Iconoclasm and Damnatio Memoriae

During the Roman empire there were two different kinds of iconoclasm. Broadly speaking, these can be termed secular and religious iconoclasm, but the spheres of religion and politics were closely intertwined in antiquity. For that reason, the separation between the two cannot be made so easily, and must be treated with some caution. I will, however, in my thesis be focusing on what can be termed religious iconoclasm, and specifically early Christian iconoclasm, i.e. the destruction of pagan images by Christians.

The best known form of (‘secular’) iconoclasm is probably the practice of damnatio memoriae (although it was never called that by the Romans), meaning the action of destroying a person’s likeness to erase his memory from history. There is both good literary and archaeological evidence for this, which Eric R. Varner has compiled in an exhaustive catalogue (see reference). Many ‘bad’ emperors suffered this fate, including Caligula (37-41 CE), who was the first one. Sometimes portraits were altered rather than destroyed, such as the example below, a portrait of Gaius Caligula that has been transformed into the Forbes type of Augustus:

A portrait of Augustus in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo: TMK, 2002.

And then there’s religious iconoclasm, the main topic of my thesis. The earliest archaeologically documented example (from the Roman period) that I’ve found so far goes back to the time of the persecutions against the Bacchus cult in the 2nd century BCE. A terracotta throne found in Volsinii with bacchic motives was probably the victim of such an iconoclastic attack. This was one of several cults that were targeted in the Republican period. The Isis cult, for example, was outlawed and its priests exiled several times because of its ‘foreign’ elements.

This also goes to show that the idea that Christians were especially targeted is a myth. In the 2nd and 3rd century CE, they were targeted because of their number and refusal to recognize the imperial powers.

E. R. Varner. 2004. Transformation and Mutilation. Damnatio memoriae and Roman Imperial Portraiture. Leiden. (Reviews at BMCR and Clio).

3 replies on “Iconoclasm and Damnatio Memoriae”

  1. Link.

    Go to the above, cut copy and paste and take a look at a re-cut portrait of an early Julio-Claudian. I think it is definately Caligula? What are your thoughts? (From MFA-Boston)

    Joe Geranio

  2. Julio-Claudian Iconography
    The portraiture of the Julio-Claudians is not an easy subject to

    examine. The essential goals of any such modern iconographic

    portrait study are, first, to assemble all known portraits of a given

    personage; second, to determine the appearance and style of each

    of the

    presumed lost prototypes on which all of the known surviving replicas

    are based; third, to attempt to date the creation of the lost prototype

    and surviving replicas and other portrait versions; and fourth to try to

    determine the reason(s) for the creation of each type.1 The main

    work to

    date that has been carried out is Boschung’s work, Die Bildnisse des

    Caligula.2 First a little history of the series inaugurated by the


    Archaeological Institute. The Romische Herrscherbild project is an

    ambitious project to collect and publish in a series of volumes


    12) 3 entrusted to different scholars all the surviving portraits of


    emperors and their families. Progress had been unusually slow and


    Romische Herrscherbild project is closer to completion then it was


    to fifteen years ago. For instance the comprehensive Die Bildnisse


    Augustus, brought together by Boschung, who brought this magnum


    to completion within a

    Remarkably short time. The portraits of the Julio- Claudian


    Present special problems because so many of the Julio-Claudians

    look alike-

    in their official likenesses, that is, perhaps not in life. Hairstyles

    really are

    fundamental to establishing imperial typologies. In some ways,


    (princeps) wore hairstyles as these were badges of identity which


    distinguish them from other princeps and members from the imperial

    family. The same is true for imperial women and even a few private

    individuals. So “curl counting” as some graduate students call it, is a


    tool because of the model of portrait production and dissemination.

    The way

    most scholars think this worked is that the princeps and maybe some


    advisors sat down with a sculptor and they came up with an official

    prototype of how they wanted the princeps to look (hairstyle,


    etc.). That prototype was then made available and “copied” thus

    giving us

    the surviving replicas which form a “type”. All replicas then generally


    similar characteristics of hairstyle and physiognomy, although there

    can be a

    great deal of variation, based on all sorts of factors such as material,


    artists or patron’ wishes, and geography , to name a few. A “variant”


