Naville Numismatics Ltd. > Auction 87Auction date: 11 February 2024
Lot number: 495

Price realized: 550 GBP   (Approx. 693 USD / 644 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Nero, 54-68 Denarius Rome circa 64-65, AR 19.00 mm., 3.18 g.
NERO CAESAR – AVGVSTVS Laureate head r. Rev. Roma seated l. on cuirass, holding Victory in r. hand and parazonium in l.; in exergue, ROMA. C 258. BMC 83. RIC 55. CBN 224.

A finely detailed portrait of masterly style. Fully centred, minor marks and flan crack at 8 o'clock on reverse, otherwise About Extremely fine

The last of the Julio-Claudians, Nero is not only one of the most well-known Roman emperors due principally to the writings of the ancient historians, Suetonius and Tacitus, but one of the most maligned. Born in A.D. 37 to Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, a thoroughly despicable character from an ancient noble family, and Agrippina II, the daughter of Germanicus and a sister of the emperor Caligula, Nero inherited the throne in A.D. 54 after his adoptive father, the emperor Claudius, was murdered. According to Suetonius, after Nero's birth when Ahenobarbus' friends came to congratulate him, he replied that any child born to him and Agrippina would have a detestable nature and become a public danger. Initially showing signs of becoming an enlightened ruler, Nero soon gave in to his desires for the arts and lost any concern for administration. His reign saw two serious disturbances, the revolt of the Iceni under Queen Boudicca in Britain and Parthian involvement in Armenia, as well as a great fire in Rome. The latter was attributed to the small Christian community, whom Nero persecuted severely. After the city had burned, instead of allowing the inhabitants to rebuild, Nero began construction of a grandiose palace complex, the Domus Aurea, which if it had not been for his ingenious revaluation of the currency, probably would have bankrupted the Empire. During A.D. 66-68, Nero was in Greece displaying his artistic talents in the major games, where he of course 'won' many accolades and awards, when he was urgently recalled to Rome. The situation in the capital had deteriorated due to a severe food shortage and the tyranny of Nero's praetorian prefect who had replaced Burrus, Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus, and after his arrival tensions escalated even further. First, Gaius Julius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, rose in open revolt with the support of Galba in Spain, and after he was defeated by the Rhine legions, they refused to show further loyalty to Nero. With Galba on the march and the legions refusing to interfere, the Praetorian Guard deserted Nero and the Senate condemned him to death by flogging. Despairing at this turn of events, Nero took his own life, thus ending the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Starting price: 300 GBP