Jump to content

Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? Joe Geranio

Joe Geranio

Recommended Posts

b]Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? (Caligula the First Living Princeps to Appear Radiate)?

Joe Geranio[/b]



Photo Courtesy F. Shmutz Bern Historical Museum Fig 1.


Introduction: The purpose of this study is to identify the revese figure on the consensv dupondii (See coin portrait on this page of seated figure of dupondius) , struck during the reign of the Princeps Caligula. There has been much controversy over this reverse type, which, along with portraits in the round of Caligula, will be examined in some depth. Through numismatic, literary and epigraphical evidence I will study the seated figure, which has been traditionally accepted as Augustus, and not Caligula. Was Caligula the first living Princeps to be shown radiate on coinage and not Nero as commonly believed?



Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus was born in A.D. 12. His birthplace was most probably Antium (modern day Anzio).1 He won his nickname Caligula or "little boot" (caliga) by way of the army, because he grew up among the troops and wore the miniature uniform of a private soldier. According to ancient biographers Caligula's physical features were unusual and far from handsome. Seneca, a contemporary of Caligula, writing after the Emperor's death, described him in this way: "So repulsive was the whiteness of his face, which showed mad escapades, so haggard were his eyes hidden under his forehead, which like that of an old man, and so large was the repulsiveness of this baldness of his head which was only partly covered with hair, his legs were thin and his enourmous."2 While this type of evidence is helpful for an idea of Caligula's general appearance, it is not useful for understanding of what Caligula may have actually looked

like. Images on the coinage of Caligula, therefore, will become an important part of bringing the portraiture of Caligula together, as well as iconographical and literary evidence. Portraits tend to depict Caligula as the idealized Julio-Claudian Princeps. Caligula placed great importance on his famous family, and so begins the work of a propagandist. On coinage struck during Caligula's reign we find a pattern of well-thought-out imagery on both the obverses and reverses of all of his coinage. Most notably-and what this study attempsts to recognize- is the seated figure on the reverse of the consensv dupondius.3 In the historical Museum of Bern. The Bern piece is clearly meant to represent Caligula, and not Augustus, as has been believed for many years by numismatists and scholars of art history.4


Distribution and Destruction of Portraits


First let us examine how imperial portraits may have been distibuted throughout the empire. For the production of imperial portraits outside Rome, F.H. Swift has suggested that standard types of cannons, originating in Rome in authoratative works, were sent out in clay or waxen models to be reproduced in monumental form in the provinces. These models, he believes, were commonly known as imagines. Furthermore, M. Stewart has suggested that communitites outside of Rome, imported their portraits of the imperial family ready-made from the nearest provincia art center. His conclusion is that distribution of imperial portraits throughout the empire was effected privately through channels of the art trade.5 Identifying portraiture of the Julio-Claudians is often difficult given the many members of the family and familial similarity (not to mention intentional immitation and assimilation of features).6 Identifying portratiture of Caligula can be difficult because, upon his death, the senate wanted to order damnatio memoriae, or the removal of all caligulan portraiture-an order the Emperor Claudius "officially" opposed but secretly approved. Coins that caried the unpopular portrait were melted down by decision of the senate. There is an example of a mutilated small bronze portrait of Caligula,7 as well a numerous coins struck during Caligula's reign where the praenomen C (ie. Gaius) has been chiseled off.8 Countermarks common in other principates rarely occur on the coinage of Caligula. For instance, the countermark NCAPR from the mid-Neronian period can found on sestertii from the reign of Tiberius through the reign of Claudius, but is never found on bronze coinage with Caligula's image.9 On some of Caligula's Vesta aeses the countermark TICA does appear to obliterate the praenomen C (ie. Gaius) Caesar. Of course, the argument for demonetization can be drawn from the scarcity of coins found in hoards which bear Caligula's portrait. For example in Pozzarello hoard near Bolsena, 719 copper and orchicalcum coins from the republic to Nerva were found, but no aeses of Caligula in any denomination (this also applies to precious metals).10 At Bredgar in Kent, R.A.G. Carson associates this hoard with the Claudius invasion of 43.


