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

Oderint, dum metuant (Let them hate so long as they fear)

SPAIN, Caesaraugusta. Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. As (30mm, 11.52 g, 6h). Licinianus and Germanus, duoviri. Laureate head left / Founder plowing right with yoke of oxen. ACIP 3100a; RPC I 371. Joe Geranio Collection, anyone may use as long as credit is given.

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 and Joe Geranio from the Getty Villa

Joe counting hair curls, pincers, etc.......... from profile. The Gettty Caligulan head is fantastic for showing agreement on Caligula ' Vesta aes (bronze coins). See example below. Remember; these portraits are found without inscribed statue bases if that was the case and numismatics are the key for helping ID these wonderful Julio Claudian portraits.  The only thing I love more than collecting Julio Claudian coins is identifying portraits in the round, but you can 't do that without numismatics.

For more on this portrait see: F. Johansen, " The Sculpted Portraits of Caligula," Ancient Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum, ...
Johansen 1987, p. 97. Probably made shortly after Caligula 's accession, this head I have seen personally at the J. Paul Getty Museum. A most impressive head from Asia Minor. See also (JWAG) "A Pre-Principate Portrait of Gaius (Caligula?) by John Pollini 1982, p. 6. See: D. Boschung, "Die Bildnisse des Caligula", Gebuder-Mann, (1989)


This is about 20 years ago when I first became interested in Julio Claudian Portraiture. My Julio Claudian buds and myself drove 400 miles; studied the portraits and then drove home and went to work on about 2 hours sleep!! We really knew how to roll!!

Unknown - Caligula Portrait
Roman, Asia Minor, about A.D. 40
16 15/16 in.
The Roman emperor Gaius, more commonly known by his nickname Caligula, ruled from A.D. 37 to 41 and was extremely unpopular. In fact, after he was murdered, almost all portraits of him were destroyed.

The Romans had a long tradition of portraiture, but portraits of emperors had a specific propaganda function beyond that of ordinary portraits. The actual appearance of the individual was combined with the political message that the portrait was meant to convey. Portraits of Caligula show a young man with a high forehead, small mouth, and thin lips. He is identifiable as an individual, yet his hairstyle copies that of the emperor Augustus, making a deliberate allusion to his dynastic connection and his right to rule.

The depiction of the emperor in these official portraits bears no resemblance to the unpleasant descriptions of Caligula provided by Roman writers such as Suetonius:

Height: tall -- Complexion: pallid -- Body: hairy and badly built -- Neck: thin -- Legs: spindling -- Eyes: sunken -- Temples: hollow -- Forehead: broad and forbidding -- Scalp: almost hairless, especially on top. Because of his baldness and hairiness he announced that it was a capital offense either for anyone to look down on him as he passed or to mention goats in any context.

Augustus Recut Portrait-

Roman, about A.D. 50
15 3/8 in.

After many years of civil war, Augustus took complete power in Rome in 27 B.C. He claimed that he was re-establishing the Roman Republic, but he actually founded the Roman Empire. Visual signs emphasizing its power and legitimacy bolstered this new political order.

Portraits of Augustus served as symbols of his political agenda rather than corresponding to his physical features as described in written sources. Augustus is always shown in an ideal, classicizing style, and he never ages over the length of his reign. One constant feature of Augustus 's portraits is his hairstyle, with its distinctive forked locks of hair on his forehead.

This portrait was carved about the middle of the first century A.D., after Augustus ' death in A.D. 14. Posthumous portraits of Augustus were popular and were often used by his successors to legitimize their rule. This portrait, however, may originally have been a head of Caligula, a later emperor. The head 's wide-open eyes and concave temples characterize Caligula 's portraits. When the hated Caligula was murdered in A.D. 41, most portraits of him were destroyed, but some may have been re-carved into other, more popular emperors.  Joe Geranio(From Getty text)

Caligula with civic crown

Forum, southern portico at Cumae. White marble of greek provenance (thasian?); Cumae, Italy.
Museo Archeologico dei campi flegrei, Bacoli, Italy Photo by my friend Rien Bongers. 

For more on this portrait see: D. Boschung 's, "Die Bildnisse des Caligula" (1989). Page 117 for description and plates 33 1 thru 4.


