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Jan 14, 2017
Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ NeroView Options:  |  |  | 

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

Nero became emperor after his stepfather, the emperor Claudius, died (Claudius was probably poisoned by Nero's mother Agrippina II). At first, Nero ruled well, guided by his mentors Seneca and Burrus, but soon his reign degenerated into the debauchery and murder for which he is infamous. He had his mother, Burrus, Britannicus, and numerous senators and members of the nobility murdered or executed. Legend says he kicked Poppaea, his pregnant wife, to death. He was the first emperor to persecute Christians, blaming them for the Great Fire in 64 A.D. Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D after generals in Africa, Gaul, and Spain all rebelled, and the Praetorian Guard in Rome deserted him.


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 64 A.D., according to Tacitus, The Great Fire of Rome burned for five and a half days. Only four of the fourteen districts of Rome escaped the fire; three were completely destroyed and another seven seriously damaged. Nero, blaming the Christians, ordered them thrown to dogs, crucified or burned to serve as lights.
RX84430. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 271; Milne 236; Curtis 97; BMC Alexandria p 20, 166; RPC I 5284; Geissen 167; Kampmann-Ganschow 14.83, aVF, nice portrait, tight flan, some legend unstruck, weight 12.939 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 64 - 28 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP, radiate bust right wearing aegis; reverse AYTOKPA, eagle standing left, head left, wings closed, palm transverse under right wing, L IA (year 11) left, simpulum right; $190.00 (€169.10)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Caesarea, Cappadocia

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In 62, Tigranes, the Armenian king appointed by Rome, invaded Parthia. Parthia began building up for a strike against the Roman province of Syria. But in 63, Nero opted for a peace instead. The result was a deal where the Parthian prince Tiridates was made the Armenian king but was crowned in Rome by Emperor Nero. In the future, the king of Armenia was to be a Parthian prince, but his appointment required approval from the Romans. Tiridates was forced to come to Rome and partake in ceremonies meant to display Roman dominance. The deal was a considerable political victory for Nero. Nero became very popular in the eastern provinces of Rome and with the Parthians as well. The peace between Parthia and Rome lasted 50 years until Emperor Trajan of Rome invaded Armenia in 114.
RP72564. Silver didrachm, cf. RPC I 3647, Walker 477, RSC II Claudius and Nero 1a, BMCRE Nero 413, RIC I 620, Sydenham Caesarea 68, SRCV I 2055, F, porous, flan cracks, double struck, weight 6.874 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea mint, c. 63 - 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD DIVI CLAVD F CAESAR AVG GERMA (or similar), laureate head of Nero right; reverse DIVOS CLAVD AVGVST GERMANIC PATER AVG, laureate head of Claudius right; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
RR77139. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon 22, RIC I 22 (R3), BMCRE I 24, RSC II 216, BnF II 30, MacDowall 43, SRCV I 1936, Hunter I -, aF, edge crack, weight 3.328 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, Dec 60 - Dec 61 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVG IMP, bare head right; reverse PONTIF MAX TR P VII COS IIII P P, legend around oak wreath, enclosing EX S C; rare; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


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Nero considered himself an artist, perhaps he was and took an interest in his coinage - the sestertii of Nero are considered by many to be the finest numismatic art of the Roman Empire.
RB84073. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 443 (S), Mac Dowall WCN 428, Giard Lyon 119, BnF II 83, Cohen I 262, BMCRE I -, Hunter I -, SGCV I -, VF, fine style, excellent portrait, attractive brown toning, obverse slightly off center, some light corrosion, weight 25.990 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of neck; reverse Roma seated left on cuirass and shields, wearing helmet and military garb, Victory in offering wreath in her right hand, her left hand resting on parazonium at side, right foot drawn back and resting on helmet, S - C flanking across field at center, ROMA in exergue; $1620.00 (€1441.80)
 


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After the Great Fire of Rome in July 64, Lugdunum sent a fortune to Rome to aid in the reconstruction. However, during the winter of 64 - 65, Lyon suffered its own catastrophic fire. Nero reciprocated, sending money to Lugdunum for their reconstruction.
RS77049. Orichalcum dupondius, Mac Dowall WCN 495, Giard Lyon 50, RIC I 379, BnF II 57, Hunter II 112, SRCV I 1969 var. (illustrated), BMCRE I -, Cohen I -, F, dark green patina, light corrosion, weight 14.375 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, radiate head right, globe at the point of the bust; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTI, Victory walking left, wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand, S - C across field, II (mark of value) in exergue; $145.00 (€129.05)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Ankyra, Phrygia

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Ancyra minted its first coinage under Nero and this type with a young portrait and the name Claudius in the emperor's titles may have been the first type struck by the city.
RP84539. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3108; SNG Cop 135; SNGvA 8227; Weber 7019; Mionnet IV p. 220, 152, VF, attractive young portrait of Nero, flan flaw upper left, weight 4.200 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Ancyra (Ankara, Turkey) mint, magistrate Klaudios Artemidoros, c. 55 - 60 A.D.; obverse NEPΩNA KΛAY∆ION KAICAPA ANKYPANΩN, bare head right; reverse EΠI KΛAY∆IOY APTEMI∆ΩPOY IEPEΩC, Zeus standing left, nude, anchor downward in right hand, long scepter in left hand; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Thyatira, Lydia

