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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
64248
64, Lot: 248. Estimate $200.
Sold for $125. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GAIUS (CALIGULA). 37-41 AD. Æ Sestertius (35mm, 27.22 gm). Struck 39-40 AD. Pietas seated left, holding patera, left elbow resting on small facing statue / Gaius sacrificing before hexastyle temple; one attendant leading bull to altar, the other holding a patera. RIC I 44; Cohen 9. Near Fine, brown patina, moderately porous surfaces but details clear.

From the Charles E. Weber Collection.

This issue commemorates Gaius Caligula's dedication of the Temple of the Divus Augustus and the young emperor's sense of pietas. Many of Caligula's issues were meant to emphasize his connections to the Augustan family and good Roman values. The PIETAS beneath the figure of the emperor drives home the point that he is fulfilling his duty by dedicating the temple to his great-grandfather. Construction of the Temple of the Divus Augustus began under Tiberius and, perhaps, under the direction of Livia herself, in the general area behind the Basilica Julia (though the actual site remains unknown), and was subsequently dedicated by Caligula. Mention of this temple again appears in Suetonius' Life of Gaius (Caligula) when that emperor, bleieving himself a god. incorporated the building's roof in his skybridge from the imperial residence on the Palatine to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline.