Verica – King of the Atrebates – Recognised by Rome

An Atrebates, the youngest son of Commius the Younger. After his brother Eppillus supplanted their elder brother Tincommius from the Atrebatean thone in c.5AD, Verica built up a following of Atrebatean nobles opposed to the rule of Eppillus, and with their help siezed the throne from Eppillus for himself in c.15AD. Like both of his brothers before him, he was recognised by the Roman emperor – by this time, possibly Tiberius – and therefore styled himself REX on his coins.

He ruled over the Atrebates for many years from the tribal capital of Calleva Attrebatum (Silchester) before being forced out by the military expansionism of Epaticcus the brother of Cunobelin in c.25AD. It would seem that Verica continued to war with this rival king for some time, being forced gradually further south by his stronger opponent. Around 35AD however, Epaticcus was either killed or died naturally, and Verica made some progress toward retrieving the lands lost to the Catuvellauni. Verica is probably to be equated with the noble ‘Berikos’, mentioned by Dio (LX,19), in a passage which suggests that he was beaten in battle by Caratacus- Prince of the Catuvellauni, the nephew of his dead rival, but escaped capture and fled to the continent, eventually making his way to Rome where he appeared as a suppliant before Claudius in c.42AD.