The aureii found in this hoard are as follows:


Tiberius............... 19

Claudius............... 4

Caligula................ 0 (note 11)


In a numismatic seminar held at U.C. Berkeley on coins in sanctuaries, R. Stroud found further proof of demonetization. Speaking on Roman coins found in the sanctuary of Demeter at Corinth, Stroud listed similiar results:


On Corinthian Duoviri Coins:


Reign of Augustus............ 12

Augustus/Tiberius............ 4

Caligula.......................... 0

Claudius......................... 1

Nero.............................. 2

Galba............................. 7


On Roman Imperial Coins:


Julius Caesar.......................1





Nero..................................1 (note 12)


There is still, however, no clear consensus on whether demonitization was carried out. An immediate and total recall would hardly have been practical, since there was no de facto damnatio. On the other hand, Claudius may have wanted, most likely for personal reasons, to erase any memory of the hated Emperor.13


Inscribed Portraits


Of the fifteen remaining inscribed portraits of Caligula, only five can be dated with any accuracy, and only two of them to the years before 37 A.D. when Caligula became Emperor.14 One, from Calmna in Asia Minor, dated to A.D. 18 when Caligula travelled to Asia Minor with his father Germanicus;15 one, from Vienna, dated to the year A.D. 33; and thre from after A.D. 37.(16) We know that Caligula gave the Greeks permission to erect six statues of him:17 One each in Delphi, Isthmia, Nemea and Olympia; and two in Athens.18 These portrait inscriptions are too few to offer any reliable conclusions. However, the fact that two of the three datable inscriptions are from A.D. 37/38 may suggest the production of his portraits was greatest at the outset of his reign.


The Portraiture of Caligula


For portraits in the round we will study busts that have been well established as being Caligula, as well as portraits that agree iconographically with the consensv dupondius in the Historical Museum of Bern. Most portraits of the Roman princeps that have survived are replicas of imperial commissioned prototypes that are now lost. The images of Caligula represent the way the princeps wished to be portrayed. Despite his reputation for dementia and lunacy, it would be counterproductive if Caligula wanted to look demented in his portraiture.19 Among the finest portraits of Caligula in existence is the head in Shloss Fasanerie, near Fulda, Germany.20 In this example we can see where a false sense of dementia can be attributed to Caligula. Perhaps a youthful emperor type, the head is 37 cm. high, slightly damaged and was made to join a togate figure. Although the hairstryle resembles that of Tiberius, the fulda head clearly has the physiognomy of Caligula. Bear in mind that while Caligula's predecessors were of old age late into their principates, portraits are idealized and youthful in style. Such is the case with Augustus and Tiberius. Caligula, on the other hand, being youthful, was portrayed in a youthful manner, but with a torvitas that enhanced his seriousness. Therefore, we find a certain seriousness to his portraits that, at times, tends towards severity or an appearance of dementia. Since Caligula became Emperor at age 24, the seriousness of his portraits obviously fuelled imperial propaganda and was soemthing the young princeps wished to convey. Another example of this can be seen in the head in Copenhagen from Asia Minor. In this portrait of Caligula we find qualities of both the "despot' type and 'accession'type. Quite apparent are the broad cranium, hollow temples, high forehead and narrow mouth with protruding upper lip (all consistent with a more serious portrait, and one which represents the Princeps at the end of his reign). The hair, however, is fuller, more layered and deeply undercut, showing signs of the more youthful accession type. There seems to be a pronounced asymetry to the Copenhagen head, a fact which has caused scholars to suggest the Emperor looks demented. But if we look closely at this portrait it is not dementia we see, but a fact of preservation. Roman marble heads were originally painted,21 and remnants, however faint, are clearly seen in the eye sockets of the Copenhagen head. The result is thus misleading. From these two heads we can draw some general characteristics of a Caligula portrait in the round: hollowness of the temples (which can vary from portrait to portrait), a sloping or vertical forehead, deeply set eyes, hair curls low on the nape of the neck, eyebrows tending to angle up form the inner to the outer corner of his eyes, a bulbous nose, and a small mouth with a protruding upper lip. His lips are also usually thin, and his hair forks at the center and is brushed to one side or the other.22 One other portrait of Caligula worth studying is the head found in the Worcester Art Museum, located in Massachusetts. Some scholars have suggested this piece was made postumously, and possibly dates from Neronian times.23 The profile of the Worcester head looks very familiar to the Vesta aes which will be discussed later. An essential method for distinguishing the Julio-Claudians from one another is to examine the pattern of locks of hair across the forehead. Since most surviving sculptured heads are not found with their inscribed bases, their identificaton can only be determined by a resemblance to other inscribed portraits, especially those on coins. This raises questions as to how portraits by die engravers were copied. Did die engravers copy unique or special portrait medallions, rather than portraits in the round? Most likely not, as ultimately die engravers would have needed some portrait model in the round. Of course the challenge is attempting to identify an uninscribed portrait in the round as we are forced to do with Caligula. I have recently found an unpublished portrait of Caligula? that the scholars were unaware of, it resides at (Fig. Baie Head)



the Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei in Baia.