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Thyateira (also Thyatira) is the ancient name of the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). In Revelation, Thyatira is the church that had a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20).
RP84078. Orichalcum AE 17, RPC I 2382; BMC Lydia p. 302, 62; SNG Cop 597; Lindgren-Kovacs 834; SNGvA -, aVF, nice green patina, light corrosion, a little off center, weight 2.341 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thyatira mint, c. 55 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KΛAY∆I-OC KAICAP CEBA, bare-headed, draped bust of Nero right, wearing light beard (indicating mourning, for the death of Claudius); reverse labrys (double-axe), ΘYAT−EIPH/NΩ−N in two two lines across field divided by axe handle; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


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All the Latin coins of Perinthus are rare. BMC does not list Perinthus mint, but identifies this type as "barbarous." RIC notes the existence of Balkan sestertii, dupondii, and asses but does not catalog them.

RPC attributes the countermark to Nicaea, Bithynia.
RS77050. Bronze as, Mac Dowall CM pl. VII, RPC I 1762, BMCRE I 391 var. (barbarous); c/m: Martini 92, RPC I p. 345 (Nicaea, Bithynia, Apr 68 - Jan 69), VF, c/m: VF, dark blue-green patina, weight 9.665 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, mid 66 - 9 Jun 68 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM IMP, laureate head right, countermark: ΓAΛBA in a rectangular punch; reverse eagle standing facing on ovoid globe, wings open, head right, S - C divided across field above center; rare; $350.00 (€311.50)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 64 A.D., according to Tacitus, The Great Fire of Rome burned for five and a half days. Only four of the fourteen districts of Rome escaped the fire; three were completely destroyed and another seven seriously damaged. Nero, blaming the Christians, ordered them thrown to dogs, crucified or burned to serve as lights.
RX76580. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 271; Milne 236; Curtis 97; BMC Alexandria p 20, 166; RPC I 5284; Geissen 167; Kampmann-Ganschow 14.83, aF, porous, some pitting, coppery area, weight 11.337 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 64 - 28 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP, radiate bust right wearing aegis; reverse AYTOKPA, eagle standing left, palm under wing, L IA (year 11) left, simpulum right; $65.00 (€57.85)
 


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In 46 A.D., after the death of the Thracian king Rhoemetalces III and after an unsuccessful anti-Roman revolt, the Thracian Kingdom was annexed by Claudius as the Roman province of Thracia. Perinthus was made the capital of Roman Thracia. All the Latin coins of Perinthus are rare. BMC does not list Perinthus mint, but identifies this type as "barbarous." RIC notes the existence of Balkan sestertii, dupondii, and asses but does not catalog them.
RB90366. Copper as, RPC I Supp. S-1760a, F, corrosion, light scratches, weight 8.452 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 315o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 63 - 9 Jun 68 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG, laureate head right; reverse Neptune standing half left, dolphin in right, long vertical trident in left, S - C flanking across field; very rare; $40.01 (€35.61)










OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPNEROCAESARAVGPMAXTRPOTPP
IMPNEROCAESARAVGPMAXTRPPP
IMPNEROCAESARAVGPMTRPOTPP
IMPNEROCAESARAVGPONTMAXTRPOTPP
IMPNEROCAESARAVGPP
IMPNEROCAESARAVGVSTVS
NEROCAESAR
NEROCAESARAVGGERMIMP
NEROCAESARAVGIMP
NEROCAESARAVGVSTVS
NEROCAESAVGIMP
NEROCLAVCAEAVGGER
NEROCLAVDCAESARAVGGERMANI
NEROCLAVDCAESARAVGGERMPMTRPIMP
NEROCLAVDCAESARAVGGERPMTRPIMPPP
NEROCLAVDCAESARAVGGERMPMTRPIMPPP
NEROCLAVDCAESDRVSVSGERMPRINCIVVENT
NEROCLAVDDIVICLAVDFCAESARAVG
NEROCLAVDDIVICLAVDFCAESARAVGGERMANI
NEROCLAVDIVSCAESARAVGGERMA
NEROCLAVDIVSCAESARAVGGERMANIC
NEROCLAVDIVSCAESARAVGGERMPMTRPIMPPP
NEROCLDIVIFCAESAVGPMTRPII
NERONERONICLAVDIODRVSOGERMCOSDESIGN
NERONICLAVDIODRVSOGERMCOSDESIGN


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, and P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, E. Xavier. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Clay, C.L. "Münzprägung des Kaisers Nero" in Numismatische Zeitschrift 96 (1982), pp. 7 - 17. Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier à Vespasien (41-78 après J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 après J.-C.). (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, J-B. Bibliothèque National Catalogue Monnaies de L'Empire Romain II: De Tebère à Néron. (Paris, 1988).
King, C.E. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mac Dowall, D.W. The Western Coinages of Nero. ANSNNM 161. (New York, 1979).
Mac Dowall, D.W. "Two Roman Countermarks of A.D. 68." in NC 1960, pp. 103 - 112, pl. VII.
Mattingly, H. and R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, David R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, January 23, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Nero