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HOME : Roman Coins : Emperor Caligula : Bronze Coin of Emperor Caligula
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Bronze Coin of Emperor Caligula - LC.008
Origin: Thrace
Circa: 38 AD to 46 AD

Collection: Roman Coins
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: 6.7g.
Location: Great Britain
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Issue of King Rhoemetalces III (c. A.D. 38 -46?), Thrace.

Obverse: Laureate head of Caligula left, AIU KAIAPA.

Reverse: BAIEU (retrograde), Victory advancing right, holding wreath and palm.

Condition: Dark patina, good-very fine, rare.

This issue was for many years attributed to Agrippa I (Meshorer 278, no. 2) until Burnett assigned it to Thrace and Rhoemetalces III (on the basis of style and die axis).

Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus was the youngest son of Germanicus and Agrippina Sr. He spent much of his childhood accompanying his father on military campaigns. It is here that he received his nickname, “Caligula,” or “Little Army Boots,” from the soldiers. Although his family underwent much persecution, the young Caligula was spared the same fate of his relatives and was instead named as successor to Emperor Tiberius. As Emperor, Caligula spend large sums of money honoring his deceased family, as much to restore his good name as to please the army, among whom Germanicus was still remembered fondly. A few years into his reign, however, it became clear that Caligula had intentions to reshape the principate into a full-fledged monarchy. Most of the scandalous events conservative historian detailed must be seen in this light. Caligula followed in the footsteps of Hellenistic and Egyptian rulers by posturing himself as a god, much to the horror of the Roman historians. In the end, Caligula would be overcome by those around him who plotted against him and, when threatened, eliminated the Emperor to save their own lives.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial to an emperor’s reign passed down from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation, which still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck. - (LC.008)


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