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Plate 59   Trinovantes & Catuvellauni    <info 1 < 2  < 3  < 4 >  

Page 4

The tribe operated two mints, one at Verulamium, the other at Camulodunum. Initially, the Verulamium mint produced most of the coins, but it was overshadowed by Camulodunum in the first century A.D. The remains of both mints have been found during archaeological excavations.

It has long been asserted Caesar gave coin-manufacturing assistance during his visit in 54 B.C., because the coins of the period display Romanizing influences. Training was probably unnecessary, however, because the moneyers would have been expert metal-workers already. The die-cutting on Whaddon Chase staters is excellent, but surprisingly, the dies were cut in soft metal. They broke up quickly and many of the existing pieces show die-damage. Sometimes depressions appear where the die surface heaved up during punching. Normally, the heaved surfaces would have been planed off, but this was not done for some reason. All this suggests that the minting was hurried, not unusual for a time of war.

The Trinovantes/Catuvellauni continued to produce coins after the War, and there appears to be little reduction in the amount produced. A silver coinage started either during the War or just after. Shortly after Commius placed his name on the Atrebatic/Regnan coinage, the tribe began its own dynastic series, probably around 40 B.C. By this time the tribe was producing bronze coins for small change, as well as gold and silver. The series of inscribed coins gives the names of the successive tribal leaders for the next eighty years.

Page 3

THURROCK TYPE cast bronzes are occasionally found as single finds in Essex. A few have been found in the Thames River and one coin was found in Dorset. Many single finds and one small hoard have been found in Kent, prompting some to the conclusion they are a Kentish issue. The coins cannot have been used for a very long time. Three interpretations are likely: 1) they have a Gaulish origin and were briefly imported, 2) they have a British origin and represent the first coinage of the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni, or 3) they are a Kentish issue. Although similar coins are reported from the Continent (Castelin, 1978, numbers 477 to 485), they are not sufficiently alike to have a common Gaulish origin. Thus, of the three interpretations, the Gaulish origin appears the least likely. The Thurrock Hoard, representing a complete corpus of the series, would have been very difficult to assemble outside the mint – it very well may be a hoard of mint scrap. Thus, the suggestion here is that the Thurrock Hoard was produced in the vicinity of the findspot – the coins representing a Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian issue.

Thurrock Types appear to have been influenced by the Prototype Period cast bronzes of the Cantii, dating them about l00 to 90 B.C. Within twenty years, the tribe was striking its own gold coinage.
The Trinovantes/Catuvellauni were one of the earliest tribes to begin striking gold staters, with the introduction of the CLACTON TYPE about 70 B.C. A hoard of these was found with Ambiani Abstract Type staters at Clacton beach. This type, like all the early types struck in Britain was, short-lived—submerged by the large influx of Gallic War staters. About the middle of the war, the tribe began to strike the WHADDON CHASE TYPE, and continued to produce coins until the Claudian invasion a hundred years later.

The Trinovantes/Catuvellauni apparently collaborated with the Romans during the War. They probably did this by hampering trade between the Durotriges and the Armorican tribes, by competing for supplies within Britain. They may have delivered supplies directly to the Roman army, as well. The tribe obtained a large amount of gold for this effort and evidently became the recipient of wine-trading rights with the Romans. This favour ultimately gave the tribe an economic superiority over all the other tribes in the southeast after the war.

Continued….

Page 2

But what was this group group?

That two tribes existed is not in doubt. Caesar mentions the Trinovantes in his Gallic War commentaries, stating they were probably the most powerful tribe in southern Britain. The Catuvellauni are mentioned on an inscribed Roman stone from Hadrian's wall. There were two minting centres in the territory, at the tribal oppida of Verulamium and Camulodunum, suggesting two political centres existed. However, the coinage is a unified one since the two tribal groups must have merged into a single economic unit before they started producing coins.

As a result, the tribes cannot be distinguished numismatically, and they are referred to as the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni. For all practical purposes, by the introduction of the Whaddon Chase Type about 55 B.C., they had come to act as one economically, and perhaps had been doing so as early as 125 B.C.
The inscribed coinage argues in addition for political unity by 40 B.C. The dynastic coins show an orderly succession of rulers, except for a brief period around the turn of the millenium. This appears to have been an Interregnum, during which the succession was disputed.

The Trinovantes/Catuvellauni occupied the entire territory immediately north of the Thames. They were bounded on the north-east by the Iceni, on the south by the Cantii and Atrebates/Regni, on the north the by the Corieltauvi, and on the west, probably, by the Dobunni. Thus, they were in physical contact with all the tribes of the south-east, and in a position to exert influence.
By 125 B.C.. they were importing coins from the Ambiani on the Continent, and shared the cross-Channel trade with the Cantii and Atrebates/Regni. Large Flan, Defaced Die and Abstract Type gold coins are found throughout their territory in quantity.

