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Plate 76     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….

Uncertain Dynastic Issues    The "Interregnum"    <info>

The "Interregnum"

In 1944, Derek Allen published an analysis of the inscribed British coinages in Archaeologia. He had difficulty explaining a 30 year gap between the end of Tasciovanus' reign, and the start of Cunobeline's. He also faced problems with coins carrying enigmatic legends linking Tascio with Sego, Andoco and Dias. Another series inscribed Rves or Rviis also posed unanswerable questions.

Since Allen's time, the gap has been narrowed to 20 years, but still appears inexplicable. The rarity of the Sego, Andoco, Dias and Rviis types has not helped clarify matters. These coins have been known since 1864 (or earlier), and are certainly genuine. Most numismatists have accepted that the four types are somehow associated with Tasciovanus, and appear late in his reign, or just after it.

Celtic Coinage of Britain offered the simplification that the 20 year gap was an Interregnum between Tasciovanus and Cunobeline, and the gap was filled with the coins inscribed Sego, Andoco, Dias and Rviis. Predictably, this suggestion failed to meet anyone's approval. Yet, no better explanation has surfaced since 1989, despite much analysis and debate.

From 2000 to 2007, Reiner Kretz published a series of papers on the four enigmatic types. These were based on very detailed studies of typology and philology, including careful analyses of findspot distributions, weights and metallurgy. The work failed to clarify the overall picture, but did add useful details to the story. He suggested that the coinage of Andoco may overlap or be entirely included within Tasciovanus' Third Coinage. He suggested an imaginative interaction between the two rulers. He added further speculation about Andoco's reactions to and concerns about Tasciovanus. This work, predictably, has not met everyone's approval, either.

There has always been a question whether Sego, Andoco, Dias and Rviis are names of rulers, or mean something entirely different. Kretz' work demonstrated the legends carry plausible names or epithets, and he suggested numerous possibilities.

With little else to go on, this catalogue continues the idea of an Interregnum. The construction is far from complete, but no better replacement has surfaced in recent years. The four types are listed here, with no suggestions regarding their chronological relationship. The dates for all four types are expanded to include the end of Tasciovanus' reign, anticipating that Kretz' dating for Andoco could apply to any of the types. Also, following Kretz work on the legends, the mint for Rviis coin has been dropped (it had been Verulamium since Evans' 1864 book).

Though additional research may clarify things in the future, one begins to fear we may never explain the period from 10 BC to 10 AD north of the Thames.

 

Coins inscribed SEGO    <info>

Coins Inscribed SEGO

The SEGO issues are highlighted by a gold stater similar to the last ones of Tasciovanus. It has the TASCIO legend on the obverse, and SEGO on the reverse with the mounted warrior. The silver and bronzes are similarly late in style and the type is probably short-lived.

Kretz cautions that coins possibly exist with the SEGO incription linked to Cunobeline and Amminius. None have been precisely identified, nor have any been authenticated.

Gold1845.011848.01Silver1851.011851.03Bronze1855.01

1855.01

1855 - 01    SEGO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Bronze Unit 13 mm

Earliest Record: Mack, 1953

OBV: Geometric pattern
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring motif in centre
     2) eight-pointed star made up of curved lines

REV: Sphinx left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring motif between wing and tail
     2) SEGO on reverse

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian P

NOTES: Most in museums.
                Sphinx possibly adapted from a late Hellenistic gemstone.
                Mack saw the beginning of SEGO on a coin found in Canterbury.

1851 - 03    SEGO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Silver Unit    1.2 gms.    13 mm

Earliest Record: Kretz, 2006

OBV: Inscription in tablet
Identifying points:
     1) as 1851 - 01 but circle of pellets instead of chain
     2) SEGO in tablet

REV: Celtic warrior on horse right
Identifying points:
     1) pellet border
     2) rider has head-dress with lines streaming behind

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian P

NOTES: Coin reported to Celtic Coin Index in 1987, has not been                 authenticated.

1851.01

1851 - 01    SEGO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Silver Unit    1.2 gms.    13 mm

Earliest Record: Stukeley, 1776

OBV: Inscription in tablet
Identifying points:
     1) "chain" made up of two intertwined lines around edge
     2) SEGO in tablet

REV: Celtic warrior on horse right
Identifying points:
     1) pellet border
     2) rider has head-dress with lines streaming behind

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian P

NOTES: Stukeley also recorded a different variety with a standing figure and                 the legend FV in the field, however this coin can no longer be traced.

 

1848.01

1848 - 01    SEGO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Gold Quarter Stater    1.3 gms.    10 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1890

OBV: Inscription in tablet
Identifying points:
     1) cross-in-ring motif above and below tablet
     2) four pellets around tablet
     3) TASCIO in tablet

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) cross-in-ring motif above horse

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian P

NOTES: Typical weight given.
                The reverse is uninscribed, but stylistically the coin is the quarter                       stater corresponding to 1845-1.

