Caligula formally known as Gaius was the third Roman Emperor reigning from 37 to 41 AD, in succession after Tiberius. He was born on 31st August 12 AD, into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, usually known as Julio-Claudian Dynasty.
Caligula was born as Gaius Caeser to popular Roman general Germanicus and Agrppina the Elder. A childhood nickname, Caligula (little soldier’s boot) bestowed on him by the soldiers of his father during their campaign in Germania. Following the death of Tiberius, Caligula succeeded his adoptive grandfather as emperor in 37.
He is described as a noble and moderate emperor during the first six months of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and presenting him as an insane tyrant.
The above shown Orichalcum Sestertius was issued under his reign from Rome mint. The obverse of a coin depicted the Pietas seated left, holding patera resting an elbow on a small figure standing facing on the basis. The reverse of a coin represents Caligula standing left, sacrificing out of patera over garlanded altar; on left, victimarius standing right, the steadying bull for sacrifice; on right, attendant standing left; in the background, the hexastyle temple of Divus Augustus hung with garland.
This coin commemorates the dedication of the temple of the Divus Augustus in 37 AD and depicts Gaius Caligula officiating as pontifex Maximus. This dedication was important to Caligula as it emphasized his connection to Augustus and served to lend an air of legitimacy to his troubled reign.
Image Source: Heritage Auctions
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