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Ancient Celtic Coin Art

2 3 In Iron Age Europe coinage was just one form of disposable wealth along with other items of precious value like gold jewellery, cattle, weapons, or slaves that a leader was expected to distribute to his or her entourage or to other tribal leaders, ensuring loyalty and support. Celtic Iron Age society was a complex web of obligation and clientage. The higher ones status the larger the number of followers or warriors that had to be maintained. Coins were therefore often struck in response to pressures from outside the tribal group and distributed to bolster political ambitions. Coin imagery thus tends to focus on the key themes and aspects of society that preoccupied the educated ruling classes of nobles, knights and druids, such as maintaining or increasing territorial influence, asserting the spiritual authority authenticating a tribal stance, celebrating the symbols of legitimacy reflected in the wealth, fecundity and fertility of the land, or upholding the links to powerful pagan gods and buried ancestors. In later Roman administered areas, coin usage focuses more on tributes and taxes, and lower denominations become more evident day to day trading. Where this occurs imagery also becomes more Classical, or is replaced by Roman currency. MONEy the language of power a. b. c. d.
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