Caligula

Reece Period attributed: Period 1

Obverse image of a coin of Caligula

Member of the Julio-Claudians dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 37 until 41.

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31, 12 - January 24, 41), most commonly known as Caligula, was the third Roman Emperor and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 37 to 41. Known for his extreme extravagance, eccentricity, depravity and cruelty, he is remembered as a despot. He was assassinated in 41 by several of his own guards.

The Roman historian Suetonius referred to Caligula as a "monster", and the surviving sources are universal in their condemnation. One popular tale, often cited as an example of his insanity and tyranny, is that Caligula appointed his favorite horse, Incitatus, to a seat on the senate and attempted to appoint it to the position of consul. The story, however, owes its unrelenting currency to its charm: it is based on a single misunderstood near-contemporary reference, in which Suetonius merely repeats an unattributed rumour that Caligula was thinking about doing it (Suet. Cal. 55.3).

Caligula is often alleged to have had incestuous relationships with his sisters, most notably his younger sister Drusilla, but there is no credible evidence to support such claims either. In short, the surviving sources are filled with anecdotes of Caligula's cruelty and insanity rather than an actual account of his reign, making any reconstruction of his time as Princeps nearly impossible. What does survive is the picture of a depraved, hedonistic ruler, an image that has made Caligula one of the most widely recognizable, if poorly documented, of all the Roman Emperors; the name "Caligula" itself has become synonymous with wanton hedonism, cruelty, tyranny, and insanity.

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Record: WILT-53EEE9
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: This coin was found in the same vicinity a…
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Record: WREX-64F355
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Silver denarius of Caligula (AD 37-41), da…
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Record: WMID-DE3FC0
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman silver denarius of Caligula  …
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Record: IOW-31EDD4
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A complete and worn Roman copper-alloy as …
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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Caligula
  • Full names:
    • Title:
    • Predecessor: Tiberius
    • Successor: Claudius
    • Definition: Caligula (/kəˈlɪɡjʊlə/; 31 August 12 – 24 January 41 AD), formally known as Gaius (Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus), was the third Roman emperor, ruling from 37 to 41. The son of the popular Roman general Germanicus and Augustus's granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Germanicus's uncle and adoptive father, Tiberius, succeeded Augustus as emperor of Rome in AD 14. Although Gaius was named after Gaius Julius Caesar, he acquired the nickname "Caligula" (meaning "little [soldier's] boot") from his father's soldiers during their campaign in Germania. When Germanicus died at Antioch in 19, Agrippina returned with her six children to Rome, where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted an invitation in 31 to join the emperor on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. Following the death of Tiberius, Caligula succeeded his adoptive grandfather as emperor in 37. There are few surviving sources about the reign of Caligula, though 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 sexual perversion, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the client kingdom of Mauretania as a province. In early 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted, however. On the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorians declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor. Although the Julio-Claudian dynasty continued to rule the empire until the fall of his nephew Nero in 68, Caligula's death marked the official end of the Julii Caesares in the male line.
    • Parents:
    • Birth place: Roman Italy, Anzio
    • Death place: Palatine Hill, Roman Italy, Rome
    • Spouse:
      • Other title(s):
        • List of Roman consuls
        • Caesar (title)
        • List of Roman emperors
      • Came After:
        • Caninia gens
        • Terentia gens
        • Aulus Caecina Paetus
        • Laecania gens
      • Came before:
        • Aulus Didius Gallus
        • Terentia gens
        • Petronia gens
        • Domitius Afer
        • Laecania gens
        • Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus
        • Sextus Nonius Quinctilianus (consul 38)
        • Servius Asinius Celer
      • Subjects on wikipedia:

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