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

Ancient Coins of Gaul

Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age that was inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, most of Switzerland and Netherlands, the Po Valley in Northern Italy, and the west bank of the Rhine in Germany. About 390 B.C., the Gauls invaded and sacked Rome. In 222 B.C., Cisalpine Gaul (the region between the Alps and the Po Valley) was conquered by the Romans. The best description of pre-Roman Gaul is in the first chapter of the Commentarii de Bello Gallico, by Julius Caesar, which begins: "All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws..." Map of Gaul

Celts, Southern Germany, Boii, c. 100 B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Celts,| |Southern| |Germany,| |Boii,| |c.| |100| |B.C.|, |stater|
The Rainbow Cup Coin. Medieval monks finding the strange cup shaped gold coins of the Boii described them as gold coins left at the end of a rainbow by magical forest inhabitants.
SH12089. Gold stater, Castelin 1069; Kellner Type II C, VF , weight 7.563 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, obverse birds head in a torque (metal collar or armband) of crescents; reverse torque around six pellets; scarce; SOLD


Celtic, Ambiani, North East Gaul, c. 58 - 55 B.C., Gallic War Issue

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Celtic,| |Ambiani,| |North| |East| |Gaul,| |c.| |58| |-| |55| |B.C.,| |Gallic| |War| |Issue|, |stater|
The Ambiani occupied the Somme valley in northern France. These uniface Gallic War staters were struck to fund the war against Julius Caesar in Gaul. The blank obverse is often ascribed to a need for speed in striking this emergency war coinage. There are, however, more than a few other similar uniface Celtic coin types and one blank side would do little to speed up the mint. More likely, they just found one plain side and one detailed side "nice enough." This type is often found in Britain, many of which may have been carried there by Celtic mercenaries retreating after Caesar's victories.
SH85134. Gold stater, Delestrée-Tache 241, Cottam ABC 16, Van Arsdell 52-1, Castelin 289, De la Tour 8710, SCBC 11, EF, light scratches, weight 6.084 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, obverse plain bulge; reverse disjointed "Celticized" horse right, crescents and pellets around; ex Coins of Antiquity (Hillsborough, NC); SOLD


Gallic Celts, Coriosolites, c. 100 - 50 B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Gallic| |Celts,| |Coriosolites,| |c.| |100| |-| |50| |B.C.|, |stater|
The Coriosolites (or Curiosolites or Curiosolitae) were a Celtic people in the region now called Brittany, mentioned by Julius Caesar several times. He describes the position of the Coriosolites on the ocean among the Armoric states, near the Veneti, Unelli, Osismi, and other tribes. No Coriosolites cities or roads are mentioned by the Romans. The name seems to be preserved in Corseul, a village between Dinan and Lamballe, where there are the remains of an old Roman town. We may conclude that, after the fashion of Gallic names, Corseul was the capital of the Coriosolites.Gaul
CE89570. Billon stater, Delestrée-Tache II 2334, Depeyrot NC VIII 178, gVF, toned, porosity and flan splits, weight 6.442 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 270o, Northwest Gaul mint, c. 100 - 50 B.C.; obverse Celticized head right, hair in large spiral curls, S-like ear; before, small face-like ornament right above scroll-ornament; reverse Celticized rider on horseback right, spiral ornament before, rayed circular ornament below; ex Calgary Coin Gallery; SOLD


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L Hostilius Saserna, 48 B.C.

|after| |50| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Dictatorship| |of| |Julius| |Caesar,| |L| |Hostilius| |Saserna,| |48| |B.C.|, |denarius|
The events of 48 B.C. are among the best known of ancient history. Caesar defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and later was greeted at Alexandria with a gift of Pompey's head. The twenty-one-year-old Cleopatra VII had herself delivered to him rolled in a carpet and became his mistress. Caesar and Cleopatra defeated Ptolemy XIII, but during the battle the Library of Alexandria was burned.

This type refers to Caesar's taking of Massilia early in the war with Pompey. Artemis Ephesia was held in special reverence at Massilia, where they had a temple dedicated to her.
RR85019. Silver denarius, Sydenham 953, Crawford 448/3, RSC I Hostilia 4, Sear Imperators 19, BMCRR Rome 3996, SRCV I 419, aEF, well centered, toned, uneven strike with weak areas, weight 3.376 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, 48 B.C.; obverse bare head of Gallia right with long disheveled hair, carnyx (Gallic trumpet) behind; reverse cultus statue of Diana (Artemis) of Ephesus standing facing, laureate, long hair falling down her shoulders and long flowing robes, holding stag left by its antlers with her right hand, vertical spear in left hand, SASERNA curving upward on left, L • HOSTILIVS downward on right; scarce; SOLD


Augustus and Agrippa, 16 - 15 B.C., Colonia Augusta Nemausus, Gaul

|Augustus|, |Augustus| |and| |Agrippa,| |16| |-| |15| |B.C.,| |Colonia| |Augusta| |Nemausus,| |Gaul|, |dupondius|
The reverse commemorates the conquest of Egypt in 30 B.C. and was probably issued in connection with Augustus' visit to Gaul in 16 B.C.
RP46954. Bronze dupondius, RIC I 157, SNG Cop 697, SNG Tüb 142, RPC I 523, SRCV I 1729, aVF, weight 12.023 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Gaul, Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, 16 - 15 B.C.; obverse IMP DIVI F, back to back heads of Agrippa and Augustus, Agrippa (on left) facing left wearing a rostral crown, Augustus bare head right; reverse COL NEM (NE ligate), crocodile right chained to a palm, wreath with long ties above, two palm fronds below; rare variant; SOLD


Nemausus, Gaul, c. 40 B.C.

|Gaul|, |Nemausus,| |Gaul,| |c.| |40| |B.C.|, |obol|
Colonia Nemausus was founded as a colony by Tiberius Claudius Nero in 45 or 44 B.C. for veterans that had served Julius Caesar under his command in Gaul and the invasion of Egypt. He was the first husband of Livia and was persuaded or forced by Octavian to divorce her. At the wedding he gave her in marriage to Octavian "just as a father would."
GB90908. Silver obol, RPC I 519, SNG Cop 691, De la Tour 2718, VF, weight 0.294 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nemausus (Nimes, France) mint, c. 40 B.C.; obverse helmeted and draped, male bust right, with long sideburns; reverse NEM COL in laurel wreath; SOLD


Celts, Gaul, Leuci, c. 70 - 52 B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Celts,| |Gaul,| |Leuci,| |c.| |70| |-| |52| |B.C.|, |Cast| |potin|
Celtic facing heads are of unusual style and rare. Potin has no intrinsic value, so the caste potin coinage of the Gaulish Celts was fiat money (like the dollar bill, it has no value except that it is accepted in trade). There were no weight standards. Each type was accepted only by the tribe that issued it.
CE17573. Cast potin, CCCBM III 435 - 441; Scheers Traité 790 - 3, 203, pl. xxv 707, group L liv, VF, dark patina, weight 3.008 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 90o, Leuci mint, c. 70 - 52 B.C.; obverse diademed head left; reverse boar to left, facing head below; SOLD


Massalia, Gaul, c. 200 - 49 B.C.

|Gaul|, |Massalia,| |Gaul,| |c.| |200| |-| |49| |B.C.|, |AE| |20|
SH80417. Bronze AE 20, SGCV I 78, VF+, weight 6.652 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 315o, Massalia, Gaul (Marseilles, France) mint, c. 200 - 49 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, quiver behind; reverse MAΣΣAΛIHTΩN in ex, bull butting to right, bow above; beautiful patina, beautiful coin!; SOLD


