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.

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Record: FASAM-BC8E56
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Silver denarius of Nero (AD 54-68), dating…
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Record: FASAM-00249E
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Silver denarius of Nero (AD 54-68), dating…
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Record: SUR-8130B6
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An extremely corroded Roman copper alloy a…
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Record: HAMP-FB1B01
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A worn and corroded copper-alloy Roman as …
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Other resources about Nero

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Nero
  • Full names:
    • Nero
  • Title:
  • Predecessor: Claudius
  • Successor: Galba
  • Definition: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (/ˈnɪəroʊ/ NEER-oh; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD), originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, was the fifth emperor of Rome, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty line of emperors following his suicide. He was adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of thirteen, and succeeded him to the throne at the age of seventeen. Nero was popular with the lower-class Roman citizens during his time and his reign is commonly associated with unrestricted tyranny, extravagance, religious persecution and debauchery. Nero was born in Antium, south of Rome, in AD 37. When Nero was two years old, his father died of edema, which enabled his mother (Agrippina the Younger) to marry the emperor Claudius. Nero was initially heavily guided by his mother Agrippina, his tutor Seneca the Younger, and Roman official Afranius Burrus. Nero received a classical education (including Greek, philosophy and rhetoric) under the tutelage of Seneca, who was to become a major influence throughout his early reign. However, these early years saw Nero attempting to free himself from all such advisors and become his own man. As time passed, Nero played a more active role in government and foreign policy and came to rely much less on his initial influences. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy and trade, as well as on the cultural life of the empire. He ordered the construction of amphitheaters and promoted athletic games. He also made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician, and charioteer. This extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxation—a move that was much resented by the upper-class. In contrast, his populist-style of rule remained well-admired among the lower classes (of both Rome and the Roman provinces) until his death and beyond. Most Roman sources (including the Ancient Roman historians Suetonius and Cassius Dio) offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign. The contemporary 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 as a way to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. Also, according to Tacitus, he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire, and had them made 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 due to the overwhelming evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners (especially in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where 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. A significant event that took during his reign was the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63, where the prestigious general Corbulo had acted as commander and had successfully negotiated peace with the hostile Parthian Empire as a result of the war. The Roman general Suetonius Paulinus had also quashed a major revolt in Britain led by the Iceni tribal Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. During Nero's reign, various plots against his life developed, and Nero had many of those involved in these conspiracies put to death. In AD 68, the Roman senator Vindex, who had support from the eventual Roman emperor Galba, rebelled against Nero. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim; however, Nero fled Rome when its discontented civil and military authorities eventually chose Galba as emperor. On 9 June in AD 68, Nero committed suicide, becoming the first Roman Emperor to do so. He made this decision after learning that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
  • Parents:
  • Birth place: Anzio, Roman Italy
  • Death place:
  • Spouse:
    • Other title(s):
      • List of Roman emperors
      • List of Roman consuls
    • Came After:
      • Gaius Velleius Paterculus (consul 60)
      • Gaius Fonteius Agrippa
      • Cestia gens
      • Bellicia gens
      • and Marcus Manilius Vopiscus
      • and Publius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus
    • Came before:
      • Titus Sextius Africanus
      • Lucius Duvius Avitus, and
      • Silius Italicus
      • Publius Clodius Thrasea Paetus
      • and Marcus Ostorius Scapula
      • and ignotus
      • Marcus Aefulanus
      • and Publius Galerius Trachalus
    • Subjects on wikipedia:

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