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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.


Judaea, Porcius Festus, Roman Procurator under Nero, 59 - 62 A.D.

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"But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem, and there be tried on these charges before me?" - Acts 25:9-12
JD74699. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1351, Meshorer TJC 345, aF, both sides off center, weight 2.244 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 315o, Caesarea mint, 58 - 59 A.D.; obverse NEP/WNO/C (Nero) in wreath tied at the bottom with an X; reverse KAICAPO (Caesar) and date LE (year 5), palm frond; $16.00 (€13.92)


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

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The Sela Neron (Nero Tetradrachm) is mentioned in the Mishna Keilim 17:12.

Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo was the Propraetorial Imperial Legate of Roman Syria from 60 - 63 A.D. In 58 A.D. Corbulo, who had been Caligula's brother-in-law, had defeated the Parthians. Tigranes, who grew up in Rome, was installed as king of Armenia. In 63, Armenia again fell under Parthian hegemony. Corbulo crossed the Euphrates with a strong army. The new Armenian king Tiridates refused battle, laid down his diadem at the foot of the emperor's statue, and promised not to resume it until he received it from the hand of Nero himself in Rome. In 67, Nero, suspicious of Corbulo and his support among the Roman masses, summoned him to Greece. On his arrival at Cenchreae, the port of Corinth, messengers from Nero met Corbulo, and ordered him to commit suicide, which he loyally obeyed by falling on his own sword, saying, "Axios!"
SH73960. Silver tetradrachm, McAlee 258, Prieur 82, RPC I 4182, gVF, weight 14.269 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 61 - 62 A.D.; obverse NEPΩNOΣ KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate beardless bust right wearing aegis; reverse eagle standing on a thunderbolt, wings spread, palm frond left, H / IP right (regnal year 8 & year 110 of the Caesarian era); $350.00 (€304.50)


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

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Hypaepa was at the foot of Mt. Aipos, near the north bank of the Cayster River, 42 miles from Ephesus on the road to Sardis. The ruins are near the present-day village of Günlüce, 4 km northwest of of Ödemıs. In myth, Aphrodite gave the gifts of beauty and a form of dance to the women of Hypaepa, and it was Arachne's home before she was turned into a spider. The Persian goddess Anahita, later identified with Artemis and called Artemis Anaitis, was worshipped there. In 88 B.C., Hypaepa rebelled against Mithridates VI of Pontus and was severely punished. Under Tiberius it was a candidate for locating a temple dedicated to worship of the emperor, but was rejected as too insignificant. To judge by the number of churches, Hypaepa flourished under the Byzantine Empire.
RP72125. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2542 (11 spec.); SNG Cop 188; BMC Lydia p. 110, 16; SNGvA -, VF, a little off center but on a broad flan, weight 2.131 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 45o, Hypaepa (Günlüce, İzmir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Mitrodoros Kon, 55 A.D.(?); obverse NEPΩN KAIΣAP (counter-clockwise from upper left), bare head of Nero right; reverse YΠAIΠHNΩN MHTPO∆ΩPOΣ, KON (counter-clockwise from upper left, KON upward in right field), hero standing left, labrys (double axe) in right; ex Gitbud & Naumann 2010; last example listed on Coin Archives sold in 2013; rare; $250.00 (€217.50)


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

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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, nice jade patina and attractive style, weight 8.108 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kassandreia mint, 63 - 68 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P (IMP?) P P, radiate head left; reverse COL IVL AVG - CASSANDREN, horned head of Zeus Ammon left; $190.00 (€165.30)


