Epona’s Echo: The Tale of the Warrior Queen on the Celtic Gold Stater

The story of this particular Gold Stater begins in a small village near Rennes, where a young artisan named Belenos had mastered the art of minting. Belenos, inspired by the tales of gods and warriors passed down by the village elders, decided to create a coin that would embody the spirit and valor of his people. The centerpiece of his design was none other than the goddess Epona, revered among the Celts as the protector of horses and a symbol of fertility and prosperity. However, Belenos envisioned her differently—not as a gentle nurturer, but as a formidable warrior queen.

Epona, as imagined by Belenos, was depicted majestically on horseback, her visage stern and commanding, holding a spear aloft as if leading her people into battle. This portrayal was unprecedented, blending the feminine aspects of Epona with the martial vigor typically reserved for male deities like the mighty Taranis. Belenos’s revolutionary design was a tribute to the women of Gaul, who were known for their bravery and often fought alongside men.

Upon completion, the coin quickly gained notoriety. It circulated among the tribes, passing through the hands of merchants, warriors, and chieftains. Each holder of the coin felt a surge of pride and strength, as if Epona herself guided and protected them. The Gold Stater was not merely a piece of currency but became a talisman, a source of inspiration during times of peace and conflict alike.

Centuries passed, and the Roman legions eventually swept through Gaul, subduing the Celtic tribes and assimilating their lands into the vast Roman Empire. The Gold Stater from Rennes, however, continued its journey through time, unforgotten. It was buried beneath the earth, hidden away as a part of a hoard, perhaps as an offering to the gods or as a safeguard against times of strife.

In the modern era, the coin was rediscovered by an archaeologist exploring an ancient Celtic site near Rennes. As the dirt was brushed away and the coin caught the light for the first time in millennia, the image of Epona as a warrior queen was revealed once more. The Gold Stater of Rennes is now housed in a museum, where it attracts scholars and enthusiasts eager to glimpse into the past of the Celtic people and the artistic legacy that survived Roman conquest.

The coin remains a testament to the rich history and enduring spirit of the Celts—a small, golden link to a time when gods and mortals walked the same lands, and where a goddess could be a warrior queen, leading her people with the strength of her arm and the courage of her heart.