    usually something that is different enough from the “type” to establish

    it as a

    variant. If you have two portraits that are pretty close to one another,


    you call it a type or subtype. The problem is with the gray area


    and I cannot think of a more gray area than pre-principate portraits of

    Caligula.5 The problem is that identifying the childhood portraits of


    and his sons Nero Iulius, Drusus Iulius, and Caligula is extremely

    difficult because of the great similarity of hairstyles and family

    resemblance of these closely related males. Unless an inscription is

    found with the portrait, problems will continue. The only sure


    portraits of Caligula seem to be those on the Grand Cameo (pl. 35.6)


    the Louvre cameo (pl. 35.7). I still think it is possible that the

    Walter’s Head that was published by John Pollini could be a pre-

    principate image, although

    not a

    very good provincial work and well under life size. Boschung, of


    dismisses it because the hairstyle doesn’t conform. It could be


    because of the provincial nature of the work. The facial features (the

    elongated face and wide, high forehead) do resemble him. But if not,

    Caligula this would be a case of Zeitgesicht.# We cannot forget that,


    we only have a very

    small fraction of the portraits that were produced in antiquity. Ergo, if


    only have two close portraits that are extant, how many lost works


    there be

    behind these two extant portraits. Although there may be only two

    representatives of a type today, in 50 years there may be quite a

    number of

    new works of that same type , given the plethara of new finds and


    that come up every year. For example, Since Boschung has

    published his

    book on the portraits of Augustus, there have been a number of new


    of Augustus which have surfaced.(show RAG,Pollini article) Of the

    nearly 250

    portraits of


    that have come down to us, there may have been more than 50,000!

    set up

    throughout the empire. Portrait typology in the case of pre-principate

    Caligulan portraiture is very subjective business. Type I is the


    type and type II is the Copenhagen type. The Haupttypus (i.e.type I)

    of Caligula was undoubted created when he came to power in 37; it


    and foremost reflected Tiberius’ hairstyle and indirectly that of his


    who in reality was imitating Tiberius as the next in line to succeed


    I argue that Tiberius’ last portrait type is the Chiaramonti type (a


    type), not as Boschung argued the Copenhagen (cat. 624).


    Nebentypus I, which is somewhat related to be sure to the

    Haupttypus, can

    in my opinion be considered a second type, his type II. It specifically


    one of his father Germanicus’ types, as represented in the head from

    Tarragona (see Boschung’s Gens Aug. cat.), more than the Bezier’s


    of Germanicus that Boschung mentions. This hairstyle is very

    different than

    any of Tiberius’s several types. Boschung can’t explain what


    the creation of his Nebentypus I, which he takes is represented in six


    and all created in his principate. These are, in my opinion, close

    enough to

    one another to be considered a separate type, his type II. A number

    of these

    type II portraits (unlike most of the Haupttypus replicas) show him


    corona civica, which Boschung associates with the title of Pater

    Patriae that

    he accepts (unlike Tiberius) at the outset of his principate.


    speculated Nebentypus II seems to be s spin off of Boschung’s


    I, with an Augustus look about it (esp. Metro Mus. NY, Boschung

    pl.37). I

    suspect this was a special issue, sort of like Roman special medallion


    I would think that his type II (known in six replicas) were created in 40


    his “triumphal” return from the northern frontier, for which he received


    ovatio—the real triumph was to come after he conquered Britain (had

    he not

    been assassinated). He had made incursions into Germany like his


    Germanicus (hence the name, which actually goes back to Tiberius’


    Drusus I) may explain why the lock configuration resembled that of


    father Germanicus, and not Tiberius. In this way, he could

    underscore the

    likening himself to Germanicus rather than Tiberius (after all Tiberius’


    was already used in typeI). Although he would have worn a myrtle


    for the actual ovation (that is if he followed tradition), the wearing of


    corona civica in his portraits in the round would have underscored his


    the lives of citizens alla Augustus. Interestingly, no portraits in the

    round of

    any princeps or male member of the family are shown wearing a




    1. See in general J. Pollini, Book Review, Dietrich Boschung, Die

    Bildnisse des Augustus, Das romische Herrscherbild, pt. 1, vol. 2.

    2. See D. Boschung, Die Bildnisse des Caligula. Deutsches
    . Archaologisches Institut, Das romische Herrscherbild 1,4 Berlin:
    . Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1989. 138pp, 52 pls. ISBN 3-7861-1524-9.
    . DM190.

