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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Nero||View 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|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
A decursio was a military exercise, by which Roman soldiers were taught to make long marches in a given time, under arms and without quitting their ranks. They sometimes consisted of a mock fight between two divisions. Augustus and subsequently Hadrian ordered that the infantry and cavalry were to march out three times a month ten miles from the camp and ten miles back, fully armed and equipped. Decursio on this coin probably refers Nero's participation in mock military maneuvers in the circus.
SH96390. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 508, Mac Dowall WCN 448, BMCRE I 316, BnF II 135, Cohen I 88, SRCV I -, Choice aEF/VF, superb portrait, well centered and struck, scratches, marks, porosity more on the reverse, weight 23.971 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 66 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT P P, laureate head left, small globe at point; reverse DECVRSIO (in exergue), Nero and a companion on horseback prancing right, Nero holds spear in right hand, companion holds vexillum in right over shoulder, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; $2400.00 (€2208.00)
 


|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
The reverse legend translates, "The gates of Janus' temple are closed because peace of the Roman people is set on both land and sea." On the rare occasions when Rome was not at war the doors of the 'Twin Janus' were ceremonially closed, an event Nero commemorated extensively on the coinage of 65 - 67 A.D. -- Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1 by David R. Sear
SL96449. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 583, Mac Dowall WCN 475, BMCRE I -, Cohen I -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, NGC AU, strike 5/5, surface 2/5, scuff (5745271-004), weight 30.31 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 66 - 67 A.D.; obverse IMP NERO CAESAR AVG P MAX TR P P P, laureate head right, globe at the point of the bust; reverse PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, view of the Temple of Janus from the front left corner, temple front on the right with garland over closed doors within arch, the left side of the temple to the left with long latticed window, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; ex Heritage NYINC Sale 3081 (12 Jan 2020), lot 30178; ex Roma e-auction 4 (29 Nov 2018), lot 733; ex Private European Collection; NGC| Lookup; $2340.00 (€2152.80)
 


|Nero|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.||sestertius|
The Lost Arch of Nero. This arch is undoubtedly the one that Tacitus says was voted to Nero for Corbulo's victory in Armenia in 58, and that he further reports was being constructed "in the middle of the Capitoline Hill" in 62, despite a successful invasion of Armenia by the Parthians in that year. No traces of the arch have ever been found. The arch was completely destroyed either shortly after Nero's death with the damnatio memoriae Nero received when the senate proclaimed him an enemy of the state, or in one of the two fires that consumed the Capitoline hill in 69 and 80. However, the quadriga on top of the arch is similar to that depicted on sestertii at the center of the Flavian amphitheatre (the Colosseum). It may have been reallocated.
SH96391. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 144, BMCRE I 184, Cohen I 306, Mac Dowall WCN 134, SRCV I -, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, dark patina, well centered, light marks, scattered light porosity, weight 27.125 g, maximum diameter 35.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER PM TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, globe at point of bust; reverse triumphal arch; surmounted by statue of Nero in a facing quadriga, led by Pax on left and Victory on right, and flanked below by two soldiers; front ornamented with statue of Mars in a niche and bas-reliefs of small figures; garland hanging in arch; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $1850.00 (€1702.00)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero| |and| |Poppaea,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
RPC Online I notes, "The date does look like L IB, but the coin is very battered." and "Confirmation required. Poppaea died in AD 65, so it seems unlikely that coins should have been made for her in year 12." This is the Dattari Collection plate coin and Dattari identified it as year 12. In Alexandria, Nero's year 12 began on 29 August 65 A.D. 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. This coin suggests her death was likely on or after the 19th of August. It would have taken 9 days or more for the news of her death to reach Alexandria. This coin may have been a trial strike or perhaps one of very few struck during the first days of the new year.
RX93590. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari-Savio pl. 7, 199 (this coin!); RPC Online I 5289A (this coin!, the only spec.), aVF, brown tone, corrosion, scratches, rough, weight 7.834 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 29 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AYTO, radiate bust of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, L IB (year 12) lower right; from the Kreuzer Collection, ex Naville Numismatics auction 51 (21 Jul 2019), lot 301; ex Dattari Collection; this is the only known example of this type dated year 12!; unique!?; $750.00 (€690.00)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt,| |Augustus| |Reverse||tetradrachm|NEW
The Jewish Revolt began in 66 A.D. The rebels were successful at first. The Zealots took Jerusalem and annihilated the Roman garrison (a cohort of Legio III). The Sicarii captured the fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria, marched into Judea leading a Roman army of 28,000 soldiers, including Legio III Gallica, Legio XII Fulminata and Legio XXII Primigenia. Unable to take the Temple in Jerusalem, he retreated to the coast where he was surrounded at Beth-Horon and nearly wiped out by the Zealots.
RX92590. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online I 5294 (14 spec.); Dattari 184; Milne 251; Curtis 65; Geissen 177; BMC Alexandria p. 15, 112; Kampmann 14.100; Emmett 113/13 (R1), VF, garnet and blue toning/patina, well centered on a tight oval flan cutting off parts of legends, scattered porosity, small edge splits/cracks, weight 13.082 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 66 - 28 Aug 67 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAV KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AV, radiate bust left, wearing aegis, LIΓ (year 13) lower left; reverse ΘEOΣ ΣEBAΣTOΣ, radiate head of Augustus right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $160.00 (€147.20)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|NEW
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.
RX92585. Billon tetradrachm, RPC I 5289; Dattari 204; Geissen 172; Milne 238; BMC Alexandria p. 20, 163; Kampmann 14.88; SRCV I 2004; Emmett 109/12 (R1), VF, toned, encrustations on obverse, obverse slightly off center, reverse double struck, edge splits, weight 13.052 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 65 - 28 Aug 66 A.D.; obverse NEPW KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP, radiate bust right wearing aegis; reverse AYTOKPA, draped bust of Alexandria right wearing elephant-skin headdress, LIB (year 12) right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||tetradrachm|
Ptolemy Soter wanted to integrate the Hellenistic and Egyptian religions by finding a deity that could win the reverence of both groups. The Greeks would not accept an animal-headed figure, so a Greek-style anthromorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RX95750. Billon tetradrachm, RPC Online I 5281 (8 spec.); Geissen 170; Dattari 253; Milne 226; BMC Alexandria p. 19, 157; Kampmann 14.84; Kampmann 14.84; Emmett 133 (R1), VF, toned, marks, tight flan, weight 10.998 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 64 - 28 Aug 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP, radiate head right; reverse AYTOKPA, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing taenia and polos ornamented with lotus, LIA (year 11) lower right; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 64 (28 Nov 2019), lot 492; ex Fritz Rudolf Künker (Mar 2008) ; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