1845.01

1845 - 01    SEGO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Gold Stater    5.40 gms.    17 mm

Earliest Record: Poste, 1853

OBV: Inscription in tablet
Identifying points:
     1) cross-in-ring motifs above and below tablet
     2) four pellets around tablet
     3) four rings around tablet
     4) TASCIO in tablet

REV: Celtic warrior on horse right
Identifying points:
     1) rider brandishes carnyx
     2) four-spoked wheel behind horse
     3) SEGO in front of horse

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian P

NOTES: Most in museums.
               Standard weight given.

 

Coins inscribed Andoco    <info>

Coinage of Andoco

Andoco's staters use an antiquated image emulating 1680 - 01, but the copying is blundered. The bucranium on the reverse is hopelessly mis-engraved. The original used for copying must have been very worn and the die-cutter unfamiliar with the details. Recent attempts to suggest this is not the case are unconvincing.

All this suggests Andoco was intentionally copying an obsolete type, possibly to appeal to tradition. One of Andoco's bronze types, however, is very Romanized, supporting an Interregnum date. Andoco's coins are probably short-lived.

It is fascinating to see a common characteristic of Celtic decorative art displayed on the stater obverses. Faces, highly stylized, have been hidden in the design, with the challenge to the viewer to find them. The pellet-in-ring motifs form the eyes, the outline crescent the mouth, and the pellet forms the nose (Van Arsdell 1988a).

Gold1860.011860.051860.071863.01

1863.01

1863 - 01    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Gold Quarter Stater    1.4 gms.    11 mm

Earliest Record: Poste, 1853

OBV: Crossed wreaths
Identifying points:
     1) two crescents back to back with pellet in between
     2) wreaths run outwards from crescents
     3) ANDO in angles

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) bucranium above horse
     2) wheel below horse has axle, but uncertain number of spokes, possibly six

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Typical weight given.
               Most in museums.

 

1860 - 07    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Gold Stater    5.40 gms.    16 mm

Earliest Record: Kretz, 2002

OBV: Crossed wreaths
Identifying points:
     1) as 1860 - 01, but three pellets between back-to-back crescents

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) as 1860 - 01

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Standard weight given.
                Coin has not been authenticated, but appears genuine.

1860 - 05    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Gold Stater    5.40 gms.    16 mm

Earliest Record: Kretz, 2002

OBV: Crossed wreaths
Identifying points:
     1) as 1860 - 01, but two pellets between back-to-back crescents

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) as 1860 - 01

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Standard weight given.
               Coin has not been authenticated, but appears genuine.

 

Silver1868.01Bronze1871.011873.01

1873.01

1873 - 01    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Bronze Unit    1.6 gms.

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) TAS ANDO around head

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) double pellet-ring border

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Most in museums.
                Mack listed this coin twice, once as 170a and again as 175a.

1871.01

1871 - 01    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-1 0 A.D.    ER
Bronze Unit    1.4 gms.    15 mm

Earliest Record: Stukeley, 1776

OBV: Romanized head right
Identifying points:
     1) ANDOCO to right of face

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) ANDOCO around horse
     2) anemone above horse
     3) pellet-in-ring motif above horse

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Some in museums.
               End of the ANDOCO inscription may be rings and a crescent
.

1868.01

1868 - 01    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Silver Unit    1.2 gms.    13 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Celticized head left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet beard
     2) interlaced line border

REV: Pegasus left
Identifying points:
     1) ANDOC starts below Pegasus and extends around to right
     2) ring behind Pegasus

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Some in museums.
               Head on obverse is similar to that on Tasciovanus bronzes.
               Pegasus adapted from a Roman denarius of Q. Titius.

1860.01

1860 - 01    ANDOCO    15 B.C.-10 A.D.    ER
Gold Stater    5.40 gms.    16 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Crossed wreaths
Identifying points:
     1) two crescents back to back
     2) four pellet-in-ring motifs near crescents
     3) wreaths extend from centre
     4) pellets, outline crescents and pellet-in-ring motifs in field 5) two faces          hidden in design

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) blundered copy of bucranium above horse
     2) anemone above horse
     3) ANDO below and in front of horse

CLASSIFICATION: Trinovantian Q

NOTES: Standard weight given.
               Many in museums.
               Modern forgery exists, see 1860 - 01F, also plated modern forgery                       struck from same dies, see 1860 - 03F. No genuine ancient plated                       version known, catalogue number 1860 - 03 reserved, if one should                       be found.
               A careful inspection of the plate coin reveals no trace of pellets                      between the back-to-back crescents on the obverse. The coin has                      been well-struck from sufficiently well-preserved dies to make this                      statement. Suggestions that all examples have pellets between the                      crescents are wrong.

 

 

 

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