BRASS SESTERTIUS OF CALIGULA, ROME, AD 40-41.

BRASS SESTERTIUS OF CALIGULA, ROME, AD 40-41.

1,695.00

Obverse: PIETAS in ex. C CAESAR DIVI AVG PRON AVG P M TR P IIII P P, Pietas seated left, holding patera and resting left elbow on statuette.

Reverse: DIVO AVG S C, Garlanded hexastyle temple of Divus Augustus, before which Caligula stands to left, sacrificing at altar, accompanied by two attendants.

RIC: 51. Sear: 1802. BMCRE: 69. [Rome, AD 40-41]

Diameter: 36.5 mm. Weight: 24.7 g.

A wonderful sestertius from the reign of the infamous Caligula. The reverse depicting Caligula sacrificing a bull in front a Temple, commonly identified as that of the Divine Augustus. The temple was built during the reign of Tiberius, and completed (according to Tacitus and Suetonius) by Caligula, though Pliny says Livia built it. The location of the temple is unknown, though it was probably situated in the Forum Romanum near the Temple of Castor. In any case, the Temple was dedicated by Caligula in AD 37, this coin commemorating that event. The style and composition of the coin displays the high level of artistic achievement typical of the historical sculptures of the Julio-Claudian period. This huge sestertius has an almost medallic quality and exhibits an exquisite green and grey patina with brassy highlights. There is a large scratch cutting through the patina on the obverse. Overall this is a very beautiful coin in an excellent state of preservation, and would sit well in any serious Julio-Claudian collection.

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