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Latin abbreviation: Adlocutio Cohortium - Speach to the cohorts.

See Adlocutio.

Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. Sestertius (27.99 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 37-38. CCAESARAVGGERMANICVSPONMTRPOT, laureate head left / ADLOCVT above, COH in exergue, Gaius, bareheaded and togate, standing left on das, extending right hand in gesture of address; behind him a sella castrensis (chair); in front of him stand five soldiers right, all helmeted, holding shields, and parazonia; four aquilae behind them. RIC I 32; BMCRE 33-35; BN 45-46; Cohen 1. Before a battle, or on parade, the emperor would address his troops in an event known as an adlocutio cohortium (address to the cohorts). This was an important opportunity for the emperor to be present among his troops to inspire morale. This sestertius was issued on the occasion of a donative for the Praetorian Guard and was the first to employ the adlocutio as a reverse type. Joe Geranio site (courtesy of cngcoins.com).


Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
ADLOCVT. COH. - (Adlocutio Cohortium - speech to the Cohorts). The Emperor Caius Caesar (Caligula), habited in the toga, or senatorial vestments, stands on a tribunal, before a curule chair, with right hand elevated, as if in the act of haranguing five military figures. - Touching this by no means rare, but extremely beautiful, reverse, in large brass, Schlegel is of the opinion, that it refers to the oration delivered by Caligula, from a suggestum, raised in the midst of that bridge which, with foolishly applied skill, the architect Baulis built, in the sea at Puteoli. But Eckhel treats this supposition as erroneous, and considers the legend and type to indicate the allocution which that prince addressed to the Praetorian Cohorts, at the period of his accession to the supreme government; and that the same mode of recording the event was repeated on a later occasion, either for the sake of adding to his coinage, or because he had addressed other cohorts in a seat, and indeed an eloquent, discourse; for Tacitus himself does not deny Caligula's talent for public speaking. While expressing, however, all due deference to the authority of Eckhel, Capt. Smyth does not think that it was struck in the first year of the tyrant's reign (A. D. 38) and points to the tribunitian date and the P. P. in the legend of the obverse, as rendering such a fact questionable. "An adlocution (he adds) was made to the Praetorian cohorts on Caligula's accession, but the coins which commemorate it, bear merely the legend C. CAESAR AVG. GERMANICVS PONT MAX. TR. P. The one just described, I am inclined to date A. D. 40, though the consulship is not marked, and the occasion may have been, the expedition to Britain." It is to be observed that the S. C. (Senatus Consulto) is omitted in all Roman brass coins, bearing the title and portrait of this Emperor. "Was it (Eckhel asks) because the senate, not authorizing it, they were struck by order of the Prince himself, and distributed by him amongst the Praetorians?" Be this as it may, the military ceremony of the Allocution was first represented on the coins of Caligula. And it is to be noted that the one in question, though clearly of Roman die, has not the mark of Senatorial authority. - Doct. num. vet. vi., 221.  These military harangues occur many times afterwards in the mintage of the Imperial government, as will be seen by the following list, drawn out in chronological order: -

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