The Coinage of Caligula


Caligula's coinage is one of the most interesting and innovative of the Julio-Claudian period. The most controversial question concerning his principate involves the moving of the mint for precious metals from Lugdunum to Rome. When did this occur? Strabo, writing about A.D. 18, states that imperial gold and silver were minted at Lugdunum, and his assertion receives some support from inscriptions, which indicate the presence of individuals connected with the mint at Lugdunum early in Caligula's principate.24 By the Trajanic period, however, the minting of gold and silver at Rome is attested on inscriptions, and the homogenity of precious metal and aes issues has been traced back to the time of Vespasian. Therefore, the minting of gold and silver coinage was transferred to Rome at some point between Tiberius and Vespasian. It has long been argued that the transfer of the mint of Rome is to be dated early in Caligula's principate.25 This theory (proposed by Mattingly) rests on a basic feature of Caligula's early coinage. Coins issued between March, A.D. 37 and March, A.D. 38 have an obverse bare head. Some issues in this period (and all later years) have an obverse laureate head, indicating a change in the choice of type during Caligula's first year, one that is accompanied by slight changes in the letter forms. This is seen as an appropriate point for the change of mint. Sutherland has pointed to other differences in the style of heads, and reinforce Mattingly's theory, although he does concede that changes could be explained by the appointment of new staff at Rome.26 Recently, however, the weight of scholarly opinion seems o have moved against the notion of a change of mint under Caligula. In particular, J.B. Girard has drawn attention to the discovery at Parlay-le-Mondial (Saone-et-Loire) in Gaul of two dies for precious metal coins of Caligula, each with laureate heads, and has associated one with coins minted as late as A.D. 40. Girard believes that these dies represent the remains of the mint of Lugdunum and that the equipment was looted and scattered around the town. Mattingly has recently observed that the dies on gold and silver (unlike his aes) remain unadjusted theoughout Caligula'sreign, and started to become adjusted after Nero's currency reform in A.D. 64. (27) Also worth noting are the AV quinarii, the only precious metal coins struck during Caligula's reign that can be dated between April A.D. 38 and January A.D. 40. This coin provides evidence of a breaking tradition, that Caligula held consulship in every year of his reign except A.D. 38. His dies imperii was March 18 A.D. 37. Like Tiberius before him, Caligula refused to accept the praenomen imperatoris.28 On the coins struck during the reign of Caligula, there are three images of the Emperor that are not simply busts.29 The first is a sestertius which shows a pietas on the obverse, facing left with a patera (libation dish) in her hand; in the exergue the inscription PIETAS.30 Behind her stands a small figure of unknown identity and significance. On the reverse, is a hexastyle temple decorated with festoons, and figures on pediment and cornice; in the foreground stands the Emperor Caligula, veiled with patera in one hand, facing lleft, in the act of sacrificing on an altar, to which the slaughterman is dragging a bull. A second Acolyte stands behind Caligula. The design is flanked by the inscription DIVO AUG SC. The sestertius is from the Rome mint. The temple befoe which the sacrifice is being conducted has been iidentified as that of the Divine Augustus. This coin's high llevel af artistic achievement places it securely among the historical sculptures of the Julio-Claudian period (and iincidentally constitutes one of the earliest know examples of historical relief on a Roman coin).31 Thesecond example is the adlocutio cohortis sestertius.32 This type is completely original as it is the first depiction on coinage of an imperial speech to the army. The coin more than likely represents Caligula's donative to the praetorians on his accession (although H.W. Ritter believes that its reissue was connected with the episode of the briege at Baiae, at which the praetorians were present).33 As S.C. does not appear on this coin, it may have been a special issue for the praetorian guard. The obverse bears legend C(aius) AUG (ustus) GERMANICUSPON(ifex) M(aximus) TR(ibunica) POT(estate), and shows the head of Caligula, laureate, facing left. The reverse reads: ADLOVT(io) COH(ortium). and shows Caligula, togate, standing on a platform, extending his hand to five armed soldiers, of whom each soldier in the two rearmost pairs carries an aquila. Perhaps the most interesting coin of all, however, is the third one, the much debated dupondius which depicts a seated figure believed by many to be Caligula.34 Prompting this conclusion is the unmistakable resemblance of the seated figure's head to the obverse portraits on Caligula's Vesta aes. It is reasonable to