"Brown, Duncan" wrote:
> Can Iron Age tribes can really be perceived in terms of the "nation state"
> with territories and borders? A tapestry, with zones where individual tribes
> are predominant, but not exclusive, is surely more suited to a society based
> on kinship. An example of this for me was a "Clan Map of Scotland" given to
> me during childhood.
> If this is so, why shouldn't Dobunnic coins found in East Anglia fall within
> Dobunnic "territory"? Does anyone know about this?
There is some evidence that movement was not that free. Caesar (VI.20)
"The tribes which are considered to manage their affairs best have a
law that if anyone hears from a neighbouring country any rumour or
news that concerns the State, he is to communicate it to a magistrate
without speaking of of it to anyone else..."
While not explicit, the use of the words "country" and "State", and
the general tone of this comment suggests a rather insular attitude.
Caesar uses the words territory and country frequently, sometimes when
referring to the same tribe. Also, the tribal structure was further
"In Gaul, not only every tribe, canton, and subdivision of a canton,
but almost every family, is divided into rival factions." (VI.11)
This societal structure made Gaul a rather easy conquest for the
Romans because, at first, each stronghold tried to defend itself
alone. Crassus had an initial success against the Armorican tribes
with the use of a single legion, although their fighting force, if
unified, would have outnumbered him more than ten to one. If Caesar
had expected a unified response, he would have probably sent more
The two main issues of Coriosolite coins are separated by the River
Rance, and this is very clear, statistically, from the proportions of
the largest hoards. I have more about this on my web site. Caesar also
mentions tribal borders, for example, that of the Remi (II.5)
Again, it is unusual circumstances where large numbers of Celtic coins
are found outside of their own territory: hoards showing a line of
retreat, founders hoards such as the large Coriosolite hoards in
Jersey (Le Catillon contained some Durotriges coins, just as the
Durotriges smelting works at Hengistbury contained a concentration of
Coriosolite coins), and some temple sites: Hayling Island being a
classic example of a mixed "hoard".
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