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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Caligula||View Options:  |  |  | 

Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D.

Caius Caesar was born in 12 A.D., the son of Germanicus and Agrippina Sr. He was nicknamed Caligula, meaning "little boots," by the legions because as a child his mother dressed him in military uniforms (including little boots). Initially, he was very popular, succeeding Tiberius in 37 A.D. and for a few brief months ruling very well. However, an unknown disease drove him mad and his reign soon degenerated into debauchery and murder. He was murdered by the Praetorian Guard in 41 A.D.


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Magnesia ad Sipylum, Lydia

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Britannica 1859, Roman History notes: "[Caligula] encircled his own head with the oriental diadem armed with spikes or rays, the well-known symbol of divinity in the East." Prior to this, the radiate crown had been used to indicate the divinity of Divus Augustus achieved after his death. This is the first time that this crown is shown on a coin of a living Roman.
RP90987. Bronze assarion, RPC I 2455 (same dies, 4 spec.); SNG Cop 257 (same dies); BMC Lydia p. 145, 51; SNGvA -, VF, dark patina, scratches, some porosity, small edge split, weight 5.668 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, 25 Jan 41 - 13 Oct 54 A.D.; obverse GAION KAICA-P-A - C-E-BACTON, radiate head of Caligula right; reverse MAΓN,HTΩN AΠO CIΠY,ΛOY (first three letters in exergue, continuing counterclockwise on the right, last three letters upward on left), Germanicus (on left) stands facing in toga capite velato, patera in right hand, behind Agrippina as Demeter, grain in right hand, scepter in left hand, [ΓEP/M / AΓ/PI in four lines in center field (not visible on this coin and not visible on the RPC plate coin)]; very rare; $320.00 (€281.60)
 


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Vesta was originally a household spirit. Later she was personified as the goddess of the hearth and given the stature of her Greek equivalent, Hestia. In the temple of Vesta her flame was kept alive by Vestal Virgins.
RB91551. Copper as, RIC I 38, Cohen I 27, BMCRE I 46, Hunter I 20, BnF II 54, SRCV I 1803, F, well centered, roughly cleaned, weight 10.302 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare head left; reverse VESTA, Vesta enthroned left, patera extended in right, long scepter transverse in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $170.00 (€149.60)
 


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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At least 15 different magistrates are named on the coins of Philadelphia, Lydia during the four-year reign of Caligula. They were probably members of a board. The individuals describe themselves variously as priest of Germanicus, Olympic victor, philopatris, grammateus, and in a number of cases philokaisar. The magistrate named on this coin, Attalikos, identifies himself as philokaisar (friend of Caesar) on a larger denomination.
RP88186. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3026 (3 specimens); Imhoof-Blumer LS p. 118, 20, aF, well centered, porous, light earthen deposits, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 90o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Attalikos, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOC KAICAP, bare head right, lituus below chin; reverse winged thunderbolt right, ΦIΛA/∆EΛΦEWN in two lines above, ATTAΛI/KOC in two lines below; very rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalces III, c. 38 - 46 A.D., Caligula Reverse

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Rhoemetalces III was the son of the King Rhescuporis II. He ruled the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace with his cousin-wife Pythodoris II as clients under the Romans from 38 to 46 A.D. They succeeded Pythodoris’ mother Tryphaena and her brother Rhoemetalces II. Rhoemetalces III was murdered in 46, by insurgents or on the orders of his wife. The subsequent fate of Pythodoris II is unknown and it seems they didn't have any children. Soon after his death, Thrace was incorporated into the Roman Empire as a province.
RP91897. Bronze AE 26, RPC I 1724; Youroukova 210; BMC Thrace p. 210, 2; SNG Cop -, aF, corrosion, weight 8.998 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Thracian mint, 38 - 41 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEYΣ POIMHTAΛKAΣ, diademed and draped bust of Rhoemetalkes right; reverse ΓAIΩ KAIΣAPI ΣEBAΣTΩ, laureate head of Caligula left; very rare; $60.00 (€52.80)
 







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CCAESARAVGPONMTRPOTIII
CCAESARAVGGERMANICVS
CCAESARAVGGERMANICVSPONMTRPOT
CCAESARAVGGERMPMTRPOT
CCAESARDIVIAVGPRONAVGPMTRPIIII
CCAESARDIVIAVGPRONAVGSC
CCAESARAVGPONMTRPOTIIICOSIII
CCAESARAVGGERMPMTRPOT


REFERENCES|

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 & suppl.).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. "Les emissions d'or et d'argent de Caligula dans l'atelier de Lyon" in RN 18 (1976), pp. 69-81.
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, des origines au règne de Caligula (43 avant J.-C. - 41 après J.-C.). (Wetteren, 1983).
Giard, J-B. Monnaies de L'Empire Romain II: De Tebère à Néron. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1988).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Vol. One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Caligula