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A very small Collection of Caligula


Prieure de Sion

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Caligula is widely regarded as the epitome of a tyrannical and above all insane emperor (Caesar madness). Yet history was determined by the state with which he had to fight the fiercest battles. Thus, even during his lifetime, but especially afterwards, the most evil things were attributed to him or statements or deeds were twisted in such a way that the later verdict could only be - this emperor is insane! Caligula is certainly not innocent of the events of that time - but it was precisely the hypocritical aristocracy that contributed significantly to the conditions and deeds of the young Gaius. 

On the one hand, they flattered him - on the other hand, they tried to eliminate him - even before his "terrible deeds". Closest confidants, friends, even beloved family members sought his life shortly after he took office - so that in the end the young emperor had no choice but to distrust everyone and everything from the very beginning. From the reports and the point of view of the ruling aristocracy, his actions seem brutal and irrational - but better illuminated - he had few real alternatives to take action against this class. And in the end, it was the senators themselves who took pleasure in denouncing and decimating each other.

I can recommend the Caligula biography by Aloys Winterling to everyone. This is also available in English.
https://www.amazon.de/Caligula-Biography-English-Aloys-Winterling-ebook/dp/B005CPYEGE 

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Unfortunately, the coins of Caligula are not very numerous in variations and quantity - and above all quite expensive, once the preservation is reasonably good or very good. Some bronzes still work, but silver pieces usually cost thousands. I currently have four coins in my collection.

 

I got the typical Caligula Ace with Vesta from my CGB friends yesterday. I thought the brown patina was so nice - so I took the bronze yesterday.

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula
Dupondius of the Roman Imperial Period 37/38 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 28.5mm; Weight: 10.33g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 38; Obverse: Head of Caligula, bare, left. The Inscription reads: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT for Caius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate (Gaius Caesar, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, high priest, holder of tribunician power); Reverse: Vesta, veiled and draped, seated left on throne with ornamented back and legs, holding patera in right hand and long transverse sceptre in left. The Inscription reads: VESTA S C for Vesta, Senatus Consultum (Vesta, by the decree of the senate).

 

This Caligula Agrippa I sort of "got" - he's ok - but I think I'll replace this guy at some point. But it is ok. 

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula for Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Dupondius of the Roman Imperial Period 37/41 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 27mm; Weight: 10.81g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 58; Obverse: Head of Agrippa, left, wearing rostral crown. The Inscription reads: M AGRIPPA L F COS III for Marcus Agrippa, Lucii Filius, Consul Tertium (Marcus [Vipsanius] Agrippa, son of Lucius, consul for the third time); Reverse: Neptune, cloaked, standing left, holding dolphin in right hand and trident in left. The Inscription reads: S C for Senatus Consultum (by the decree of the senate).

 

 

And the two bronze coins that now follow were / are already in my small Caligula stock.

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula for Divus Augustus
Dupondius of the Roman Imperial Period 37/41 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 29mm; Weight: 15.48g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 56; Obverse: Head of Augustus, radiate, left.. The Inscription reads: DIVVS AVGVSTVS S C for Divus Augustus, Senatus Consulto (Augustus the divine, by decree of the Senate); Reverse: Gaius Caligula, laureate and togate, seated, left, on curule chair, holding branch in right hand and resting left hand against side. The Inscription reads: CONSENSV SENAT ET EQ ORDIN P Q R for Consensus Senatus Et Equestris Ordinis Populi Que Romani (With the will of the senate, the equestrian order, and the Roman people).

Comment: Whereas in the past, misguided by the identification of the seated figure with Augustus, it was taken for granted that the legend CONSENSV SENAT ET EQ ORDIN P Q R referred to the first princeps, such an interpretation is no longer plausible. Instead, the coinage recovered for Caligula's reign finds its precise interpretation in the literarily transmitted events at the beginning of his reign. The corresponding legend refers to Caligula's accession to power in Rome, when the emperor gave a speech before the senate, knights and representatives of the plebs (Cassius Dio 59,6; Suetonius, Caligula 14), which was to confirm the Consensus Universorum. While looking through older auction catalogues, we came across a coinage (Fig. 1) that now allows an identification of the seated Togatus with Caligula quite unambiguously[...]. For the discussion on the naming of the reverse representation see v. Kaenel in Schweizer Münzblätter 1978 pp. 39 ff.

 

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula
Sestertius of the Roman Imperial Period 37/38 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 36mm; Weight: 27.46g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 37; Obverse: Head of Caligula, laureate, left. The Inscription reads: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT for Caius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate (Gaius Caesar, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, high priest, holder of tribunician power); Reverse: Legend in four lines in oak-wreath. The Inscription reads: S P Q R P P OB CIVES SERVATOS for Senatus Populusque Romanus Patri Patriae, Ob Cives Servatos (The senate and the Roman people to the father of the nation, the saviour of the citizens).

