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Cool Britannia

£85.00

Ancient coins are always a fascination and this one depicts one of the oldest - Btitannia

Long before Lady Liberty, Marianne and Germania, there was Britannia — the oldest symbol of a nation personified as a strong female still used on coins today

Her roots are in the Roman conquest of Britain and the use of deities that began in ancient Greece and Rome that first personified concepts like Liberty with a female goddess called Libertas in Rome and Eleutheria in Greece

And this Britannia of Roman coinage was based on the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva — a warrior-goddess who guided soldiers in battle and sported a helmet, spear, and shield, as has Britannia, for more than 2,000 years

Many of those motifs used to depict Britannia on Roman coins would later be used when the figure reappeared on British coins of the realm after disappearing for over 1,000 years when Rome fell in 395 A.D., starting in 1672 during the reign of Charles II. The idea may have been revived to inspire the British at a time when the country’s naval power was under threat by Spain

On copper half pennies and farthings, Britannia was shown seated on a rock with an olive branch in her right hand and a spear in her left hand with a shield bearing the Union flag leaning against the rock

The many different versions of her image over the centuries were clearly designed to convey that message that she is the stoic protector of the British nation and of the territorial integrity and security of Britain, but she also represents the British nation and people themselves and their history

Coin - 20 x 19 mm


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