Coinage and Complexity: Archaeological Analysis of Socio-Political Change in Britain and Non-Mediterranean Gaul During the Later Iron Age

  • Colin Haselgrove


In 1944, the late D.F. Allen published his now classic paper, “The Belgic dynasties of Britain and their coins”, in which he used inscribed coinage, supplemented by the evidence of the classical texts, to write what might loosely be called a political history of late Iron Age Britain. According to his analysis, the sixty year period preceding the Roman invasion was one of political complexity, involving frequent transfers of power at particular centers and shifting patterns of territorial control. Various rulers are recorded as having fled to seek the protection of the Roman emperor. Against this background of disharmony, a trend towards greater centralization is nevertheless apparent: the expansion of a polity based on Camulodunum, modern Colchester in south-east England, to the extent that its ruler, Cunobelinus, was referred to as ‘Britannorum rex’ (Suetonius, Caligula 44, 2).


Individual Issue Gold Coinage Coin Type Market Place Exchange Roman Conquest 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Haselgrove
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of DurhamDurhamEngland

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