 

 

I would be pleased if you would show me your Caligula coins - whether large or small - whether city Roman or provincial. 

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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Caius Ae Sestertius 37-38 AD Obv Pietas seated left holding patera. Rv Emperor togate standing left sacrificing bull in front of the  hexastyle Temple of Divus Augustus. He is flanked by two attendants RIC 36 26.93 grms 34 mm Photo by W. Hansen 1220150974_caiuss6-Copy.jpg.51cd1c72782ac5f00c39f64808ac8765.jpg

In many respects this sestertius does resemble the sestertii minted by Tiberius which honor Divus Augustus and The restitution of the Asian cities by Tiberius. Both of these coins feature a seated individual on the obverse. By placing the image of Pietas on the obverse of his sestertius, Caius in effect is stating that he is going to continue with the policies set by his predecessors. 

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1 hour ago, bcuda said:

This is the Caligula I had that sold in a CNG auction about a year ago. It is the much rarer version of the Vesta AS that had the title DIVI in it.

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The smoothly worn details and patina make for an extremely attractive coin! Should have done well in the auction.

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 A collection of coins of Caligula.  Two other books about Caligula that I thought were very good are, Caligula, Emperor of Rome by Arther Ferrill. and Caligula by Anthony Barrett. My favorite interpretation of Caligula was in Robert Graves' I Claudius, thogh this is mostly directly from Suetonius.

Denarii of Caligua with reverse of his mother Agrippina , and of Augustus...

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sestertii of Caligula with his sisters ,  adlocutio , and corona...

73000839.jpg.fd688ec86777252285d9befe0516dd65.jpg

999507l.jpg.064125e4a70493794e9aa4eeb6566a71.jpg

 

image00603.jpg.8b2da465a5a373aaa1462a60b614f156.jpg

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As with Vesta and small quadrans , minted in last two weeks of his life...

2797592l.jpg.2fb27d5371cc33909dd3ca15c7bb98f2.jpg

gz3J4wLTD78zLGi28osFE9Mm5scKXX.jpg.ea47e9744838511f11c668859b2ab592.jpg

Bam84fAme9qF3Kpak5G8M46e6iZ7jR.jpg.f2c31d30bad2e239d848aaa51f64aa71.jpg

 

lastly, my "logo" another Adlocutio, purchased from Tom Cederlind.

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LEG-Caligula-Adlocutio.jpg

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Copper coin (AE as) minted during the reign of CALIGULA between 37 - 38 A.D. Obv. C.CAESAR.AVG.GERMANICVS.PON.M.TR.POT. Bare head left. Rev. VESTA.S.C. S – C to l. and r. of Vesta, veiled and dr., std l., on ornamental throne, r. holding patera, l. long transverse sceptre. SEAR #616. RICI #38. Pg.111. DVM #9 pg.80. RSCII #1803.

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Copper coin (AE as) minted at Rome for Germanicus (father of Caligula) in 19 A.D. Obv. GERMANICVS.CAESAR.TI.AVGVST.F.DIVI.AVG. N. Bare head right. Rev. C.CAESAR.AVG.GERMANICVS.PON.M.TR.POT. S.C. SC around legend. SEAR #600. DVM #2.

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There are a lot of wonderful coins in this thread.

Most of my impression of Caligula is derived from his portrayal in I, Claudius (by the great British actor John Hurt).  This portrayal is relentlessly negative and dark, although its accuracy is a little suspect, being based on Suetonius's gossipy revelations.

Despite Caligula's historical reputation, I find his coins to be generally artistic and the reverses can be whimsically entertaining (Three Sisters in a Three Graces pose, Ad Locutio) while the obverse portraits are almost uniformly imperial and imperious.  Initially I had intended only to have one of each major denomination (as, sestertius, denarius, and aureus) but the quality of his various sestertii have inspired me to pursue all of these major types.  Currently I lack only the epigraphic reverse type although arguably the Memoriae Agrippinae sestertii is part of Caligula's set of sestertii.

My current collection:

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Edited by idesofmarch01
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 A selection of coins struck by Caligula to honor family members....

His father, Germanicus - dupondius...

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sestertius  commemorating his mother...

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His mother , denarius of Agrippina...

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dupondius of Augustus with Caligula seated on reverse...

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As of his father, Germanicus...

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Two asses of his maternal grandfather , Agrippa

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I get a new member in the collection - a Caligula Quadrans from Roma Numismatics, London.

