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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., Caesarea, Cappadocia

|Cappadocia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Caesarea,| |Cappadocia||drachm|NEW
Kayseri, originally called Mazaka or Mazaca, is in central Turkey on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes (Mount Argaeus in ancient times). During Achaemenid Persian rule, it was the capital of a Satrapy on the crossroads of the Royal Road from Sardis to Susa and the trade route from Sinope to the Euphrates. It was conquered by Alexander's general Perdikkas, was ruled by Eumenes of Cardia, then passed to the Seleucid empire after the battle of Ipsus. It became the capital of the independent Cappadocian Kingdom under Ariarathes III, around 250 B.C. During Strabo's time it was also known as Eusebia, after the Cappadocian King Ariarathes V Eusebes, 163 130 B.C. The name was changed again to "Caesarea in Cappadocia" in honor of Caesar Augustus, upon his death in 14 A.D. The city passed under formal Roman rule in 17 A.D. In Roman times, it prospered on the route from Ephesus to the East. Caesarea was destroyed by the Sassanid King Shapur I after his victory over the Emperor Valerian I in 260 A.D. At the time it was recorded to have around 400,000 inhabitants. Arabic influence changed Caesarea to the modern name Kayseri. The city gradually recovered and has a population of around 1 million people today. Few traces of the ancient city survive.
RS110687. Silver drachm, RPC Online I 3624 (11 spec.), Henseler 87, RIC I 63, BMCRE I 102, Cohen I 12, SNG Cop 176, F, toned, broad flan, obv. off center, rough, weight 2.731 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, c. 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS, bare head right; reverse IMPERATOR PONT MAX AVG TR POT, simpulum and lituus; rare; $400.00 (404.00)


|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.||sestertius|
The lack of the usual S C (senatus consulto) suggests that the issue was funded and struck by the Emperor, rather than the Senate. Suetonius wrote (Gaius Caligula 53), "He was as eloquent and witty as you would want, especially when he could launch an attack on someone. Words and phrases used to find him whenever he was angryhis articulation and voice too rose up so that it was impossible for him to stay in the same place thanks to excitement and he was heard well by people standing far away. When he was about to give a speech, he used to threaten to unsheathe the tool of his nocturnal strains, and he despised work composed smoothly and with style so much that he used to say that Seneca wrote 'only school-essays' and was 'sand without lime'."
SH98642. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 32 (S), BMCRE I 33, BnF II 45, Cohen I 1, Hunter I 14, SRCV I -, Choice VF, attractive portrait, near black patina, areas of slight porosity, weight 28.989 g, maximum diameter 35.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse ADLOCVT above, COH in exergue (adlocutio cohortium - speech to the cohorts), Caligula standing left on platform, bare-headed, togate, extending right hand in gesture of address, sella castrensis (folding iron field chair) behind, addressing five praetorians standing right, each wearing helmet, parazonium at side, holding shield, the foremost soldier stands alone, the four others stand in two files and each holds an aquila; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 65 (19 Dec 2019), lot 718; ex inventory of a UK dealer; scarce; SOLD


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

|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.||sestertius|
Scarce issue from the final year of his reign, with a more mature portrait, and stern gaze. Seneca (3.19.1) characterized Caligula's gaze as a form of torture -- "He had tortured them by means of all the grimmest devices that nature provides - by the string, by the robe, by the rack, by fire, and by his own gaze."
SH47806. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 53 (R2); BnF II 116; BMCRE I p. 157, *, pl. 29, 13; Cohen I 26, Choice VF, attractive mahogany red-brown patina, weight 27.960 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 18 Mar 40 - 24 Jan 41; obverse C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII P P, laureate head left; reverse S P Q R / P P / OB CIVES / SERVATOS, inscription in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; ex CNG; SOLD


|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.||aureus|
SH37559. Gold aureus, RIC I 27, Cohen I 20, BMCRE I 20, SRCV I 1795, BnF II 37, VF, weight 7.581 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 40 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG PON M TR POT III COS III, laureate head right; reverse S P Q R P P OB C S in three lines within oak wreath; SOLD










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. Ripolls. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 & suppl.).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayn, 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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J. "Les emissions d'or et d'argent de Caligula dans l'atelier de Lyon" in RN 18 (1976), pp. 69-81.
Giard, J. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, des origines au rgne de Caligula (43 avant J.-C. - 41 aprs J.-C.). (Wetteren, 1983).
Giard, J. Monnaies de L'Empire Romain II: De Tebre Nron. Catalogue Bibliothque 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).

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