Weight: 5.425 grammes
Museum number: 2011,4037.1
Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund
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Iron Age gold coin of Anarevito and Eppillus
Kent, England, about 10 BC - AD 20
This unique gold coin refers to an Iron Age British king called Anarevito. Until it was found by a metal detector user near Dover in 2010, there was no evidence for the existence of a king of this name.
The appearance of the coin, which is similar in style to other Iron Age coins from Kent, suggests that Anarevito held power in Kent at around the time of the birth of Christ.
Without historical evidence it is difficult to say too much about Anarevito, so it is fortunate that the coin also names a second king, EPPI (Eppillus). This king is known from other coin finds, some of which include Latin inscriptions identifying him as REX ("king") and COMMI. F. ("son of Commios"). Coins tell us that Eppillus was a king in Hampshire, who also held power in Kent, sometime between about 20 BC and AD 10.
The nature of the relationship between Anarevito and Eppillus is unclear. It has been suggested that Anarevito might have been the son of Eppillus, but if this was the case a letter F, an abbreviation for the Latin filius ("son"), would probably appear on the coin. It is more likely that the two rulers were political allies. "Coalition" coinages were fairly common in Britain in the last decades of the first century BC and the early first century AD, as political power seems to have been unstable.
Although Anarevito may have ruled with Eppillus, and perhaps only for a short period of time, anyone capable of striking gold coinage was an extremely powerful and wealthy individual.
I. Leins, ‘King in Kent’, British Museum Magazine 71 (Winter 2011), pp.46-8.