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Gaius Caligula OB CIVES SERVATOS AE Sestertius Roman Empire 37-38 AD Copper Coin Aged with Oxidized Green Patina Museum Reproduction CBRS0080


Æ Roman Empire Sestertius Gaius Caligula, Rome mint, struck 37-38 A.D. References: RIC 37; BN 50; C. 24; BMCRE 38.

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The legend OB CIVIS SERVATOS ″for having saved the citizens″ refers to Corona Civica, a civic crown of oak-leaf. It was a simple honor, in the Roman tradition, awarded by the senate for rescuing a comrade in battle and was placed over the door of the awarded citizen. This honor is rooted in military tradition. The senate awarded it to Octavian ″ob cives servatos″, for rescuing all his fellow citizens. Additionally, oak is associated with Jupiter. The letters S C (Senato Consulto | ″by decree of the senate″, is omitted on this coin. Reason was probably to avoid reference to two different decrees of the Senate on the same coin. We see this also on Corona Civica sestertii of Claudius and Caligula′s Carpentum sestertius for his mother, with reverse legend SPQR MEMORIAE AGRIPPINAE.
The reverse type with P(ater) P(atriae) and OB•CIVES SERVATOS shows the honorific bestowed upon the emperor by the Roman senate upon his ascension. These honors aling with the obverse honors of Pon(tifex) M(aximus) and Tr(ibunicias) Pot(estas) run the whole gamut of titles earned by Augustus. Sadly, Caligula would prove to merit none of the honors as his rule, which started with much hope, quickly eroded to the point that he was eventually killed by his own praetorian guard. The portrait style here is highly idealized as was the case with Augustus. Caligula takes on strong god-like qualities on this coin and the delicate engraving is a sign that the new school of Roman engravers started under the rule of Tiberius was still quite capable of executing artistic work.

Obverse side
Laureate head left

Reverse side
Legend in four lines within oak wreath

A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.

Weight 30,13 g
Dimensions 36,2 mm


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