Gaius 'Caligula' (Born 31st August AD 12)
Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
(16th March AD 37 - 24th January AD 41)

Gaius was the son of the general, Germanicus, nephew of Tiberius. Gaius was raised on the Rhine frontier while his father fought the Germans, and it was in the camps where the youngster often dressed in military uniform, that he earned the name “Caligula” (Little Boot) Germanicus died under suspicious circumstances in AD 19 and his family's fortunes began to decline. By AD 33 Gaius' mother and brothers had been murdered by a jealous Tiberius, who suspected plots against him everywhere. At the age of 18, Gaius went to live with Tiberius on Capri. The emperor finally named Gaius as his heir, claiming that he was “rearing a viper in the bosom of the Roman people.” Gaius succeeded Tiberius without opposition in March AD 37 but it is believed that the old emperor's death was 'assisted'.

Gaius' accession was greeted with wholesale rejoicing by the Roman people and the first six months of the reign seemed promising until Gaius fell ill. The Emperor recovered, but emerged as a cruel, despotic megalomaniac. He insulted the Senate; used extortion to raise money for a rapidly depleting treasury; and invented all types of bizarre and cruel amusements. Gaius planned to invade Britain in AD 40, but suddenly ordered his troops to collect shells and to fire arrows into the English Channel because he was now at war with Neptune, god of the sea. Plots against him began to multiply and he soon lost the support of the army. When the Emperor insulted officers of his Praetorian Guard they quickly formed a palace conspiracy. Gaius was assassinated as he left the Palatine Games on 24th January AD 41. Few mourned his death. James R. Wadman B.A., M.A. [History and Archaeology] for Time Line Originals

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Caligula 'Vesta' AE As 026946

Caligula 'Vesta' AE As
Bronze, 10.98 grams, 29.22 mm. Rome. 37-38 AD. Obverse: C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT, bare head left. Reverse: VESTA above, S-C across fields, Vesta, veiled and draped, seated left, holding patera and sceptre. RIC I, 38; Cohen 27; Sear 1803. Good very fine/good fine.

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Caligula 'Vesta' AE As 026946


Main Roman Coin Book and Other References:

RIC = Mattingly, Harold    The Roman Imperial Coinage
BMC = Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum
RSC = Seaby, H A    Roman Silver Coinage
RCV = Sear, David R    Roman Coins and Their Values
Cr = Crawford, Michael    The Roman Republican Coinage
SB = Sear, David R    Byzantine Coins and Their Values
S = Coins of England and the United Kingdom
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)



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