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

|Porcius| |Festus|, |Judaea,| |Porcius| |Festus,| |Roman| |Procurator| |under| |Nero,| |59| |-| |62| |A.D.||prutah|NEW
"Now when Festus had come into his province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they urged him, asking as a favor to have the man sent to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly...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?" But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried; to the Jews I have done no wrong, as you know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go." - Acts 25:1-4,9-12
JD97318. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1351; Meshorer TJC 345; RPC I 4972; Sofaer Collection, pl. 220, 66, VF, nice green patina, lighter green highlighting deposits, tight flan, beveled reverse edge, flat spots on edge where pre-strike casting sprues were removed, weight 2.810 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 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; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


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

|Porcius| |Festus|, |Judaea,| |Porcius| |Festus,| |Roman| |Procurator| |under| |Nero,| |59| |-| |62| |A.D.||prutah|
"Now when Festus had come into his province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they urged him, asking as a favor to have the man sent to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly...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?" But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried; to the Jews I have done no wrong, as you know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, "You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go." - Acts 25:1-4,9-12
JD97319. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1351; Meshorer TJC 345; RPC I 4972; Sofaer Collection, pl. 220, 66, Nice VF, nice green patina, highlighting lighter green deposits, tight flan, beveled reverse edge, weight 2.100 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 315o, Jerusalem mint, 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; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $80.00 ON RESERVE


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

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Nero,| |13| |October| |54| |-| |9| |June| |68| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt||dichalkon|
The I inside the reverse wreaths seems to be a mark of value for 10 units = 1 dichalkon.
RX95375. Bronze dichalkon, Dattari-Savio 6648; RPC I 5262 (9 spec., var. date arrangements); BMC Alexandria p. 22, 189; Kampmann 1464; Emmett 169 (R2); Milne -; SNG Milan -, VF, rough, earthen deposits, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 1.075 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 59 - 60 A.D.; obverse laureate head right, L S (year 6) lower right; reverse large I (mark of value) inside wreath; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very scarce; $70.00 (€64.40)
 




  



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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, & P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Clay, C. "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. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mac Dowall, D. The Western Coinages of Nero. ANSNNM 161. (New York, 1979).
Mac Dowall, D. "Two Roman Countermarks of A.D. 68" in NC 1960, pp. 103 - 112, pl. VII.
Mattingly, H. & R. 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. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Toynbee, J. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
von Kaenel, H.-M. "Britannicus, Agrippina Minor und Nero in Thrakien" in SNR 63 (1984).

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