37 AD CALIGULA AV AUREUS
NGC Ch XF, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5Caligula (A.D. 37?41), properly ''Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus,'' was the 4th Caesar, 3rd Roman Emperor from AD 37?41. Nicknamed Caligula as a child, he wore a military uniform with the half boot (caliga). Caligula had an unquenchable thirst for power and was a self-proclaimed ''Living God.''
Caligula's coins are exceedingly rare, always in high demand, and are seldom available in any state of preservation. This Magnificent 1,980 year old Caligula Gold Aureus (7.77g) was struck at the Lugdunum Mint in Rome in A.D. 37?38. Caligula's portrait appears on the obverse, and his deceased mother (A.D. 33), Agrippina Senior (a granddaughter of Augustus), on the reverse. She was a political martyr of the reign of Tiberius, and was an important source of his legitimacy as emperor.
Few emperors are as infamous as Caligula, whose sordid reputation still precedes him nearly 2,000 years after his reign. Not long after he succeeded his great-uncle Tiberius, the optimism of Caligula's fellow citizens was replaced by grave disappointment. He demanded that he be worshiped as a living god, which greatly offended the sensibilities of the Roman people.
Not surprisingly, plots against Caligula's life sprang up with increasing frequency as his reign progressed and the violence escalated. He most likely suffered from a form of insanity and seems to have become increasingly irrational with the passage of time. Caligula was assassinated by stabbing in 41 AD, when his wife and child were all murdered in a palace coup. After several failed attempts, a group of conspirators finally succeeded in stabbing the emperor to death. Caligula was the first (but far from the last) Roman emperor to be assassinated.