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1210.01

1210.01

1210 - 01    Chute-Cheriton Transitional Type  ca. 55 B.C.  ER
Gold Stater    ca. 6.2 gms.    18 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Abstract head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) spike with long crescent
     2) wreath: leaves upwards

REV: disjointed horse left
Identifying points:
     1) horse has long neck
     2) outline teardrop between head and neck
     3) "crab" comprised of pellet with four curved arms below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Durotrigan C

NOTES: The weight given is the approximate standard weight, not enough                       examples exist to determine it accurately.
                This type contains less gold and more copper than the Chute Type                       stater.
                The change in the laurel leaves' direction probably signals the                       reduction in intrinsic value.

Outset of the Gallic War

Coinage and Trade at the Outset of the Gallic War 60—55 BC.

 

The Roman occupation of Gaul brought about changes in the trading patterns of the British tribes. The numismatic evidence indicates a fluid situation existed at the outset of the war considerable trading contacts existed amongst the tribes (35). By the close of Caesar's campaigns, however, some of the inter-tribal trading networks had been severed (36). In the years that followed, tribal fortunes hinged upon the allegiances forged during the War.

Van Arsdell, 1992g
Van Arsdell, 1992g

By 57 BC., the lively cross-Channel trade had created an embryonic exchange network within Britain (37). It supplied luxury items to British markets and located and procured goods required for export to Gaul. The findspots of early imported coins such as the Large Flan and Defaced Die types generally shun the extreme interior of Britain. Evidently, the inland trading network was not sufficiently developed around 100 BC. to require money transactions. However, findspots of later issues, such as the Abstract Design, Westerham North, Westerham South, Chute and North East Coast Types hint at a wider dispersal throughout the interior. Some of the British issues even traveled beyond tribal boundaries in small numbers. While the coins may indicate movement of people within Britain, it is much more likely they delineate inter-tribal trade.

Van Arsdell, 1992g

In the early years of the Gallic War, the coins became dispersed farther and farther inland the Gallic War Type circulated in enormous quantities, and well into the Midlands (38). Inter-tribal trade became more articulated and intense, with the Durotrigan territory and the southeast coast acting as two hubs of the networks. This trading situation reached its climax in the early years of the war as Britain became a supply depot for the fight on the Continent.

Van Arsdell, 1992g

The appearance of so many Gallic War Type staters in Britain suggests Roman manipulation. By financing one tribal group to compete against another in the trading networks, they may have tried to influence the flow of war materiel to the Continent for Roman benefit. Thus, the Romans may have been the ultimate source of the Atrebatic/Regnan gold, but this has not been proven (39).

Van Arsdell, 1992g for a general discussion.

In any event, the Atrebates/Regni appear to have received immense quantities of gold staters and flooded the trading networks with them. Simultaneously, the Durotriges seem to have run out of gold bullion. Their Chute Type stater was replaced first with the Chute/Cheriton Transitional and Cheriton Types around the middle war. All these Durotrigan coins are linked by privy marks: the direction of the laurel leaves and an object near the horse's neck. The Transitional piece has full weight, but reduced gold content, the Cheriton a drastically reduced weight and a further reduction in fineness. Cheritons, unlike other staters, can contain a surprisingly high proportion of tin, It is possible the Durotriges were obtaining Cast Bronzes from Kent and adding them to melted-down Chute staters to debase the alloy. It appears the Durotriges were trying to maintain a gold coinage for trading purposes, but as events turned out, unsuccessfully.

1215.01

1215 - 01    Cheriton Type    ca. 55 B.C.    R
Gold Stater    ca. 5.1 gms.    18 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

OBV: Abstract head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) double spike
     2) uppermost spike has large solid crescent terminal from which small lines          emanate downwards
     3) "snaffle-bit" to left of crescent
     4) wreath: leaves outwards

REV: disjointed horse left
Identifying points:
     1) neck and body form continuous line
     2) corded mane
     3) "crab" with four curved arms below horse
     4) multiple tails, four or possibly more.