 

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula
Quadrans of the Roman Imperial Period 39 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 3.03g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC I (second edition) Gaius/Caligula 39; Provenance: Ex Roma Numismatics London; Obverse: Pileus flanked by S C; Inscription: C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG; Translate: Caius Caesar Divi Augusti Pronepos Augustus (Gaius Caesar, great-grandson of the divine Augustus, Augustus); Reverse: Legend surrounding RCC large in center of field; Inscription: PON M TR P III P P COS DES III; Translate: Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate Tertia, Pater Patriae, Consul Designatus Tertius (High priest, holder of tribunician power for the third time, father of the nation, consul elect for the third time)

 

No portrait of the young emperor Gaius Caligula, no head of another personality, no Roman or other deity, only the three letters RCC adorn the back of this bronze quadrans. They stand as an abbreviation for "Remissa ducentesima" (remission of the tax). The origins of this tax of one percent - the so-called "centesima" - date back to the time of the civil wars. It was levied in Rome and Italy on all goods put up for public sale at auction. It was collected by persons called "coactores" (Cic. ad Brut. 18, pro Rabir. Post. 11; Dig. 1 Tit. 16 s.17 §2). As mentioned, this tax is said to have been introduced at the time after the civil war (Tac. Ann. I.78) - Cicero mentions here that this was not the civil war between Octavian and Marcus Antonius, but from an earlier civil war, presumably between Marius and Sulla. Emperor Tiberius was later able to reduce the tax to half a percent (ducentesima) after he had turned Cappadocia into a province and thus increased the revenues of the empire (Tac. Ann. II.42). Caligula now abolished this tax at the beginning of his reign (RCC - Remissa ducentesima), as Suetonius (Suet. Kal. 16) reports - and this coin testifies here. The pileus depicted on the front is generally a symbol of freedom - which the young emperor propagated with this fiscal measure.

 

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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On 11/23/2022 at 8:39 PM, Octavius said:

 A collection of coins of Caligula.  Two other books about Caligula that I thought were very good are, Caligula, Emperor of Rome by Arther Ferrill. and Caligula by Anthony Barrett. My favorite interpretation of Caligula was in Robert Graves' I Claudius, thogh this is mostly directly from Suetonius.

Denarii of Caligua with reverse of his mother Agrippina , and of Augustus...

2kCJe6EmjWd3Fn8Qr4FPLL5eoHQ97N.jpg.777b285c7ffadb4d8246e0d72416f997.jpgz43986.jpg.01049b7b1fbb34b8b437829b6cfc91c5.jpg

sestertii of Caligula with his sisters ,  adlocutio , and corona...

73000839.jpg.fd688ec86777252285d9befe0516dd65.jpg

999507l.jpg.064125e4a70493794e9aa4eeb6566a71.jpg

 

image00603.jpg.8b2da465a5a373aaa1462a60b614f156.jpg

4530508.jpg.c617409cfd8a73477364b55f33c5a404.jpg

 

As with Vesta and small quadrans , minted in last two weeks of his life...

2797592l.jpg.2fb27d5371cc33909dd3ca15c7bb98f2.jpg

gz3J4wLTD78zLGi28osFE9Mm5scKXX.jpg.ea47e9744838511f11c668859b2ab592.jpg

Bam84fAme9qF3Kpak5G8M46e6iZ7jR.jpg.f2c31d30bad2e239d848aaa51f64aa71.jpg

 

lastly, my "logo" another Adlocutio, purchased from Tom Cederlind.

RI5015.jpg.093df75d4c225e42336dfe37dd5d8fe3.jpg

LEG-Caligula-Adlocutio.jpg

Wow, impressive group of gems 😮!

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I got this provincial Caligula today from Ibercoin.

 

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula
As of the Roman Imperial Period 37/39 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 28mm; Weight: 10.96g; Mint: Carthago Nova, Hispania Tarraconensis; Reference: RPC I. 185, SNG Copenhagen 503; Provenance: Ex Subastas Ibercoin Madrid Spain; Obverse: Laureate head of Caligula right; Inscription: C CAESAR AVG GERMANIC IMP P M TR P COS; Translate: Caius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Imperator Pontifex Maximus Tribunicia Potestate Consul (Gaius Caesar, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, Imperator, high priest, holder of tribunician power, consul); Reverse: Draped bust of Salus (Caesonia?), right; Inscription: CN ATEL FLAC CN POM FLAC II VIR Q V I N C - SAL AVG; Translate: Cnaeus Atellius Flaccus Cnaeus Pompeius Flaccus duumviri quinquennales - Salus Augusti (Gnaeus Atellius Flaccus, Gnaeus Pompeius Flaccus, duumviri for five years - Health of the emperor)

