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The coins of the Twelve Caesars B.C. 48 to A. D. 96. - NERO
THE TWELVE CAESAES (JULIUS TO DOMITIAN) ILLUSTRATED BY READINGS OF 217 OF THEIR COINS AND MEDALS
[Of the twelve Caesars who exercised imperial authority at Rome, from B.C. 47 to a.d. 96, Nero, a.d. 54-68, was the sixth. The five who preceded him under this title were, Julius Caesar, b.c. 47-44; Augustus, e.c. 31- a.j). 14; Tiberius, 1-1-37; Caligula, 37-41, and Claudius, 41-54. The six who succeeded him, Galba, 68-69; Otho,69; Vitellius, 69; Vespasian, 69- 79; Titus, 79-81, and Domitian, 81-96.]
Tiberius Claudius Nero Drusus, sixth of the Caesars, Emperor of Rome a.d. 54 to 68, was born at Antium, also the birth-place of Caligula, ten miles south of Rome, December 15, a.d. 37. The reigning Emperor was Caligula. His father was Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus, consul a.d. 32, and proconsul in Italy, a man whose life was stained with crimes of every hue. His mother was Agrippina, daughter of the good Germanicus,J but herself a woman of such infamous character that when the birth of Nero was announced, his father openly declared that anything sprung from himself and Agrippina could bring nothing but ruin to the State.
The mother of Nero, losing her first husband, a.d. 40, and then a second, was married, for the third time, to the Emperor Claudius. After a life of cruelty and intrigue, she was put to death by command of Nero himself. Poisoned as to the veins with such blood, with a childhood spent in the most dissolute surroundings, Nero still enjoyed the teachings of Seneca; and having taste and talent of his own, studied the arts, composed verses, and acquired a moderate knowledge of music. In private station he would have passed through life like others who, rich and idle, live and die, leaving the world but little the worse and none the better for having gone through it. But it was the curse of Imperial Rome that whom the better deities chose for command, evil influences held in the background. Upon the assassination of Claudius, a.d. 54, the Emperor's son, Britannicus, being set aside by the intrigues of Agrippina, Nero was brought forward as heir to the crown. Saluted Imperator by the soldiers, the Senate acquiesced in the decision, and the provinces received him as their master.
A connected genealogical chain from Julius Caesar to Nero will be useful here as mnemonical. 1. Julius Caesar. 2. Augustus, the grand-nephew of Julius by Atia, daughter of Julia, sister of Julius. 3. Tiberius, step-son of Augustus. 4. Caligula, grand-nephew of Tiberius. 5. Claudius, nephew of Tiberius, and second cousin of Caligula. 6. Nero, stepson of Claudius, and last descendant of Julia, sister of Julius Caesar. Nero was thrice married. At the age of sixteen he was espoused to Octavia, daughter of the Emperor Claudius and Messalina. Never disguising his aversion to this lady, he divorced her on the plea of sterility, and took for a second wife Poppaea, whom he had seduced from Otho, afterward Emperor. Octavia was then charged with incontinency, banished, and put to death by the arts of Poppaea. She was but twenty years of age, and her unhappy life and untimely death were the subject of general commiseration. Agrippina, mother of Nero, was likewise a victim to the animosity of Poppaea.
The death of Poppaea came in due order; her brutal husband, in a fit of passion, kicked her when pregnant, and the blow proved fatal. His next enterprise in the direction of a wife was that of his own sister by adoption, Antonia, daughter of Claudius; but she refused the honor, and suffered death for her contumacy. Finally he married Statilia Messalina, whose husband he had slain, and she survived him. He left no children. So, at the immature age of scant seventeen, 'he boy Nero,—not yet developing any particular trait of character, much leBS that odious and detestable one, that besottedly fanatical and intolerant one, which has linked him with Caligula, Domitian. Commodus and Elagabalus as the monsters of human kind,—assumed the Roman purple. The beginning of his reign was no worse than might be expected of an illy-educated youth of seventeen. His public addresses, written by Seneca, were models of oratory. He made favorable dispositions to the Senate, and divided crowns and kingdoms with liberal hand. His years of consulship are thus tabulated: First consulship, a.d. 55, with L. Antistius Vetus. Second consulship, a.d. 57, with L. Capurnius Piso.
