Philip II of Macedon

Many Celtic coins were derived from the coinage of Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. These coins, whether gold staters, silver tetradrachms or bronze coins of various denominations generally show a laureate head of Apollo (wearing laurel leaves) on the obverse of the coins (front) and a horse and rider on the reverse. The rider is often holding a spear, branch or whip and a Greek inscription above or below below, usually the name Philip and various mint marks (indicating which city minted the coin). The following image is of a typical silver tetradrachm.

Other Celtic coins are thought to be derived from gold staters of Philip II. These have a somewhat younger portrait of Apollo on the obverse. The reverse is notably different, being a chariot driven by 2 horses (a 'biga') with a rider holding a whip and and Philip's name in Greek below a line representing the ground. Pay particular attention to the wheel, as it is an important symbol that occurs on many Celtic coins.

 

Abstract silver stater of the Durotriges

The coin shown below (Van Arsdell 1246-1) is a silver stater of the Celtic tribe, the Durotriges, who occupied Dorset and parts of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire in Britain. This coin is thought to have been minted between 40 and 45 BCE. Though highly abstracted, it is a direct descendent of the coin shown above, though the horse and rider face left in this case. Symbols

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