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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ BritainView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Britain

Before the Roman invasion, Britain was populated by Celtic tribes with well-established cultural and economic links with continental Europe. Although Julius Caesar conducted the first Roman campaign in Britain in 55 B.C., the conquest did not begin until A.D. 43, during the reign of Claudius. The British tribes initially opposed the Roman legions, but by 84 the Romans had decisively conquered southern Britain and had pushed into what is now southern Scotland. In 122 they fortified the northern border with Hadrian's Wall, which spanned what is now Northern England. In 142 Roman forces pushed north again and began construction of the Antonine Wall, but they retreated back to Hadrian's Wall after only twenty years. Following the conquest, native Britons were subject to the Roman governors but mostly kept their land, and a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged. The Roman Empire retained control until its departure about A.D. 430.Romanization of Britain


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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In 288 or 289, Maximian prepared an invasion of Britain to oust Carausius, but it failed. A panegyric delivered to Constantius Chlorus attributes this failure to bad weather, but notes that Carausius claimed a military victory. Eutropius says that hostilities were in vain thanks to Carausius' military skill, and peace was agreed. Carausius began to entertain visions of official recognition. He minted his coins acknowledging and honoring Maximian and Diocletian.
RA73266. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 33 (R2), Webb Carausius 37, Hunter IV - (p. cci), SRCV IV-, Carausian Hoard -, Burton Latimer -, Linchmere -, Bicester -, VF/F, nice green patina, nice portrait, earthen deposits, struck with a worn reverse die, reverse slightly off center, weight 3.232 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 289 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse FIDES MILITM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing holding two ensigns, F-O in fields, ML in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $190.00 (Ä161.50)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art, Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. This coin advertises Carausius as the source of hope for the people.
RA73289. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 1010, Webb Carausius 2235, Cohen VII 339, King Unmarked -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, VF, nice green patina, reverse a little off center on a broad flan, bumps and marks, light earthen deposits, weight 3.363 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked (Londinium?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse SPES PVBLICA (the hope of the public), Spes walking left, flower in right hand, lifting skirt with left hand, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $160.00 (Ä136.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RA73287. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 783 (scarce), Web Carausius 877, Hunter IV 63 var. (P F AV), King Unmarked 26 var. (P AVG), SRCV IV -, F, nice jade patina, off center on a tight ragged flan, weight 3.237 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked (Londinum?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse FIDES MILITVM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing half left, standard in each hand, no mintmark; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $120.00 (Ä102.00)


Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

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This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RA73488. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 783 (S), Webb Carausius 877, Cohen 75, King Unmarked 26 var. (...P AVG), Hunter IV 63 var. (...PF AV), SRCV IV -, aVF, well centered, green patina, earthen encrustation, a few scratches, weight 4.014 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked (Londinum?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AV, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse FIDES MILITVM (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing half left, standard in each hand, no mintmark; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $120.00 (Ä102.00)


Celts, Atrebates and Regni, British Tribes, South of the Thames, c. 60 - 20 B.C.

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At the time of Caesar's invasion of Britain, the Atrebates, "the settlers," covered Sussex, Berkshire, west Surrey, parts of Hampshire, north-east Wiltshire. The Regni, originally Regini, "the stiff ones," occupied Sussex in Roman times.
SH01358. Gold quarter stater, uninscribed 'Bognor Cogwheel' type; Cottam ABC 509, SCBC 48, gVF, weight 1.39 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, obverse extremely stylized head of Zeus or Apollo; reverse horse right with triple tail, floral sun above, cog wheel below, wheel right; a beautiful example of Celtic art; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Allen, D. Catalogue of Celtic Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1987-1990).
Allen, D. The Coins of the Ancient Celts. (Edinburgh, 1980).
Coins of England & the United Kingdom, Standard Catalogue of British Coins. (London, -).
Cottam, E., et al. Ancient British Coins. (Chris Rudd, Norfolk, UK, 2010).
de Jersey, P. Celtic Coinage in Britain. (London, 1996).
de la Tour, H. Atlas de monnaies Gauloises. (Paris, 1892).
Hobbs, R. British Iron Age Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1996).
Nash, D. Coinage in the Celtic World. (London, 1987).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sills, J. Gaulish and Early British Gold Coinage. (London, 2003).
Van Arsdell, R. Celtic Coinage of Britain. (London, 1989).


Catalog current as of Sunday, January 21, 2018.
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Britain