Third consulship, a.d. 58, with Valerius Messalla. Fourth consulship, a.d. 60, with C. Cornelius Lentulus. Fifth consulship, a.d. 68, alone. The principal events 6tf Nero's reign were the breaking forth, a.d. 65, of the rebellion in Judea, which resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, a.d. 70. Coins referring to the subjugation of the Hebrews were struck under Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. The unprecedented fire of a.d. 64, in which much of the city of Rome perished, belongs to this reign. Of the fourteen regiones of the city, ten were reduced to ashes. The origin of the conflagration was popularly attributed to Nero himself, though it is difficult to understand what motive could have actuated him. Nero himself threw the odium upon the Christians, of whom many were in consequence slain by the most refined tortures.
A great eclipse of the sun occurred shortly after the death of Agrippina, and awakened superstitious fear throughout the Empire. The rebellion in Britain, in which the name of Boadicea appears, was easily put down by Nero's lieutenant. The year a.d. 60 was marked by the appearance of a portentous comet, which betokened some catastrophe. The death of Nero was a fitting close to a life whose wanton and licentious appetite had alienated every one. Deserted by his friends, he was condemned by the Senate to be put to death more majomm, " in the ancient style," which was, " to have his head fixed in a fork, and be whipped to death! " He fled to a house outside the city and stabbed himself, June 9, a.d. 68, after a reign of thirteen years, seven months and twenty-eight days. St. Paul may have had him in view when he wrote (Romans iii, 13) of the mouth that was an open sepulchre. With Nero we bid farewell to the line of emperors and chiefs professing to be descended from Aeneas and Augustus. We bid farewell to them and to the Btate of things which they created and maintained in the Empire. A new scene commences.
The old Bystem of hereditary descent commenced by Julius Caesar and kept in force for a century, is broken up, and the army having discovered the secret of creating an Emperor, the republic is at once thrown into their power, and all the rights and authority of the Consuls and Senate, as the true legislators, are set aside, and they are treated as mere puppets, to be called into play at the caprice of the military. The frequent appearance upon the coins of Nero of his second wife Poppaea demands a brief account of this beautiful but vicious woman. She came from a noble family at Rome.
The historian says that she possessed everything needful to make a perfect woman except 'a virtuous mind. Surpassing beauty, ample fortune, conversational powers distinguished for sprightliness and vivacity—such were her qualities. She was first married to Rufus Crispinus, praetorian prefect under Claudius, by whom she had a son. Being divorced from him, she then married Otho, afterward Emperor. Nero, making her acquaintance, removed Otho to the province of Lusitania, and she became the mistress of the Emperor. But her ambition aspired to be his wife ; and as Agrippina, mother of Nero, was the chief obstacle, she worked upon his mind to put his mother to death, a.d. 59, a fate she had long merited. The next step was to separate Nero from his wife Octavia, whom he had always disliked. By working alternately upon his [hopes and fears she succeeded, and the unhappy lady who, indeed, had brought to her husband the Empire itself, was first divorced and then slain. The marriage of Nero and Poppaea occurred a.d. 62, and her goal was gained. In the following year a daughter was born of the union.
This event caused the most extravagant joy to Nero, and was celebrated with public games and rejoicings. Doubtless coins will be found impressed with thiB bit of history, as also the death of the infant, that soon followed; for it was enrolled among the gods, S. C, "by decree of the Senate! " A.D 65, Poppaea was again pregnant, but was killed by a blow from her husband inflicted in a fit of passion. Then the harlot herself was deified. Her body was enbalmed and deposited in the sepulchre of the Julian family. A public funeral was decreed, Nero himself delivering the oration, and a magnificent temple was dedicated to her, which bore the inscription, Sabinae deae Veneri matrones fecerunl—* The mothers erected this to the goddess Venus Sabina" (Sabina, the proper name of Poppaea).
The only people who regretted her death were the Jews, whose cause she had defended, doubtless for mercenary motives; and it is odd to see Josephus styling her in his Antiquities (xx. viii, 11) " a religious woman." Poppaea was inordinately fond of luxury and pomp, and took immense pains to preserve the beauty of her person. Her mules were shod with gold, and five hundred she-asses were milked daily to supply her with a bath of fresh milk. The coins of Nero are usually fine. Like those of Cyzicene in Asia Minor, styled " the Cyzicene Staters," ou account of their elegance, many of Nero's are models of art. The attributes of Ceres were favorites upon the coins of Nero. These were so attractive to the moneyers of Greece and Rome that an account of so popular a deity is in place here.
