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Plate 10     Atrebates, Regni & Belgae    <info 1>  < 2 >

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Commius, at first a supporter of Caesar, became disillusioned with the Romans and went over to Vercingetorix. After the collapse of Celtic resistance at Alesia, he fled to join the British part of his tribe. Later, the Atrebates struck coins with his name, and possibly the acceptance of Commius in Britain was the reason they fell out of favour. The change in trading rights altered the relative fortunes of the two tribes forever. By the end of the millennium, the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni had economic influence throughout southern Britain and had begun to rival the Atrebates.

The Atrebates seized the opportunity of the Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian Interregnum to mount a military incursion into Kent under their leader, Eppillus. Eppillus struck a victory stater commemorating the initial success of the expedition. The incursion was cut short, however, by the elevation of Cunobeline to the Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian throne. He drove the Atrebates out of Kent and Eppillus promptly disappeared. He is replaced on the coins by Verica, a self-styled 'son of Commius'.

Sometime before the Claudian invasion, Verica was in turn overthrown. He probably was the historical Celtic leader 'Bericus' who appeared in Rome seeking aid from Claudius. Verica was replaced on the coins by Epaticcus, who styled himself a 'son of Tasciovanus'. Whether the family-tie was real is not so important, the result was the Atrebatic leadership was now held by a Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian sympathizer. Shortly before the Claudian invasion, Epaticcus was replaced by Caratacus, the famous leader of the British resistance against the Roman invaders. The Atrebatic coinage came to an end during the forties, as Caratacus fled westwards to lead the resistance amongst the tribes in Wales. One Atrebatic leader known to history, Cogidubnus, has not yet been identified on the coinage. It seems he was not elevated to leadership until the coinage had come to an end.

The oppidum of Calleva, Silchester today, was the site of an Atrebatic mint, and the name Calleva appears on coins of Eppillus. The other leaders may have had mints elsewhere, but none have been identified.

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Coinage of the Atrebates, Regni & Belgae

The Atrebates, Regni and Belgae occupied the territory that is today Berkshire, Sussex and Hampshire. Whether three distinct political groups struck coins cannot be proven today, nor can separate territories be demonstrated. The Regni are virtually unknown to history until the Roman period, and the tribal area of the Belgae is a matter of controversy. Though Belgic immigration is mentioned by Caesar, he does not specifically say where they settled, and we only have the Roman name "Venta Belgarum" to suggest a location. The Atrebates, also mentioned by Caesar, had tribal members on both sides of the Channel.

Traditionally, the three tribes have been treated numismatically as one. Based on the current state of research, there is no reason to change this approach. Attempts have been made to identify a separate coinage for the Belgae based on new silver types reported since 1994. These enigmatic coins need careful analysis and reflection. Certainly, after the Gallic War, only one coinage circulated in the territory. It may someday come to pass that coinages for the Belgae and Regni can be identified, but only after the analysis of the new types has been completed. Most of these are listed under "New Material". For the remainder of this discussion the three tribes will be referred to simply as the "Atrebates" for the sake of brevity.

Initially, the three tribes constituted one of the most advanced groups in Britain. They had trading contacts with Belgic Gaul in the late second and early first centuries B.C., and were one of the earliest to strike coins. The earliest stater, the INSULAR TYPE struck before the Gallic War, is derived from imported Gallo-Belgic C. The next coinage, the WESTERHAM TYPE, is now felt to be inspired by the Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian coinage of the same name, struck during the Gallic War. After the war, the tribal position changed dramatically, and they may have fallen out of favour with the Romans. It is possible the cross-Channel trading rights were given to the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni instead. A loss of trading rights may have been the result of Commius' activities during the War.

Continued….

Early Uninscribed Coinages    <info>

Atrebates, Regni & Belgae Uninscribed Coinage

Imported Gaulish staters were the first coins used by the three tribes. Large Flan, Abstract Design and Gallic War Type coins are known from the tribal territory.The tribe began striking INSULAR TYPES sometime during the 60s B.C. These are heavier than their Gaulish prototypes, but lower in gold content. Around 55 B.C, the tribe struck the WESTERHAM TYPE staters, apparently a short-lived issue. The Westerham Type was replaced by the lighter ATREBATIC ABSTRACT TYPE later in the Gallic War.

