Gaius Julius Germanicus, 37-41 AD


ID Number: AC06-0101
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Gaius Julius Germanicus, 37-41 AD
Country or State: Roman Empire
Year: Struck 37-38 AD
Period: Empire
Head of State/Ruler: Gaius Julius Germanicus commonly known as Caligula (Full Name: Birth to accession: Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, As Emperor: Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus), 3rd Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign: 16 March 37 AD to 24 January 41 AD (3 years, 314 days)
Currency: AE Sestertius, Rome mint
Face Value:  
Subject/Theme: Caligula with his three sisters: AGRIPPINA, DRVSSILLA and IVLIA
Obverse: Laureate head of Caligula left
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: The three sisters of Caligula standing frontal, heads in profile, each draped and holding cornucopiae; Agrippina, as Securitas, rests hand on column, Drusilla, as Concordia, also holds patera, and Julia, as Fortuna, also holds rudder
Reverse Legend: AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA, SC in exergue (Senatus Consulto)
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: 35.0 mm (irregular)
Weight: 22.0 Grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: C 4; BMC 37; RIC 33; CBN 48; Kent-Hirmer pl. 48, 167
State of Conservation: Extremely Fine (XF)
Rarity: Very rare, undoubtedly the finest specimen known and one of the best Roman bronzes in existence. A magnificent portrait of Gaius in the finest style of the period, perfectly struck in high relief with an enchanting untouched brown patina

Proof (Prf) € -
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) € -
Mint State/Mint Condition (MS) € -
Uncirculated (Unc) € -
Extremely Fine (XF) € -
Very Fine (VF) € -
Fine (F) € -
Very Good (VG) € -
Good (G) € -


There are few surviving sources on Caligula's reign, although he is described as a noble and moderate ruler during the first six months of his rule. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, extravagance and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources has increasingly been called into question, 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 notoriously luxurious dwellings for himself. However, he initiated the construction of two new aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the Empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania and made it into a province.

In early 41 AD, Caligula became the first Roman emperor to be assassinated, the result of a conspiracy involving officers of the Praetorian Guard, as well as members of the Roman Senate and of the imperial court. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted: on the same day the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula's uncle Claudius emperor in his place.