assume that the Vesta aes is the chief coin that all portraits in the round of Caligula should resemble. In his book Die Bildnesse des Caligula, Vol.4, D. Boschung displays eight different photos of the Vesta aes with slightly different styles of obverse portrait type.35 It is clear from these comparisons that Boschung understands the importance of the Vesta aes iconographically, and that the Vesta aes is the best reference to the Bern dupondius iconographically.36 So what portraits in the round would agree with the profile imagery of the Vesta aes, as well as the consensv dupondius in profile imagery are the Worcester head and the Getty head. Of course the Bern dupondius is on a much smaller scale than the Vesta aes but still merits closer examination. The Worcester head bears the most iimpressive resemblance to Caligula iconographically. Presumably found near Marino,37 It has been suggested that this marble head was postumously created in Neronian times. Nevertheless, in profile and iconography, it clearly resembles both the Vesta aes and the seated figure on the Bern dupondius. Traits of Calilgula which we have established are apparent on this piece: Hollow temples in the forehead, a broad Claudian cranium, deep set eyes, a narrow chin, and the locks over the forehead are fuller. Other Caligulan traits in resemblance to the aes and dupondius are the slightly bulbous nose, vertical or sloping forehead and protruding upper lip. The hair does not go down the nape of the neck quite as far as hair on the aes and consensv dupondius, but this head is well preserved and may be the most representative in-the-round image of the Emperor Caligula in existence.38 The Getty head,39 made of fine-grained marble, 41 cm. high, is said to have been from Asia Minor, but, as Johansen suggests, the style of this head is not provincial, most likely, it was made in Rome or elsewhere in Italy and exported to Asia Minor. The Getty head, however, was not made postumously, but most probably shaortly after Caligula's accesion. It, Too, closely resembles the aes and consensv dupondius iconogrpahically, and must be considered as an essential portrait in attributing Caligula's portratiature. The hair falls down the nape of the neck further than on the Worcester head, and the forks at the center of the forehead, a common occurence in Caligulan portraiture. One final aspect of the seated figure of Caligula on the consensv dupondius is worth examining. Could Caligula have been the first living princeps to ever appear radiate on Roman coinage? B.E. Levy. in her article entitled "Caligula's Radiate Crown," finds traces of a radiate crown on two pieces: One in the Princeton University Library; the other in a private collection. Some scholars believe this theory strengthens the argument that the seated figure is Augustus and not Caligula. H.M. Von Kaenal advanced this interpretation of the dupondii this way: His first argument is that on some of the reverses you could identify Caligula's features; secondly, that the reverse legend iis suited to certain events of his accesion. As Dio tells us, the event was altered by an erruption into the senate- house of equites et populus,40 and in Von Kaenal's view it is to this, and not the award of an honorific statue, that the legend CONSENSV SENAT ET EQ ORDIN P Q R must refer.41 H. Kuthmann brings even stronger evidence of the reverse type not being Augustus when he suggests that on pre-Flavian coins the curule chair is the seat of the living princeps, while that of DIVUS Augustus is a throne.42 This is strong evidence that the seated figure is that of Caligula. (Interestingly, Kuthmann identifies the seated figure as Claudius.) According to Von Kaenel the portraits of Caligula on the aureii and denarii are all in right profile; those on sestertii, dupondii, and asses are all in left profile. Von kaenel concludes that all of the imperial issues reproduce a single official portrait type and that what variations exist are of a stylistic and not of a typological nature. Furthermore, since the two profile views are not mirror images, Von kaenel suggests that they faithfully reproduce the left and right side Respectively of a single model in the round and he believes that comparison with marble replicas of Boschung’s “Haupttypus” confirm the same master “vorbild” lies behind both the sculptured and numismatic replicas. According to von Kaenel, the Roman die engravers were provided with either a single head in the round to serve as a model for their miniature profile portraits or with two separate relief portraits corresponding to the left and right sides of a sculptured head of Caligula’s “Haupttypus.” This is an important observation and it would be interesting to know if it is typical of Roman numismatic portraiture for left- and right facing portraits of the same person to be rendered differently or whether the coinage of Caligula is exceptional in not employing mirror images.43


Caligula the First Living Princeps to Appear Radiate?

