Nero

Reece Period attributed: Period 3

Obverse image of a coin of Nero

Member of the Julio-Claudians dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 54 until 68.

Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (December 15, 37 - June 9, 68), born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty (54 - 68). Nero became heir to the then emperor, his grand-uncle and adoptive father Claudius. As Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus, he succeeded to the throne on October 13, 54 following Claudius' death. In 66, he added the title imperator to his name. In 68, Nero was deposed. His subsequent death was reportedly the result of suicide assisted by his scribe Epaphroditos motivated by the threat of execution.

Popular legend remembers Nero as a playboy engaged in petty amusements while neglecting the problems of the Roman city and empire, the emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned".

These assumptions of his behavior are based entirely on hostile sources; namely Suetonius, Dio Cassius and Tacitus. Nero's life was documented almost entirely by his primary rivals - the senatorial class who were pro-Flavian.

The changing face of Nero

A composite image showing the changing profile of Nero. A further rendering of this change in a video from the British Museum.

Latest examples recorded with images

We have recorded 332 examples.

Record: SF-5B3B2C
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman silver denarius of Nero (AD 5…
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Record: DOR-C56CF2
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A copper alloy as of Nero (AD 54 - 68…
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Record: BERK-85B33B
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A silver Denarius (Empire) of Nero &n…
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Record: SUR-720034
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A worn silver plated contemporary copy of …
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Other resources about Nero

View all coins recorded by the scheme attributed to Nero.

Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Nero
  • Full names:
    • Title:
    • Predecessor: Claudius
    • Successor: Galba
    • Definition: Nero (/ˈnɪəroʊ/ NEER-oh; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of thirteen, and succeeded him to the throne. Nero seems to have been popular with his Praetorian guards, and with lower-class commoners in Rome and the provinces, but was deeply resented by the Roman aristocracy. Most contemporary sources describe him as tyrannical, self-indulgent and debauched. He was overthrown by his Senate and committed suicide aged 30, last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was born at Antium in AD 37, the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, a great-granddaughter of the emperor Augustus. When Nero was two years old, his father died. His mother married the emperor Claudius, who eventually adopted Nero as his heir; when Claudius died in 54, Nero became emperor, firstly with the support of the Praetorian guard, and then the Senate. In the early years of his reign, Nero was advised and guided by his mother Agrippina, his tutor Seneca the Younger, and his praetorian prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus. Nero soon sought to rule independently, and to rid himself of restraining influences. His power struggle with his mother was eventually resolved when he had her murdered. Roman sources also implicate Nero in the deaths of his foster brother Britannicus, and his wife Claudia Octavia – the latter supposedly so that he could marry Poppaea Sabina. Most Roman sources present Nero as sexually dissolute. He is said to have "married" a freedman Pythagoras, acting the part of bride at the ceremony. After Poppaea's death in unclear circumstances, Nero in short succession married an aristocratic woman Statilia Messalina and another freedman, Sporus, whom he had castrated. Nero's practical contributions to Rome's governance focused on diplomacy, trade, and culture. He ordered the construction of amphitheaters, promoted athletic games and contests, and made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician, and charioteer. This scandalised his aristocratic contemporaries as these occupations were usually the domain of slaves, public entertainers and infamous persons. The provision of such entertainments made Nero popular among lower-class citizens, but his performances undermined the Imperial dignity. The costs involved were borne by local elites either directly or through taxation, and were much resented. During Nero's reign, the general Corbulo fought the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63, and made peace with the hostile Parthian Empire. The Roman general Suetonius Paulinus quashed a major revolt in Britain led by the Iceni's queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. When the Roman senator Vindex rebelled, with support from the eventual Roman emperor Galba, Nero was declared a public enemy and condemned to death in absentia. He fled Rome, and on 9 June in AD 68 he committed suicide. His death sparked a brief period of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Most Roman sources offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign. The historian Tacitus claims the Roman people thought him compulsive and corrupt. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear land for his planned, "Golden House". Tacitus claims that Nero seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire, and had them burned alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. Some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts, considering his popularity among the Roman commoners. In the eastern provinces of the Empire, a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. After his death, at least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" in order to gain popular support.
    • Parents:
    • Birth place: Roman Italy, Anzio
    • Death place:
    • Spouse:
      • Other title(s):
        • List of Roman consuls
        • List of Roman emperors
      • Came After:
        • Gaius Velleius Paterculus (consul 60)
        • Cestia gens
        • Bellicia gens
        • and Marcus Manilius Vopiscus
        • Gaius Fonteius Agrippa
        • and Publius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus
      • Came before:
        • and ignotus
        • Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus
        • Titus Sextius Africanus
        • Marcus Aefulanus
        • and Marcus Ostorius Scapula
        • and Publius Galerius Trachalus
        • Lucius Duvius Avitus, and
        • Silius Italicus
      • Subjects on wikipedia:

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