As agriculture is the basis of every well-regulated Bocial condition, the ideas associated with Ceres are those of peace and good rule. The arma cerealia were the plow, spade and implements of husbandry. She was the mother or giver of cereal food generally. The daughter of Cronus and Rhea, she was the mother of Proserpine. The long torch usually seen in her left hand upon coins is connected with an incident very affecting in heathen mythology, in which much of human passion was wrapped up. Her daughter Proserpine had been abducted by Pluto and taken to his subterranean abode. Ceres, learning that this was done by the consent of Jupiter, refused to return to her heavenly place, and remained among men, conferring blessings by causing the fields to produce grain. Upon the restoration of her daughter, however, she consented to change her resolution, but first instructed men in the art of agriculture. "Upon the coins we see the long torch, with fire burning from the top, with which Bhe went about in search of her daughter; also the mystic basket shaped like a barrel. Sometimes 6he holds a sceptre, corn ears or a poppy.
Around her head is a garland of wheat ears, or a simple ribband. Her stature is tall and majestic. Her ascription upon coins are such as these: Ceres Annona; Ceres Augusta; to Ceres the Fruitbearer (Oereri Frugiferae); to Ceres the Restorer (Redux), etc. In the folio of 1764, D'Orville's Sicula, the representations of Ceres are the most frequent of the two hundred and forty specimens there figured. She is delineated among them as a beautiful woman, matronly, her head crowned with spicse (wheat ears), which are interwoven with her hair in many beautiful forms. In some of them earrings are worn in forms of jewelry used at the present day by oriental women; for the island of Sicily was reckoned the favored home of Ceres. In examining coins of Nero we may recall the fact that, when they were struck, thousands of Christians were living concealed in the catacombs of Rome, marking upon the soft stone those emblems and inscriptions that express the undying faith which sent them there. We find upon none of his coins yet discovered any allusion to the burning of Rome or to the persecution of the Christians.
WHAT THE COINS TEACH CONCERNING NERO
Of twenty-three coins, silver and bronze, of the Emperor Nero, from the illustrations on the fourth page. [The student will observe in these Readings:
First, that the size of a Coin does not always agree with the size of the picture.
Second, that the metal is distinguished by an abbreviation,—AV (aurum) standing for gold; AR (argentum) for silver; AE (aes) for copper, bronze or brass, words indiscriminately used in Numismatics.
Third, that there are few punctuation points on Coins, though sometimes introduced by engravers to facilitate Readings.
Fourth, that we do not reproduce the old forms of Greek letters here, but substitute modern type; and,
Fifth, that these Readings are prepared as well for the use of Learners as experts.]
No. 1, AE. A medallion. The two faces are set at opposite sides of the page, to preserve symmetry. Obverse. The laureate head of Nero to the left. Chin prominent, almost to deformity; beard crisp, thick, woolly; bust undraped; pose of the head superb. Inscription (abbreviated): NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM PM TRP IMP PP; (supplied) — Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Pontifex Maximus Tribunitia Potestate Imperator Pater Patriae— "Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; the High Priest; exercising the Tribunitian Power; Emperor; Father of the Country." Reverse. An Allocution scene. Nero, togated, is standing in front of a suggestum. A person, also togated, standing near him, a little retired. Nero is addressing three soldiers, representatives of the three Maniples composing a Cohort. One bears the legionary eagle, one the open hand or flag of the maniple. In the rear of the military delegates is the Praetorium at Rome. Legend (abbreviated): ADLOCVT COH; (supplied)— ADLOCVTIO COHORTI—" Address to the Cohort." There are bronze coins of precisely the same type as this, weight 392 grains; and the "Allocution" here marked presents the earliest type of Nero's reign. He is addressingthe Praetorian soldiers upon his accession, a.d. 54, and the person standing by him on the suggestum is Burrhus, commander of those favored troops.