Gallic Celts, Coriosolites, Ogmios and Boar Type, c. 75 - 50 B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Gallic| |Celts,| |Coriosolites,| |Ogmios| |and| |Boar| |Type,| |c.| |75| |-| |50| |B.C.|, |stater|
The Coriosolites (or Curiosolites or Curiosolitae) were a Celtic people in the region now called Brittany, mentioned by Julius Caesar several times. He describes the position of the Coriosolites on the ocean among the Armoric states, near the Veneti, Unelli, Osismi, and other tribes. No Coriosolites cities or roads are mentioned by the Romans. The name seems to be preserved in Corseul, a village between Dinan and Lamballe, where there are the remains of an old Roman town. We may conclude that, after the fashion of Gallic names, Corseul was the capital of the Coriosolites.Gaul
CE68115. Billon stater, cf. Cottam ABC 70, Delestrée-Tache 2340 - 2341, Allen-Nash 220, De la Tour 6634, VF, weight 6.518 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Northwest Gaul mint, c. 75 - 50 B.C.; obverse Celticized head right; reverse Celticized bird-headed horse right, head turned back, boar below; SOLD


Celt-Iberian, Neronken, Narbonensis, Early 1st Century B.C.

|Celtic| |&| |Tribal|, |Celt-Iberian,| |Neronken,| |Narbonensis,| |Early| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|, |AE| |24|
The site of Neronken, called Montlaurès today, is a few kilometers from Narbonne, France. It was occupied from the fifth century B.C. to the Middle-Ages. During its early history, Neronken was an active trading center and the oppidum of the Elisyces tribe. It lost importance after the Romans founded Colonia Narbo Martius (Narbonne) in 118 B.C.
GB70940. Bronze AE 24, Villaronga-Benages De la Tour 2488 (R3), Villaronga CNH 2, SNG BM Spain 1782, SNG Cop 670, VF, green patina, weight 8.228 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 90o, Neronken mint, early 1st century B.C.; obverse veiled female head right with hair in small bun behind, Iberian letters below chin: EI; reverse bull jumping right, laurel crown above, Iberian inscription below: NERONKEN; ex CGB Numismatique Paris; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Allen, D. Catalogue of Celtic Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1987-1990).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Brenot, C. "Marseille et les réseaux phocéens. Remarques sur le témoignage des monnaies" in Atti delll'IX convengno del centro internazionale di studi numismatici - Napoli 25-27 Ottobre 1996. (Rome, 2002).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Castelin, K. Keltische Münzen: Katalog der Samlung im Schweizerischen Landesmuseum Zürich. (Zurich, 1978).
Chevillon, J.-A. "La Phase Postarchaïque du monnayage de Massalia" in RN 169 (2012).
Cottam, E., et al. Ancient British Coins. (Norfolk, UK, 2010).
de la Tour, H. Atlas de monnaies Gauloises. (Paris, 1892).
Delestrée, L.-P. & M. Tache. Nouvel atlas des monnaies Gauloises. (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 2002 - 2008).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies hellénistiques de Marseilles. (Wetteren, 1999).
Furtwängler, A.E. "Massalia im 5. Jh. v. Chr.: Tradition und Neuorientierung" in Massing-Petit.
Furtwängler, A.E. Monnaies grecques en Gaule. Typos III. (Fribourg, 1978).
Kellner, H.J. "Keltische Münzen: Bemerkungen zur Situation der Forschung" in Passauer Jahrbuch 26 (1984).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. One: The Republic and the The Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Scheers, S. La Gaule Belgique: Numismatique Celtique. (Louvian, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, N. Africa, Spain-Gaul. (West Milford, NJ, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 1: Hispania, Gallia Narbonensis. (Berlin, 1968).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 1: Hispania-Sikelia. (1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung der Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig. (München, 1993 - 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 1: Spain-Italy. (1938).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections. Part 1: Spain (Emporiae, Rhoda) - Italy. (1940).
Victoor, R. Roulles Celtes et Objets Assimilés. (Rosendaël-lez-Dunkerque, 1989).

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