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Ancient Celtic Coin Art

20 21 Strongly hierarchical and ostentatious cultures like the Celts pay great attention to the visual symbols differentiating each family, clan and tribe. In fact, there was always some fluidity in the territories and movements of Iron Age tribal nations. The traditional inter tribal rivalries and the complex arrangements of clientage meant that neighbouring groups who had not formed allegiances were susceptible to takeover bids and cattle or slaveraiding. The expansion of the Roman Empire initially prevented trade solely with the Eastern Mediterranean, but the invasion and later annexation of Gaul soon created enormous disruptions for the tribes. Despite this, however, the names and identities of many tribes are still known to us, and their distinctive jewellery or burial customs sometimes help show us their movements. Outside the effective control of Rome, on the fringes of the British Isles, tribal territories may have been stable for hundreds of years and certainly the tribal names are very old indeed. Translated these can be evocative The Unbending Ones Regini, The Horse People Eceni, Shewolves Looking for a Home Volcae Tectosages, Army of Many Rivers Corieltauvi, The WaterRat Kings Durotriges. Each of these would likely have had recognisable emblems identifying each clan family and tribe, its ancestry and history. Like modern logos these would have been known to all and may be common in coin art. Now we can only take educated guesses at which motifs, patterns or subject matter represented exactly which tribes and when. TRIBAL LOGOS all in the name a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h.
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