When the Cantii began casting bronze coins about 100 B.C., the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni followed this lead and produced their own cast coinage for a brief period. In the early 1980s a small hoard of unusual cast bronze coins was dispersed in Europe, about 100 to 300 pieces with an alleged 'Folkestone findspot'. At first this was dismissed as incorrect, and the coins branded Gaulish. However, during the late summer of 1987 a hoard of about 2,000 cast bronzes, including the unusual type, were found in a pit in the vicinity of West Thurrock, Essex.

The coins occurred in at least sixteen varieties, with a reasonable typological progression. One coin had a large protrusion of flash which would have broken off had the coin been moved any great distance. In general, the hoard appeared to be made up of coins collected by a mint, perhaps for remelting. No other evidence of minting activity was noted at the site, but it appears the mint cannot have been far away.

Continued….

Page 1

Coinage of the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni

Traditionally, the Trinovantes and Catuvellauni were considered distinct tribes, each with its own coinage. An elaborate history, written from the coin inscriptions, described a long intertribal warfare. The Trinovantes received blow after devastating blow from the warlike Catuvellauni and lost Camulodunum, their tribal capital, several times in the process.

The evidence was founded partially on Caesar's writings – the ruler of the Trinovantes had been killed by Cassivellaunus. Cassivellaunus was assumed to be a ruler of the Catuvellauni, though Caesar never stated so. The rest of the support came from an analysis of the findspots of the Dynastic coins.

Today, this history is considered a myth – the coin evidence no longer supports continual internecine warfare north of the Thames. Cassivellaunus' tribal origin is not mentioned by any contemporary writer and there is no indication he was the ruler of the Catuvellauni. The similarity of the tribal and personal names is coincidence, not a link between the two. Furthermore, recent analyses of the findspot distributions indicate the coins circulated farther afield than previously thought. The territory north of the Thames can no longer be separated into two distinct coin-using zones.

Instead, the coinage is seen today as that of a single economic group— coin types appear in succession and circulate not only throughout the area immediately north of the Thames, but into Icenian and Cantian territory as well. Metrology and typology show the inscriptions on the dynastic issues are those of successive rulers, not contemporary adversaries.

In general, the picture today is of a powerful, united tribe occupying the area north of the Thames. This unified tribe had economic influence beyond its borders which increased throughout the period of the coinage. The tribal group ultimately controlled the economy of the Cantii, and to a lesser extent the economies of the Iceni and Atrebates/Regni.

But what was this group group?

Continued….

 

Uninscribed Types  <info>    Thurrock Type    Trinovantian A  <info>

Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian Uninscribed Coinage

Beginning about 125 B.C. the tribe imported Gold coins from the Continent.

The appearance of cast bronzes in Cantian territory, around 100 B.C. prompted the tribe to cast their own bronzes for a brief time. These coins, the Thurrock Types, are distinguished from the Kentish pieces by the mould-manufacturing methods and typology. The sprues and runners were produced by pressing a dowel across the mould. This created a deep runner system, which filled the cavities well, but interfered with the images on the coins. Almost all Thurrock
Types have the sprues running across the image in a raised line.

Thurrock Type Cast Bronzes

The rarity guide entries for the Thurrock Types are estimates based on viewing the contents of the Thurrock hoard, they have not been constructed from strict tallies for each catalogue number.

1414 to 1422 display a greatly degraded image, and lack the letters above the bull.

1426 to 1430 present an extreme degradation of the images of Apollo and the bull. On the final coins in the sequence, the image is simply unrecognizable blobs and lines.

On 1434 to 1442, the head of Apollo is completely degraded.

1402.011402.01 another1404.011406.011408.011410.01

1410.01

1410 - 01    Apollo Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze 16 mm

Earliest record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head wears smooth helmet
     2) head appears less lifelike than on previous coms.

REV: Bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) bull has flowing appearance
     2) exergual line below bull
     3) central boss on bull
     4) no letters above bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue appears across image on obverse.

1408.01

1408 - 01    Apollo Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    S
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head has almost a feminine appearance
     2) hair behind neck (or neck-protector at bottom of helmet)
     3) central boss on head

REV: Bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) MA above bull
     2) central boss on bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Less evidence of sprue appears across image.
               May be commoner than indicated.

1406.01

1406 - 01    Apollo Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze 17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) helmet on head
     2) distinct edge-circle appears

REV: Bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) M and digamma above bull
     2) exergual line below bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue runs across bull on reverse.

