Brexit – Almost 2,000 years ago…

Brexit has sent shock waves around the world, but it’s not the first time Britain walked away from a united Europe…

The Roman province of Britannia turned its back on Roman Control in 286AD, setting up an independent empire and the coins from the period tell the story.

Most of Europe was united under the Roman Empire, including Britain, which resulted in many of the same things today’s European Union offers – free trade, free movement of people and a single currency.

But taxes were high and poorer people were disenchanted with life. A champion of British independence rose in the form of a leader by the name of Carausius.  An admiral of the fleet based in Britain, Carausius declared himself emperor of Britannia.

The people followed him and he used coins (minted in London) to get his message out, with slogans like “Liberty” and “Restorer of Britain” adorning his coins.

Britannia lasted 10 years before the Romans invaded and defeated the Celto-British nationalists.

One of the first things the new Emperor did was to replace the coins displaying the word “Liberty” with coins showing his name and the phrase “restorer of eternal light”.

No doubt that coins and politics go hand in hand.

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