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Capture of Vercingetorix

784139. Sold For $3500

L. Hostilius Saserna. 48 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.89 g, 6h). Rome mint. Head of Gallic captive (Vercingetorix?) right; Gallic shield behind / L. HOSTILIVS above, SASERN below, two warriors in galloping biga right, one driving and the other holding shield and brandishing spear. Crawford 448/2a; CRI 18; Sydenham 952; Kestner 3540; BMCRR Rome 3994; Hostilia 2. EF, light gray toning with iridescent highlights, struck slightly off center.

This coin’s obverse may depict Vercingetorix, chief of the Arverni, who was captured in 52 BC at Alesia. Though Crawford and Sear believe this identification unlikely, the large, distinctive, and carefully engraved head suggests the die cutter worked with an eye toward creating an individualized portrait, rather than a stylized personification of a Gaul.