Roman Imperial coin, orichalcum, AE semis. Struck during the reign of Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus in Rome, 64 C.E. The laureate head of Nero faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "NERO CAESAR AVG IMP" left and right of image. Obverse image and inscriptions slightly off struck. On reverse, a discuss (?) rests against the leg of a table bearing an urn and a wreath; the inscriptions "S" to the left of urn to represent coin value, "CERTA QVINQ ROM CON" surrounding image, and "S.C" in the exergum.
Date: 64 C.E.
Remarks: The son of Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina Junior, Nero was born at Antium in 37 C.E. Originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, this was changed to Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus after his adoption by Claudius in 50. He succeeded to the throne in 54 and at first the government was in the capable hands of Seneca and Burrus. The young emperor soon decided to free himself from all restraints, however, and after the death of Burrus in 62 and the retirement of Seneca, Nero's conduct became unbridled. He was very enthusiastic about art and sport but his extravagances and vanity made him most unpopular and it was rumored that he had started the great fire which destroyed half of Rome in 64. At last, in 68, revolt broke out in Gaul, Spain, and Africa, the Praetorians at Rome deserted him and Nero fled and committed suicide.
The reverse of this type refers to the upcoming Quinquennalian games, known as the “Neronia,” instituted in 60 C.E. and to be held again in 65 C.E. Nero's coins were minted in Rome, Lugdunum, and Caesarea.
References: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" , London 2000 (Vol I), #1979, pg 391; Harold Mattingly, Roman Coins (1927), Pl. XLVI, #17 for reverse only.
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|
|Place of Origin||Europe/Italy/Rome|