Dobunni territory initially comprised northern Wiltshire and southern Gloucestershire, the locations of the earliest coin distributions. The tribe later expanded into western Oxfordshire, northern Gloucestershire, north-eastern Somerset, Avon, parts of Hereford and Worcester, and also South Warwickshire. They were a non-Belgic people who were organised around an impressive series of hill forts, mostly overlooking the Avon Gorge, but who were showing considerable signs of Belgic influence. Generally the people lived in small villages and farmed the fertile land.
It has been suggested that they were little more than a division of the Atrebates, and only gained independence during the reign of the pro-Roman Tincommius in the late first century BC. If this was the case then the Dobunni were probably an earlier people who had been pushed out of their territory by the arrival of the Atrebates, and subjugated along the way.
By the first century (circa 35 BC) the Dobunni borders abutted those of the Atrebates, and the coinage of both tribes seems to be found in parallel. The suggestion is, once again, that the Atrebates were overlords of the Dobunni. However, the Dobunni ejected the Romanised Atrebatean coins which appeared from 30/20 BC and began producing their own coins, suggesting a claim of independence. By AD 20/25, the Dobunni also found themselves bordering the powerful Catuvellauni, although they seem to have been on friendly terms with this powerful tribe. Part of their number may have been formed by a speculated 'raven clan' on the northern edges of their territory. This group gave their name to the Roman settlement at Worcester - Branogena - which breaks down into 'raven clan'. They were the guardians of the sacred hot wells at Bath, a site of some reverence. (Info: The History Files)
BNJ Refs: ‘The earliest staters from the area of the Dobunni?’, S.C. Bean, BNJ 64 (1994), 126-27, pl.
V. Grinsell, ‘An inscribed gold stater of the Dobunni from King’s Weston, Bristol’, 28 (1955-57), 175, pl.
H. M. D[olley], ‘A surface find of three silver coins of the Dobuni’, 28 (1955-57), 403, pl.
H de S. Shortt, ‘A coin of the Dobuni’, 26 (1949-51), 213