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    Vercingetorix Portrait?

    L. Hostilius Saserna (48 BC). AR denarius (20mm, 3.88 gm, 5h).  Rome. Head of Gallic warrior (Vercingetorix?) right, with limed hair flowing back and goatee, chain around his neck; Gallic shield behind /  L • HOSTILIVS above, SASERN below, Gallic warrior standing left in galloping biga right, brandishing spear, driver holding reins and whip. Crawford 448/2a. CRI 18. Sydenham 952. RSC Hostilia 2. An outstanding example of this evocative issue, surely among the finest known. Sharply struck from dies of fine style, with lovely iridescent toning. NGC MS? 4/5 - 5/5.

    From The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern. 

    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 unprovable and 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 is quite distinctive in its features, showing a rather haggard and emaciated warrior with his hair in wild disarray, perhaps reflecting the appearance of a man held captive by Caesar for four long years since the surrender of Vercingetorix at Alesia in 52 BC. Ultimately, it would be another two years before he was finally paraded through the streets of Rome in chains in Caesar's great triumph of 46 BC, after which he was ritually strangled. 


    View all of [The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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