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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ CaligulaView 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.


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This type was the first portrait sestertius struck at the mint of Rome. The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
SH82656. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, nice VF, dark brown patina, minor roughness on reverse, weight 23.762 g, maximum diameter 34.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse S P Q R / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; ex CNG mail bid sale 69 (8 Jun 2005), lot 1382; ex CNG 46, (24 Jun 1998), lot 1156; rare; $1800.00 (€1530.00)
 


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The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
SH86121. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, Choice VF, Tiber patina, centered and struck, attractive young portrait, some marks and corrosion, weight 26.709 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse S P Q R / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; rare; $1740.00 (€1479.00)
 


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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.
RB86773. Copper as, RIC I 38, Cohen I 27, BMCRE I 46, SRCV I 1803, aVF, green patina, marks, some corrosion, minor patina chipping, weight 8.882 g, maximum diameter 28.3 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; $250.00 (€212.50)
 


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Great-grandfather of Nero

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First commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, the Pantheon was a temple dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 A.D. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.Pantheon on Wikipedia
RB86764. Copper as, RIC I Gaius 58; BMCRE II Tiberius 161 - 168; Cohen I 3, BnF II Caligula 77 - 97, SRCV I 1812, VF, well centered, nice portrait, corrosion/porosity, weight 11.224 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under his grandson Caligula, 38 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $230.00 (€195.50)
 


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Great-grandfather of Nero

Click for a larger photo
First commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, the Pantheon was a temple dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 A.D. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.Pantheon on Wikipedia
RB86765. Copper as, RIC I Gaius 58; BMCRE II Tiberius 161 - 168; Cohen I 3, BnF II Caligula 77 - 97, SRCV I 1812, F, nice portrait, bumps and marks, reverse flatly struck and a bit rough, weight 8.716 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under his grandson Caligula, 38 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Agrippa, Military Commander, Friend of Augustus, Grandfather of Caligula, Great-grandfather of Nero

Click for a larger photo
First commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus, the Pantheon was a temple dedicated to all the gods of ancient Rome. Hadrian rebuilt it in 126 A.D. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft. It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to "St. Mary and the Martyrs" but informally known as "Santa Maria Rotonda." The square in front of the Pantheon is called Piazza della Rotonda.Pantheon on Wikipedia
RB86766. Copper as, RIC I Gaius 58; BMCRE II Tiberius 161 - 168; Cohen I 3, BnF II Caligula 77 - 97, SRCV I 1812, gF/aF, nice portrait, corrosion, weight 11.169 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under his grandson Caligula, 38 A.D.; obverse M AGRIPPA L F COS III, head left wearing a rostral crown; reverse Neptune standing facing, head left, nude but for cloak draped over arms, dolphin in right hand, trident vertical in left hand, large S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D.

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Issued under Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes in Germania and recovered the legionary standards lost by Varus. He was to be Tiberius' successor but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caligula obtain the throne after Tiberius died.
RB85820. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Caligula 57, BMCRE I 93, BnF I 140, Cohen I 7, SRCV I 1820, F, very rough, weight 10.831 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse GERMANICVS CAESAR, Germanicus in slow quadriga right holding eagle-tipped scepter; reverse SIGNIS RECEPT DEVICTIS GERM, Germanicus standing left, wearing military garb, raising right hand, aquila (legionary eagle) in left hand, large S - C flanking low across field; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


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This series of quadrantes commemorated abolition of the 0.5% tax remaining from an original 1% tax created by Augustus. The first half was removed by Tiberius. R CC stands for "remissa ducentesima," removal of the 1/200 tax. The favor made to the people of Rome is symbolized by the pileus (freedom cap).
RB85816. Copper quadrans, RIC I 52, BMCRE I 64, BnF I 109, Cohen I 7, SRCV I -, Hunter I -, VF, encrustation, obverse slightly off center, weight 2.712 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 18 Mar - 31 Dec 40 A.D.; obverse PON M TR P IIII P P COS TERT (high priest, holder of tribune power for 4 years, father of the country, consul for the third time), legend around R CC (remissa ducentesima - rescinded the 1/200 tax); reverse C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG (Gaius Caesar, emperor, great-grandson of Divine Augustus), pileus (liberty cap), S - C (senatus consulto - with permission of the Senate) flanking; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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

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Caius Caesar was nicknamed Caligula (little boots) by the legions because as a child his mother dressed him in military uniforms (including little boots). For a few brief months he ruled well. However, an unknown disease drove him mad and he sunk into debauchery and murder. The Praetorian Guard murdered him, ending the madness.
RP86726. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2473; Klose Smyrna XXVII A; BMC Ionia p. 269, 277; SNG Cop 1345; SNGvA 7994, Fine/Fair, green patina, corrosion, scratches, off center, weight 3.452 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) mint, 38 - 39 A.D.; obverse ΓAION KAICAPA EΠI AOYIOΛA, laureate head right; reverse ZMYPNAIΩN MHNOΦANHC, Nike advancing right, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left; proconsul C. Calpurnicus Aviola and magistrate Menophanes; scarce; $95.00 (€80.75)
 







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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 Monday, June 18, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Caligula