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Solar Eclipse of AD 39 with Caligula Countermark."Let them hate me as long as they fear me."

Roman countermarks served a number of purposes. They were placed on worn coins for revaluation, propaganda and tracking. The coin above is Emperor Tiberius minted in Commagene. The head stamped below is likely Caligula with a star and crescent from the below solar eclipse.

Several clear points are revealed,

  1. Caligula was using the solar eclipse as symbolic to Roman kingship with reference to Romulus in the foundation myth of Rome.

  2. Caligula's image was defaced on the countermark. The neck was cut. The patina is present in the cut mark. This is consistent with the defacing of prior coins of Caligula as seen in the image above.

  3. Solar Eclipses in Roman mythology are associated with birth , major life event(war), and death. Note Caligula's father Germanicus died October 10 , 0019 after a large solar eclipse and was likely assassinated by Emperor Tiberius.


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