CLASSIFICATION: Durotrigan D

NOTES: Most are in museums.
                Very base metal and light weight.
                Date may continue to 50 B.C. High tin percentage suggests                       melted-down cast bronzes were added to debase the alloy.
                The number of pellets between the horse's rear legs varies from one to                       three—possibly indicating a change in metal-content.
                Modern forgery known, see 1215 - 01F.

1210.01

1210 - 01    Chute-Cheriton Transitional Type  ca. 55 B.C.  ER
Gold Stater    ca. 6.2 gms.    18 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Abstract head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) spike with long crescent
     2) wreath: leaves upwards

REV: disjointed horse left
Identifying points:
     1) horse has long neck
     2) outline teardrop between head and neck
     3) "crab" comprised of pellet with four curved arms below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Durotrigan C

NOTES: The weight given is the approximate standard weight, not enough                       examples exist to determine it accurately.
                This type contains less gold and more copper than the Chute Type                       stater.
                The change in the laurel leaves' direction probably signals the                       reduction in intrinsic value.

1205.01

1205 - 01    Chute Type    65-55 B.C.    C
Gold Stater    6.2 gms.    19 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Abstract head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) spike with long crescent
     2) wreath: leaves downwards

REV: disjointed horse left
Identifying points:
     1) "crab" comprised of pellet with four wavy arms below horse
     2) second "crab" or "bug" comprised of oval pellet with five arms above horse
     3) "coffee bean" motif with arms above tail
     4) reverse spiral below horse's head

CLASSIFICATION: Durotrigan A

NOTES: Some in museums.
               Modern forgeries known, not illustrated.
               Standard weight given.

While the Atrebates/Regni were engaging in British trade with good-quality staters, the Durotriges found themselves having to deceive their partners with increasingly inferior ones. The networks, eventually detecting the difference, shunned the Durotrigan hub, preferring the Atrebatic/Regnan one. Since the Romans were preparing to invade Armorica, they had a strong reason for eliminating the Durotrigan trade with the Continent prior to 56 BC. By financing Atrebatic/Regnan trade, making it more competitive in the trading networks, they would have accomplished just this.

Caesar, by smashing the Venetic fleet in 56 BC. and invading Armorica in 57, largely cut the Durotriges off from their Continental sources of luxury goods. This effectively hobbled the Durotriges in the British trading networks, because they now lacked the luxury goods to make barter-type arrangements. Prior to the war, Italian wine, coloured glass, figs and Armorican pottery were being imported into the Durotrigan port, Hengistbury, for redistribution (40). After the war, the profitable Italian wine trade shifted to the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni as findspots of later amphorae show, and the Durotriges were forced to import wine from Spain. They may have lost trading rights for other commodities, as well. Perhaps to compensate for their loss of prestige imports, the Durotriges developed their pottery industry around Poole harbour and Hengistbury served as a distribution centre for trading this commodity.

Cunliffe, 1978b for a genaral discussion

After the war, Durotrigan coins were limited to the tribal territory and to a small extent that of the Dobunni (41). However, findspots of Atrebatic/Regnan coins in Dobunnic territory show the Durotriges had competition for the Dobunnic trade. The Durotriges probably suffered economically from the loss of their trading contacts and the competition from other tribes. Post-war Durotrigan coins became increasingly coarse and debased, suggesting increasing poverty. Although some goods continued to be imported from the Continent, trade was at a reduced level. Economic difficulties, of which we have only a hint, may have been one of the reasons why the tribe was so resolutely opposed to Vespasian during the Claudian invasion a hundred years later they would have blamed the Romans for their losses.

Van Arsdell, 1992g

When Caesar invaded Britain in 55 BC. and again in the following year the situation in the southeast was altered as well. Henceforth, the Romans controlled the cross-channel trade and it appears they manipulated it to favour their allies during the war at the expense of the anti-Roman tribes. Roman manipulation helps explain the wealth of the post-war Atrebatic/Regnan and Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian coinages, compared to the surprisingly small output of the Cantii. The small postwar output of the Cantian mint and the earlier appearance of Kentish Cast Bronzes in Durotrigan territory may not be mere coincidence the Cantii may have suffered repression in the cross-Channel trade after the

 

 

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