Caligula from New Haven-Roger Ulrich


Caligula in Bronze on globe.  Found in Colchester/flickr photo- Joe Geranio


Caligula from Herakleion- Photo Courtesy of Prof. John Pollini




The detail on this specimen are the finest I have ever seen. AA, great shot!!!!!!!!! Click view all sizes and look at the 1226x1000 view and you will see the most artistic and finest Julio Claudian coin ever struck on a big flan of a sestertius. Look at the detail of Caligula togated as Pontifex Maximus. Note the restrained bull and it gives us a look into the dress of the early empire with the attendant on the left with an axe in his belt. The figure on the pediment center I believe to be divus Augustus with a spear and patera. On the left edge of pediment is either Mars or Romulus, on the right edge of the pediment is Aeneas, Ascanius and Anchises, note the beautiful festooned garlanded temple and the work the die-cutter put into his work. The DIVO AVG(USTO) clearly represents the temple of Augustus. The six ionic colums are also very beautiful. The bulding plan of the DIVO AVG temple was begun by Tiberius. But, Caligula opened and dedicated the building himself.  Joe Geranio



GAIUS CALIGULA.. 37-41 AD. As (10.72 gm). Struck 37-38 AD. C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare head left / VESTA above, S C across field, Vesta seated left, holding patera and sceptre. RIC I 38; BMCRE 46; BN 54; Szaivert 9-6; Cohen 27.   Joe Geranio Collection- Can be used if credit is given.

Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. As (28mm, 11.11 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 37-38. Bare head left / Vesta seated left on throne, holding scepter and patera; c/m: TIB CLA IMP (ligate). RIC I 38; for c/m: Pangerl 51.  Joe Geranio Collection.


PHOENICIA, Tripolis. Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. 21mm (8.84 g, 12h). Date CY 350 (AD 38/9). Laureate head left; L NT (date) below chin / The Dioscuri standing left, each holding wreath over pileus resting on ground and scepter. RPC 4519.15 (this coin); SNG Copenhagen -; BMC 38.  Joe Geranio Collection- Anyone may use if credit is given.

KINGS of BOSPORUS. Aspurgus, with Gaius (Caligula). AD 14-38. 12 Unit (25mm, 9.56 g). Struck AD 37-38. Bare head of Caligula right / Diademed head of Aspurgus right; monogram and IB in fields. MacDonald 302; RPC I 1904; Anokhin 320.  Joe Geranio Collection- Anyone may use as long as credit is given.


IONIA, Smyrna. Gaius (Caligula), with Germanicus and Agrippina Senior. AD 37-41. 21mm (6.42 g, 12h). Menophanes, magistrate, and Aviola, proconsul. Struck circa AD 37-38. Laureate head of Gaius (Caligula) right / Draped bust of Agrippina I right, vis--vis bare head of Germanicus left. RPC 2471; Klose XXIX, SNG von Aulock 2201.

Joe Geranio Collection-  Anyone may use as long as credit is given.

This coin is defaced and is evidence of the unpopularity of Gaius Caligula. On some vesta aes ' you will find the "C" in CAESAR obliterated. On this coin the face has been obliterated. Joe Geranio

Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. "Medallic" Sestertius (30.30 g, 7h). Rome mint. Struck AD 37-38. Pietas seated left, holding patera and resting arm on small draped figure standing facing on basis / Gaius standing left, holding patera over garlanded altar; victimarius holding bull for sacrifice and attendant holding a patera standing on either side; garlanded hexastyle temple of Divus Augustus in background; pediment decorated with sacrificial scene; quadriga and Victories as acroteria; statues of Romulus and Aeneas along roof line. RIC I 36.
These are the only coins that show a portrait of Caligula pre-principate!  The coin is dated to maybe 32-33?   RPC 182.  The importance of this coin is invaluable towards any study of Caligulan pre-principate portraiture.  There are no pre-principate portraits (sculpted) of Caligula excepted by Art historians.   C CAESAR TI N QVINQ IN V I N K
SPAIN, Terraconensis. Carthago Nova. Tiberius, with Gaius (Caligula) as Caesar. AD 14-37. 18mm (4.46 g). Laureate head of Tiberius left / Bare head of Gaius Caligula left. RPC I 184.
RPC 184 Tiberius and Caligula pre-principate
 For problems with the dating of Tiberian Coinage see RPC and A. Banti and L. Simonetti, Corpus Nummorum Romanorum (XIII Florence: 1977 pp. 141-50 deal with dating to 34 A.D. (PolliniJWAG, note 28 for more explanation.  Also:  "Aspects of the Principate of Tiberius", Historical comments on the Colonial coinage issued outside Spain, Michael Grant- The American Numismatic Society - Numismatic Notes and Monographs(1950)  There are some issues with inscriptions and dating in Banti Simonetti.