No. 2, AE. Obverse. The laureate head of Nero to the right. General expression and poise of the head as No. 1. Hair curly, dressed in front in a curious pattern. Inscription as No. 1. At the point of the bust is a figure of a mask. We often find in his coins at the bust a small globe. Reverse. An Annona scene; expressed with such rare beauty that the hand of Nero himself, an accomplished artist, may be detected in it. Legend: ANNONA AVGSTI CERES—"Ceres the Annona of the Augustus." S. C, Senatus ConBulto-" By Decree of the Senate." This always implies the decree sent to the Chief of the Mint, specifying the purpose, character and value of the coin ordered. To read the Reverse of this beautiful coin we begin with the sitting figure. Ceres, seated to the left on a square seat; in her left hand is a lighted torch, under her left foot a low stool. Her right hand points to a decorated altar, on which is a grain-measure (modius). A female in front of her, whose left foot also rests upon a low stool, bears an overflowing cornticopiae on her left arm; in the background, as a shadow, appears the stern part of a grain-galley. It was the custom of the Emperors to distribute annually a supply of grain to the poorer classes of Rome. This gratuity was called Annona, from annus a year; annona=the yearly produce of the earth.
No. 3, AE. This represents the closing of the Temple of Janus. It may be studied in connection with No. 4. Nero closed the gates of this temple a.d. 58, for the first time since the days of Augustus. Reverse. Temple of Janus Quirinus. On the right is the closed door. A garland is suspended so as to fall over the top of the door, which is arched. The side of the building shows openings for the admission of light. Legend (abbreviated): PACE P R TERRA MARI QVE PARTA IANVM CLVSIT; (supplied)—Pace Populi Romani Terra Marique Parta Janum Clusit—" The peace of the Roman people being brought forth on land and sea he closed Janus." In the Legend of Coin
No. 4, the word Vbigue (everywhere) is substituted for Terra Marique with the same meaning. Of this coin Patin says: "In my opinion it exhibits the most superb of all antique inscriptions. In the midst is seen the temple that Numa the second king of Rome, constructed, which was the index of peace and war, signifying open in War, closed in Peace. Numa first closed it. Again it was shut after the first Punic war, a.v.c. 519; the third time, after the battle of Actium, by Augustus, 725; the fourth time, by the same prince, after the Cantabrian war, 729; the fifth time (as some authors aver), by the same at the birth of Jesus Christ." No. 4, AE. Reverse. The same as No. 3, except that VBIQ is substituted for TERRA MARIQVE, with the same meaning.
No. 5, AR. Obverse. Laureate head of Nero to the right. General expression as in preceding number. Inscription (abbreviated): NERO CAESAR AVG G IMP; (supplied)—Nero Caesar Augustus, Germanicus Imperator. Reverse. A Decursio scene, drawn with much spirit. A horseman, bareheaded, gallops to the right, his cloak flying behind him; in right hand a spear, couched as for the charge. Behind the horse a foot-soldier, running, armed with sword and shield. In front, a foot-soldier, with lance and shield, has fallen on his knees. In some coins with this type, the latter is running with a standard. Legend: DECVR, for Decursio—"A Cavalry Exercise." This coin was struck about a.d. 60, when Nero instituted certain fiveyears games. It represents the disciplina, or training exercises of the Roman cavalry. The two foot-soldiers are training to join and assist the cavalry in battle.
No. 6, AE. Obverse. The unlaureate head of Nero to the right; beardless; transversely across the neck is a parazonium. Inscription (abbreviated): NERO CLAV CAES AVG IMP VRINO VOLVMNIO ; (supplied)— Neroni Claudio Caesari Augusto Imperatori Urino Volumnio — "To Nero, etc. ; from TJrinus Volumnius." Reverse. The heads of Nero and Octavia, his first wife, facing each other. Above his head is the figure of the Sun; above hers, the Moon. The arrangement of her hair, like that of other Roman matrons upon coins, is labored and elegant. Bust neatly draped. Inscription (supplied): Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Imperater Octavia Augusta. Octavia was the daughter of the Emperor Claudius, born about a.d. 42, and married to Nero a.d. 53, at the age of eleven years, Nero being but sixteen. He divorced her a.d. 62. and shortly afterward put her to death. There is a question among numismatists as to this TJrinus Volumnius, but he was probably the mint-master of Corinth, where this coin was struck.
