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The Portraiture of Caligula in Right Profile- AR Denarii: The Imagery and Iconography- Joe Geranio
The Portraiture of Caligula ^ | 4/22/06 | Joe Geranio

Posted on 04/23/2006 6:15:10 PM PDT by Joe Geranio

The Portraiture of Caligula in Right Profile- AR Denarii: The Imagery and Iconography

By Joe Geranio

For photos at portraitsofcaligula.con under basesclaudius tab

For some time now I have been fascinated with the portraiture of Caligula in the round! He has typically been portrayed in the round (typology)1 , and his physiognomy. as follows, but first Most of these portraits are based upon official portraits, we can assume as Caligula (Princeps) wished to be portrayed some twelve to 30 sculptural likenesses of Caligula have survived,2 but these identifications can be quite subjective due to familial assimilation. Caligula’s characteristics typical are: Hair low on the nape of the neck, protruding upper lip, deeply set eyes, hollow temples, of course not apparent on profiles on coins, and a vertical or sloping forehead, unlike his father Germanicus which is vertical. The silver denarii which we are focusing on are all in right profile. Von kaenel the author of Munzpragung und Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986), as well as an article on Caligula’s coinage, “Die Organisation der Caligulas.” RSN66 (1987). pp. 135-56. I disagree with some art historians as whether a portrait of a particular Princeps was copied from a portrait medallion, I believe it would have been a portrait in the round the die-engraver would have first been copied from. The right side from one portrait model from an imperial commission for precious metals and the left side for the bronzes.

The silver denarii of Caligula shows the right profile (only) as having the hair low on the nape of the neck and begs the question what is the difference between the right and left profile iconographically to portraits in the round, and if we take Caligula’s right profile from the AE asses and Sestertii do they agree with exant portraits of Caligula in the round? von kaenel: The author of Munzpragungund Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986) as well as an article on Caligula's coinage, "Die Organisation der Caligulas." RSN66 (1987), pp. 135-56, I am leaning heavily as von Kaenel, that there was some model in the round that a die-engraver would copy. It will take some time and I need to look at coinage of other Princeps, but if for example you look at the NY Glyptotek head of Caligula from Copenhagen in rt. profile it follows the hairstyle very closely.

Here is another example of the 5 curls and hair low on the nape of neck.

follows the Copenhagen head very closely. I am now starting to look at Aes and will see the left profile and if there is any consistency. I am looking to see if there may be a mint signature by either looking at the rightt and left profiles? I do not agree with von Kaenel that that the identification of Caligula's precious-metal mint has little significance for the analysis of the emperor's portraits on coins. From Kleiners Review of Boschung 3In the case of Caligula's portraits, Boschung was fortunate in having von kaenel as his partner. The author of Munzpragung und Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986) as well as an article on Caligula's coinage, "Die Organisation der Caligulas." RSN 66 (1987), pp. 135-56, written at the same time as his Romische Herrscherbild text. Von Kaenel's chapter in Die Bildnisse des Caligula (pp.13-26) treats the official coinage ("Reichspragung") exclusively. Other coins bearing the portraits of Caligula (Provinzial-und Lokalpragung") are not examined. They are, in the opinion of von kaenel (and I concur), more valuable as documents of the "Rezeption" of imperial imagery in the provinces than as a means of defining the official portrait types themselves (p.16) Gold, silver, and aes coinage are, however, all studied. The portraits of Caligula on the aureii and denarii are all in right profile; those on the sestertii, dupondii, and asses are all in left profile. Von Kaenel concludes that all of the imperial issues reproduce a single official portrait type and that what variations exist are of a stylistic and not of a typological nature. Furthermore, since the two profile views are not mirror images, von Kaenel suggests that they faithfully reproduce the left and right side respectively of a single model in the round and he believes that the comparison with marble replicas of Boschung's "Haupttypus" confirm that the same same master "Vorbild" lies behind both the sculptured and numismatic replicas. According to von Kaenel, the Roman die engravers were provided with either a single head in the round to serve as a model for their miniature profile portraits or with two seperate relief portraits corresponding to the left and right sides of a sculptured head of Caligula's " Haupttypus." This is an important observation and it would be interesting to know if it is typical of Roman numismatic portraiture for left- and right-facing portraits of the same person to be rendered differently or whether the coinage of Caligula is exceptional in not emplying mirror images. Whatever the answer to the larger question, Caligula's coins unfortunatley cannot be cited as incontrovertilble evidence that Roman die engravers had models in the round from which some copied the left profile and others the right profile. Von Kaenel assumes that the coins he has collected and analyzed are almost exclusivley product of the imperial mint at Rome, but there is a growing consensus that while Caligula's aes issues were struck in the capital, the bulk if not all of his gold and silver coinage was produced at Lugdunum (Lyons). (See, sot recently, WE. Metcalf, "Rome and Lugdunum Again," AJN 1 [1989],pp. 51- 70.) The fact that Caligula's left and right profile portraits on coins are different might mean that both mints worked from portrait models of the same type- the selection of one profile or the other could then be a kind of mint signature-but it could also indicate that one portrait was copied in the capital and another one Gaul. I therefore cannot agree with von Kaenel when he states (p.17 n.10) that the identification of Caligula's precious-metal mint has little significance for the analysis of the emperor's portraits on coins. In the main section of Die Bildnisse des Caligula, Dietrich Boschung discusses the portrait sculpture of the emperor and the relevant literary and epigraphic evidence (pp. 27-103) and catalouges all known Caligula portraits, both in the round and on gems, including those refashioned as images of Claudius (pp. 105-24). Much of Boschung's discussion falls outside the realm of a review in a journal of numismatics (From F. Kleiners Review ANA)

Caligula Ny Glyptotek Frontal View (Photo Courtesy Rene Seindel)

The silver denarii of Caligula agree more with the Copenhagen head then any other head I have seen. The frontal view which can’t be seen on his coinage show the triangular face, and an impression type fold of the skin in the forehead. This is of course of little iconographical evidence for the Caligulan denarii unless we look at the all importrant right profile. Caligula’s hairstyle also has a nearly closed pincer above the right corner of the eye which is typical of his hairstyle. This to me is one of the finest portraits of Caligula in the round that is extant. If we start at the center and count the curls you will see the same 5 that exists on the silver denarii of Caligula.

another view (large frontal) of the five curls that agree with the Silver denarii of Caligula (Pollini photo) The right profile of the Ny Glyptotek head of Caligula (Photo courtesy of Prof. John Pollini)

The all important right profile shows us that one side of the portrait in the round was copied by die-engravers for silver and gold, and I believe from the Copenhagen type. 1. For full typology of Caligula see The Portraiture of Caligula @ portraitsofcaligula.com under (Caligulapollini tab) Prof. John Pollini

2. Known Portraits of Caligula-Die Bildnisse Des Caligula-D. Boschung: Go to portraitsofcaligula.com (Types for Gaius tab for full list according to Boschung. 3. F. Kleiners review of Die Bildnisse des Caligula (American Journal of Numismatics 3-4 1992 pp.233-238

4. For similar iconographic evidence of Caligula see J. Geranio Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? Journal of the Society for Ancient Numismatics Vol. XX, no.1 1997 pp. 23-30.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: ancientrome; caligula; epigraphyandlanguage; gaius; godsgravesglyphs; numismatics; romanempire; society
portraitsofcaligula.com
1 posted on 04/23/2006 6:15:14 PM PDT by Joe Geranio
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To: Joe Geranio

Oooooookkkaaayyy..


2 posted on 04/23/2006 6:16:53 PM PDT by cardinal4 (Kerry-Mckinney in 2008!)
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To: Joe Geranio

Bumpus Maximus


3 posted on 04/23/2006 6:22:27 PM PDT by kanawa
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Note: this topic is from 2006.

Blast from the Past.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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4 posted on 10/19/2008 4:22:07 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

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Okay, now that I think about it, I'm going to ping the list to this 2006 topic. In honor of the Obama candidacy and ballot fraud, October will be Caligula month. :')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
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· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


5 posted on 10/19/2008 4:27:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
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To: Joe Geranio

Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

Can anyone recommend a good book about Caligula? I recall that there were not that many first hand accounts, but that there had been a number of contemporary authors who recorded his doings.

Thanks in advance!


6 posted on 10/19/2008 6:00:09 PM PDT by mountainbunny
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To: mountainbunny
"Can anyone recommend a good book about Caligula"

I'm not sure if Caligula has rated a separate biography, but a good starting point would be the chapter on on him in "The Twelve Caesars" by Suetonius.

Keep in mind that a lot of the more sensational 'facts' passed along were vicious gossip circulating at that time, particularly in the case of the Emperor Tiberius.
7 posted on 10/19/2008 9:19:05 PM PDT by KamperKen
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To: SunkenCiv

Since there appears to be mammoth voter fraud and mammoth indifference to Obama’s radical ties, maybe you ought to make it Mammoth Month.


8 posted on 10/20/2008 1:55:24 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: Joe Geranio

Joe, I’ll bet the many readers of the Journal are as thrilled as I am by your scholarly exposition of the “five curl” theory. Keep ‘em coming, guy.


9 posted on 10/20/2008 2:02:41 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: wildbill

You love those Mammoth Months. I think I’ve still got some memorabilia from the previous Mammoth Month in a trunk.


10 posted on 10/20/2008 4:46:34 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
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To: SunkenCiv

tusk, tusk. You really should clean out your artic.


11 posted on 10/20/2008 5:04:01 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: wildbill

The spirit is woolly but the, well, I’m just lazy.


12 posted on 10/20/2008 5:08:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
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