Here are some sculpted pre-principate portraits of Caligula candidates?  SEE: Pollini, JWAG 1982 

I feel this portrait below from La Spezia does represent Gaius Caligula pre-principate;


Young Prince from the Julio Claudian Dynasty- La Spezia Museum - Photo courtesy Prof. Pollini

Caligula? Pre-Principate. Walters Art Gallery. (Courtesy Prof. John Pollini)  SEE: Pollini, JWAG 1982 


A Young Julio Claudian prince or individual-  Pre-Principate Caligula? Dresden Head (Courtesy Prof. Pollini) 

Related Articles of Caligula from American Numismatic Society Library Search
Library Catalog Search (Preliminary Version)
Full Record: Barrett, Anthony A. The invalidation of currency in the Roman Empire : the Claudian demonetization of Caligula 's AES. (1999)
  1. Full Record: Bost, Jean-Pierre. Routes, cit�s et ateliers mon�taires : quelques remarques sur les officines hispaniques entre les r�gnes d 'Auguste en de Caligula. (1999)
  2. Full Record: Biblioth�que Municipale d '�Etude et d 'Information de Grenoble. Grenoble : Biblioth�que Municipale d '�Etude et d 'Information : catalogue des monnaies. II. Monnaies romaines. Monnaies imp�riales romaines. 2. Caligula - Neron . Index. / Bernard R�my, Fr�d�ric Bontoux, Virginie Risler. (1998)
  3. Full Record: Gainor, John R. The image of the Julio-Claudian dynasty from coins / by John R. Gainor.
  4. Full Record: Martini, Rodolfo. Monete romane imperiali del Museo G. B. Adriani. Parte 3, Caius (37-41 d.C.) / Rodolfo Martini. (2001)
  5. Full Record: ACCLA privy to presentation by Richard Baker on Caligula. (2002)
  6. Full Record: Wend, David A. Caligula, the emperor as autocrat. Part 1. (2002)
  7. Full Record: Wend, David A. Caligula, the emperor as autocrat. Part 2. (2002)
  8. Full Record: Wend, David A. Caligula, the emperor as autocrat. Part 3. (2002)
  9. Full Record: Kemmers, Fleur. Caligula on the Lower Rhine : Coin finds from the Roman Fort of Albaniana (The Netherlands) / Fleur Kemmers. (2004)
  10. Full Record: Estiot, Sylviane. Le tr�sor de Meussia (Jura) : 399 monnaies d 'argent d '�poques r�publicaine et julio-claudienne / Sylviane Estiot, Isabelle Aymar. (2002)
  11. Full Record: Gocht, Hans. Namenstilgungen an Bronzemnzen des Caligula und Claudius / Hans Gocht. (2003)
  12. Full Record: Gomis Justo, Mariv�i. Ercavica : La emisi�on de Cal�igula. Estimaci�on del n�umero de cu�nos originales.
  13. Full Record: Sayles, Wayne G. Fakes on the Internet. (2002)
  14. Full Record: Kemmers, Fleur. The coin finds from the Roman fort Albaniana, the Netherlands / Fleur Kemmers . (2005)
  15. Full Record: L�opez S�nchez, Fernando. La afirmaci�on soberana de Cal�igula y de Claudio y el fin de las acu�naciones ciudadanas en occidente / Fernando L�opez S�nchez. (2000)
  16. Full Record: Besombes, Paul-Andr�. Les monnaies hispaniques de Claude Ier des d�pts de la Vilaine (Rennes) et de Saint-L�onard (Mayenne) : t�moins de quel type de contact entre l 'Armorique et la p�ninsule ib�rique ? / Paul-Andr� Besombes. (2005)
  17. Full Record: Catalli, Fiorenzo. Le thesaurus de Sora / Fiorenzo Catalli et John Scheid.
  18. Full Record: Giard, Jean-Baptiste. Faux deniers de Caligula de la Renaissance.
