Finds Of Celtic Coins In Bkitain

The earliest native coinage of Britain belongs to the Iron Age, and dates from 200 to 150 B.C. Sir John Evans has collected together all the known facts relating to the numismatics of this period in his Coins of the Ancient Britons, and gives excellent maps showing the geographical distribution of the finds. Prof. John Rhys, in his Celtic Britain (p. 19), says :—

!i The coinage of Britain had been modelled in the first instance after that of Gaul, which, in its turn, can be traced to the Phoc&an Greeks of Massilia or Marseilles, through whom the continental Gauls became acquainted in the latter part of the fourth century before Christ with the gold stater of Philip II. of Macedon. This was a fine coin, weighing

1 I)r. J. Anderson's Scotland in Pagar. Times: Iran Age, p. 126.

2 Shield (Archceohgia, vol. xxiii., p. 0) i helmet (i" the British Museum); fibula (Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., 2nd ser., vol. xv., p. iqi).

3 Shield (Archccologia, vol. xxiii., p. 96); sword-sheath (J. C. Bruce's Catal. of Alnwick Mus.j; daggers (Kemble's Hone- FeraUs, pi. 17).

4 Fibula*. (Illustrated Archcrohgist, vol. ii., p. 157).

133 grains, and having on one side the head of Apollo wreathed with laurel, while the other showed a charioteer in a biga, with Philip's name underneath. It was imitated by the Gauls fairly well at first, but as it got further removed from the original in time and place, the figures degenerated into very curious and fantastic forms."1

Before the land:ig of Julius Cajsar in Brita n in 55 f.c. the Cantii, the Dutoriges, the Catuvelauri, and the Trinovantes each had coinages of their own, hut entirely devoid of letter-ng. The lettered coins begin with those of Commios, dating from a period some time before 30 b.c., after which come those of his three sons—Tincommios, Verica, arid Eppillos.

"The coins of Commios, and some of the earlier ones of T'ncommios, continued the degenerate imitations of the Macedonian stater without showing any Roman influence ; but it was not long after Augustus became emperor, in the year 30, that T:ncommios copied the Latin formula, in which the former styled himself August its Divi I'M us, or the son of his adoptive father, Julius Ca;sar, who had now got to be officially called Divus, or the god. So Tincommios had inscribed on his money the legend Tine. Cmnmi F., or even shorter abbreviations, meaning Tincommios son of Commios; and the grotesque traits derived from the stater soon disappear in favour of classical designs of various kinds, pro\ing very distinctly that the intluence of Roman art was beginning to make, itself felt in the south of Britain."2

There was no native British coinage either inScotland Wales, or Ireland, and in England the finds do not extend further north than Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The greater part of the finds lie to the south of a line drawn from Wroxeter to the Wash, and east of a line drawn from the same place to Exeter. The geographical distribution of the finds is clearly shown on the map

given in Sir John Evans' Coins of the Ancient Britons.

Much further light has been thrown on Celtic coinage by the British Numismatic Society, founded in 1903. The following are the references to early British coins in the Society's annual Journal: Vol. ¡., p. 355; vol. ii , p. 455 ; vol. iii., pp. 1-14 (important find of eighteen silver coins at South Ferriby, Lincolnshire); vol. iv., p. 350; vol. v., pp. 55 -75 ; and vol. vi., pp. 1--3.

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