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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.||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


|Caligula|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.||sestertius|
The first Rome mint portrait sestertius type, and a highly sought after reverse type.
SH38172. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 33; BMCRE p. 152, 36; BnF II 47; Cohen I 4; SRCV I 1800, NGC VF, Strike 5, Surface 2, weight 26.340 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head left; reverse AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA, the three sisters of Caligula standing, in the guises of Securitas, Concordia, and Fortuna, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; NGC certified, excellent centering and strike, attractive portrait, patina worn on high spots; rare; SOLD


|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


Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, 4 B.C. - 39 A.D., In the Name of Caligula

|Herod| |Antipas|, |Herod| |Antipas,| |Tetrarch| |of| |Galilee| |and| |Perea,| |4| |B.C.| |-| |39| |A.D.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Caligula||half| |denomination|
After Agrippa was heard expressing to his friend Caligula his eagerness for Tiberius to die and leave room for Caligula to succeed him, he was imprisoned. When Caligula finally became emperor in 37 A.D., he not only released his friend but granted him rule of Philip's former tetrarchy (slightly extended), with the title of king.
SH08651. Bronze half denomination, Hendin 6247; Meshorer TJC 92; RPC I 4935; BMC Palestine p. 230, 10; SNG ANS 231, gF, weight 5.69 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Galilee, Tiberias (Israel) mint, 39 A.D.; obverse ΓAIΩ / KAICA / ΓEPMA/NIKΩ (Gaius Caesar Germanicus = Caligula) in four lines, surrounded by wreath within a dot border; reverse HPΩΔHC TETPAPXHC (of Herod the tetrarch), palm frond upright with slight curve, L - MΓ (year 43) across fields, dot border; very rare; SOLD


Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D., Issued by Caligula

|Germanicus|, |Germanicus,| |b.| |24| |May| |15| |B.C.| |-| |d.| |10| |Oct| |19| |A.D.,| |Issued| |by| |Caligula||dupondius|
This type was issued by Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus Caesar was the son of Tiberius' brother Drusus Sr. and Antonia the daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. He distinguished himself on the battlefield many times, most notably in Germania where he inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes and recovered the legionary standards lost in the catastrophic Varus disaster. He was chosen Tiberius' successor, but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caius (Caligula) obtain the throne after Tiberius died.
RB97745. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Gaius 57, BMCRE I Gaius 93, BnF II Caligula 140, Hunter I Gaius 37, Cohen I 7, SRCV I 1820, gF, scattered mild pitting, weight 12.208 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse Germanicus in slow quadriga right, bare-headed, wearing paludamentum, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, chariot ornamented with Victory and wreath, GERMANICVS / CAESAR in two lines above horses; reverse Germanicus standing left, bare-headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, cloak over left arm, right leg bent, raising right hand, aquila (legionary eagle) in left hand, SIGNIS - RECEPT / DEVICTIS - GERM (standards recovered from the defeated Germans) in two divided lines across the field at center, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 78 (17 Dec 2020), lot 1296, ex Lucernae prima auction (2 Jun 2020), lot 212; SOLD


Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D., Issued by Caligula

|Germanicus|, |Germanicus,| |b.| |24| |May| |15| |B.C.| |-| |d.| |10| |Oct| |19| |A.D.,| |Issued| |by| |Caligula||dupondius|
This type was issued by Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus Caesar was the son of Tiberius' brother Drusus Sr. and Antonia the daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. He distinguished himself on the battlefield many times, most notably in Germania where he inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes and recovered the legionary standards lost in the catastrophic Varus disaster. He was chosen Tiberius' successor, but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caius (Caligula) obtain the throne after Tiberius died.
RB08469. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Gaius 57, BMCRE I Gaius 93, BnF II Caligula 140, Hunter I Gaius 37, Cohen I 7, SRCV I 1820, VF, weight 15.10 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse Germanicus in slow quadriga right, bare-headed, wearing paludamentum, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, chariot ornamented with Victory and wreath, GERMANICVS / CAESAR in two lines above horses; reverse Germanicus standing left, bare-headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, cloak over left arm, right leg bent, raising right hand, aquila (legionary eagle) in left hand, SIGNIS - RECEPT / DEVICTIS - GERM (standards recovered from the defeated Germans) in two divided lines across the field at center, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low; SOLD


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

|Philadelphia|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Philadelphia,| |Lydia||AE| |17|
Older references identify imperial family members on the reverse but RPC identifies them as Dioscuri. RPC notes, "That the jugate busts probably do not represent Germanicus and Agrippina I, Germanicus and Agrippina as Apollo and Artemis, or Apollo and Artemis (see BMC; Imhoof-Blumer, LS, pp. 116-117; Trillmich, W. Familienpropaganda der Kaiser Caligula und Claudius. Agrippina Maior und Antonia Augusta auf Mnzen, pp. 130-131) since the further figure can sometimes be seen to be laureate (e.g. 2023/1 = BMC 53). It must therefore be male, and the two interpreted as the Dioscuri, who had previously appeared on the coinage of Philadelphia." The Dioscuri are also found on the imperial coinage of Caligula. In addition, since the magistrate named on the reverse is a priest, religious symbolism would be appropriate.

