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Celtic Improvisations: An Art Historical Analysis of Coriosolite Coins

John Hooker


Just over two thousand years ago, Julius Caesar set into motion events that would culminate in the conquest of the tribes of Gaul. It is to the coins of one of these tribes that this book addresses itself. The Coriosolites inhabited what is now Cotes-d’Armor in Brittany. The tribe has left a large number of coins: more than 20,000 are recorded, and no Celtic tribe is so well represented. Large hoards of these coins have been found in Jersey, Brittany, and Normandy. Foremost among these is the La Marquanderie hoard from Jersey, consisting of over 11,000 coins. The La Marquanderie hoard forms the basis of this book. The further strength of this engagingly-written study is its appeal to a wide range of interests: it is not just a catalogue of coins, but a case study of Celtic religious philosophy and aesthetics, referring to such apparently disparate subjects as poetry, physics, and psychology. (The Appendices show all the flow charts in addition to an Index of Design Elements and a concordance between the author’s coin numbers and Rybot’s. There is also a Quick Identification Chart with which any Coriosolite coin may be classified in a few minutes.)