Celtiberian Bronze Coin, Punic Wars to Roman Era

Date: 2nd - 1st century BCE
Ancient Spain

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Item Description:

These bronze coins were produced by the Celtiberian tribes of ancient pre-Roman Spain. Though precise dating is difficult with Celtiberian currency, the coins would have been struck during the 2nd to 1st centuries BCE—around the time of the Punic Wars, and ending after the Roman Empire annexed the region.

A variety of different symbols and designs adorn these coins, with common elements being bulls, fish, ears of grain, sphinxes, and an unknown person on horseback known as the "Iberian rider." Though Celt-Iberian coins are almost always found in a worn state, enough details are usually present to identify the design.

Who were the Celtiberians?

There is much dispute as to which tribes made up the Celtiberians, a term that refers to multiple cultures, indigenous Iberian tribes, and Celtic migrants. These groups had no central government, but shared a unified Celtiberian language with a range of dialects and the use of the Iberian Alphabet. By the 5th century BCE, the Celtiberians had established their own distinctive culture from the Celts of Central Europe, developing their own art and pottery.

The Punic Wars: Rome Versus Carthage

The Punic Wars (264 - 146 BCE) was a 43 year period of active conflict between Rome and Carthage, as both powers sought to expand their territory and influence. Many of its battles were fought on the Iberian peninsula, which forced its inhabitants to take a side.

A large number of Celtiberians served as mercenaries during the Punic Wars, at first for the Carthaginians and later for the Romans. Rome would defeat Carthage during the third Punic War, with the Iberians providing critical reinforcement during the conflict. Ultimately, the end of the Punic wars saw the destruction of Carthage and the rise of Rome as the dominant power in the region, and the Celtiberian cultures were eventually absorbed by the Roman Empire.

Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

A 16th century fresco depicting the Carthaginian general Hannibal, a key figure of the Punic Wars.

A 16th century fresco depicting the Carthaginian general Hannibal, a key figure of the Punic Wars.

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