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The Importance of the Pre-Principate Portrait of Caligula Struck under Tiberius

- Carthago Nova Issue -

by Joe Geranio


COURTESY OF STEVE MCBRIDE - CALIGULA - ONLY PRE-PRINCIPATE PORTRAIT KNOWN ON A ROMAN COIN

This is a very important issue, struck under Tiberius. It is the only accepted (because of the inscription) pre-accession issue we have of Gaius Caligula, there are no accepted portraits in the round or on any other numismatics. 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. (Pollini JWAG, 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. Dated to 32-33 A.D.? There are many candidates for a portrait of Caligula in the round, but no scholar will attest to the fact due to no inscribed base or inscription being found with sculpture. Therefore, this coin is very important to portrait specialists. It reminds me of the importance of numismatics in all portrait disciplines, unfortunately this issue is usually found with a crude type portrait for Caligula, and is of little help with hairstyle and physiognomy. RPC 182; SNG Copenhagen 502.

TI CAESAR DIV AVGV F AVG P M / C CAES TI N QVINQ IN V I N K); (TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTV P M / C CAESAR TI N QVINQ IN V I N K

Regarding Pre-Principate Statue Bases with Inscriptions

I find it interesting that there are no pre-principate portraits of Caligula accepted by scholars in sculpture portraits in the round, but 1/5 of his statue bases that are extant are prior to his accession? See: Boschung (1989) 62-70 for previous attempts of Identifying a pre-principate portrait of Caligula. See:
Jakob Munk Hotje: Roman Imperial Statue Bases from Augustus Commodus, Aarhus Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity 7 (Århus 2005).
D. Boschung, Die Bildnisse des Caligula (1989) Gerbruder Mann
Geranio, Joe- Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? Vol. XX, No. 1 (1997) SAN Journal, Society for Ancient Numismatics
Pollini, "A Pre-Principate Portrait of Gaius Caligula?" JWAG (1982) Page. 10 for photo of this coin. numismatics.org/collection/1944.100.66820

SEE ATTACHED SCULPTURE PORTRAIT OF A POSSIBLE PRE-PRINCIPATE PORTRAIT OF GAIUS CALIGULA? Pre-Principate Caligula? (Walters Head-courtesy Prof. Pollini)

The Walters Art Gallery now has the description of Caligula? Pre-37 A.D. after Pollini article http://art.thewalters.org/detail/36414/portrait-head-of-gaius-caligula---before-ad-37/

PRE-PRINCIPATE IMAGE OF CALIGULA??

(PHOTO BY EGISTO SANI)  The young Gaius Caesar, third son of Germanicus, and future emperor Caligula portrayed with Livilla.

Sardonyx cameo in five layers.
Roman art, about 23 AD.
Paris, Department of Coins, Medals and Antiquities
CALIGULA AT 12 OR 13 YEARS OF AGE.
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