Comment: The reverse portrait has been traditionally identified, following Cohen, as Caesonia - the fourth and last wife of Caligula. This identification is disputed however by other numismatists who identify the portrait as either Antonia or simply Salus (without being an imperial personage in the guise of). Caesonia was married to Caligula in 39 AD. Two years later she was murdered with her infant daughter Drusilla. Duoviri or Duumviri (singular duovir and duumvir, German plural "Duumvirn") is the term for the holders of various public offices with two-man appointments ("duumvirate" or "two-man office") in the Roman Empire. Duoviri is the older term; especially in the imperial period they are called duumviri. Since the 4th century BC, duoviri are documented as the top office of a colonia, a municipium under Roman law and often also of other civitates. If there was no superior prefect, "state commissioner" or similar official at the top, the duumviri formed the city government. The office is to be understood as a copy of the Roman consulate. Every five years, two duoviri quinquennales were elected in many cities.

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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Somehow I'm on a Caligula trip right now ... 😬😂 - my newest honey.

 

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula
12 Units of the Roman Imperial Period 37/38 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 22mm; Weight: 7.39g; Mint: Panticapaeum, Kingdom of the Bosporus; Reference: RPC I. 1904, MacDonald 302, BMC 8; Provenance: Ex CGB.fr Numismatique Paris France; Obverse: Bare head of Caligula right; Inscription: ΓΑΙΟΥ ΚΑΙΣΑΡΟΣ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΙΚΟΥ; Translate: Gaiou Kaisaros Germanikou (Gaius Caesar Germanicus); Reverse: Diademed head of Aspurgus right; monogram ΒΑΡ and mark of value in fields; Inscription: IB; Translate: Iota Beta (10 + 2 = 12 Units)

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What's with "my" Caligula Thread - asleep? No! 😄 

I get today some of my ordered Caligula coins. I want show you the videos I make. 

 

First the little AE Quadrans (RIC 39) - I like the well centered RCC reverse. The obverse with SC is not so well centered - but the reverse is absolute extremely fine.

 

 

And this provincial Coin from Caligula from Carthago Nova arrived today too - the RPC I 185 type. Like the patina and I like more the Iberian style. Is this at the reverse Caesonia or Salus - thats the question the experts not sure.

 

 

Guys I need more followers on my YouTube channel! Otherwise it will never happen that I'm a candidate for "I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!" 😂

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Caligula
Hemiassarion of the Roman Imperial Period 37/41 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 18mm; Weight: 4.01g; Mint: Sestus, Thracia; Reference: RPC I. 1742 (8 Specimens, 3 in the core collections), BMC 14, Varbanov 2970, Very Rare; Provenance: Ex Savoca Numismatik Munich Germany; Obverse: Bare head of Caligula to right; Inscription: ΓΑΙΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ; Translate: Gaios Kaisaros (Gaius Caesar); Reverse: Lyre with three strings; Inscription: ϹΗϹΤΙΩΝ; Translate: Sestion (City of Sestus)


Comment: Sestos (Latin: Sestus) was an ancient city in Thrace. It was located at the Thracian Chersonese peninsula on the European coast of the Hellespont, opposite the ancient city of Abydos, and near the town of Eceabat in Turkey. In Greek mythology, Sestos is presented in the myth of Hero and Leander as the home of Hero. Upon the death of Attalus III, King of Pergamon, in 133 BC, Sestos was annexed to the Roman Republic. The city was mentioned in Ptolemy's Canon Urbium Insignium. The mint of Sestos ceased to function in c. 250 AD. It is believed that Sestos, with Abydos and Lampsacus, is referred to as one of the "three large capital cities" of the Roman Empire in Weilüe, a 3rd-century AD Chinese text. Gaius Julius Solinus in Collectanea rerum memorabilium also makes reference to the city. By late antiquity, the harbour of Sestos had silted up. In 447 AD, Sestos was sacked by the Huns. The city was damaged by an earthquake during the reign of Emperor Zeno in 478 AD. In the 6th century, according to Procopius' De Aedificiis, Emperor Justinian I refortified Sestos.

 

 

This small Hemiassarion coin of Caligula I was able to buy yesterday for a small amount of money at SAVOCA. Not the prettiest - but quite rare. RPC lists 8 specimens, 3 of them in core collections. Fine. Even small things bring joy.

 
 

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Gaius Caligula, 37-41 Paduan medal work of Giovanni da Cavino (1500-1570) XVI century
Æ 37.00 mm., 25.43 g. Laureate head l. Rev. Three sisters of Caligula standing, AGRIPPINA (as Securitas), DRVSILLA (as Concordia), IVLIA (as Fortuna). Klawans 1 (these dies). For the type, cf. RIC 33.

