Sesterius of Emperor Caligula
money, coins (money)
The coin’s obverse illustrates a profiled bust of Agrippina Senior (14 BCE-33 CE), granddaughter of Emperor Augustus and mother of Emperor Caligula. Agrippina and her husband, General Germanicus, conspired to regain control over the Roman Empire from his adoptive father, Emperor Tiberius, through their shared Julio-Claudian bloodlines and political leverage. The coin likens Agrippina to a male Emperor, implying the magnitude of her socio-political influence. The coin’s reverse illustrates a pushcart helmed by mules, presumably in a funerary procession, as the coin was manufactured under her son’s sovereignty less than ten years after her death.
Caligula, Emperor of Rome
ARTH250 (Professor V. Rousseau, fall 2019)
University Art Collection, University of St. Thomas (St. Paul)