LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for CELTIC-L Archives


CELTIC-L Archives

CELTIC-L Archives


CELTIC-L@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CELTIC-L Home

CELTIC-L Home

CELTIC-L  April 2002

CELTIC-L April 2002

Subject:

Re: Caesar on the Gauls

From:

John Hooker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Fri, 12 Apr 2002 12:30:33 -0600

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (191 lines) , text/plain (7 lines)

Hi Vyvyan,

>That VIROS is a Latin word, and except through several hypothetical sound
>changes, it isn't a Gaulish one, is what I would call over-riding evidence.

While you might get a corresponding Latin word out of this legend, I picked
this legend as it was so typically Gaulish, and I was sure that someone
would come up with a proper translation. I have seen variations of parts of
this legend on a number of Gaulish and British coins. Are you saying that
if a word looks like another word it must, therefore be that word? This
makes no sense. If I go to an antique shop to buy a curio, I do not come
home with a priest of the curia, or a herald do I?

>A hypothesis based on what you yourself revealed was a wild wish that
>someone, anyone, would come up with a Gaulish meaning, however strained for
>the inscription has seriously undermined your credibility as a scholar in my
>sight.

I merely said that someone would provide a translation, as Chris has done.
I knew it would be a lot easier than the "esu praso" inscription. Chris, on
this list, and David Stifter on a another list offered some possible
explanations for that legend. Looking at messages on Chris's own list there
is rarely a complete consensus about the meanings of Gaulish inscriptions
-- you speak as if Gaulish was a thoroughly known language. I know enough
about it to know that I do not know. This is a quality you have not
demonstrated in the topics of which I am very familiar. It is one you would
be well advised to adopt if you expect some progress.

>  I believe you that you have declared these coins to be Belgic
>without even knowing that their inscription had a Latin meaning, without any
>clue to its possible Belgic meaning, as you have confessed, and I can
>understand that you've invested a lot in the assumptions you and no doubt
>others have made without even glancing at languages, and now you're
>embarrassed about it.  But you have to deal with that if that's how it is.

This is funny. Actually, I was almost certain you would come up with some
alleged Latin meaning. After all, you did for Vercingetorix. As an
interesting exercise why not try making a list of Gaulish words from
inscriptions or coin legends that you think do not have any possible Latin
translation? The evidence of the metal, the style, the subject matter and
iconography of the coin, the provenances, and the evidence of Caesar's
dealings with the Nervii, all point to the fact that it is a coin of the
Nervii. As for the legend, in the nineteenth century a few, based on what
the legend looked like,  thought that it might be a coin of the Viromandui.
The other evidence soon dispelled this assumption and it was dropped.


>The inscription in question is primary evidence.

But if you say that this evidence is ambiguous, then you must look at the
other evidence to see how the ambiguity might be resolved. All you have
done is to make some guesses that are utterly unsupported by any evidence,
and require very unusual circumstances along a broad spectrum of events to
appear valid at all. None of these unusual circumstances have any precedent
that you can point to, nor were any of these circumstances evidenced later.

>  I've gone so far as to
>observe that it is Latin for men or soldiers, in the accusative.  I had
>assumed that you would have participated in discourse with or studied
>relevant discourse on the topic by a large number of language experts, but I
>believe now that you've never even looked it up in a Latin dictionary, nor
>bothered to ask until this correspondence whether it meant anything at all.
>You can hold the coin and hope for 'psychometric' psychic powers, but  in
>the end, you're going to need to read the inscription, and to do that, you
>need to know all relevant languages or consult a few disinterested people
>who do.

This is becoming tiresome. While you profess a knowledge of Latin, you have
not exhibited any knowledge of Roman, or provincial Roman coin legends. If
a late Republican or Imperatorial coin was authorized by a Triumvir, it
will be signed III. VIR. AAAF (triumvir auro, argento, aere flando
feriundo) or III. VIR. A.P.F. (ad pecunium feriundam). Others might be
signed  CUR. X. FL. S.C. (curator denariorum flandorum exsenatusconsulto)
or the coins might be signed by praetors, aediles, or quaestors. Caesar
increased the number of Triumvir Monetales to four and many of his coins
thus have IIII... Any individual was allowed to mint coins, but each must
have his name upon them. This was law, hence the exsenatusconsulto. Later,
all base metal Roman coins (i.e. divisions -- or rarely, multiples of the
sestertius) were under authority of the Senate and are inscribed S.C.


The Romans authorized coinage in other states that they ruled, but did not
issue coins of the type of any state while they were at war with them prior
to them taking control. For a couple of examples we see COL. NEM. for their
colony at Nimes during the time of Augustus, or makedonwn  prwths (in
Greek) for the coins issued at Amphipolis in Macedon. In an exceptional
case, they allowed Athens to continue minting coins in their city name
without any reference to Rome at all.

