. (London, 1989).


Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
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Britain