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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|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.|, sestertius
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.
SH94041. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, Choice VF, well centered, attractive style, dark reddish brown patina, highest point of bust a little weakly struck, weight 28.089 g, maximum diameter 35.4 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 (from the Senate and people of Rome to the father of the country for saving the citizens) in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; ex Nomos Obolos auction 9 (25 March 2018), 160; ex Stoecklin Collection (Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired prior to 1975, see The Story of the Stoecklin Collection); $3280.00 SALE |PRICE| $2952.00
 


|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.|, sestertius
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.
SH94039. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 37, BMCRE I 38, Cohen I 24, BnF II 50, Hunter I 15, SRCV I -, VF, good style portrait, well centered on a tight flan, corrosion, weight 25.093 g, maximum diameter 34.5 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 (from the Senate and people of Rome to the father of the country for saving the citizens) in four lines within Corona Civica oak wreath; ex Savoca auction 34 (16 Jun 2019), 365; $1800.00 SALE |PRICE| $1620.00
 


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

|Roman| |Phoenicia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Sidon,| |Phoenicia|, AE 23
Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.
RP91511. Bronze AE 23, Rouvier 1457 (no star visible); RPC I 4612 (9 spec.); BMC Phoenicia p. 178, 208, gF, grainy and porous, scratches, weight 10.556 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse laureate head right, star lower right (star not visible, RPC notes the star is often faint but likely all originally had a star); reverse veiled Europa seated on bull left, holding bull's horn with right hand, inflated veil billowing overhead in left hand, ΣI∆ΩNOΣ over L HMP (year 148) below; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


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

|Philadelphia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia|, AE 15
At least 15 different magistrates are named on the coins of Philadelphia, Lydia during the four-year reign of Caligula. They were probably members of a board. The individuals describe themselves variously as priest of Germanicus, Olympic victor, philopatris, grammateus, and in a number of cases philokaisar. The magistrate named on this coin, Attalikos, identifies himself as philokaisar (friend of Caesar) on a larger denomination.
RP88186. Bronze AE 15, RPC I 3026 (3 specimens); Imhoof-Blumer LS p. 118, 20, aF, well centered, porous, light earthen deposits, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 90o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Attalikos, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOC KAICAP, bare head right, lituus below chin; reverse winged thunderbolt right, ΦIΛA/∆EΛΦEWN in two lines above, ATTAΛI/KOC in two lines below; very rare; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalces III, c. 38 - 46 A.D., Caligula Reverse

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Rhoemetalces| |III,| |c.| |38| |-| |46| |A.D.,| |Caligula| |Reverse|, AE 26
Rhoemetalces III was the son of the King Rhescuporis II. He ruled the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace with his cousin-wife Pythodoris II as clients under the Romans from 38 to 46 A.D. They succeeded Pythodoris’ mother Tryphaena and her brother Rhoemetalces II. Rhoemetalces III was murdered in 46, by insurgents or on the orders of his wife. The subsequent fate of Pythodoris II is unknown and it seems they didn't have any children. Soon after his death, Thrace was incorporated into the Roman Empire as a province.
RP91897. Bronze AE 26, RPC I 1724; Youroukova 210; BMC Thrace p. 210, 2; SNG Cop -, aF, corrosion, weight 8.998 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Thracian mint, 38 - 41 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEYΣ POIMHTAΛKAΣ, diademed and draped bust of Rhoemetalkes right; reverse ΓAIΩ KAIΣAPI ΣEBAΣTΩ, laureate head of Caligula left; very rare; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
 







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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 Sunday, February 23, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Caligula