Divided Kingdoms: The Iron Age gold coinage of southern England by Dr John Sills is a monumental new book. Monumental in size - 825 pages, 5cm thick, weighing 3.6kg. Monumental in scope - catalogues more than 10,000 gold coins of the southern, north Thames and Kent regions (599 coins shown twice size). And monumental in scholarship - no British numismatist has ever tackled such a gigantic task in the Celtic field.
Divided Kingdoms is the first book that pulls together the past 50 years of coin finds to reconstruct the lost political history of southern Britain between Caesar and Claudius. The coins show how the various states merge, split apart and rise and fall under a series of leaders weak and strong, all set against the backdrop of a Roman empire that was now just across the Channel and which sometimes intervened directly in the affairs of the various kingdoms, and at other times was indifferent.
At the heart of the book is a die study of the 10,306 gold coins of the core south-eastern states recorded up to 2016 by the Celtic Coin Index. The catalogue sections at the end of each chapter list every coin, together with its findspot where known, the die combination, its metal content where available and the weight, together with every recorded appearance. For collectors, students and museum professionals alike this allows the pedigree of every coin listed to be determined with confidence. No other single numismatic work catalogues anywhere near this number of coins at this level of precision and detail.
Divided Kingdoms is arranged in 13 initial chapters that cover everything from the massive imports of Belgic gold during the Gallic War to the final coinages of Cunobelinus and Togodubnus, the last perhaps struck after the Roman army had landed in AD 43. Chapter 14 combines it all in an epic synthesis that is almost a book in itself.
30cm x 21cm, 825pages, hardback
£95 post free