  19. Full Record: Vermeule, Cornelius. Faces of Empire (Julius Caesar to Justinian). Part II(B), More young faces : Caligula again and Nero reborn / Cornelius Vermeule. (2005)
  20. Full Record: Geranio, Joe. Portraits of Caligula : the seated figure? / Joe Geranio. (2007)
  21. Full Record: Aguilera Hernandez, Alberto. Acerca de un as de Cal�igula hallado en Zaragoza / Alberto Aguilera Hernandez. (2007)
  22. Full Record: Butcher, K. E. T. Caligula : the evil emperor. (1985)
  23. Full Record: Fuchs, Michaela. Frauen um Caligula und Claudius : Milonia Caesonia, Drusilla und Messalina. (1990)
  24. Full Record: Faur, Jean-Claude. Moneda de Cal�igula de Museo Arqueol�ogico Provincial de Tarragona. (1979)
  25. Full Record: British Museum. Dept. of coins and medals. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British museum. Vol. I: Augustus to Vitellius / by Harold Mattingly. (1976)
  26. Full Record: Conrad, Edwin. A Caligula Isotope of Hadrian. (1968)
  27. Full Record: Conrad, Edwin. The Metamorphosis of an Allegad 'As of Hadrian. ' (1968)
  28. Full Record: Bendall, Simon. A 'new ' gold quinarius of Caligula. (1985)
  29. Full Record: Cortellini, Nereo. Le monete di Caligola nel Cohen.
  30. Full Record: Guey, Julien. Les "bains d 'or" de Caligula "Immensi Avreorvm Acervi (Su�tone, Cal., 42,3).
  31. Full Record: Guey, J. Les "bains d 'or" de Caligula : Su�tone, Cal. 42, 3.
  32. Full Record: Curry, Michael R. The Aes Quadrans of Caligula. (1968)
  33. Full Record: J�onas, Elem�r. L 'emploi dar "damnatio memoriae" sur l 'un des "dupondius" de Calgula. (1937)
  34. Full Record: Julian, R. W. The coins of Caligula. (1994)
  35. Full Record: Donciu, Ramiro. Cu privire la activitatea militar�a a lui Caius (Caligula) �in anul 40 e.n. (1983)
  36. Full Record: Hansen, Peter. A history of Caligula 's Vesta. (1992)
  37. Full Record: Kaenel, Hans-Markus von. Augustus, Caligula oder Caludius? (1978)
  38. Full Record: Kaenel, Hans-Markus von. Die Organisation der Mnzpr�gung Caligulas. (1987)
  39. Full Record: Johansen, Flemming S. The sculpted portraits of Caligula. (1987)
  40. Full Record: Carter, G. F. Chemical compositions of copper-based Roman coins. V : imitations of Caligula, Claudius, and Nero / G. F. Carter and others. (1978)
  41. Full Record: Giard, Jean-Baptiste. L 'atelier de Lyon sous Auguste : Tib�re et Caligula. (1979)
  42. Full Record: Giard, Jean-Baptiste. Les �missions d 'or et d 'argent de Caligula dans l 'atelier de Lyon. (1976)
  43. Full Record: Giard, Jean-Baptiste. Le monnayage de l 'atelier de Lyon des origines au r�gne de Caligula (43 avant J.-C. - 41 apr�s J.-C.). (1983)
  44. Full Record: Nony, D. Quelques as d 'imitation de Caligula trouves a Bordeaux (Gironde). (1981)
  45. Full Record: Levy, Brooks Emmons. Caligula 's radiate crown. (1988)
  46. Full Record: Poulsen, Vagn. Un nouveau visage de Caligula. (1972)
  47. Full Record: Price, Martin Jessop. Elephant in Crete? New light ona cistophorus of Caligula. (1973)
  48. Full Record: MacInnis, H. Frank. Ego-driven emperor commits excesses. (1979)
  49. Full Record: McKenna, Thomas P. The case of the curious coin of Caligula : a provincial bronze restruck with legend-only dies. (1994)
