The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Lapworth Museum of Geology and the University of Birmingham Collections - Objects
ID number: BIRBI-R0935
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection: G. Haines Collection
Artist / Maker: Caligula (37-41)
Title / Object name / Definition: As
Object type: Coin
Place made: Mint of Rome
Date made: 37-41
Collector: G. Haines
Measurements: 10.68 g
Description: Obverse: Bare head of Caligula.
Reverse: Vesta, goddess of the hearth, veiled, seated on a throne. Vesta holds a patera and a sceptre. Caligula is known today as a disreputable Emperor, who ruled well for the first two years of his reign, then descended into a world of pleasures and megalomania, as well as becoming ever more paranoid. Caligula was particularly at odds with the Senate. We are told by Cassius Dio that he reinstated popular elections to determine the holders of senatorial offices. While popular with the people, this was not well received by the Senate. Pontifex Maximus, now the title of the pope, was the chief priest of ancient Rome. Tribunicia Potestate gave Caligula all the power of a Tribune of the Plebs. This meant that he could call an assembly of the people, sit in the Senate, veto any law, and that his person was sacred and inviolable.
Inscriptions / Translations: Obverse: C•CAESAR•AVG•GERMANICVS•PON•M•TR•POT• (Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Chief Priest [holder of] Tribunician Power)
Reverse: Vesta (Name of the goddess) S C (by permission of the Senate)
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