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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Otho||View Options:  |  |  | 

Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

Otho came to power after the murder of Galba in the Year of Four Emperors, 68 - 69 A.D. Otho supported Galba's revolt against Nero, in the expectation he would be named heir, but the old soldier instead named Calpurnius Piso. Otho, angered by this, conspired against them and put them both to death after being declared emperor. After a minor defeat by the forces of Vitellius, Otho committed suicide. This was perhaps the only noble act of his life - he preferred to die rather than see more blood shed in civil war.

|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||denarius|NEW
Otho first appears as one of the most reckless and extravagant of the young nobles who surrounded Nero. This friendship was brought to an end in 58 A.D. At her insistence, Otho introduced his beautiful wife, Poppaea Sabina, to the Emperor. Poppaea soon became Nero's mistress, divorced Otho, and had Nero send Otho away as governor to the remote province of Lusitania. Otho remained in Lusitania for the next ten years, administering the province with a moderation unusual at the time. When in 68 A.D. his neighbor, the future Emperor Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, rose in revolt against Nero, Otho accompanied him to Rome. Resentment toward Nero may have impelled him to this course, but he was soon inspired by personal ambition.
RS97221. Silver denarius, RIC I 8 (R2), RSC II 17, BMCRE I 18, BnF III 10, Hunter I C3807, SRCV I 2162, VF, nice portrait, light scratches, die wear, tight flan, weight 2.552 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Feb-Mar 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse SECVRITAS P R (security of the people of Rome), Securitas standing slightly left, head left, raising wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand; ex Leu Numismatik auction 12 (30 May 2020), lot 1077; rare; $1100.00 SALE |PRICE| $990.00
 


|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||denarius|
The BMC specimen, acquired in 1867, was identified as a modern forgery after it was found to share an obverse die with a fake aureus. RIC does not list the type, noting the BMC forgery and stating the type needs confirmation. Quite a few clearly genuine examples have been offered on the market in recent years. This coin has been authenticated by Jyrki Muona, a collector and expert numismatist specializing in the coinage of Otho.

An example of this type, graded NGC AU* 5/5 - 4/5, but with a pitted reverse clearly inferior to this coin's, sold for $22,000 plus fees at the Heritage New York Signature Sale 3030 (6 January 2014).
SH68896. Silver denarius, BnF III 25, RSC II 11, BMCRE I 9 (BM specimen condemned as a modern forgery), RIC I -, SRCV I -, Superb EF, light toning on luster, good strike with fresh dies but very highest points a little weak, weight 3.614 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 9 Mar - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse PONT MAX (high priest), Ceres standing left, stalks of grain in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona collection; very rare; SOLD


|Otho|, |Otho,| |15| |January| |69| |-| |17| |April| |69| |A.D.||aureus|
Aurei of Otho are likely the hardest to get in the "12 Caesars" gold series. If you are building a 12 Caesars set and this coin is not quite up to your standard, please keep in mind that when you replace it you can return it to Forum for the full purchase price, less a $10 restocking fee, in store credit. This can be a low cost hole filler.

The Victory reverse anticipated victory in the war with Vitellius. But after a minor defeat, Otho committed suicide. This was perhaps the only noble act of his life - he preferred to die rather than see more bloodshed in civil war.
SH37554. Gold aureus, RIC I 13 (R3), BnF III 18, Cohen I 26, SRCV I 2153, Hunter I -, F, ex-jewelry, polished, holed and plugged, tooled, weight 7.013 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan - Feb 69 A.D.; obverse IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse VICTORIA OTHONIS, Victory advancing right, wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left; very rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPMOTHOCAESARAVGTRP
IMPOTHOCAESARAVGTRP


REFERENCES|

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & 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, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Butcher, K., M. Ponting & J. Muona. "The denarii of Otho: a stylistic and compositional study" in La Rivista Italiana di Numismatica 110 (2009), pp. 291 - 310.
Calicó, E.X. 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. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Muona, J. "The Rome mint coins of Marcus Salvius Otho" in Tutkimusta ja keräilyä, Suomen numismaattinen yhdistys 1914 - 2014., pp. 16 - 27.
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, D.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).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Friday, March 5, 2021.
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