Brill’s New Pauly

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Rainbow cup
(181 words)

[German version]

Folk term for a Celtic gold coin shaped like a small cup. According to folk belief RCs could be found where a rainbow touched the earth. RCs, which could often be found in ploughed fields after heavy rainfall, were thought to bring luck and had many different effects ascribed to them.

On the obverse RCs have an abstract head or a smooth bump, sometimes a star, a hand, writing, an ornament, a cross or a bird's head. The reverse is concave, often with a representation of a torque (Torques) with spheres in it. It is esp. the Celtic tribes of southern Germany and the Boii who are credit…

Cite this page
Stumpf, Gerd (Munich), “Rainbow cup”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 23 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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