1404.01

1404 - 01    APOLLO HEAD VARIETY    100-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) hair appears more as a helmet
     2) less lifelike portrait

REV: Bull charging left
Identifying points:
     1) MA above bull
     2) exergual line below bull
     3) central boss on bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Less evidence of sprue appears across image.

1402.01 another

1402 - 01    Thurrock Apollo Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
Cast Bronze 17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) hair in crescents
     2) lifelike portrait

REV: Bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) MA above bull
     2) exergual line below bull
     3) central boss on bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue runs through coin on obverse and reverse.

1402.01

1402 - 01    Thurrock Apollo Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
Cast Bronze 17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) hair in crescents
     2) lifelike portrait

REV: Bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) MA above bull
     2) exergual line below bull
     3) central boss on bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue runs through coin on obverse and reverse.

 

Uninscribed Types        Thurrock Type        Trinovantian A

1414.011418.011422.011426.011428.011428.03

1428.03

1428 - 03    Degraded Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head barely recognizable
     2) no central boss

REV: Linear bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) bull made up of lines 2) no central boss

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue in evidence across images.

1428.01

l428 - 0l    Degraded Head Variety    l00-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest record: Van arsdell, 1989

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head barely recognizable

REV: Linear bull charging left
Identifying points:
     1) bull made up of lines

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue not in evidence across images.

1426.01

l426 - 0l    Degraded Head Variety    l00-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    l7 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell. 1989

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head has thick appearance
     2) central boss on head

REV: Degraded bull charging left
Identifying points:
     1) bull still recognizable
     2) exergual line below bull
     3) central boss on bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue runs through obverse image.

1422.01

1422 - 01    Head Right Variety    l00-90 B.C.    ER
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) head faces right

REV: Degraded bull charging right
Identifying points:
     1) exergual line below bull
     2) bull almost unrecognizable

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue runs across obverse image.

1414.01

1414 - 01    Two Heads Variety    100-90 B.C.    ER
AE Cast Bronze 16 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head wears smooth helmet

REV: Head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     l) head almost obliterated

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Possibly a mint-error, two obverse moulds have been used to produce                      the coin.
                Sprue has a distinctly tubular shape, perhaps a metal rod was used to                      form it in the mould.
               Moulds greatly misaligned during casting on coin illustrated.

1418.01

1418 - 01    Chicken Head Variety    l00-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    l7 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head degraded to an almost bird-like quality

REV: Degraded bull charging left
Identifying points:
     1) exergual line below bull
     2) central boss on bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Both the author and the hoard's finder (a dedicated numismatist) had                 named this the 'chicken head type' prior to meeting.

 

Uninscribed Types        Thurrock Type        Trinovantian A

1430.011434.011436.011438.011440.011442.01

1442.01

1442 - 01    Degraded Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    S
AE Cast Bronze    16 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Blob
Identifying points:
     1) large, indistinct blob in centre

REV: Line
Identifying points:
     1) line runs horizontally
     2) line neatly produced

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: May be commoner than indicated.
                Sprue is now part of image.

1440.01

1440 - 01    Degraded Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Blob and line
Identifying points:
     1) sprue down centre
     2) blob in centre

REV: Line
Identifying points:
     1) line runs horizontally
     2) line is neatly produced

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue is now part of image.

1438.01

1438 - 01    Degraded Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    C
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Type: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Blob and line
Identifying points:
     1) line down centre
     2) blob in centre

REV: Line
Identifying points:
     1) line horizontally
     2) line is irregularly shaped

CLASSIFICATION Trinovantian A

NOTES: Sprue is now part of image.

1436.01

1436 - 01    Degraded Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    R
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Line, Crescent and pellets
Identifying points:
     1) sprue down centre
     2) crescent to left
     3) two pellets to right

REV: Linear bull
Identifying points:
     1) bull made up of lines
     2) exergual line below bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: May be commoner than indicated.
                Sprue is now part of image.

1434.01

1434 - 01    Degraded Head Variety    100-90 B.C.    S
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Blob and line
Identifying points:
     1) blob still shows traces of face

REV: Linear bull
Identifying points:
     1) bull made up of lines
     2) exergual line below bull

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: May be commoner than indicated.
                Sprue is now part of image.

1430.01

1430 - 01    DEGRADED HEAD VARIETY    100-90 B.C.    S
AE Cast Bronze    17 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Degraded head of Apollo left
Identifying points:
     1) head still recognizable
     2) head is smooth

REV: Crossed lines
Identifying points:
     1) two crossed lines
     2) one line is sprue
     3) central boss
     4) exergual line

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian A

NOTES: May be commoner than indicated.
                Pronounced sprue runs across obverse and reverse images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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