Object Record

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Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.23
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR denarius. Struck during the reign of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (Caligula) in honor of his father Germanicus (15 B.C.E. - 19 C.E.), after his death, 37-41 C.E. The laureate head of Caligula faces right in profile on obverse with the inscriptions "C CAESAR AVG PON M TR POT III COS III" surrounding image. On reverse, the bare head of Germanicus faces right in profile with the inscriptions "GERMANICVS CAES P C CAES AVG GERM" surrounding image. Inscriptions on obverse and reverse based on Sear reference; coin is heavily worn, inscription is illegible.
Date range: 37-41 C.E.

Remarks: Born in 15 B.C.E., Germanicus was the elder son of Nero Claudius Drusus and Antonia. He was adopted by Tiberius in 4 C.E. and during the early years of Tiberius' reign he campaigned with considerable success in Germany. He was recalled to Rome in 17 and granted a splendid triumph, after which he was dispatched to the East where he died mysteriously at Antioch in 19 C.E. He married Agrippina Senior, daughter of Agrippa and Julia, and had nine children, one of whom was the future emperor Caligula. According to Sear reference, all coins bearing his name and portrait were struck about twenty years or more after his death by his son.

Gaius Caesar was born in Antium in 12 C.E. His nickname, Caligula, was bestowed on him by the soldiers when he was only a few years old: he used to wear the miniature uniform of a private soldier, including the heavy-soled Roman military shoe/sandal worn by Roman soldiers known as the "caliga" ("caligula" means "little boot" in Latin, the diminutive for of "caliga"). He was named by Tiberius as his heir and succeeded that emperor in 37 C.E. In his early months, when he was probably under the influence of his grandmother Antonia, he showed promise of becoming a good emperor, but later in the year he became seriously ill and possibly somewhat insane. From then on, his reign was noted for his personal depravity and public oppression, and he was eventually murdered by a group of Praetorians on January 24th, 41C.E. Caligula's coins were minted in Rome, Caesarea, and possibly Lugdunum.

Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" , London 2000 (Vol I), #1816, pg 359. **SEE APPRAISAL NOTE***
Title Caligula
Date 37-41 CE
Material Silver
Dimensions Dia-0.688 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome