Skip to comments.Emperor Caligula Gold Coin Found Underwater Near Cyprus
Posted on 08/27/2012 7:05:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
A significant archaeological finding, a gold coin, has been reported discovered underwater in the area between Limassol and Larnaca by a local amateur fisherman. According to Cypriot authorities, the coin is of great value.
Cypriot media reported that it dates back to the first century A.D. and depicts the third Roman emperor called Caligula, well-known for his fierce and brutal policy during his reign. On this coin, Caligula is sacrificing an animal before the Temple of Augustus, which is constituted by six pillars.
Many coins of the same age have been found over the course of time, but this one is regarded among the most significant because it's made of gold. Representatives of the Nicosia Archaeological Museum of Cyprus stated that such a finding enriches cultural heritage of the broader region, and may provide archaeologists with important information on ancient Cyprus' trade. Â Moreover, the area, where the golden coin was found, could reveal more clues concerning the coin's origin and the way it ended up in Cyprus, they said.
(Excerpt) Read more at eu.greekreporter.com ...
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Philo Judaeus in his Embassy to Gaius gives a fascinating account of what it was like to meet Caligula in person.
In those days Jerusalem was at the top of all maps, so it’s likely that “sailing under Cyprus” meant passing the western shore.
Ummm... lemmee guess...
It ended up in Cyprus because...
THE ROMANS WERE THERE!!
Not that hard to figure out, but someone will spend a bazillion dollars to come to much the same conclusion.
(BTW, I dated one of those bra-less archaeologist type gals in college and I must confess digging for hidden things can be alot of fun...!!)
I was an engineer on a project when the “bra-less” showed up in order to identify some artifacts or whatever was holding us up. Nice ladies but didn’t their mothers teach them about razors? Sheesh! (Reference your tag line.)
I thought they were from Europe!
European! There was also a gal in college from Germany, nice lookin lady but she was way, way hairier than me!
When I was in Germany, I had occasion to be walking with my husband one day, and saw this nice looking couple. She was blonde, had on a light blue suit, white accessories and pantyhose. Even from eight feet away, I could see inch-long black hairs on her legs. *shudder*
We had a putschfrau then, too, and I used to leave the windows open when she left, as she used no deodorant. No thanks.
Embassy to Gaius:
“under” would mean to the south of Cyprus, but the Romans were like any other ancient seafarers and used celestial navigation. No one in their right mind hugs the shoreline, that’s where the trouble is. :’)
"The coin is not gold, it is an orichalchum (brass) sestertius of Caligula, a fairly scarce coin but in poor condition, always interesting but not really exciting."
Here is a brass sestertius coin of Caligula (the same type), in better condition:
Yup. Thanks Godebert!
One of the worst movie stinkers of all time. That Helen Mirren survived it to go on to a great career is a testament to just how good an actress she is.
She also survived “2010” as a Russian babe.
Never had the “pleasure” of seeing it. The Rotten Tomatoes audience rating is garbage can, though. Hmmmm.
Did Caligula really have a killing machine? Btw, I did not see the movie, Caligula, but heard about this being it was in that movie.
I know he was bloodthirsty, but this seems a Hollywood fiction.
Couldn’t find it in Suetonius’s Gaius.
Probably not. :’) There’s no mention of it anywhere. Even the famous anecdote about his making his horse a Senator is not exactly square — he actually joked about it and threatened to make his horse a Senator.
Caligula had ships built for the purpose of transporting the enormous, single-piece columns quarried in Egypt for his temple on the Forum. Even bigger was the ship he had built to transport the 300+ ton obelisk that stands today at the Vatican. Caligula’s successor Claudius had that ship towed out and sunk, endfirst, to serve as the form for the concrete (the Romans had marvelous concrete, including types that would set up underwater) which became a crucial part of the structure of the artificial harbor he had built to service Rome’s maritime traffic.
That ship (or rather, what remains of it) is probably still down there, preserved by the concrete.
Caligula also had two ships made for Lake Nemi — they may have been a pair of the column-haulers, or may have just been built for this — and those were filled with all kinds of mechanical contraptions both for utility and for recreational uses. They were found and dug up, I believe during Mussolini’s regime, and were in great shape, were studied for some years, then wound up getting destroyed during WWII. Oh well.
Thanks for the answer. Interesting stuff.
Saw the so called ‘killing machine’ tape on youtube, seemed ridiculous. More like something out of Rollerball.
Too bad about those ships, darn.
Juat in time for the EU to take 40%.
Yeah, Caligula wasn’t the worst behavin’ emperor, even among the Julio-Claudians, his failing was he didn’t accomplish anything. Sometime in the past, oh, five or ten years, someone I knew online said he’d read about a great pile of Roman-era dead (from the arena, presumably) which only started to decay when they were exposed to air during excavations under Mussolini. That too is ridiculous of course, probably was WWII-era propaganda.
One of the most believable fictional versions of Caligula can be found (of all places) in a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs. But alas, it just isn’t true (for the most part). If I were writing historical fiction about that time, I’d have Claudius as the key figure in the conspiracy to murder Caligula, I just don’t buy that a somewhat kooky, physically disadvantaged, chronically ill family scandal could be such a successful emperor (not least in surviving to become emperor) without having a hand in his own success.
Salvaging Caligula [Nemi Ships, Caligula, and Mussolini]
Image search the Nemi Ships:
Darn I like Edgar Rice Burroughs, too.
I can believe Claudius was a somewhat kooky, physically disadvantaged, chronically ill family scandal who became a successful emperor. He was not motivated by greed and when he got the job, just did it like a man who lived life humbled and took in a lot of knowledge for years.
Would like to get a guy like this in as President, but noooh, (as Belushi would say;)
A television documentary on The History Channel in 2006 revealed that the two ships were found about 200 meters apart, lying at depths of 5 to 12 meters and 15 to 22 meters, respectively. The first galley measured 71.2 meters (239.5 feet) overall, 67.3 meters (220.7 feet) on the waterline and 20 meters in beam (65.6 feet), with a rounded bilge. The end of the stem curved back towards the stern of the ship, while the stern finial was in the shape of a fish tail. In general form, this vessel most closely conformed to what is known of Roman ships of the imperial period. The second galley was more rectangular in shape, measuring 73 meters overall (239.4 feet), 68.9 meters (226 feet) on the waterline, and 14.4 meters (47.2 feet) in beam. Ships of these dimensions were quite remarkable, exceeding by far the size of any known ships prior to the modern period, and still remain the two largest ever found.
Has California claimed half of the coin as its own yet?