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King Touto of the Cantii


John Conduitt
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This is another beaten up British Iron Age bronze I've added to my collection. The ancient Britons didn't hoard their bronze so most are corroded individual finds. There must be fewer than a handful of Touto bronzes that exist in good condition, but as long as I can make out what's being depicted on an Iron Age bronze, I'm happy.

Touto was a Cantii (Kentish) king who ruled after the kingdom's rapid decline following the death of Dubnovellaunos. Even before then, the Cantii/Cantiaci were probably subordinate to the Atrebates and/or Catuvellauni, both of whom were fighting each other for supremacy in the south east of England. Touto was one of the successors of Eppillus, himself the brother of the Atrebates leader Verica, but by Touto's time Cunobelinus of the Catuvellauni was in control.

Given most British Iron Age rulers are only known by their coins, their history is murky to say the least - their names are often not known in full and it's not always clear they were kings or even people at all.

Touto ‘Curly Lion’ Unit, 10-15

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Cantii Kingdom. Bronze, 2.45g. Head right, curly hair, encircled by rings and pellets. Lion left, pentagram below (ABC 282). Found near Maidstone, Kent.

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Posted (edited)

This is another Cantii bronze from 'Sam', king of the Cantiaci around the time of Dubnovellaunos.

Sam ‘Boar Branch’ Unit, 1-10

image.png.8a9b7353a14e874b1ca2e3d8315638ff.pngCantii Kingdom. Bronze, 14mm, 2.22g. Boar left, branch above, ringed pellet below. Horse left, (SA) below (ABC 375; S 187a). Found north Kent 2001 (Celtic Coin Index 03.09U9).

Edited by John Conduitt
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Posted (edited)

Here's a silver unit from the Cantii. Amminus is thought to have been expelled from Britain by his father Cunobelin in 39 or 40, and surrendered to Caligula at Mainz.

Amminus ‘Biga’ Unit, 35-40

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Cantii Kingdom. Silver, 10-12mm, 1.00g. Bust right, AMMI in front, beaded border. Facing chariot, head of charioteer between, S below, E to left of head, G to right of head, beaded border (ABC 459). (Celtic Coin Index  CCI 07.0015).

The Cantii had been the first to make coins in Britain.

Edited by John Conduitt
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This is the closest thing I have to Iron Age Britain geographically speaking. It’s from Northwest Gaul, whose coinage possibly influenced those of Britain.

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6.58g, 20mm Celticized head right Devolved biga right with victory flying above. SCBC 15 Good silver for the type. Irregular thickness flan resulting in a flat area around the horse's chest.

Edited by MrMonkeySwag96
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16 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

I would love to acquire at least one Cantii coin at some point!

Yes they're tricky because either they're not in great condition or they cost a lot. But the later abstract Thurrock potins are interesting and good value.

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13 hours ago, MrMonkeySwag96 said:

It’s from Northwest Gaul, whose coinage possibly influenced those of Britain.

When it comes to tribes like the Atrebates they were the same people, and were still coming to Britain from Gaul in Caesar's time.

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1 hour ago, John Conduitt said:

Yes they're tricky because either they're not in great condition or they cost a lot. But the later abstract Thurrock potins are interesting and good value.

I think a Thurrock would fit the bill!  Good suggestion!  I just followed up on your first thread, which (amazingly!) lacked replies.  I guess it'll take some time to build up the Celtic following.  (Calling @JulianIX!!)

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