Roman Republic (Imperatorial Period)

L. Hostilius Saserna, Moneyer 48 BC

Crawford 448/2a; HCRI 18; Sydenham 952; Hostilia 2, Superb Extremely Fine

Rome. Head of Gallic captive (Vercingetorix?) right, with long flowing hair, wild beard, and a chain around his neck; behind, Gallic shield. Reverse: [L · H]OSTILIVS above, SASER[N] below, two warriors in galloping biga right: one driving, holding whip and reins, the other facing backward, holding shield and spear.

In early 52 BC, Vercingetorix succeeded as king of the Averni and took the leadership of a Gallic revolt against Julius Caesar and the Romans. His scorched-earth tactics and loyal warriors—some of whom entered battle mounted on terrifying war chariots—made Vercingetorix a deadly foe even to a would-be tyrant on the Tiber like Caesar. He made 52 BC a very long year of war and hunger for the Romans, but at last in September the Gallic king was besieged and defeated at Alesia due to one of greatest examples of Roman siege works. Vercingetorix subsequently surrendered in silence, dismounting from his splendid horse and disarming at the feet of Caesar. The defeated king was imprisoned at Rome until 46 BC when Julius Caesar celebrated his great triumph. At the end of the triumph Vercingetorix was killed in accordance with Roman custom. Murdered by one tyrant, the Gallic king was later honored by another in 1865 when Napoleon III erected a monument to his memory at the supposed site of Alesia.