So you see, there is no reason to assume that VIROS on a coin of the Nervii
would have any Roman authority at all. It would be illegal.

>I think most people who knew a little Latin would be as amazed as I am to
>hear scholars who boast of their expertise wondering what a Latin
>inscription that means MEN/SOLDIERS (Acc case)in Latin and few could resist
>just mentioning it, which is all I did, really.

Anyone familiar with coin legends and Celtic coins would be amazed that
someone would try to make a Roman connection with VIROS on an obviously
Belgic coin. Why do you think that all the scholars over the last couple of
centuries, many who could even argue with each other in Latin, would not
have done so?

(snip)

>> >Keep in mind that the word VIROS has an appropriate Latin translation in
>> >keeping with the hypothesis that they were minted from inferior Celtic
>gold
>> >in order to pay the VIROS (Latin 2nd declension masculine accusative
>plural
>> >of VIR -IS men/soldiers - according to Cassels Latin Dictionary), and no
>> >translation has yet been hazarded for VIROS as a Belgic word or name.
>>
>> Chris has answered this in another message.
>
>See my reply to Chris.

See Chris's reply to you.

(snip)

>We don't know that a Roman soldier minted them, and I hardly think you can

>assert that Roman troops, or foreign troops serving in the Roman army, are
>likely to disdain a gift or payment of Celtic gold on the grounds that it
>wasn't regulation silver.

 Roman soldiers would accept whatever booty they were given. Their pay was
different. It was highly regulated and standardized.

>When coins that referred to the Celts were made by Romans, they
>> depicted what the Romans observed, or had heard about them.
>
>There's no evidence that they were made by Romans.  The mint may have been
>captured along with its workers who were compelled to inscribe them with the
>Latin word.

You speak as if a Celtic mint at that time and place was always there, and
that its workers were "standing by" -- waiting for the rare occasion that
money was needed. What possible evidence can you base this on? IF such an
absurd event happened, then the resulting coins would have to be stamped
with the issuing authority. The legend that you propose is not in keeping
with any other Roman coin legend either in it's content, or in the manner
of its language.

I have made a guess that some of these Nervii coins were issued in payment
to their client tribes for their continuing support. But this is a guess
based on available evidence. We know that a massive coinage was issued to
supply troops to fight the Romans at this time. We also know that the
Nervii were decimated after one battle and nearly only the old men, women
and children were left. We know that they subsequently got reinforcements
from tribes that were, at that point, in a stronger position. We know that
the Nervii did not allow traders in their country and issued only a
military currency. We can sometimes even track the retreat lines of Gauls
by the hoards of coins that they hurriedly buried as they fled. So my guess
fits all of the available evidence.

>Yes, but if you happened to capture a mint you'd use what you found there.
>You would need to have it attested that they had a tradition of not
>plundering Celtic mints or stores of gold and using it for their own
>purposes.  I find this very unlikely.

The Romans plundered everything, everwhere they could. They did not start
using these "mints", nor did they start farming if they captured a farm.
There was no need for them to start issuing coins when they were fighting
battles. What on earth do you think the Roman soldiers would have done with
the money -- there were no shops. Or do you imagine they only fought during
the week and then took off to a nearby town to booze it up on the weekends
at the local bar?


>But there's no certain evidence that the Nervii minted these.

Yes, there is. I have listed all of the evidence. I don't think anything
short of "overwhelming evidence" could be used to describe it. You have not
offered anything but supposition based on what a coin legend looks like to
you. You are merely seeing horses in the clouds. Offer something more, and
I'll reply to it. Don't just keep repeating what you have already said. If
this were a formal debate, you would have lost.

Cheers,

John

http://www.writer2001.com/
Hooker & Perron, Total Project Coordination
Database-Web...Graphics...Custom Maps...Colour Suites...Expert Systems
Building the Celtic Coin Index on the Web:
http://www.writer2001.com/cciwriter2001/



--- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.310 / Virus Database: 171 - Release Date: 12/19/01

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2019
December 2018
September 2018
March 2018
January 2018
December 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
November 2016
August 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
March 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
June 2014
May 2014
February 2014
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995
October 1995
September 1995
August 1995
July 1995
June 1995
May 1995
April 1995
March 1995
February 1995
January 1995
December 1994
November 1994
October 1994
September 1994
August 1994
July 1994
June 1994
May 1994
April 1994
March 1994
February 1994
January 1994
December 1993
November 1993
October 1993
September 1993
August 1993
July 1993
June 1993
May 1993
April 1993
March 1993
February 1993
January 1993
December 1992
November 1992
October 1992
September 1992
August 1992
July 1992
June 1992
May 1992
April 1992
March 1992
February 1992
January 1992
December 1991
November 1991
October 1991
September 1991
August 1991
July 1991
June 1991
May 1991

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager