>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
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
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?
>> >Keep in mind that the word VIROS has an appropriate Latin translation in
>> >keeping with the hypothesis that they were minted from inferior Celtic
>> >in order to pay the VIROS (Latin 2nd declension masculine accusative
>> >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.
>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
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.
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