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Roman Empire

Ruler: Nero
Reigned: 13th Oct. 54 AD - 9th June 68 AD
Denomination: AE 21mm
Mint: Antioch
Obverse: Bare Head right. "IM. NER. CLAV. CAESAR"
Reverse: "SC" in wreath.
Reference: RCV 701, see GIC 619-621
Weight: 7.5 gms
Diameter: 20.1 mm
Comment: Obv: "IMPERATOR NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR"

NERO

  • Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus was born at Antium on 15th December 37 AD, the last of the Julio-Claudian line. Originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, Nero was the son of consul Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, great-granddaughter of Emperor Augustus, daughter of Germanicus, sister of Caligula.
  • In 49 AD his mother, Agrippina, married Claudius.
  • In 50 AD Agrippina and Claudius's freedman, Pallas, (who were rumoured to be lovers) persuaded Claudius to adopt her son, giving him the family name Nero.
  • In 51 AD Nero was given the title Princeps Iuventutis ('Leader of Youth'), making him heir apparent ahead of Claudius's own son Britannicus.
  • Nero married Octavia, daughter of Claudius in 53 AD.
  • In 54 AD Agrippina poisoned Claudius with the help of Locusta, the palace's resident poisoner.
  • Claudius died on the night of 12/13 October 54, leaving Nero to succeed him.
  • Britannicus is poisoned at dinner on 11th February 55 AD.
  • His mother Agrippina tried to rule through him, as well as being a restraint on his excesses. In March 59 AD, he had her killed.
  • In 58 AD Nero took a fancy to Poppaea Sabina, who was married to Marcus Otho (a future Emperor). Otho was appointed governor of Lusitania.
  • In 62 AD Nero divorced Octavia, exiled her and then had her killed, and married Poppaea
  • In the summer of 65 AD, while pregnant, Nero kicked her to death in a fit of temper. He married Statilia Messalina the following year.
  • In 64 AD fire destroyed much of Rome. Nero was at Antium when the fire begun, but hurried back to organise relief, blaming the fire on the Christians. The population blame him.
  • In March 68 AD Julius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, revolted. He was supported by Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis.
  • In May 68 AD the armies of the Rhine defeated Vindex at Besancon. They tried to proclaim their own commander, Verginius Rufus, emperor, but he refused. Galba waited in the wings.
  • Nero planned to flee but the praetorian commander Nymphidius Sabinus switched his allegiance to Galba.
  • On 9th June 68 AD he committed suicide.

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