Levy brings further evidence to light when she suggests that the bronze provincial issues of at least three or four mints show Caligula with radiate attribution (one from Alexandria, but this issue may represent Helios.)44 Another issue from the province of Asia shows a spikey Hellenistic crown.45 Even stronger evidence that the radiate crown did exist can be seen on consensv dupondii , where the die engraver shortened the vertical bar on the T in ET to accomadate the crown, while the entire letter T is slightly raised in the second Princeton piece. Levy mentions that the radiate crown is neglected in descriptions which follow illustrations in catalouges. In specifically looking for the radiated crown on the consensv dupondii, There are at least three issues that have been found via the art trade.46 It has been suggested that the radiate crown is occasionally used on Roman coinage to distinguish a newly elevated Emperor. Thus, the Roman radiate crown was not a true piece of insignia: Its meaning was flexible and its use optional.47 Fig () of Close up of Princeton piece and smaller dupondius







Conclusion and Evidence


Levy stated in a letter to me: that she would change the last paragraph of her article (Caligula's Radiate Crown), for she now thinks the radiate crown on that coin (and she meant to have said just “rays”) was the sort of thing the occasional die-cutter might have put in, She didn't mean as an error, but a sort of optional detail. I feel as Levy suggests, that a few CONSENSV dupondii with radiate figure on the reverse came at the beginning of the issue, and the design was later modified in deference to public opinion. Then again as Levy suggests, and I disagree; we might set them as late, seeing in them a manifestation of Caligula's gradual self-exaltation, which is well attested in the literary sources but otherwise absent from his coinage.48 (That is, in view of how few have turned up, it is rash to say the rays constituted an official element of the initial issue, later discontinued). I respectfully disagree and see the CONSENSV dupondius and provincial coinage as radiate attributions. Through public opinion the radiate attribution was disbanded. I believe the CONSENSV dupondii was originally meant to have radiate attribution. I hope as time goes on to show more CONSENSV dupondii with radiate atributions.


Levy has communicated with von Kaenel, and he suggested through a letter to Levy that, von Kaenel states "We might suspect this if the Radiate pieces were irregular in other ways, but the style to von kaenel seems perfectly Roman". M. Bergmann on p.129 of her massive “Die Strahlen des Herrscher.” In a long footnote argued the rays on the Princeton dupondius were a modern addition, tooled on by someone who wanted the seated figure to look more like Augustus. Of course she’d only seen the photo in SM. The CONSENSV could not have been tooled as to how many I personally have seen up close and personal.


It has always been recgonized that Nero was the first living Princeps to appear radiate? This in my opinion is a falsehood. In the provinces there are examples of Caligula shown radiate which pre-dates Nero. Fig (IONIA, Smyrna. Gaius (Caligula). AD 37-41. Æ 14mm (2.14 g, 12h). Radiate head right; star behind / Crab. Klose XXVII B (V7/R15); RPC I 2474; SNG Copenhagen 1347; BMC Ionia 279 (same dies). PHRYGIA, Aezanis. Gaius (Caligula). 37-41 AD. Æ 20mm (5.20 gm). Lollios Klassikos and Lollios Roufos, magistrates. Radiate head right / Zeus standing left, holding eagle and sceptre. RPC I 3085; SNG Copenhagen 80. Was the radiate crowns of Caligula's Greek coinage routine to verbal flattery at his accession. Nero had the same situation on his coinage, and it may be significant that the first representation of the latter with radiate attribution comes as early as 56/57 A.D. on the reverse of an accesssion issue at Alexandria (Fig Nero) Dattari 12-13 200-203. Eygpt issued no regnal coinage until his third year (56/57 A.D.) This may be considered an accession type. This clearly puts Caligula as the first living Princeps in my opinion to be shown radiate not only on Provincial coinage, but; in my humble and controversial view the CONSENSV dupondii was meant to show a radiate attribution. I have already mentioned the reasons why the radiate CONSENSV was disbanded. The radiate crown he wears on the coinage signifies that he is descended from Divus Augustus -- same for Nero, only he could claim kinship with both Divus Augustus and Divus Claudius.



