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Caligula (Augustus) Coin: Brass Sestertius
C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT - Laureate head left
AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA - AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA, the three sisters of Caligula standing, in the guises of Securitas, Concordia, and Fortuna, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue
Exergue:


Mint: Rome (37-38AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 27.88g / 35.6mm / 180
Rarity: Rare
References:
RIC I 33
BMCRE p. 152, 36
BnF II 47
Cohen I 4
SRCV I 1800
Provenances:
Forvm Ancient Coins
Acquisition/Sale: Forvm Ancient Coins Internet

ODERINT, DUM METUANT (LET THEM HATE, SO LONG AS THEY FEAR). — CALIGULA

From Numismatica Ars Classica:
Many aspects of Caligula's reign have captured the imagination of historians, but the sexual relationships he is said to have pursued with his sisters is perhaps most shocking of all. It is on par with the exploits of Elagabalus or the alleged seduction of young Nero by his deranged mother Agrippina Jr., who, by no mere coincidence, was one of Caligula's sisters.
Caligula's incestuous relationships with his sisters are alleged by the relatively contemporary historians Suetonius and Josephus. Much later, in the fourth and fifth centuries, these original claims were echoed by various writers, including Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, St. Jerome, Orosius and the anonymous compiler of the Epitome de caesaribus. The truth of the claims, of course, is impossible to confirm, and there is a healthy dose of scepticism among modern scholars.
Whatever personal or sexual affection Caligula may have felt toward his sisters, this coinage is purely political and dynastic in flavour. His sisters are each named and are shown in the guise of personifications: the eldest, Agrippina Junior, as Securitas, the middle-sister, Drusilla, as Concordia, and the youngest, Julia Livilla, as Fortuna.
This remarkable type was produced on two occasions, his initial coinage of 37-38, and again in 39-40. The example offered here belongs to the first coinage, which was issued when all three of the imperial women were alive. Drusilla, Caligula's favourite sister (and the one with whom he is said to have had an enduring incestuous relationship), died tragically on June 10, 38, nearly three months after the last coins of the initial issue were struck.
By the time the last issue was produced (beginning March 18, 39), Drusilla had been accorded the status of a goddess, providing the curious circumstance of a goddess being portrayed in the guise of a personification. Life in the palace worsened after Drusilla's death and Caligula's affection for his remaining two sisters declined.
The circumstances reported by the ancient sources are nothing short of bizarre: Drusilla had been married to Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who had also been Caligula's lover. After Drusilla died, Lepidus extended his sexual liaisons to include Agrippina and Julia Livilla, his former sisters-in-law. By late in 39 this web of relationships seems to have evolved into a failed plot by Lepidus against Caligula, who executed Lepidus and sent his two sisters into exile out of their suspected complicity.
All of this palace intrigue occurred in the midst of the second issue of 'three sisters' sestertii, the production of which Caligula probably halted immediately since of the three sisters shown, one was dead and two were in exile for having plotted against his life.

From Wikisource:
It is easy to understand why the peace and harmony which had been reestablished for a moment in the troubled imperial family by the advent of Caligula should have been of brief duration. His grandmother and his sisters were Romans, educated in Roman ideals, and this exotic madness of his could inspire in them only an irresistible horror. This brought confusion into the imperial family, and after having suffered the persecutions of Sejanus and his party, the unhappy daughters of Germanicus found themselves in the toils of the exacting caprices of their brother. In fact, in 38, Caligula had already broken with his grandmother, whom the year before he had had proclaimed Augusta; and between the years 38 and 39, catastrophes followed one another in the family with frightful rapidity. His sister Drusilla, whom, as Suetonius tells us, he already treated as a lawful wife, died suddenly of some unknown malady while still very young. It is not improbable that her health may have been ruined by the horror of the wild adventure, which was neither human nor Roman, into which her brother sought to drag her by marriage. Caligula suddenly declared her a goddess, to whom all the cities must pay honors. He had a temple built for her, and appointed a body of twenty priests, ten men and ten women, to celebrate her worship; he decreed that her birthday should be a holiday, and he wished the statue of Venus in the Forum to be carved in her likeness.

But in proportion as Caligula became more and more fervid in this adoration of his dead sister, the disagreement between himself and his other two sisters became more embittered. Julia Livilla was exiled in 38; Agrippina, the wife of Domitius Enobarbus°, in 39, and about this same time the venerable Antonia died. It was noised about that Caligula had forced her to commit suicide, and that Agrippina and Livilla had taken part in a conspiracy against the life of the emperor. How much truth there may be in these reports it is difficult to say, but the reason for all these catastrophes may be affirmed with certainty. Life in the imperial palace was no longer possible, especially for women, with this madman who was transforming Rome into Alexandria and who wished to marry a sister. Even Tiberius, the son of Drusus and co-heir to the empire with Caligula, was at about this time defeated in some obscure suit and disappeared.

Many aspects of Caligula’s reign have captured the imagination of historians, but the sexual relationships he is said to
have pursued with his sisters is perhaps most shocking of all. It is on par with the exploits of Elagabalus or the alleged
seduction of young Nero by his deranged mother Agrippina Jr., who, by no mere coincidence, was one of Caligula’s
sisters.
Caligula’s incestuous relationships with his sisters are alleged by the relatively contemporary historians Suetonius and
Josephus. Much later, in the fourth and fifth centuries, these original claims were echoed by various writers, including
Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, St. Jerome, Orosius and the anonymous compiler of the Epitome de caesaribus. The truth of
the claims, of course, is impossible to confirm, and there is a healthy dose of skepticism among modern scholars.
Whatever personal or sexual affection Caligula may have felt toward his sisters, this coinage is purely political and
dynastic in flavour. His sisters are each named and are shown in the guise of personifications: the eldest, Agrippina Junior,
as Securitas, the middle-sister, Drusilla, as Concordia, and the youngest, Julia Livilla, as Fortuna.
This remarkable type was produced on two occasions, his initial coinage of 37-38, and again in 39-40. The example
offered here belongs to the first coinage, which was issued when all three of the imperial women were alive. Drusilla,
Caligula’s favourite sister (and the one with whom he is said to have had an enduring incestuous relationship), died
tragically on June 10, 38, nearly three months after the last coins of the initial issue were struck.
By the time the last issue was produced (beginning March 18, 39), Drusilla had been accorded the status of a goddess,
providing the curious circumstance of a goddess being portrayed in the guise of a personification. Life in the palace
worsened after Drusilla’s death and Caligula’s affection for his remaining two sisters declined.
The circumstances reported by the ancient sources are nothing short of bizarre: Drusilla had been married to Marcus
Aemilius Lepidus, who had also been Caligula’s lover. At least after Drusilla died, Lepidus extended his sexual liaisons to
include Agrippina and Julia Livilla, his former sisters-in-law. By late in 39 this web of relationships seems to have evolved
into a failed plot by Lepidus against Caligula, who executed Lepidus and sent his two sisters into exile out of their
suspected complicity.
All of this palace intrigue occurred in the midst of the second issue of ‘three sisters’ sestertii, the production of which
Caligula probably halted immediately since of the three sisters shown, one was dead and two were in exile for having
plotted against his life.
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