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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.


Nero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Koinon Galatia, Galatia

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Poppaea was renowned for her beauty and voluptuous extravagance. Nero divorced his first wife Octavia to marry her in 62 A.D. Three years later, in a fit of anger, Nero kicked her in the abdomen. Pregnant, she died from her injuries.
RP79843. Bronze AE 27, RPC I 3562, SNG BnF 2400, SNGvA 6117, SGICV 662, gF, nice portraits, legends not full struck, flan adjustment marks on the reverse, small flan crack, weight 13.988 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tavium(?) mint, 62 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩNOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠIAΣ ΣEBAΣTHΣ, draped bust of Poppaea right; $260.00 (€231.40)
 


Nero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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Poppaea was renowned for her beauty and voluptuous extravagance. In 62 A.D., Nero divorced his wife Octavia to marry Poppaea. According to Tacitus, Poppaea married Otho only to get close to Nero and then, in turn, became Nero's favorite mistress, and then wife. She bore Nero one daughter, Claudia Augusta, born 21 January 63, who died at only four months of age. At the birth of Claudia, Nero honored mother and child with the title of Augusta. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her.
RP79840. Bronze dupondius, cf. C. Howgego, “Greek Legends and Roman Types: a Neronian Enigma,” SM 140 (November 1985), 3 and 4; RPC I 2060a (including c/m); c/m: Howgego 591, F, spots of encrustation and corrosion, weight 9.024 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 62 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KΛAY∆IOΣ KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ ΓE, radiate head of Nero right, countermark: GALBA in rectangular punch; reverse ΠOΠΠIAΣ ΣEBAΣTHΣ, Poppaea (as Securitas) seated right, relaxed pose with right hand to head; very rare; $250.00 (€222.50) ON RESERVE


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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; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


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; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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

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In ancient times, Alexandria was one of the world's most famous cities, known for its lighthouse (Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and its library (the largest in the ancient world). Founded around 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great, it was Egypt's capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 A.D.
RX76578. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 204, Geissen 172, Milne 238, Kampmann-Ganschow 14.88, BMC Alexandria 163, RPC I 5289, SRCV I 2004, Emmett 109, F, dark toning, edge spilt, small deposits, weight 12.403 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 65 - 28 Aug 66 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AY, radiate bust right wearing aegis; reverse AYTOKPA, draped bust of Alexandria right wearing elephant-skin headdress, LIB (year 12) right; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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The shield held by Victory is the golden shield that was dedicated to Augustus by the Senate and Roman People (S. P. Q. R.) in recognition of his classic, cardinal virtues. By placing the shield and Victory on his coin, Nero was claiming these same virtues were part of his regime. -- Roman History from Coins by Michael Grant
RB76309. Copper as, RIC I 313, BMCRE I 245, Hunter I 94, Cohen I 289, BnF I 399 var. (head right), SRCV I 1976 var. (same), gF, dark green patina, weight 12.004 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP, laureate head left; reverse Victory alighting left, wings open, shield inscribed S P Q R in right, left hand at waist, S - C across field below center; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


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; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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To celebrate his escape from the Pisonian conspiracy and assassination attempt in 65 A.D., Nero constructed a temple to Salus, the Roman goddess of health and safety, and honored her on the reverse of his coins.
RS77547. Silver denarius, RIC I 67, RSC II 318, BMCRE I 90, BnF II 237, Hunter I 30, SRCV I 1945, aF, toned, marks and scratches, weight 2.550 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 66 - 67 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse Salus enthroned left, patera in extended right hand, left elbow on throne, SALVS in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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

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In ancient times, Alexandria was one of the world's most famous cities, known for its lighthouse (Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and its library (the largest in the ancient world). Founded around 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great, it was Egypt's capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 A.D.
SH79768. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 204, Geissen 172, Milne 238, Kampmann-Ganschow 14.88, BMC Alexandria 163, RPC I 5289, SRCV I 2004, Emmett 109, VF, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 12.065 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 65 - 28 Aug 66 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AY, radiate bust right wearing aegis; reverse AYTOKPA, draped bust of Alexandria right wearing elephant-skin headdress, LIB (year 12) right; $85.00 (€75.65)
 




  



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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

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).
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, September 26, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Nero