End Notes


+ I should like to thank Prof. John Pollini, Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, for his help in locating many materials on the portraiture of Caligula. I should also like to thank Brooks Levy at the Princeton Umiversity Library for insightful views on Caligula's radiate crown. Many thanks to the Classics Department at the University of California at Berkeley for their scholarly seminars on numismatics, especially Prof. R. Stroud and Prof. R. Knapp. I am also thankful to the San Francisco Ancient Numismatic Society, and thanks to Susan Wood for her help in in finding material on the portraiture of Caligula. Lastly I would like to thank Miriam Griffin for her encouragement and the first book she suggested on the Julio Claudians.


1. Suetonius, Cal 8.1: Fasti Vallenses and Fasti Pighiani; also see Dio 59.61. A Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, Yale University Press, 1989 (Barrett 1989), while not rejecting Suetonius, raises questions, pp.6-7, Also see J.P.V.D. Balsdon, The Emperor Gaius, Oxford, 1934 (Balsdon 1934), p.4.


2. Seneca, De Constantia Sapientis, p.18. See also Suetonius, Calig. p. 50.


3. BMC I 160/88-92: RIC I 56; AE dupondius. Obverse: Augustus radiate head left. Reverse: seated figure on curule chair holding branch and globe. Attribution to the reign of Caligula now seems certain. See H. Chantraine, Die Antiken Fundmuzen Von Neuss, Novaesium VIII, 1982. pp. 20-21.


4. (supra n. 3 ); The seated figure has been accepted by most scholars as Augustus, the description of it as an honorific statue apparently goes back to I. Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum VI, 1828, p. 126. Also see B.E. Levy, "Caligula's Radiate Crown,"Schweitzer Munzblatter, 38/152, 1988 (Levy 1988), pp. 101-107, Also see H.M. von Kaenel, "Augustus, Caligula oder Claudius," Gazette Numismatique Suisse 28, 1978, pp. 39-44. As Levy points out a fuller investigation into: 1st century and Hellenistic evidence would be rewarding. E. Kantorowicz, Oriens Augusti, Dumbarton Oaks Paper 17, 1963, 119-133, examines the association of solar imagery with imperial accessions and epiphanies. Unfortunately it starts with the 2nd century A.D.


5. Swift, F.H., "Imagines in Imperial Portraiture," AJA 28, 1923, pp. 286-301. M. Stewart, "How Were Imperial Portraits Distributed Throughout The Roman Empire?" AJA 43, 1939, pp. 601-617. J. Pollini, The Portraiture of Gaius and Lucius Caesar", New York, 1987 (Pollini 1987), pp. 2-3 for a photo of a terracotta head in the Louvre, see Kiss, L'iconographie, figs. 312-13, p. 99.


6. Fullerton, M.D., Rev. of Pollini 1987, AJA 92, 1988, pp. 615-17, probably the most difficult of the Julio-Claudians to attribute; an insightful review. Also see R. Brilliant, "An Early Imperial Portrait of Caligula," AAAH 4, 1969, pp. 13-17. Also see J. Pollini, "A Pre-Principate Portrait of Gaius (Caligula)?" JWAG, Vol. 40, 1982 (Pollini 1982), pp.3-4. I believe this portrait that Pollini speaks of is indeed the only pre-principate likeness, which is similiar to the Dresden and La Spezia Portraits.


7. DioLX22. Also see M. Bergemann and P. Zanker, "Damnatio Memoriae'-Umgearbeitete Nero und Domitians Portrats: Zur Ikonographie der Flavischen Kaiser und des Nerva," jdI 96, 1981, pp. 317-42. See also J. Pollini, "Damnatio Memoriae in Stone: Two Portraits of Nero Recut to Vespasianin American Museums," AJA 88, 1984, pp. 547-66. For a photo of a mutilated small bronze of Caligula, see F. Johansen, " The Sculpted Portraits of Caligula," Ancient Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Vol. 1, 1987 (Johansen 1987), figs 19a-19b. For a portrait of Germanicus mutilated in late antiquity, See S. Walker, Roman Art in the British Museum, 1991, fig. 33, p. 31. For the greatest work to date on Caligula in the round. See D. Boschung, Die Bildnisse des Caligula", Das Romische Herrscherbild, Vol. 4, part 1, Berlin 1989 (Boschung 1989), no 30, pls. 27, 1-4, 45.1.


8. Jonas, E., " A Damanatio Memoriae alkalmazasa egyik duponiusan Caligula, Numizm Kozlony, 1937-38, pp. 89-91.


9. Barrett 1989, pp. 179-80. D.W. Mcdowall, " THe Economic Context of the Roman Imperial Countermark NCAPR," Acta Numismatica I, 1971, p. 87.


