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The Catuvellauni Tribe


Ian
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This is a silver unit struck circa 20ad by Epaticcus, brother of Cunobelin, King of the Catuvellauni, a tribe occupying the Bedforshire, Herefordshire, Cambridgeshire region of England. The coin shows the bust of Epaticcus (obverse) and an eagle clutching a snake (reverse).

 

The Catuvellauni neighboured the territories of the Atrebates who were by this time firmly established trading partners and allies of Rome. Epaticcus in his wars with the Atrebates was successful in taking virtually all of their territories in Britain. The king of the Atrebates however escaped and made supplication to Rome, and Claudius made use of the Catuvellauni's `aggression' as his excuse for the subsequent invasion and occupation of Britain.

 

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Why is aggression in quotes? If they made war and took all the territory of the Atrebates wouldn't that qualify?

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What do you think of the coin by the way?

 

As to your question, consider:

 

The Atrebates....where did they come from....... and why?

Was there any aggression involved..and if so, on who's part?

How did the Atrebates acquire the territory they occupied in Britain?

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Catuvellauni, a tribe occupying the Bedforshire, Herefordshire, Cambridgeshire region of England.

 

'Tis a beauty Ian, just one thing it should be Hertford, not Hereford. Most of my misspent youth took place in the old stamping grounds of the Catuvellauni Hertfordshire, whereas my dear departed Father-in-law was from Hereford where the Silures/Cornovii roamed.

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Hi Ian,

 

If I didn't know anything I would say the coin looks like a cast copy of Roman republican type. I'm not huge into RR and less into Celtic though so what I think there is pretty meaningless. Aesthetically I prefer the stylized Celtic coins over the ones that are closer to imitations of Roman and Greek types.

 

I'd like to learn more about why the Celts struck coins and what uses they had initially versus latter when they likely started to trade with coin using people, but it's one area where I've neglected my reading

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In many respects the coin is a Celtic `fingers up' to the Roman Empire (and the roman republican quinarii it is styled on)

 

Other than as a means of `exchange' in the facilitation of trade, what other purpose would coinage possibly have (?)

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Other than as a means of `exchange' in the facilitation of trade, what other purpose would coinage possibly have (?)

 

Tribute, status, ornament, jewelry?

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Tribute, status, ornament, jewelry?

 

sure, make jewellery and ornament out of coinage,....... but to make coinage for the sake of jewellery and ornament? Some adornements have in turn been used as money (cowrie shells...slave bangles...etc) but these are not coins.

 

The tribute /status thing is evident on nearly all coinage, but is very much a secondary consideration to the facilitation of trade. Some coins have been used as an artists canvas (Euanetos's Syracusan decadrachm as an example), but in the main the markings serve as an identifier for the origins and bona fides (test cuts on athenian tetradrachms for example) of the money concerned , and therefore its acceptance and spendability.

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I agree that coins are often used as tribute, means of savings (hence hoards), status symbols, jewellery and such but Ian is right in that the overarching reason for the production of coinage is to facilitate trade and commerce in a somewhat complex system.

 

Admittedly my knowledge and research is on the emergence of coinage in the early Anglo-Saxon period but the general trend is true to that of the Celtic period.

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