    3. I 7: D. Boschung, Die Bildnisse des Caligula (1989)

    II 1: G. Daltrop – U. Hausmann – M. Wegner, Die Flavier. Vespasian, Titus, Domitian,

    Nerva, Julia, Titi, Domitilla, Domitia (1966)

    II 2: W. H. Groß, Bildnisse Trajans (1940)

    II 3: M. Wegner, Hadrian, Plotina, Marciana, Matidia, Sabina (1956)

    II 4: M. Wegner, Die Herrscherbildnisse in antoninischer Zeit (1940)

    III 1: H. B. Wiggers – M. Wegner, Caracalla, Geta, Plautilla, Macrinus bis Balbinus (1971)

    III 2: R. Delbrueck, Die Münzbildnisse von Maximinus bis Carinus (1940)

    III 3: M. Wegner, Gordianus III. bis Carinus (1979)

    III 4: H. P. L’Orange – M. Wegner, Das spätantike Herrscherbild von Diokletian bis zu

    den Konstantin-Söhnen 284-361 n. Chr. Die Bildnisse der Frauen und des Julian (1984)

    III 5: Th. Pekáry, Das römische Kaiserbildnis in Staat, Kult und Gesellschaft (1985)

    IV: A.-K. Massner, Bildnisangleichung. Untersuchungen zur Entstehungs- und

    Wirkungsgeschichte des Augustusporträts (43
    I 2: D. Boschung, Die Bildnisse des Augustus (1993)
    4 See Pollini (as in n. 1), 725 In English and American scholarship, the use of emperor
    and empress), which has been so prevelant, projects false notions onto the past,
    especially in terms of leadership and governance. Although Rome had acquired an
    empire (imperium) already under the republic, Caligula was not an emperor, a word that,
    of course, derives from imperator but had a quite different meaning in antiquity.
    Caligula’s, like that of Augustus was princeps (“first citizen” or “leader”), a term already
    In use under the republic. The Roman historian Tacitus (Annales 1.9), writing in the 2nd
    century c.e., pointed out that Augustus had established neither a kingship nor a
    dictatorship but a principate (governance by a princeps): “Non regno tamen neque
    dictatura , sed principe nominee constitutam rem publicam.”
    5 Possible “pre-principate portraits of Caligula: see John Pollini, “A Pre-Principate
    Portrait of Gaius (Caligula)?”, The Journal of The Walters Art Gallery, Volume 40
    (1982) pp.1-12. The Walters head is much debated and some scholars; such as Boschung
    see the head as possibly Nero Julius son of Germanicus and brother of Caligula. See Z.
    Kiss, L’Iconographie des
    Princes (Warsaw, 1975), p. 150 figs. 533-539 attempts to identify five portraits of young
    boys as the young Caligula. See L. Fabbrini, RomMitt 73-74 (1966-1967), pp. 140ff. pls.
    44-45. See F. Johansen, The Sculptured Portraits of Caligula, Ancient Portraits in the J.
    Paul Getty Museum, Volume 1 1987, p. 95. Johansen see the portrait found at Carthage
    as an early portrait of Caligula before his accession. See H. von Heintze, Die antiken
    Portrats in Schlob Fasanerie bei Fulda (Mainz, 1968), no. 21. For the proposal that the
    La Spezia and Dresden portraits may represent the youthful Gaius (rather than his father
    Germanicus): H. Jucker, “Die Prinzen auf dem Augustus-relief in Ravenna.”Melanges
    d’histoire ancienne et d’archeologie offerts a Paul Collart (Lausanne: 1976), p.249, n.64
    On the bust (found in the theater at Luni) in the Museo Archeologico, La Spezia, inv. No
    54. See further C. Pietrangeli, “Appunti su due ritratti giulio-claudio.”Congresso
    Nazionale di studi Romani 1935.11 (1938): 184.,f pl.22.1: A. Frova, Scavi di Luni I
    (1973): 49f., pl.14.1. For the Dresden Head: L. Curtius, “Iconographise Beitrage zum
    Portrat der Romischen Republik und der Julisch-Claudischen Familie XIV. Germanicus,”
    Mitteilungen des deutschen archaologischen Instituts 1(1948):71, pl.22; Kiss

  3. Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? Joe B. Geranio

    Introduction: The purpose of this study is to identify the revese figure on the consensv dupondii (See coin portrait on this page of seated figure of dupondius) , struck during the reign of the Emperor Caligula. There has been much controversy over this reverse type, which, along with portraits in the round of Caligula, will be examined in some depth. Through numismatic, literary and epigraphical evidence I will study the seated figure, which has been traditionally accepted as Augustus, and not Caligula.+


    Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus was born in A.D. 12. His birthplace was most probably Antium (modern day Anzio).1 He won his nickname Caligula or “little boot” (caliga) by way of the army, because he grew up among the troops and wore the miniature uniform of a private soldier. According to ancient biographers Caligula’s physical features were unusual and far from handsome. Seneca, a contemporary of Caligula, writing after the Emperor’s death, described him in this way: “So repulsive was the whiteness of his face, which showed mad escapades, so haggard were his eyes hidden under his forehead, which like that of an old man, and so large was the repulsiveness of this baldness of his head which was only partly covered with hair, his legs were thin and his enourmous.”2 While this type of evidence is helpful for an idea of Caligula’s general appearance, it is not useful for understanding of what Caligula may have actually looked
    like. Images on the coinage of Caligula, therefore, will become an important part of bringing the portraiture of Caligula together, as well as iconographical and literary evidence. Portraits tend to depict Caligula as the idealized Julio-Claudian emperor. Caligula placed great importance on his famous family, and so begins the work of a propagandist. On coinage struck during Caligula’s reign we find a pattern of well-thought-out imagery on both the obverses and reverses of all of his coinage. Most notably-and what this study attempsts to recognize- is the seated figure on the reverse of the consensv dupondius.3 In the historical Museum of Bern. The Bern piece is clearly meant to represent Caligula, and not Augustus, as has been believed for many years by numismatists and scholars of art history.4

    Distribution and Destruction of Portraits

    First let us examine how imperial portraits may have been distibuted throughout the empire. For the production of imperial portraits outside Rome, F.H. Swift has suggested that standard types of cannons, originating in Rome in authoratative works, were sent out in clay or waxen models to be reproduced in monumental form in the provinces. These models, he believes, were commonly known as imagines. Furthermore, M. Stewart has suggested that communitites outside of Rome, imported their portraits of the imperial family ready-made from the nearest provincia art center. His conclusion is that distribution of imperial portraits throughout the empire was effected privately through channels of the art trade.5 Identifying portraiture of the Julio-Claudians is often difficult given the many members of the family and familial similarity (not to mention intentional immitation and assimilation of features).6 Identifying portratiture of Caligula can be difficult because, upon his death, the senate wanted to order damnatio memoriae, or the removal of all caligulan portraiture-an order the Emperor Claudius “officially” opposed but secretly approved. Coins that caried the unpopular portrait were melted down by decision of the senate. There is an example of a mutilated small bronze portrait of Caligula,7 as well a numerous coins struck during Caligula’s reign where the praenomen C (ie. Gaius) has been chiseled off.8 Countermarks common in other principates rarely occur on the coinage of Caligula. For instance, the countermark NCAPR from the mid-Neronian period can found on sestertii from the reign of Tiberius through the reign of Claudius, but is never found on bronze coinage with Caligula’s image.9 On some of Caligula’s Vesta aeses the countermark TICA does appear to obliterate the praenomen C (ie. Gaius) Caesar. Of course, the argument for demonetization can be drawn from the scarcity of coins found in hoards which bear Caligula’s portrait. For example in Pozzarello hoard near Bolsena, 719 copper and orchicalcum coins from the republic to Nerva were found, but no aeses of Caligula in any denomination (this also applies to precious metals).10 At Bredgar in Kent, R.A.G. Carson associates this hoard with the Claudius invasion of 43.

    The aureii found in this hoard are as follows:

    Tiberius…………… 19
    Claudius…………… 4
    Caligula……………. 0 (note 11)

    In a numismatic seminar held at U.C. Berkeley on coins in sanctuaries, R. Stroud found further proof of demonetization. Speaking on Roman coins found in the sanctuary of Demeter at Corinth, Stroud listed similiar results:

    On Corinthian Duoviri Coins:

    Reign of Augustus………… 12
    Augustus/Tiberius………… 4
    Caligula…………………….. 0
    Claudius……………………. 1
    Nero………………………… 2
    Galba……………………….. 7

    On Roman Imperial Coins:

    Julius Caesar…………………..1
    Nero…………………………….1 (note 12)

    There is still, however, no clear consensus on whether demonitization was carried out. An immediate and total recall would hardly have been practical, since there was no de facto damnatio. On the other hand, Claudius may have wanted, most likely for personal reasons, to erase any memory of the hated Emperor.13

    Inscribed Portraits

    Of the fifteen remaining inscribed portraits of Caligula, only five cab be dated with any accuracy, and only two of them to the years before 37 A.D. when Caligula became Emperor.14 One, from Calmna in Asia Minor, dated to A.D. 18 when Caligula travelled to Asia Minor with his father Germanicus;15 one, from Vienna, dated to the year A.D. 33; and thre from after A.D. 37.(16) We know that Caligula gave the Greeks permission to erect six statues of him:17 One each in Delphi, Isthmia, Nemea and Olympia; and two in Athens.18 These portrait inscriptions are too few to offer any reliable conclusions. However, the fact that two of the three datable inscriptions are from A.D. 37/38 may suggest the production of his portraits was greatest at the outset of his reign.

    The Portraiture of Caligula

    For portraits in the round we will study busts that have been well established as being Caligula, as well as portraits that agree iconographically with the consensv dupondius in the Historical Museum of Bern. Most portraits of the Roman princeps that have survived are replicas of imperial commissioned prototypes that are now lost. The images of Caligula represent the way the princeps wished to be portrayed. Despite his reputation for dementia and lunacy, it would be counterproductive if Caligula wanted to look demented in his portraiture.19 Among the finest portraits of Caligula in existence is the head in Shloss Fasanerie, near Fulda, Germany.20 In this example we can see where a false sense of dementia can be attribute to Caligula. Perhaps a youthful emperor type, the head is 37 cm. high, slightly damaged and was made to join a togate figure. Although the hairstryle resembles that of Tiberius, the fulda head clearly has the physiognomy of Caligula. Bear in mind that while Caligula’s predecessors were of old age late into their principates, portraits are idealized and youthful in style. Such iis the case with Augustus and Tiberius. Caligula, on the other hand, being youthful, was portrayed in a youthful manner, but with a gravitas that enhanced his seriousness. Therefore, we find a certain seriousness to his portraits that, at times, tends towards severity or an appearance of dementia. Since Caligula became Emperor at age 24, the seriousness of his portraits obviously fuelled imperial propaganda and was soemthing the young princeps wished to convey. Another example of this can be seen in the head in Copenhagen from Asia Minor. In this portrait of Caligula we find qualities of both the “despot’ type and ‘accession’ type. Quite apparent are the broad cranium, hollow temples, high forehead and narrow mouth with protruding lip (all consistent with a more serious portrait, and one which represents the Emperor at the end of his reign). The hair, however, is fuller, more layered and deeply undercut, showing signs of the more youthful accessiontype. There seems to be a pronounced asymetry to the Copenhagen head, a fact which has caused scholars to suggest the Emperor looks demented. But if we look closely at this portrait it is not dementia we see, but a fact of preservation. Roman marble heads were originally painted,21 and remnants, however faint, are clearly seen in the eye sockets of the Copenhagen head. The result is thus misleading. From these two heads we can draw some general characteristics of a Caligula portrait in the round: hollowness of the temples (which can vary from portrait to portrait), a sloping or vertical forehead, deeply set eyes, hair curls low on the nape of the neck, eyebrows tending to angle up form the inner to the outer corner of his eyes, a bulbous nose, and a small mouth with a protruding upper lip. His lips are also usually thin, and his hair forks at the center and is brushed to one side or the other.22 One other portrait of Caligula worth studying is the head found in the Worcester Art Museum, located in Massachusetts. Some scholars have suggested this piece was made postumously, and possibly dates from Neronian times.23 The profile of the Worcester head looks very familiar to the Vesta aes (see web site photos), which will be discussed later. An essential method for distinguishing the Julio-Claudians from one another iis to examine the pattern of locks of hair across the forehead. Since most surviving sculptured heads are not found with their inscribed bases, their identificaton can only be determined by a resemblance to other inscribed portraits, especially those on coins. This raises questions as to how portraits by die engravers were copied. Did die engravers copy unique or special portrait medallions, rather than portraits in the round? Most likely not, as ultimately die engravers would have needed some portrait model in the round. Of course the challenge is attempting to identify an uninscribed portrait in the round as we are forced to do with Caligula.

    The Coinage of Caligula

    Caligula’s coinage is one of the most interesting and innovative of the Julio-Claudian period. The most controversial question concerning his principate involves the moving of the mint for precious metals from Lugdunum to Rome. When did this occur? Strabo, writing about A.D. 18, states that imperial gold and silver were minted at Lugdunum, and his assertion receives some support from inscriptions, which indicate the presence of individuals connected with the mint at Lugdunum early in Caligula’s principate.24 By the Trajanic period, however, the minting of gold and silver at Rome is attested on inscriptions, and the homogenity of precious metal and aes issues has been traced back to the time of Vespasian. Therefore, the minting of gold and silver coinage was transferred to Rome at some point between Tiberius and Vespasian. It has long been argued that the transfer of the mint of Rome is to be dated early in Caligula’s principate.25 This theory (proposed by Mattingly) rests on a basic feature of Caligula’s early coinage. Coins issued between March, A.D. 37 and March, A.D. 38 have an obverse bare head. Some issues in this period (and all later years) have an obverse laureate head, indicating a change in the choice of type during Caligula’s first year, one that is accompanied by slight changes in the letter forms. This is seen as an appropriate point for the change of mint. Sutherland has pointed to other differences in the style of heads, and reinforce Mattingly’s theory, although he does concede that changes could be explained by the appointment of new staff at Rome.26 Recently, however, the weight of scholarly opinion seems o have moved against the notion of a change of mint under Caligula. In particular, J.B. Girard has drawn attention to the discovery at Parlay-le-Mondial (Saone-et-Loire) in Gaul of two dies for precious metal coins of Caligula, each with laureate heads, and has associated one with coins minted as late as A.D. 40. Girard believes that these dies represent the remains of the mint of Lugdunum and that the equipment was looted and scattered around the town. Mattingly has recently observed that the dies on gold and silver (unlike his aes) remain unadjusted theoughout Caligula’s reign, and started to become adjusted after Nero’s currency reform in A.D. 64. (27) Also worth noting are the AV quinarii, the only precious metal coins struck during Caligula’s reign that can be dated between April A.D. 38 and January A.D. 40. This coin provides evidence of a breaking tradition, that Caligula held consulship in every year of his reign except A.D. 38. His dies imperii was March 18 A.D. 37. Like Tiberius before him, Caligula refused to accept the praenomen imperatoris.28 On the coins struck during the reign of Caligula, there are three images of the Emperor that are not simply busts.29 The first is a sestertius which shows a pietas on the obverse, facing left with a patera (libation dish) in her hand; in the exergue the inscription PIETAS.30 Behind her stands a small figure of unknown identity and significance. On the reverse, is a hexastyle temple decorated with festoons, and figures on pediment and cornice; in the foreground stands the Emperor Caligula, veiled with patera in one hand, facing lleft, in the act of sacrificing on an altar, to which the slaughterman is dragging a bull. A second Acolyte stands behind Caligula. The design is flanked by the inscription DIVO AUG SC. The sestertius is from the Rome mint. The temple befoe which the sacrifice is being conducted has been iidentified as that of the Divine Augustus. This coin’s high llevel af artistic achievement places it securely among the historical sculptures of the Julio-Claudian period (and iincidentally constitutes one of the earliest know examples of historical relief on a Roman coin).31 Thesecond example is the adlocutio cohortis sestertius.32 This type is completely original as it is the first depiction on coinage of an imperial speech to the army. The coin more than likely represents Caligula’s donative to the praetorians on his accession (although H.W. Ritter believes that its reissue was connected with the episode of the briege at Baiae, at which the praetorians were present).33 As S.C. does not appear on this coin, it may have been a special issue for the praetorian guard. The obverse bears legend C(aius) AUG (ustus) GERMANICUS PON(ifex) M(aximus) TR(ibunica) POT(estate), and shows the head of Caligula, laureate, facing left. The reverse reads: ADLOVT(io) COH(ortium). and shows Caligula, togate, standing on a platform, extending his hand to five armed soldiers, of whom each soldier in the two rearmost pairs carries an aquila. Perhaps the most interesting coin of all, however, is the third one, the much debated dupondius which depicts a seated figure believed by many to be Caligula.34 Prompting this conclusion is the unmistakable resemblance of the seated figure’s head to the obverse portraits on Caligula’s Vesta aes. It is reasonable to assume that the Vesta aes is the chief coin that all portraits in the round of Caligula should resemble. In his book Die Bildnesse des Caligula, Vol.4, D. Boschung displays eight different photos of the Vesta aes with slightly different styles of obverse portrait type.35 It is clear from these comparisons that Boschung understands the importance of the Vesta aes iconographically, and that the Vesta aes is the best reference to the Bern dupondius iconographically.36 So what portraits in the round would agree with the profile imagery of the Vesta aes, as well as the consensv dupondius in profile imagery are the Worcester head and the Getty head. Of course the Bern dupondius is on a much smaller scale than the Vesta aes but still merits closer examination. The Worcester head bears the most iimpressive resemblance to Caligula iconographically. Presumably found near Marino,37 It has been suggested that this marble head was postumously created in Neronian times. Nevertheless, in profile and iconography, it clearly resembles both the Vesta aes and the seated figure on the Bern dupondius. Traits of Calilgula which we have established are apparent on this piece: Hollow temples in the forehead, a broad Claudian cranium, deep set eyes, a narrow chin, and the locks over the forehead are fuller. Other Caligulan traits in resemblance to the aes and dupondius are the slightly bulbous nose, vertical or sloping forehead and protruding upper lip. The hair does not go down the nape of the neck quite as far as hair on the aes and consensv dupondius, but this head is well preserved and may be the most representative in-the-round image of the Emperor Caligula in existence.38 The Getty head,39 made of fine-grained marble, 41 cm. high, is said to have been from Asia Minor, but, as Johansen suggests, the style of this head is not provincial, most likely, it was made in Rome or elsewhere in Italy and exported to Asia Minor. The Getty head, however, was not made postumously, but most probably shaortly after Caligula’s accesion. It, Too, closely resembles the aes and consensv dupondius iconogrpahically, and must be considered as an essential portrait in attributing Caligula’s portratiature. The hair falls down the nape of the neck further than on the Worcester head, and the forks at the center of the forehead, a common occurence in Caligulan portraiture. One final aspect of the seated figure of Caligula on the consensv dupondius is worth examining. Could Caligula have been the first living princeps to ever appear radiate on Roman coinage? B.E. Levy. in her article entitled “Caligula’s Radiate Crown,” finds traces of a radiate crown on two pieces: One in the Princeton University Library; the other in a private collection. Some scholars believe this theory strengthens the argument that the seated figure is Augustus and not Caligula. H.M. Von Kaenal advanced this interpretation of the dupondii this way: His first argument is that on some of the reverses you could identify Caligula’s features; secondly, that the reverse legend iis suited to certain events of his accesion. As Dio tells us, the event was altered by an erruption into the senate- house of equites et populus,40 and in Von Kaenal’s view it is to this, and not the award of an honorific statue, that the legend CONSENSV SENAT ET EQ ORDIN P Q R must refer.41 H. Kuthmann brings even stronger evidence of the reverse type not being Augustus when he suggests that on pre-Flavian coins the curule chair is the seat of the living princeps, while that of DIVUS Augustus is a throne.42 This is strong evidence that the seated figure is that of Caligula. (Interestingly, Kuthmann identifies the seated figure as Claudius.)

    Levy brings further evidence to light when she suggests that the bronze provincial issues of at least three or four mints show Caluigula with radiate attribution (one from Alexandria, but this issue may represent Helios.)43 Another issue from the province of Asia shows a spikey Hellenistic crown.44 Even stronger evidence that the radiate crown did exist can be seen on consensv dupondii , where the die engraver shortened the vertical bar on the T in ET to accomadate the crown, while the entire letter T is slightly raised in the second Princeton piece. Levy mentions that the radiate crown is neglected in descriptions which follow illustrations in catalouges. In specifically looking for the radiated crown on the consensv dupondii, There are at least three issues that have been found via the art trade.45 It has been suggested that the radiate crown is occasionally used on Roman coinage to distinguish a newly elevated Emperor. Thus, the Roman radiate crown was not a true piece of insignia: Its meaning was flexible and its use optional.46

    End Notes

    + I should like to thank Mr. John Pollini, Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, for his help in locating many materials on the portraiture of Caligula. I should also like to thank Brooks Levy at the Princeton Umiversity Library for insightful views on Caligula’s radiate crown. Many thanks to the Classics Department at the University of California at Berkeley for their scholarly seminars on numismatics, especially Prof. R. Stroud and Prof. R. Knapp. I am also thankful to the San Francisco Ancient Numismatic Society, and thanks to Susan Wood for her help in in finding material on the portraiture of Caligula. Lastly I would like to thank Miriam Griffin for her encouragement and the first book she suggested on the Julio Claudians.

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