Finn235 Posted July 28, 2022 · Member Share Posted July 28, 2022 The wait is finally over - coin safe in hand, I can now post my first white whale from the recent Naville sale Judaea, Caesaria Panias AE18 of Herod Agrippa I, for Caesonia, with Julia Drusilla, wife and daughter of Caligula Dated Year 5 = 40-41 AD Obv: KAIΣΩNIA ΓYNH ΣEBAΣTOY, Draped bust of Caesonia left Rev: ΔΡOYΣIΛΛA ΘYΓATΡI ΣEBAΣTOY LE, small figure of Julia Drusilla, robed, holding Nike and branch This coin is the only generally accepted portrait of Milonia Caesonia, and certainly of the Imperial couple's infant daughter, Julia Drusilla. Another commonly cited example is the AE "as" of Carthago Nova, in which a vaguely imperial female bust of "Salus" is presented opposite of Caligula The only problem is Caligula honored many of his female relatives on coinage, and no name is given on this issue, which I recall reading may have been minted prior to the Imperial wedding in 39. I haven't been able to locate the exact example of this type with KAIΣΩNIA legible, but it apparently exists somewhere. Very little is known for certain of the life of Caesonia, due to the efforts to erase and later deface the memory of her husband. She married Caligula in AD 39, having been recently divorced or widowed, and was the mother to three daughters by her first husband and already at least seven or eight months pregnant with Julia Drusilla when she and Caligula were wed. It is uncertain whether Caligula was the father, or whether it was her former husband's. Unusual for a disgraced emperor, ancient sources are unanimous in declaring that the marriage was a happy one, with both Caligula and Caesonia infatuated and dedicated to one another. Caligula also considered Drusilla to be his, regardless of her true paternity. Caesonia died in the praetorian coup that had her husband killed on 24 January 41, reportedly she offered no resistance and simply requested a quick death. The toddler Drusilla was also murdered immediately after her parents, to ensure that Caligula's bloodline was erased forever. After the murder of the Imperial family, the senate issued a Damnatio Memoriae, ordering statues broken, inscriptions erased, and coins recalled and melted. Interestingly, these coins show signs of being part of that same Damnatio: - They are extremely rare (RPC cites 15, ACsearch lists about 12, with some overlap) - Multiple die pairs exist, hinting at a much larger initial issue (most notably the figure of Drusilla can be seen in various states of posture) - The surviving coins show relatively little wear, but almost universally display moderate to heavy corrosion, hinting that they were simply dropped and exposed directly to the elements, rather than hoarded in a protective container. - My coin was described as having large surface pits, but upon closer examination I believe they are actually countermarks, indicating that it was perhaps recovered and circulated for a time before being lost again. Thanks for reading and please feel free to share anything relevant! 13 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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