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Legend claims Nero fiddled while Rome burned. While this rumor is probably not true, Nero did sing and play the lyre at other times. He even composed songs that were performed by entertainers across the empire. At first, Nero only performed for private audiences, but in 64, when this coin was struck, he began singing in public in Neapolis. Nero craved the attention, but also he was encouraged to perform in public by the Senate, his inner circle and the people. Nero's famous dying words were "Qualis artifex pereo," which translates, "What an artist dies in me!"
RB72098. Orichalcum as, BnF II 101, RIC I 416, Mac Dowall WCN 543, BMCRE I 376, Cohen 247, SRCV I 1975, F, excellent portrait, porous, scrape, weight 10.108 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 225o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS, bare head right, globe at point of neck; reverse PONTIF MAX TR POT IMP P P, Nero as Apollo Citharoedus, advancing right in flowing robes, singing and playing the lyre, S - C flanking across field, I (mark of value) in exergue; ex Morton & Eden auction 59 (14 Nov 2012), part of lot 873; ex Seaver Collection; $180.00 (€156.60)


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Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps this small coin was thrown to the crowd by the Nero himself at a similar event.
RB72103. Orichalcum quadrans, Mac Dowall WCN 346, BMCRE I 302, RIC I 260 var (...AVG GER), BMCRE II 360 var (same), Cohen 183 var (same), SRCV I -, VF, obverse a little off center, weight 1.743 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAV CAE AVG, owl, with wings spread, standing facing on garlanded altar, snake winding up the right side of the altar; reverse P M TR P IMP P P, upright olive-branch, three pellets (mark of value) below, S - C flanking at sides; ex Morton & Eden auction 59 (14 Nov 2012), part of lot 873; ex Seaver Collection; rare var. - not in RIC; $70.00 (€60.90)


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

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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 Supplement 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; $200.00 (€174.00)


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

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This type was issued to celebrate Corbulo's Armenian conquest. Corbulo was honored by Nero as the man who had brought this "triumph" but his popularity and influence with the army made him a potential rival. Together with the involvement of his son-in-law Lucius Annius Vinicianus in a foiled plot against Nero in 66, Corbulo became suspect in the eyes of the emperor. In 67, while journeying in Greece, Nero ordered him to be executed; upon hearing of this, Corbulo committed suicide.
RP70091. Silver hemidrachm, Sydenham Caesarea 81, RPC I 3644, RIC I 616, BMC Galatia -, VF, frosty surfaces, uneven toning, weight 1.309 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 0o, Cappadocia, Caesarea mint, c. 59 - 60 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD DIVI CLAVD F CAESAR AVG GERMANI, laureate head right; reverse Victory advancing right, raising wreath in right, palm frond over shoulder in left, ARME-NIAC flanking across field; rare; $100.00 (€87.00)


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

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In ancient Athens it was proverbial to ridicule Abdera by saying that the air in Abdera causes stupidity. But Abdera counted among its citizens the philosophers Democritus, Protagoras and Anaxarchus, historian and philosopher Hecataeus of Abdera, and the lyric poet Anacreon.
SH68886. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 1730, Varbanov II 7 (R6), AMNG II 244, SNG Cop 382, SGICV 485, aVF, some corrosion, weight 4.523 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Abdera mint, 63 - 68 A.D.; obverse NEPΩNI KΛAY∆IΩ KAIΣAPI ΣEBAΣTOY, bare head of Nero left; reverse ΘEΩ AB∆HPEITAI, bare head of Augustus (or Claudius) left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Harlan J. Berk; scarce; $155.00 (€134.85)


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

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Sardis was the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia, an important city of the Persian Empire, a Roman proconsul seat, and in later Roman and Byzantine times the metropolis of the province Lydia. In the Book of Revelation, Sardis, one of the Seven Churches of Asia, is admonished to be watchful and to strengthen since their works haven't been perfect before God. (Revelation 3:1-6).
RP67772. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 3002; BMC Lydia 120, SNG Cop 522 corr., F, weight 4.047 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, strategos Mindios, c. 59 - 62 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KAIΣAP, laureate head right; reverse EΠI MIN∆IOY CAP∆IANΩN (square C), bust of Herakles right with Nemean lion skin tied around neck; $100.00 (€87.00)







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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

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).
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).
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).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, July 01, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Nero