The tribe produced an enormous number of staters and quarters during the war. At the time Commius was in collaboratation with Caesar, the tribe may have been part a scheme against the Durotriges, who had contacts with tribes in Brittany. They also may have received aid from the Romans seeking war materiel.

 

Atrebatic Abstract Fractional Gold Staters    Atrebatic B    <info>

Atrebatic Abstract Fractional Gold Staters

These are fractional denominations of which there are a large number of varieties. It is uncertain whether they should be called quarter staters and thus the term 'fractional' is used. The intricate design is struck on a small flan and crucial details may be missing. The weights vary from 1.0 to 1.4 grammes, indicating the heavier coins are actually of Gallic War date, while the lighter issues are probably post-war. The series has been catalogued by three major subtypes: Apollo heads, Apollo head variations, and alternate obverses.

Apollo Head Variation Types

232.01234.01236.01242.01244.01244.03246.01250.01

250.01

250 - 01  Abstract Type Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    11 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Wreath and crescents
Identifying points:
     1) two outline crescents, back-to-back
     2) wreath runs between crescents

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) dahlia below horse
     2) pellet-in-ring motif on horse's rump
     3) pellet-in-ring motifs in front of and behind horse
     4) uncertain ring like object above horse

CLASSlFlCATlON: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most in museums.

246.01

246 - 01  Abstract Type Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    9 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890
OBV: Apollo head variation
Identifying points:
     1) faint traces of Apollo head

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) horse has double tail
     2) strap around horse's belly
     3) pellet-in-ring motifs on horse's shoulder and haunch
     4) seven-spoked wheel below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most are in museums

244.03

244 - 03 Abstract Type Apollo Head Variation 55 45 B.C. ER
Gold Over Bronze Plated Fractional Stater    ca. 0.7 gms.    10 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Crossed wreath of Apollo
Identifying points:
     1) as 244 1

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) similar to 250-1, but dahlia above as well as below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Likely struck from an ancient forger's dies.

244.01

244 - 01  Abstract Type  Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    11 mm

Earliest Record: Mack, 1964

OBV: Crossed wreath of Apollo
Identifying points:
     1) large pellet in ring motif in centre, almost flower like

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) horse prances right
     2) flower made up of large pellet with three petals around it below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Many in museums.

242.01

242 - 01  Abstract Type  Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    10 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

OBV: Apollo head variation
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring surrounded by circle of pellets, the whole inserted into          central portion of wreath

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Some are in museums

236.01

236 - 1  Abstract Type  Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    14 mm

Earliest Record:Evans, 1890

OBV: Apollo head variation
Identifying points:
     1) symmetrical design diagonally arranged
     2) centre occupied by two multi-spoked wheels
     3) wreath split in two and placed on either side of wheels
     4) curls of hair beyond wreath on both sides of wreath

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) horse has triple tail
     2) strap around horse's belly
     3) cog wheel within circle above horse
     4) bird with curved bill right below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Some are in museums
               Modern forgery exists—see 236-lF.

234.01

234 - 01  Abstract Type  Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    12 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo
Identifying points:
     1) laurel leaves downwards
     2) spike made up of lines with pellet-in-ring motifs
     3) pellet-in-ring motifs in vestiges of hair

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) eight-spoked wheel with axle above horse
     2) anemone below horse
     3) pellet-in-ring motifs near tail

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Though the type appears to be Atrebatic/Regnan, a                     Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian origin is also possible.


232.01

232 - 01   Abstract Type Apollo Head Variation   55-45 B.C.   ER
Gold Fractional Stater    11 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) spike replaced by two parallel lines with pellet-in-ring terminals

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) horse has triple tail
     2) collar around horse's neck
     3) strap around horse's belly
     4) uncertain complex flower with small pellets

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

 

Atrebatic Abstract Fractional Gold Staters    Atrebatic B

Apollo Head Variation Types and Alternate Obverses

Apollo Head Variations254.01Alternate Obverses256.01

256.01

256 - 01    Abstract Type Alternate Obverse    55-45 B.C.    ER
Gold Fractional Stater    12 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Cross with curved arms
Identifying points:
     1) each arm of cross terminates in a different animal head

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) horse has triple tail
     2) collar on horse's neck
     3) strap around horse's belly
     4) dahlia above horse
     5) anemone below horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most are in museums.

