Caligula / Augustus 37 – 41 AD Roman Gold Aureus

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Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
Roman emperor from AD 37 to AD 41

Roman; Portrait bust of Emperor Caligula; Stone Sculpture, A.D. 37–41

Caligula was born on August 31, 12 AD, the third son of Germanicus, a popular Roman general, and Agrippina the Elder, the granddaughter of Augustus, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Caligula’s father was the adopted son of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.

Caligula had five siblings: Nero Julius Caesar, Drusus Julius Caesar, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla. Notably, Agrippina the Younger later became the mother of the future Emperor Nero.

Caligula was raised among the army by his parents and received his nickname, “Caligula,” which translates to “Little Boots,” because of the miniature soldier’s attire he often wore.

His upbringing was tumultuous as his father died under mysterious circumstances, likely poisoning, and his mother and brothers were later banished.

After the death of Tiberius in 37 AD, Caligula became Tiberius’s successor, partly due to the influence of Naevius Sutorius Macro, the prefect of the Praetorian Guard, the force responsible for protecting the Roman emperor.

Caligula’s accession to the throne was initially greeted with widespread approval and enthusiasm due to the popularity of his father, Germanicus. He started his reign by ending the treason trials of Tiberius, recalling those who had been exiled, and staging lavish spectacles for the public. However, the first months of Caligula’s rule were the only part of his reign that was seen as positive.

His rule soon became infamous for its tyranny, extravagance, and debauchery. He was assassinated by members of the Praetorian Guard in 41 AD, thus ending one of the most notorious reigns in Roman history. His uncle Claudius succeeded him.

Obverse: C. CAESAR AVG. GERM. P. M. TR. POT. COS, Laurel head of Caligula

Reverse: Radiant head of Augustus

Diameter: 18 mm

Material: 24k Gold plated lead-free pewter.

Use this coin to do your historical research. Hold it in your hands, you will find that it is the next best thing to owning the original coin.


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