Roman Imperatorial Silver Denarius of L. Hostilius Saserna, Possibly Depicting Vercingetorix on the Obverse
This silver denarius was struck at the Rome mint in 48 BC by the moneyer L. Hostilius Saserna under the rule of Julius Caesar. It displays the head of a Gallic captive (Vercingetorix?) with a chain around his neck. He has flowing, long hair and a long, pointed beard. There is a Gallic shield behind him. The reverse shows two warriors in a galloping biga, one is driving while holding a whip in his right hand and the reins in his left. The other is facing backwards, holding a shield in his left hand and brandishing a spear in his right. The name L • HOSTILIVS is written above and SASERN is written below.
Caesar’s Gallic War Coins:
A series of coins celebrating Caesar’s victories in Gaul appear in 48 BC. It was in this year that Caesar began hostilities against Pompey. In the previous year Pompey had released coins proclaiming his naval power. Caesar’s coins might be seen as a response. These coins were not minted by Caesar himself, but by two of his supporters who became moneyers in this year. One of these was L. Hostilius Saserna who released the coin above. The bearded male on the obverse of is often identified as Vercingetorix, the chieftain of the Arverni tribe, who united the Gauls in a revolt against Rome. Putting his face on a Roman coin is a strong symbol of the victory over and subjugation of the Gauls.