Coin of the week

              

"Their hair is blond, and not only naturally so, but they also make it their practice by artificial means to increase the distinguishing colour which nature has given it. For they are always washing their hair in lime-water, and they pull it back from the forehead to the top of the head and back to the nape of the neck with the result that their appearance is like that of Satyrs and Pans, since the treatment of their hair makes it so heavy and coarse that it differs in no respect from the mane of horses" (Diodorus Siculus, 5.28). The amazing Amersham Moon Man shown here appears to have precisely the style of lime-washed stiffened hair that Diodorus Siculus describes. Like the Whaddon Chase gold stater featured last week, this beautiful silver coin may also have been issued by Cassivellaunos, commander in chief of the British forces fighting Caesar in 54 BC. Could this noble head on the coin - clearly that of a deity - be how Cassivellaunos might have wished himself to be seen? It is unquestionably one of the most heroic male heads pictured on an ancient British coin. A remarkably fine example of an exciting Catuvellaunian coin. Ex Brian Bettison collection, ex Chris Rudd collection. Chris Rudd November List. 13.11.06