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.; 38mm Contorniate
Contorniate medallions were produced in the latter half of the fourth and early fifth centuries A.D. by the official mint in Rome. They are named for the deep furrow on the contour or edge, as if the medal had been turned in the lathe. They were probably struck for use as Imperial New Year’s Day gifts. Most bear portraits of emperors, from Augustus to Philip the Arab, with Trajan and Nero the most abundant. Some depict imperial women and others cultural icons such as Apuleius.
SH64497. Orichalcumcontorniate, Alfoldi 218 (15 specimens), F, punch, dings, cuts, scratches and chips, weight 20.842 g, maximum diameter 37.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, posthumous, 350 - 450 A.D.; obverse IMP NEROCAESAR AVG P MAX, head laureate right, palm branch countermarkengraved in right field; reverse victorious charioteer standing facing in frontal quadriga, head right, whip in right, palm frond over shoulder in left, two monograms in exergue; ex Gemini auction V (6 Jan 2009), lot 853; very rare; $550.00 (€423.50)
Judaean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa II, 55 - 95 A.D., DivaPoppaea and DivaClaudia Commemorative
This is the only coin ever issued in the name of Claudia, Nero's daughter, who died in infancy, 63 A.D. Poppaea was described as a "god fearer" by Josephus and she may have interceded with Nero on behalf of the Judaeans.
SH60175. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 4846, Hendin 1270, SGICV 2058, Vagi 746, VF, weight 4.823 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, CaesareaPaneas mint, reign of Nero, 65 A.D.; obverseDIVAPOPPAEA AVG, distyle temple of DivaPoppaea, female figure seated left within; reverseDIVACLAVD NER F, round hexastyle temple of DivaClaudia, female figure standing left within; rare; $305.00 (€234.85)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Kassandreia, Macedonia
Cassandrea, previously Potidaea, was founded as a colony by Hortensius in 43 - 42 B.C. and refounded as COL IVL AVG CASSANDREN by Augustus in 30 B.C. The portrait and inscribed titles indicate this type was struck between 63 and 68 A.D. It may have been struck for Nero's visit to Greece in 66 - 67.
SH59952. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 1517, SNG ANS 234, Varbanov 3324, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 8.108 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kassandreia mint, 63 - 68 A.D.; obverseNEROCLAVDCAESAR AVG GER P M TR P (IMP?) P P, radiate head left; reverse COL IVL AVG - CASSANDREN, head of Zeus Ammon left; nice jade patina and attractive style; $250.00 (€192.50)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Mallos, Cilicia
Mallos was an ancient city near the mouth of the Pyramus River (now the Ceyhan Nehri), on a hill opposite Magarsus, which served as its port. The river has changed course and the site is now inland a few km from the Mediterranean coast on an elevation, a few km from Karatas, Adana Province, Turkey. Imperial coins of Mallos are rare and usually poorly preserved.
SH63445. Bronze AE 24, RPC I 4021; Ziegler Kilikiens 899; SNG Hunterian 2358; Imhoof-Blumer KM p.472, 12; SNG BnF -; SNG Levante -, F, green patina, weight 8.454 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Mallos mint, obverseNERWN SEBASTOS, laureate head right; reverseMA/LLW/TWN (in right field), Tyche standing left, cornucopia in left, flanked by two river gods, DI / ROU(?) in left field; ex Numismatik Lanz München auction 138, lot 588; rare; $250.00 (€192.50)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Hierapolis, Phrygia, The Rape of Persephone
Beautiful Persephone lived a peaceful life far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. She was innocently picking flowers when Hades, god of the Underworld, burst through a cleft in the earth and abducted her. While Demeter searched desperately for her daughter she neglected the earth and caused nothing to grow. Zeus, pressed by the cries of hungry people, determined to force Hades to return Persephone. However, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds, and because anyone who consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there, she is forced return to the underworld for a period each year. Explaining the seasons, when Demeter and her daughter are reunited, the Earth flourishes with vegetation and color, but for the months each year when Persephone returns to the underworld, the earth becomes barren.
SH62529. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 2982, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Phrygia -, Weber -, VF, edges flaking, weight 4.493 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Hierapolis, Phrygia mint, c. 55 A.D.; obverseKAISAR NERWN, bare-headed, draped bust right; reverseMAGUTHS NEWTEROS IERAPOLEITWN, Hades (Pluto) standing left in biga, horses leaping right, carrying away protesting Persephone; very rare; $180.00 (€138.60)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Side, Pamphylia
Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, most likely in the 7th century B.C. The settlers started using the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating from as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side is from this indigenous Anatolian language and means pomegranate.
RP64025. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 3404, BMC Pamphylia p. 53, 75; SNGvA 4810; cf. SNG Cop 414 (younger portrait), VF, weight 4.037 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 45o, Side mint, c. 65 A.D.; obverseNERWN KAICAR, draped, bare-headed bust right; reverse CID-HT, Athena advancing left, spear and pomegranate in right, shield in left, snake before at feet; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7 (12 Dec 2011), lot 607; $180.00 (€138.60)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Laodicea, Phrygia
Antiochus the Great transported 2,000 Jewish families to Phrygia from Babylonia. Many of Laodicea's inhabitants were Jews. Cicero records that Flaccus confiscated 9 kg of gold which was being sent to Jerusalem for the Temple (Pro Flacco 28-68). During the Roman period Laodicea was the chief city of a Roman conventus, which comprised twenty-four cities besides itself.
SH58869. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 2917, SNG Cop 562, BMC Phrygia 14, VF, weight 6.638 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea mint, obverseNERWN KAISAR, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverseGAIOU POSTOMOU LAODIKEWN, Zeus Laodiceus standing left, eagle in right, scepter in left, B in wreath left; nice patina, bold, high-relief; $160.00 (€123.20)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
RP64054. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 271; Milne 236; Curtis 97; BMC Alexandria p 20, 166; RPC I 5284; Geissen 167, aVF, weight 12.875 g, maximum diameter 5 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 64 - 28 Aug 65 A.D.; obverseNERW KLAU KAIS SEB GER, radiatebust right wearing aegis; reverseAUTOKRA, eagle standing left, palm under wing, L IA (year 11) left, simpulum right; $150.00 (€115.50)
Britannicus, son of Claudius, 50 - 54 A.D., Smyrna, Ionia
Most authorities attribute the obversebust to Britannicus but RPC interprets it as Nero.
RP63562. Bronze AE 17, SGICV II 516, RPC I 2476, Fair, weight 3.459 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Smyrna mint, 50 - 54 A.D.; obversebare head right; reverseEPI FILISTOU EIKADI/OS , (authorities Philistos and Eikadios), Nike flying right carrying trophy over shoulder; $130.00 (€100.10)
Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Perinthus, Thrace
All the Roman bronze types of Nero from Perinthus are rare. This particular variety is apparently unpublished.
RB58396. Bronze semis, Forum RB17733 and RB33833; RIC II -, RPC -; apparently unpublished, gF, weight 3.892 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Perinthus mint, obverseNERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERMPONT, bare head right; reverseVICTORIA AVGVSTI, Victory walking left, wreath in right, palm in left; very rare; $80.00 (€61.60)