Monday, 3 December 2018

Celtic silver unit, Verica Cavalry Duo

Verica Cavalry Duo
On Saturday I found my first Silver unit right at the end of a day with Midweek Searchers in Hampshire. A bronze arrowhead with a lovely green patina had already come up, plus some hammered and Roman coins. Most of my good finds have been found in the late afternoon and this was no exception - it came up at 3:40pm. I was astounded when I recognised it and there was only one other detectorist left on site to show it to. Five minutes later he found his own prize – a lovely little bronze Roman coin.

My unit is known as a Verica Cavalry Duo, c.AD10-40 of the Atrebates / Regina tribes. It is a scarce coin and finely produced. The name Duo is because there is a horse and rider on each side of the coin, the only unit with this feature. The second side is less well struck and off centre, but the first side has wonderful detail. The name of King Verica is clear.

There are few historical references to the Celts in Britain. The following information is gleaned from some on-line resources.

At the time of the Roman Conquest, the Atrebates were the second most powerful tribe in southern Britain, it was an appeal for help from their king, Verica, which provided the Emperor Claudius with the pretext to launch his invasion on Britain in 43 AD. The Atrebates were a Belgic tribe of Gaul and Britain before the Roman conquests.  They may have been united with the Regini, under a common king (Comios, or Comminius). Comminius was appointed king of the Atrebates in Gaul in 57 BC by Caesar. He was sent to Britain in 55 BC before Caesar’s first expedition to persuade the Britons to accept Caesar. Instead, Commius was arrested, and handed back to Caesar when the latter landed.
Atrebates Regnii
A secondary, and earlier, capital could be claimed at Noviomagus (Chichester, West Sussex), which belonged to a division of the tribe known as the Regninses. These people were thinly scattered north and south of the Weald and seem to have escaped true conquest or even much influence from the Atrebates. Another tribal centre was at Cunetio (Mildenhall, Wiltshire)
After the legate Titus Labienus tried to execute Commius for conspiracy, Commius vowed to never associate with Romans again. He eventually fled to Britain, where he was again king of the Atrebates.
Commius, 57 – c. 20 BC 
Tincomarus, c. 20 BC – AD 7, son of Commius
Eppillus, AD 8 – 15, brother of Tincomarus
Verica, 15 – 40, brother of Eppillus

Following the Roman Conquest, the territory of the Atrebates was divided into three separate civitates, one of these was centred at the settlement at Silchester, near Reading. Another major centre was at Chichester.

(later note): further information can be read here:

hammered coin,14mm diameter
Earlier I had found a rather miserable looking hammered coin, probably a penny of one of the Edwards. The unusual feature of this coin is that the cross appears on both sides. It should have the king's head on the obverse. The first coin I found was what I believe is a Roman minim, a tiny coin without any markings.


  1. Just amazing,,,been waiting
    for u for 2000yrs!!

  2. Thanks for posting Colin. A very interesting find and account of the period.


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