Gold ecu

The gold coins or ecu of Thuin have been attributed to the Nervians, one of the Celtic tribes of Gaul, who, at the time of Julius Cesar’s conquest, lived in northern France and southern Belgium, between the Rivers Escaut and Sambre. This type of ecu has been found principally on the territory inhabited by these people, in northern France, East Flanders and Hainaut.

The Celts knew Greek coins not only through trading, but also through the Celtic mercenaries to whom Mediterranean peoples paid a tribute in order to persuade them not to invade their lands. It is not surprising therefore that the Celts drew inspiration from the Greek coins to strike their own currency. Like most of the coins of this period, the ecus had an abstract motif inspired by Greek coins minted by Philip of Macedonia and his immediate successors (400-350 BC). On the obverse side of Greek coins there is always the right hand profile of the god Apollo, wearing a laurel wreath, whilst the reverse side shows a charioteer driving is chariot, under which the name of Philip is mentioned.

On the 1.8 cm coin represented here, there is a stylized head, as well as, on the reverse side, a stylized horse and a wheel.

Site Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire

Material / technique: 
Diameter: 1.8 cms
Type of acquisition: 
Heritage Fund acquisition
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels