chapter  15
16 Pages

Coins, inscriptions and sculpture

Coinage is invaluable as a historical tool, especially the coins of a ruler like Caligula, for whom the literary sources are often scarce and unreliable. Apart from being a unit of currency, a coin is an excellent vehicle for propaganda in the broadest sense. By the choice of type the issuing authority can ensure that certain images are constantly before the public eye, and remind the user of its achievements or give a visual authority to its policies. The historical significance of some of Caligula’s coin issues has already been discussed throughout the text, and what follows is a brief general account of the coinage of his reign for nonnumismatists.