 

 

Ok, I did it. But I am still unsure whether it was really a good idea. It is - so far the exams are good, a genuine Paduan by Giovanni da Cavino - not one of the later restrikes. Let's see - I don't know yet pb I should be happy or not about my purchase.

🙂

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I have only one lonely Caligula -- the standard As with a Vesta reverse -- plus two coins portraying others that were minted during his reign.

Caligula, AE As, 37-38 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Bare head left, C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT/ Rev. Vesta seated left, holding patera and scepter, VESTA above, S - C across field. RIC I 38, Sear RCV I 1803, Cohen 27, BMCRE 46.  30x28 mm., 10.32 g.

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Germanicus (died 19 AD, father of Caligula [Gaius] & brother of Claudius), AE As, Memorial issue struck under Caligula, 40-41 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Bare head left, GERMANICVS CAESAR TI AVG F DIVI AVG N / Rev. Legend  C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII P P around large S C in center. RIC I Caligula  [Gaius] 50, Sear RCV I 1822. BMCRE 74 (Caligula), Cohen 4. 28 mm., 11.99 g., 6 h.

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Agrippa (d. 12 BCE), AE As, Memorial issue struck by Caligula, 37-41 AD, Rome Mint. Obv. Head of Agrippa left, wearing rostral crown, M AGRIPPA L - F COS III / Rev. Neptune standing left, holding trident in left hand; dolphin resting left on his right forearm; S - C on either side of Neptune. RIC I Caligula [Gaius] 58, Sear RCV I 1812, Cohen Agrippa 3. 31 mm., 11.0 g.

 

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I don't think it's possible to find a Caligula denarius in decent condition for less than $1,000, and the really nice ones go for $2,000 up to large multiples of that sum. Claudius I denarii are only slightly less expensive. Same for Otho. At least relatively inexpensive bronzes are easy enough to find for the first two; not so for Otho. Did he even issue any bronzes? You can buy a decent Otho provincial coin for about $500 or less; the problem is that the portraits don't even remotely resemble the ones on his Imperial coins. And I haven't even touched on Julius Caesar! TLDR: I don't think I'll ever put together a set of the 12 Caesars in silver denarii. Good thing it's not a goal of mine!

Edited by DonnaML
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Vipsania Agrippina (or Agrippina Senior, Agrippina maior, Agrippina the Elder), Mother of Gaius Caligula
Sestertius of the Roman Imperial Period 42/43 AD; Material: AE Bronze; Diameter: 37mm; Weight: 29.13g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC I (second edition) Claudius 102; Obverse: Bust of Agrippina the Elder, bare-headed, draped, right, hair in long plait; Inscription: AGRIPPINA M F GERMANICI CAESARIS; Translate: Agrippina Marci Filia Germanici Caesaris (Agrippina, daughter of Marcus [Agrippa], [spouse] of Caesar Germanicus); Reverse: Legend surrounding S C; Inscription: TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P; Translate: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestate, Imperator, Pater Patriae (Tiberius Claudius Caesar, Augustus, conqueror of the Germans, high priest, holder of tribunician power, Imperator, father of the nation)

 

 

I succeeded today in winning the mother of Caligula. It was minted under Claudius - but still thematically appropriate as the mother of little Gaius. 

Agrippina herself was the daughter of Augustus' friend and potential successor Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Iulia, the emperor's daughter. She was probably born in Mytilene while her parents were travelling the eastern provinces. At Augustus' instruction, Agrippina was married to the potential emperor's successor Germanicus, who was one year older, no later than 5 AD. With him she had a total of nine children, of whom Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar, Gaius (the later Emperor Caligula), Agrippina the Younger (the wife of Claudius and mother of Nero), Drusilla and Iulia Livilla survived infancy. In the year 29, under Emperor Tiberius, Agrippina was accused of conspiracy together with her eldest son Nero Caesar and banished to the island of Pandataria, where her mother had already spent some years of her exile. Her second son, Drusus Caesar, was imprisoned a year later. After the death of her two eldest sons, Nero 30 on Pontia and Drusus 33 in Rome, who starved to death in prison, Agrippina also died of starvation voluntarily on the island of Pandateria in 33 AD at the age of 47. Of her sons, only Gaius Caesar (Caligula) had survived, who succeeded Tiberius after his death in 37. He then had her urn and those of his brothers buried in the Mausoleum of Augustus, minted coins with her portrait and organised celebrations and circus games in her memory.

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Isola Pandateria - todays Ventotene

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