  50. Full Record: Mowat, Robert. Bronzes remarquables de Tib�re, de son fils, de ses petits-fils et de Caligula. (1911)
  51. Full Record: Koenig, Franz E. Roma, monete dal Tevere : l 'imperatore Gaio (Caligola). (1988)
  52. Full Record: Kollgaard, Ron. Caligula 's coins profile despot. (1993)
  53. Full Record: Kollgaard, Ron. A numismatic mystery : "the Caligula quadrans." (1994)
  54. Full Record: Martini, Rodolfo. Osservazioni su contromarche ed erosioni su assi de Caligula. (1980)
  55. Full Record: Szaivert, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani. Band 2 und 3. Die Mnzpr�gung der Kaiser Tiberius und Caius (Caligula) 14/41 / von Wolfgang Szaivert. (1984)
  56. Full Record: Boschung, Dietrich. Die Bildnisse des Caligula. Kaenel, Hans-Markus von. Jucker, Hans. Deutsches Archaologisches Institut. Das Romische Herrscherbild. 1. Abt., Bd. 4, Die Bildnisse des Caligula / Dietrich Boschung ; mit einem Beitrag von Hans-Markus von Kaenel ; auf Grund der Vorarbeiten und Marterialsammlungen von Hans Jucker. (1989)
  57. Full Record: Rosborough, Ruskin R. An epigraphic commentary on Suetonius 's life of Gaius Caligula. A thesis...for the...Doctor of Philosophy. (1920)
  58. Full Record: Richard, Jean-Claude. A propos de l 'aureus de Caligula d�couvert � Saint-Colomban-des-Villards (Savoie). (1982)
  59. Full Record: Richard, Jean-Claude. Un aureus de Caligula d�couvert � Saint-Colomban-des-Villards (Savoie). (1982)
  60. Full Record: Ritter, Hans-Werner. Adlocutio und Corona Civica unter Caligula und Tiberius. (1971)
  61. Full Record: Kumpikevicius, Gordon C. A numismatic look at Gaius. (1979)
  62. Full Record: Savio, Adriano. La coerenza di Caligola nella gestione della moneta / Adriano Savio. (1988)
  63. Full Record: Savio, Adriano. Note su alcune monete di Gaio-Caligola. (1973)
  64. Full Record: Stylow, Armin U. Die Quadranten des Caligula als Propaganda-mnzen.mnzen" aus der st�dtischen sammlung zu Osnabrck. (1971)
  65. Full Record: Schwartz, Jacques. Le Monnayage S�natorial entre 37 et 42 P.C. (1951)
  66. Full Record: Rodolfo Martini, ed. Sylloge nummorum Romanorum. Italia. Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche Vol. 1 Giulio-Claudii / a cura di Rodolfo Martini. (1990)
  67. Full Record: Szaivert, Wolfgang. Zur Julisch-Claudischen Mnzpr�gung. (1979)
  68. Full Record: Vedrianus. The Roman Imperial series. V. Gaius. (1963)
  69. Full Record: Tietze, Christian M. Kaiser Cajus Caesar, genannt Caligula. (1979)
  70. Full Record: Wood, Susan. Diva Drusilla Panthea and the sisters of Caligula / Susan Wood. (1995)
  71. Full Record: Sutherland, Carol Humphrey Vivian. Coinage in Roman imperial policy 31 B.C.-A.D. 68. (1951)
  72. Full Record: Sutherland, C. H. V. The mints of Lugdunum and Rome under Gaius : an unsolved problem. (1981)
  73. Full Record: Trillmich, Walter. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius : Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Mnzen. (1978)
  74. Full Record: Voirol, August. Eine Warenumsatzsteuer im antiken Rom und der numismatische Beleg inher Aufhebung : Centesima rerum venalium. (1943)
  75. Full Record: Trillmich, Walter. Zur Mnzpr�gung des Caligula von Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza). (1973)