10. Callu, J.P. and F. Rosati, "Les Depot monetaire du Posarello," MEFR, 1964, pp. 51-90.


11. Carson, R.A.G., "The Bredgar Treasure of Roman Coins", NC, 1959. pp.17-22.


12. Seminar held at the University of California-Berkeley. April 1995, Berkeley Classics Department.


13. Barrett 1989, p. 180.


14. Stewart, M. (supra n. 5), pp. 601-17.


15. IGR IV, 1022.


16. CIL XII, 1848, 1849.


17. Dio LIX.4 IG VII, 2711.


18. IG, 2nd ed., vols 2-3, 3266-67. Athens together with Drusilla; Graindor, BCH 38, 1914, no. 18, p. 401. Seyrig, RA, 1929, p. 90. See also T. Pekary, Monumentum Chiloniense, Amsterdam, 1975, p. 107. E. Koberlein, Caligula und die agyptische Kulte, Meisenheim am glau, 1962, p. 54.


19. Poulsen, V., "Portraits of Caligula," A Arch 29, 1958, pp. 175-90. On the Worcester head, Poulsen speaks about "an unmistackable nervous tension," For a description of the so-called "crazy Caligula portrait," see D. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, New haven, 1992, p. 128. See also J. Pollini, Roman Portraiture: Images of Character and Virtue, Los Angeles 1990, pp. 8-12.


20. For more on the Fulda head, see Johansen 1987, p. 95. Poulsen (supra n. 19), pp. 178-79. See also H. Heintze, Die antiken Portrats in SchloB Fasanerie bei Fulda, Mainz, 1968, no. 21.


21. Copenhagen head 637a : Th pupils, eylashes and irises were added in paint; only those on the left of the Copenhagen head are still preserved. See Kleiner (supra n. 19), p. 127. J. Pollini told me in conversation that the Docents at the NY Glyptotek like to scare the children with the so called "Crazy looking Caligula"


22. Pollini 1982, pp. 2-4.


23. Poulsen (supra n. 19), p. 186. Johansen 1987, p. 106. Kleiner (supra n. 19), p. 126. All agree that the Worcester head is as possible postumous issue from Neronian times.


24. A very controversial issue. See Strabo, 4.3.2; CIL Xiii (supra n. 10), pp. 1820, 1799.


25. Mattingly, BMC cxiii-iii.


26. C.H.V. Sutherland, " The Mints of Lugdunum and Rome under Caligula: an unsolved problem,"NAC 10, 1981, pp. 297-99.


27. Girard, J.B., "les emmisons d'or et d' argent de Caligula dans l'atelier de Lyon," RN, 1976, pp. 69-81. There is a danger that these were forgers's does. See also H.M. von Kaenel, " Die Organasation der Munzparagung Caligulas," SNR 66, 1987, pp. 42-43. H.B. Mattingly, NC 145, 1985, p. 256; Barrett 1989, pp. 244-54.


28. Balsdon 1934, p. 146.


29. On the other imagery of Caligula, see locally produced glass medallions thought to bear Caligula's image from the Rhine area, see D. Boschung, Romische Glasphalerae mit Portratbusten," BJ 187, 1987, nos. 2,7, 27. For convincing identification of the seated male figure on a gem in the Vienna Kunsthistoriches Museum, as Caligula and not Augustus, see H. Kyrieleis, "Zu einem Kameo in Wien," Archaologischer Anzeiger, 1970, figs. 1,3, pp. 492-98. Pollini 1982, p. 3. For pre-accession portrait of Caligula on colonial issues from Carthago Nova in Spain (usually crude portraits), see A. Banti and Simonetti, Corpus Nummorum Romanorum 13, Florence, 1977, pp. 141-50.; M Grant, Aspects of the Principate of Tiberius, New York, 1950, 35, 101, pl. 6.3.


30. RIC, 36.


31. Breglia, L., Roman Imperial Coins: Their Art and Techniques, 1968, pp. 44-50. Also see Kleiner (supra n. 19), pp. 141-63; Boschung 1989, p. 18.


32. RIC I, 110, no.32.


33. Ritter, H.W., Adlocutio und Corona Civica unter Caligula und Tiberius," JNG, 1971, pp. 81-96.


34. This identification was already made in the auction catalouge, Munzen und Medaillen, AG Basel 43 (12-13.11.1970), no. 289.


