Roman literature has established that Emperor Caligula proclaimed himself a god and erected a golden statue of himself in a temple in the Capitolium in Rome. According to his personal correspondence, he also intended to place his golden image in the great temple of Jerusalem. Ancient inscriptions provide evidence that cults worshipped Caligula as a god in eastern parts of the Roman Empire. This bronze sestertius, an ancient Roman coin, combines the classic good looks of portraits of this ruler's dynasty with his own well-known features. In this way, Caligula distinguished himself as a descendent of gods and rulers as well as a god/ruler in his own right.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
Roman
Title
Bronze Sestertius with images of Caligula on both sides.
Sestertius with image of Caligula
Date
37–41 AD
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
3/16 × 1 3/8 dia. in. (0.5 × 3.5 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Isabel B. Wilson

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2004.1353
Classification
Coins & Medals
Provenance

[Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., Chicago, by 2004]; purchased by MFAH, 2004.