Also see these informative articles about Caligula submitted by Joe Geranio:

Caligula in Right Profile AR Denarii
Caligula Typology and First Living Princeps to Appear Radiate on Coinage
Portraits of Caligula The Seated Figure
The Lack of S.C. on Caligulan Sestertius

Franks Find!! With Metal Detector

Image Image

Here are some details of the find. In fact, this denarius of Caligula is part of a small treasure of 20 denarii, scattered over a small area of semi-arid scrub land, near the ancient roman city of Nemausus (today Nimes). Thanks to the calcarious soil the coins did not suffer corrosion. Besides some broken roman tiles, the area was virgin. It was evidently a site where was located a small country house, modest in all ways and deserted ever since the first century AD. Through the wear of the coins, from republican denarii, gallion types of Marcus Antonius, several Augustus denarii and the common Tiberius denarius with Livia seated, it can easily be concluded that the 20 denarii were hidden or lost at one time, about 38 AD, because the wear of each coin was equivalent with the age as compared with the most recent one (of Caligula). Nothing else was found here, except a small copper Gallic coin, much older, and, since it was in superb condition, using the same wear/age considerations, was lost about a hundred years earlier. Knowing that the salary of a common soldier at that time was about one denarius a day, the amount of denarii found here was quite considerable. The brown margin on top of the reverse is concretion (some people mistakenly thought the coin is subaerate). As the above information is first-hand, I can guarantee the coin is genuine. For sentimental reasons the coin is not for sale, but I 'll be happy to contribute to numismatic science by publication of its image Regards Frank. This was sent to me by Frank where he found this denarius of Caligula. Frank granted portraitsofcaligula.com permission to use. These are Franks comments - Joe Geranio

The Very, Very Rare Caligula Quinarius!!

Photo sent to Joe Geranio. I have yet to see one in person - Joe Geranio.

Detailed biography goes here

Obverse legends


Rarity of Denominations, Average Weights of Well Preserved Coins and Other Information

Average well preserved Denarius weight 3.37 grams.


Rome, Lugdunum, Caesarea.


FORVM 's Catalog
Members ' Gallery
Fake Coin Reports
Discussion Board Search
Wiki Classical Dictionary
Wild Winds
Coin Archives


The Portraiture of Caligula http://www.flickr.com/groups/395282@N21/   Joe Geranio


Dictionary of Roman Coins

Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

Caligula, the grand nephew and murderer of Tiberius, most worthy to succeed that emperor, because of an equally infamous, though not so able a tyrant, reigned from A.D. 37 to A.D. 41.

His real appellation was Caius Caesar, but about the time of Augustus ' death, he, still a child, being with the army of the lower Rhine, the soldiers, with whom he was a great favorite, were accustomed in the joking parlance of the camp, to give him the nickname of Caligula (from Caligae) because he constantly appeared in the usual military leggings.

Hence Ausonius, in his poem, referring to this cruel wretch, says --

Post hunc castrensis caligae cognomine
Caesar Successit, saevo saevior ingenio.

As emperor, however, he was always called Caius, and he considered himself insulted by the name of Caligula.

He was the youngest son of Germanicus, the nephew of Tiberius and Agrippina; born in 12 A.D. on the day before the calends of September, at Antium, as Suetonius has proved at great length (in Caligula, ch. 8). In 17 A.D., he went into Syria with his father, at whose death, within two years, he returned to Rome with his mother. After she was banished, he was transferred to his great grand-mother Julia and when she diet to his grand-mother Antonia.

In 31 A.D., after the violent deaths of his brothers Nero and Drusus, and also of Sejanus, whose plots he alone had escaped he was he was the apparent successor to the empire and invested with the Pontificate.

In 33 A.D., on the same day he assumed the toga he laid aside his beard, he was nominated questor and Tiberius invited him to Capraea. He moved in with Tiberius, feigning ignorance or indifference, regarding the murder of his relations, as though it did not concern him. He so obsequiously obeyed Tiberius the it was a common expression, that "there never was a better servant, or a worse master." (Sueton, ch. 10)

In 37 A.D., Tiberius was attacked with a severe illness from which he was recovering when Caligula, at the instigation of Maero, the praetorian prefect, put and end to his life by smothering him.

Caligula entered Rome after Tiberius ' death and compelled the Senate to join him, by a Senatus Consultum, in depriving Tiberius, son Drusus junior and the elder Tiberius ' heir in his last will, of his right to the empire.

The funeral ceremonies of were performed with due pomp by Caligula.

On the eighth month of his reign he was attacked with severe sickness. On his recovery, he adopted his brother Tiberius, gave him the title of Princeps Juventutis, and afterwards put him to death.

In the calends of July he entered upon the office of Consul Suffectus, as colleague to his uncle Claudius, and after two months resigned it.

In 38 A.D. he conceded to Soaemus, the kingdom of Arabians of Ituraea; to Cotys, Armenia Minor; to Polemon, the son of Polemon, his father 's dominions.

Dion wrote, "In a short time he assumed so much the air of a king, that all those honors, which Augustus had accepted only when duly arrived at the sovereignty, and even then with hesitation as they were decreed from time to time, and many of which Tiberius altogether declined, were by Caligula grasped in one day, with the exception only of Pater Patriae, which, however was not long deferred."

In 39 A.D., in the calends of January, he entered his second Consulate and resigned the office in thirty days. (Sueton ch. 17)

Having exhausted the treasury by his profuse expenditure on public spectacles and other extravagances, he endeavoured to repair the deficiency by the slaughter of wealthy citizens; and then proceeded to Gaul, their to practice the like system of murder and spoliation.

The name of Germanicus does not appear on coins of this year, nor ever subsequently.

In 40 A.D., Caligula, without a colleague, entered his third consulate, at Lugdunum (Lyon), in Gaul; and resigned it on the ides of January. (Sueton. ch. 17)

Having invited over from Africa, Ptolemy, the son of Juba, he put him to death on the pretence of the young prince 's ostentatious bearing. (Dion, B. lix. 25)

Proceeding to the ocean, as if about to invade Britain, he ordered his soldiers to gather shell-fish, and returned as a conqueror, laden with the spoils of the sea. (Sueton. ch. 46)

L. Vitellius, prefect of Syria, the same year, gave such a lesson to Artabanus, the Persian, who was threatening an invasion of Armenia that the later abandoned his design, and paid his adoration to the statues of Augustus and of Caligula. (Dion, I. e.)

In 41 A.D., he began hid fourth consulate, on the 7th of the ides of January. Shortly afterwards (viz. on the 9th of the calends of February), he was assassinated by the conspirators Cassius Chaerea and Cornelius Sabinus.

Caligula 's accession to the empire was hailed with joy by the Roman people; but their satisfaction was based on no solid foundations, being the result rather of their deep-rooted attachment to his father Germanicus. He seeming, indeed, responded to the fond wishes of the nation, by many acts of piety, justice, and moderation. But it too soon became apparent that these virtues were not of natural growth but owed their exhibition to the policy of Tiberius, who wished through their influences to consolidate his own power in the empire. For there was not act of cruelty, folly, meanness or infamy, which this monster and madman did not delight in perpetrating. He caused his horse, whom he called Incitatus, to be introduced at dinner time, setting before him gilded corn, and drinking his health in golden cups; and he would have created him consul, had he lived long enough. He imitated all the gods and goddesses, in the adoration which he caused to be paid to him, becoming by turns Jupiter, Bacchus, Hercules, Juno, Diana, and Venus. He constructed a bridge of vessels joined together from Puteoli to Baiae, and crossing over with his troops invaded puteoli and then recrossed it in a kind of triumph, delighting in hearing himself called Alexander the Great. By his absurd and extravagant undertakings of this kind, before the year was fully expired, he had squandered the enormous sums of money left by Tiberius. (Vicies ae septics millies IIS. -- See Sestertium).

He both claimed and receive divine worship, and was the greatest blasphemer that ever lived; yet he quailed in the conviction of a deity, and crept under his bed whenever he heard thunder. With savage inhumanity he attended executions in person, and made parents behold the merciless torments inflicted on their children. He contracted and dissolved marriages with equal caprice and dishonesty. Besides his incestuous union with Drusilla, he seized and repudiated three wives, and was at last permanently attached to Caesonia a mother of children by another man, and without your or beauty, but of depravity corresponding with his own.

Other instances of his incredible cruelty and lust may be found in Suetonius, Philo, and Dion. Such infatuations are evident tokens not only of a brutal nature, but also of a distempered intellect. Nor is it possible to entertain other than supreme contempt for the base servility of the Romans, who could offer solemn adoration to a wretch openly guilty of the most detestable and unnatural crimes; and whose adage was oderint, dum metuant (Let them hate so long as they fear).

The gold and silver coins of Caligula are of considerable rarity. Sestertii are also rare. Ases are more common, yet still expensive due to popularity of collecting the infamous emperor and because they generally exhibit good workmanship. When Caligula was destroyed, the dastardly senators, who had so recently sacrificed to him, ordered all his statues to be demolished, his acts abrogated, his money melted down and his inscriptions defaced, in order that his memory might be extinguished forever. Yet this sentence has not prevented a considerable number of his coins from reaching us, though consequently, except for ases, they are of considerable rarity when in good preservation. The coins of Caligula, minted at Rome, do not exhibit Imperator as a surname. This title is used on colonial coins. The only imperial coin of Caligula bearing IMP is a denarius.

On his coins, Caligula resembles his grandfather, but is less noble and has a malignant expression. He was at great pains to cherish this horrid index of his cruel disposition.

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