254.01

254 -01  Abstract Type Apollo Head Variation  55-45 B.C.  ER
Gold Fractional Stater    10 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

OBV: Floral pattern
Identifying points:
     1) pattern of crossed wreaths
     2) pattern made up of small rings and pellet-in-ring motifs
     3) pellet-in-ring motif in centre

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring motif above horse
     2) two small rings in front of horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most in museums.

 

Atrebatic Abstract    Uninscribed Silver    Atrebatic B

260.01262.01264.01268.01270.01280.01282.01284.01

284.01

284 - 01    Danebury Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Unit    11 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989 (Danebury, 1984)

OBV: Celticized head left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring motif for eye
     2) two concentric rings in front of nose and near chin
     3) large pellet for chin
     4) pellet-in-ring motif encircled by two rings
         of pellets in front of face

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) seven-spoked wheel below horse
     2) ring behind horse
     3) pellet-in-ring motif above horse
     4) two concentric rings above horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most are in museums.

282.01

282 - 01    Danebury Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Unit    12 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989 (Danebury, 1984)

OBV: Celticized face right
Identifying points:
     1) head made up of a triangle with curved sides
     2) large, ornate coffee bean in front of face
     3) pellet-in-ring motifs below and in front of face

REV: Celticized horse right Identifying points:
     1) elliptical eye
     2) ornate ring below horse
     3) elliptical ear
     4) two pellets and an uncertain object above horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: The horse has similarities to those on later types of Commius and                     Tincommius.
                The obverse possibly inspired a Dobunnic coin — see 1170 - 01.

280.01

280 - 01    Danebury Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Unit    11 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989 (Danebury, 1984)

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) elliptical eye
     2) hair made up of elliptical pellets
     3) face outlined

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring motif on breast
     2) eight-spoked wheel with axle below horse
     3) wavy-armed star above horse
     4) right foreleg of horse made up of two lines

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

270.01

270 - 01    Early Atrebatic Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Minim    8 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) as 268 - 01

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) as 268 - 01, but no object below horse

CLASSIFICATION Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most are in museums.
                Derived from 264 - 01

268.01

268 - 01    Early Atrebatic Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Minim    0.2-0.3 gms.    8 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) degraded version of 264 - 01
     2) eye now elongated pellet

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) as 264 - 01, but wheel below horse is now a ring

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most are in museums.
                 Typical weight is given.

264.01

264 - 01    Early Atrebatic Type    50-45 B.C.    VR
Silver Unit    1.2 gms.    11 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) oval eye
     2) helmet with crest

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) Wheel below horse
     2) pellet-in-ring motifs on horse's breast and rump
     3) small ring below horse
     4) uncertain object above horse made up of a line and small rings

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Most are in museums.
                Typical weight is given.
                The prototype for the next two types.

262.01

262 - 01    Early Atrebatic Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Unit    1.1 gms.    11 mm

Earliest record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) large pellet in front of forehead, small ring above the pellet
     2) large pellet below chin
     3) hair made up of long curves

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) flower above horse made up of a ring with fifteen arms, each ending in a          pellet
     2) small ring above and below horse's head
     3) two small rings and two pellets below horse
     4) curved line in front of horse

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: Typical weight is given

260.01

260 - 01    Early Atrebatic Type    50-45 B.C.    ER
Silver Unit     12 mm

Earliest Record: Mack, 1964

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) laurel leaves inwards
     2) spike made up of lines and pellet-in-ring motifs
     3) pellet-in-ring motifs in vestiges of hair

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) wheel below horse
     2) horse appears to have triple tail

CLASSIFICATION: Atrebatic B

NOTES: This is a silver version of 222 - 01

 

 

 

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