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Coins of the Iron Age Midlanders


John Conduitt
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My latest Iron Age acquisition was struck by the Corieltauvi, the most northerly Iron Age tribe that minted coins in Britain. They covered much of the East Midlands, centred on what is now Leicester, and were agricultural, with few towns. Like the most southerly tribes, they don't seem to have put up much of a fight against the Romans. This coin is one of the earlier issues and, as was usual for the time, was uninscribed.

South Ferriby 'Stork Head' Rich Type 28a Unit, 55-45BC

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Corieltauvi. Silver, 13-15mm, 1.18g. Horse right, stork head, pellet rosette above, pellet below tail. Plain (ABC 1806; VA 884-1; BMC 3228-3229; S−).

South Ferriby, the Lincolnshire village on the banks of the Humber that gives its name to the coin above, seems to have been a busy, prosperous place in Roman times (unlike now). In 1909, a hoard of 4 miliarensia, 224 siliquae and a ring were found in a small dark grey jar on the north bank of the Humber, near cliffs recently eroded by the tide. The latest coin dated to 402 but since about a third of the coins were clipped, they were thought likely to have been used by the early Saxons. South Ferriby's prosperity seems to have extended beyond both ends of the Roman era.

Flavius Victor Clipped Siliqua, 387-388

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Milan. Silver, 10mm, 0.68g (cut down from 16-17mm, 1.25-1.77g). Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; D N FL VIC-TOR P F AVG. Roma seated left, holding globe in right hand, reversed spear in left; VIRTVS RO-M)ANORVM; mintmark MDPS (RIC IX, 19b). From the South Ferriby (Lincolnshire) Hoard 1909, PAS: IARCH-1C7D3F https://finds.org.uk/database/hoards/record/id/1253

For the Corieltauvi, the largely uniface horse design continued until after the Romans invaded, although kings' names were later included.

Aunt Cost Half Unit, 15-40

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Corieltauvi. Silver, 11mm, 0.48g. Stylised wreath. Horse left, AVN above (ABC 1953; Van Arsdell 918; SCBC 404). Aunt Cost may be an abbreviation of two rulers' names.

Almost nothing is known of the rulers of the Coreiltauvi beyond their coins.

Vepocunavos Unit, 15-40

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Corieltauvi. Silver, 13x14mm, 1.05g. Horse with VEPOC above. Plain (ABC 1869; VA 955; S 412). Found York. Vepocunavos seems to have been son of 'Cor', who also struck coins.

 

Edited by John Conduitt
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@John Conduitt...Fascinating thread and lovely coins...

OK heading g south..

I was born and grew up in Devon and as you know the south west is renowned for being 'wet, wet, wet!'. So left England 20 years ago due to the strange and sudden growth of skin between my toes! icon_smile_big.gif

I personally feel this is why the Romans allowed client rulers in inhospitable terrains such as Britania. Their military style of battle wasn't really designed for 70% woodland and 150% wet mud!...Although they could be very versatile when focused. Keeping indigenous tribal armies such as the Trinovante and Caluvellani sweet was an easy way to annexationally hold control until they were ready!...There was definitely reciprocal trade between Rome and the Britons at this time, as archaeological digs have found a great deal of luxurious goods imported from Europe such as Italian wines and drinking vessels, olive oil, glassware and jewellery. Rome received grain, gold, silver, iron, hides, slaves and hunting dogs.........A nice little set up right up to Caligulas take over when the Romans collected all those shells! icon_smile_big.gif
 

A couple of years back I picked up this Cunobelin bronze....

 

I was initially drawn to the coins reverse depiction of a metal worker and it went from there. This is my first Celtic coin and find the history really interesting.
King of the Britons "Cunobelin" ("Strong Dog"). From the Catuvellauni & Trinovantes tribes.
Here it is...
Britannia, Trinovantes & Catuvellauni. Cunobelin. Circa 9-41 AD. AE Unit (2.437 g, 14mm).
Obv: Winged head left, CVNO in front, BELIN behind.
Rev: Metal worker, presumably the smith god known as Sucellus in parts of Gaul, sitting on a solid seat with a detached upright back, holding an L-shaped hammer in his right hand, left hand holding a metal bowl, there is always a distinct bun of hair behind the smith's head, TASCIO (Tascionus his father) behind, beaded border.
Van Arsdell 2097; ABC 2969; SCBC 

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Cunobelin came into power around 9 AD and claimed to be the son of Tasciovanus, the previous king of the Caluvellani tribe its Capital being Verlamion (Modern day St Albans). Soon after he annexed the Trinovantes tribe that laid to the East with its Capital being Camulodunum (Modern day Colchester). The Triovantes had become allies to Rome via a treaty that had been made with Julius Caesar on his initial invasion of Britain back in 55/54 BC. This alliance continued with the accession of Augustus as the Roman military at the time were stretched to their limit due to the continual attacks in Germania. This allowed Cunobelin to become a client king to augustus and Rome and became known as the first 'King of the Britons' controlling the majority of South Eastern Britain until his death around AD 40.

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Edited by Spaniard
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1 hour ago, Spaniard said:

There was definitely reciprocal trade between Rome and the Britons at this time, as archaeological digs have found a great deal of luxurious goods imported from Europe such as Italian wines and drinking vessels, olive oil, glassware and jewellery. Rome received grain, gold, silver, iron, hides, slaves and hunting dogs.........A nice little set up right up to Caligulas take over when the Romans collected all those shells! icon_smile_big.gif

Yes the coins are also evidence of this. Verica's coins (of the Atrebates in Hampshire and Sussex) featured cups and vine leaves to represent imported wine. The coin below even includes an eagle, which resembles the legionary aquila on Roman coins. These were symbols of his power, and his association with Rome. When the Catuvellauni occupied Verica's capital Calleva from 25-35, he fled to Rome and sought the support of Claudius in a bid to reclaim his throne. That served as the pretext for the Roman invasion of Britain in 43, which had been brewing because of the support given by British tribes (like the Catuvellauni) to the rebellious Gallic Celts.

Verica Minim, 10-40

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Atrebates. Silver, 7mm, 0.35g. Wine cup, REX above. Eagle; VERICA COMMI F around (S 159; ABC 1331).

 

1 hour ago, Spaniard said:

A couple of years back I picked up this Cunobelin bronze....

That is a beautiful coin. You don't get many British Iron Age bronzes in that condition, because they're rarely, if ever, in hoards. This is a bronze from his father.

Tasciovanus Jugate Unit, 20-10BC

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Catuvellauni, St Albans, Hertfordshire. Bronze, 16mm, 1.85g. Conjoined bearded heads right with elaborate hair, VER(I) in front. Ram left, pellets and rosettes in front and below, (rosette flanked by two pellets above), TA(SC) above (ABC 2655; VA 1705; Spink 242).

33 minutes ago, Alegandron said:

[IMG]

That is another coin on my wish list!

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