35. Boschung 1989, pl D, Figs. 1-8.


36. Boschung 1989, pp. 24-25; H.M. von Kaenel (supra n. 4), pp.39-44.


37. Poulsen, V. (supra n. 19), p. 185; Johansen 1989, p. 104.


38. For discussion for the typology in identification of Caligula. See Pollini 1982, pp. 1-12.


39. Johansen 1987, p. 97. Probably made shortly after Caligula's accession, this head I have seen personally at the J. Paul Getty Museum. A most impressive head from Asia Minor. See Pollini 1982, p. 6.


40. Dio 59.6.1; Suet Calig. 14.1. Also see A Jackobson and H. Cotton, Caligula's Rescusatio Imperii, Historia 34, 1985, pp. 497-503.


41. Grenade, P., Essai sur les origines du principat, 1961, p. 283.


42. Kuthmann, H., "Claudius, Germanicus und divus Augustus," JNG 10, 1959/60, pp. 56-57.

43. Kleiner, F.American Journal of Numismatics 3-4 New York (1992): Review of D. Boschung's 'Die Bildnisse des Caligula' Gerbruder-Mann (1989)


44. Smallwood, E.M., Documents illustrating the reigns of Gaius, Claudius and Nero, 1967, no. 126. Also see M. Charlesworth, CAH X, 1952, p. 654, nt. 1; G.J.D Aalders,"Helios Gaios," Mnemosyne 13, 1960, pp. 242-43.


45. BMC 145/ 49-51.


46. First, I have come across at least (as of 5/15/06) 9 known examples of Caligula radiate?(I hope you realize it is caligula). Here is part of the theory: The Die-Cutter for some reason has shortened the "T" in ET' for some reason. Could it have been that this was to make room for the rays? For one piece where the crown is quite evident see: Catalog of the Vierordt sale Shuluman 5.3 1923, no. 573. A. Banti and L. Simonetti has considerable samples in CNR VI (1974) 65-72. It's strange when you are not aware to look for something you don't see it! My eyes now scan the Consensv dupondii very closely. Sometime the "T" is delibretaly raised, but it always seems to be raised to a certain degree. The point regarding Caligula being the seated figure is obvious, since the curule chair is the seat of the living Princeps before the Flavian era. The best portrait, which I have is a photo of Caligula (iconographically) in the Bern historical Museum. We can't assume becasue the die-cutters abberations . When we look at provincial coinage we clearly find Caligula radiate during his principate. Did the proposed radiate crown = divine election? Could this attribute come at the beginning of the issue and then pressure from Rome discontinued it? Or was the radiate added later with Caligula's self exaltation? ON THE EMBASSY TO GAIUS THE FIRST PART OF THE TREATISE ON VIRTUES (De Virtutibus Prima Pars, Quod Est De Legatione Ad Gaium) Philo (95) Afterwards, when he thought fit to do so, he laid aside these ornaments, and metamorphosed and transformed himself into Apollo, crowning his head with garlands, in the form of rays, and holding a bow and arrows in his left hand, and holding forth graces in his right, as if it became him to proffer blessings to all men from his ready store, and to display the best arrangement possible on his right hand, but to contract the punishments which he had it in his power to inflict, and to allot to them a more confined space on his left. There is a very similar case in Flavian coinage, a sestertius issued for Titus at the beginning of his reign (BMC 178-81). The reverse shows V. and T. holding a globe between them; the head of one figure, on some but not all preserved examples, has very small rays. It’s always been thought this was Vespasian, but for numerous reasons must be Titus. As with Caligula, this detail defines him as the emperor-elect. The radiate crown he wears on the coinage signifies that he is a descended from Divus Augustus -- same for Nero, only he could claim kinship with both Divus Augustus and Divus Claudius.


47. Levy, B.E., " Portraits of the Heir Apparent: Geta or Caracalla," AJA, 1992, p. 350; B.E. Levy, Calpurnius Siculus/ I 84-88: The Iconograhy of Imperial Succession," APA, 1989, p. 15.

48. R. Fears, ANRW II.17 (1981)72, note 347. See also Zanker, Paul, Provinzielle Kaiserporträts: Zur Rezeption der

Selbstdarstellung des Princeps, Munich: Bayerische Akade-

mie der Wissenschaften, 1983

Boschung, Dietrich, “Die Bildnistypen der iulisch-claudischen

Kaiserfamilie: ein kritischer Forschungsbericht,” Journal of

Roman Archaeology 6 (1993)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...