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    Caligula Harrangues the Praetorians

    Gaius 'Caligula' (AD 37-41). Orichalcum sestertius (28.95 gm). Rome, AD 37. C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, laureate head of Caligula left / ADLOCVT, Caligula, togate, standing left on platform, right arm raised, addressing five Praetorian Guards standing to left, holding shields, COH in exergue. RIC 32. BMCRE 33. Dark gray patina. A nicely detailed example struck on a broad flan. Good very fine.

    From the Wayne C. Phillips Collection of Roman Sestertii.

    Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus was born in AD 12 and soon became the mascot for the army of his father, the popular general Germanicus. Here he acquired the nickname "Caligula," or "Bootikins," for the miniature army boots (called caligae) he wore. When the hated Tiberius finally died in May of AD 37, the 25-year-old Caligula came to the Roman throne with a huge reservoir of public goodwill. But he was uniquely unsuited to the task at hand, having no experience in government, finance, or military affairs. He quickly squandered Tiberius' carefully hoarded wealth on frivolous projects, condemned or exiled the most capable men in government, and demanded to be worshipped as a god. After three years of misrule he was assassinated by a cabal of senators and Praetorian guardsmen led by Cassius Chaerea. On January 24, AD 41. Despite being perhaps the worst of all Roman emperors, Caligula's coinage is interesting and attractive. he was the first ruler to place his portrait on Rome-mint issues of the largest denomination, the sestertius. With unintentional irony, the reverse of this example shows Caligula addressing the Praetorian cohorts, who would ultimately bring his reign to a bloody close.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    2nd-3rd Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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