The facial features of the reverse busts do, however, resemble members of the family of Caligula. Perhaps the they are Nero and Drusus Caesars as the brothers Castor and Pollux.
RP16599. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 3018 (3 spec.), SGICV 415, VF, weight 4.344 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lydia, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓANTIOΣ KANTIΣANTP, bare head right, star behind; reverse ΦIΛAΔΕΛΦΕΩN MΕΛANΘOΣ IΕPΕYΣ ΓΕPMANIKOY, laureate and jugate busts of the Dioscuri right; dark patina; very scarce; SOLD


Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D., Issued by Caligula

|Germanicus|, |Germanicus,| |b.| |24| |May| |15| |B.C.| |-| |d.| |10| |Oct| |19| |A.D.,| |Issued| |by| |Caligula||dupondius|
This type was issued by Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus Caesar was the son of Tiberius' brother Drusus Sr. and Antonia the daughter of Mark Antony and Octavia. He distinguished himself on the battlefield many times, most notably in Germania where he inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes and recovered the legionary standards lost in the catastrophic Varus disaster. He was chosen Tiberius' successor, but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caius (Caligula) obtain the throne after Tiberius died.
RB72081. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC I Gaius 57, BMCRE I Gaius 93, BnF II Caligula 140, Hunter I Gaius 37, Cohen I 7, SRCV I 1820, F, pitted, corrosion, weight 15.301 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, 37 - 41 A.D.; obverse Germanicus in slow quadriga right, bare-headed, wearing paludamentum, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, chariot ornamented with Victory and wreath, GERMANICVS / CAESAR in two lines above horses; reverse Germanicus standing left, bare-headed, wearing cuirass and short tunic, cloak over left arm, right leg bent, raising right hand, aquila (legionary eagle) in left hand, SIGNIS - RECEPT / DEVICTIS - GERM (standards recovered from the defeated Germans) in two divided lines across the field at center, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low; SOLD


Germanicus, b. 24 May 15 B.C. - d. 10 Oct 19 A.D.

|Germanicus|, |Germanicus,| |b.| |24| |May| |15| |B.C.| |-| |d.| |10| |Oct| |19| |A.D.||as|
Issued under Caligula in honor of his deceased father. Germanicus inflicted serious defeats on the barbarian tribes in Germania and recovered the legionary standards lost by Varus. He was to be Tiberius' successor but died of an unknown cause. His tremendous popularity helped his son Caligula obtain the throne after Tiberius died.
RB65280. Copper as, RIC I Gaius 35, BMCRE I Gaius 49, BnF II Caligula 73, Hunter I Gaius 25, Cohen I 1, SRCV I 1821, VF, smoothing, weight 10.823 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, struck under Caligula, 37 - 38 A.D.; obverse GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVGVST F DIVI AVG N, bare head left; reverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, legend around large S C; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Carthago Nova, Hispania Tarraconensis

|Hispania|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Carthago| |Nova,| |Hispania| |Tarraconensis||provincial| |as|
In older references the bust of Salus is identified as that of Caesonia, 4th wife of Caligula. The female bust has also been identified as Antonia by Grant and Livia by Etienne. Beltran identifies Salus as the tutelary goddess of Carthago Nova and does not link the features to any member of the royal family.

Struck under duumvirs quinquennals: Cnaeus Atel. Flac. and Cnaeus Pom. Flac.
RB90608. Bronze provincial as, Villaronga-Benages 3155, RPC I 185, SNG Cop 503, SNG Munchen 72, Villaronga 1127, Burgos 613, Vagi 563, F, clear portraits, partial legends, areas of verdigris, pitting, weight 12.563 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 135o, Carthago Nova (Cartagena, Spain) mint, c. 40 A.D.; obverse C CAESAR AVG GERMANIC IMP P M TR P COS, laureate head of Caligula right; reverse CN ATEL FLAC CN POM FLAC II VIR Q V I N, draped bust of Salus (Caesonia as Salus?) right, SAL - AVG across fields; ex Stacks Coin Galleries auction, Sep 2008, lot 350; ex Tinchant; rare; SOLD







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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. 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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