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561914
561914.

Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Hostilius Saserna. 48 BC. AR Denarius (18.5mm, 3.80 g, 5h). Rome mint. Head of Gallic captive (Vercingetorix?) right, wearing hair flowing back and long, pointed beard, and a chain around his neck; Gallic shield to left / L・HOSTILI above, SASERN below, two warriors in galloping biga right; one driving, holding whip in right hand and reins in left, and the other facing backward, holding shield in left hand and brandishing spear in right. Crawford 448/2a; CRI 18; Sydenham 952; Hostilia 2; RBW 1569. Attractively toned. Near EF. Struck from exceptional dies.


The traditional identification of the Gallic warrior depicted on the obverse of this issue as Vercingetorix, leader of the great Gallic rebellion against Caesar in 55-54 BC, is sometimes challenged as unlikely. However, there is ample precedent for Romans placing portraits and images of defeated enemy rulers on their coinage (most prominently Philip V and Perseus of Macedon), and there is no reason to rule out such an attribution. The head seems quite distinctive in its features, and the appearance of Vercingetorix would have been well-known to the Roman populace as he had been brought to Rome in preparation for Caesar's great triumph.