No. 7, AE. It may be studied in connection with Nos. 8 and 9, as they have the same Obverse. Like most coins struck in Greece (except those of Athens), it displays high numismatic art. Reverse. Bellerophon, with shield on left arm, governing Pegasus. This was the symbol or municipal emblem of the city of Corinth. The attitudes of horse and man in the coin are admirable. The Legend is partly erased by rust; all that we can read distinctly id, II VIR— "Duumviri," the preceding word containing the name of that officer. COR is for " Corinth." We find from other coins of this class thafcthe moneyer's name was C IVLIO POLYAENO n VIR COR—"Cains Julius Polyaenus," etc.
No. 8, AE. Reverse. A crown formed of celery inclosing the word ISTIIMIA — "Belonging to the isthmus of Corinth." COK, Corinthus—" Corinth." The word Isthmia may suggest the canal commenced through the Achaian isthmus, which the Corinthians attributed to Nero; or, it may refer to the Isthmian Games of Corinth, of which this celery crown was the distinguishing prize. As the death of St. Paul occurred about the period in which this coin was struck, and was perhaps due to the cruelty of Nero, we may compare his remarks relative to this crown, in 1 Corinthians ix. The abraded letters represent the Bame name as in No. 7, viz. " Caiii6 Julius Polyaenus, the Duum-vir."
No. 9, AE. This is an Adventus coin, and displays Hue art. Reverse. A Praetorian galley, six oars on a side. Vexillum is flying at the center. Legend (supplied): Adventus Augusti—" The Approach of the Augustus." The other letters may be studied in the light of Nos. 1 and 8. It is difficult to explain the uniform illegibility of all these three classes of coins.
No. 10, AE. A Greek Imperial. Obverse. Head of Octavia, first wife of Nero, to the right. Hair elegantly braided and dressed; bust modestly draped. Inscription: OKTAOYIA 2EBA2TA—Octavia Sebasta—" The Empress Octavia." The letter L is for AYKABANT02—"Of the year." the word "one" being understood. This dates the coin the same year of her marriage with Nero. Reverse. Head of Nero to the right, adorned with radiate crown; bearded. Inscription (Anglice): Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Emperor.
No. 11, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. The numismatic type of a river, represented as a recumbent man. From his right shoulder to his right hand extends a swamp reed. Under his arm is an urn, from which water flows. Inscription (abbreviated): Eni EPMOrE KAAP02 3XIYP—"Under (the rule of) Claras Hermogenis of the Smyrnaeans." The city of Smyrna struck many coins to Nero, as to other emperors, and the type here given refers to the situation of the city. Clarus Hermogenis was Praetor under Nero.
No. 12, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. A male figure, nude to the hips, to the right, looking upward and forward with ardent gaze. Right hand resting on a spear; on left arm, an overflowing cornucoplae. Left hand gathers and sustains the falling garments. Legend: AEM02 PnMAIQN—" The people of the Romans." This coin may be studied in connection with Nos. 4 and 13. It was probably struck in Roumania, Thrace.
No. 13 AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. Figure of a cithara-player. This was the ancient harp or lyre. She is gracefully tripping to the right. In her left hand is the cithara; in her 'right, the dish for collecting donations. (? ) Legend: EPEITON AnOAAfiN—"Of the utterances of Apollo " Nero, as a devotee of music, was a devout worshiper of Apollo. He not only made verses, but sung them upon the public stage.
No. 14, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. Male figure, standing upon a suggestum, to the left. In right hand an urn. Legend (abbreviated): Yn AYrH IOY HPH2IEInoY—"ByAulus Caius Julius Erisippus." The preposition Yn for Yno upon coins (like En for ETII) always implies the government by a magistrate.
No. 15, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. A Macedonian shield. Inscription: 2EBA2T02 MAKEAONfiN —"The Augustus of the Macedonians." We find, from examination of coins, that the Macedonians, by whom this coin was struck, were in the habit of offering this shield to many Emperors. Often in silver, sometimes in gold, the gift was costly and grateful to the recipient.
No. 16, AR. Obverse. Laureate head of Nero to the right. Inscription: "Nero Caesar Augustus." Reverse. A winged Victory, moving to the right. In her right hand a laurel crown; in her left, a palm branch. Legend: ARMENIAS. At the commencement of Nero's reign, a.d. 54, Volagaeaes, King of the Parthians, attempted to invade Armenia, its prince, Rhadamistus, having been defeated. But Nero placed Corbulo over this province, who made peace with Vologaeses and received hostages. Hence this denarius was struck, with the name of Nero coupled with the Armenian victory.
No. 17, AE. A Greek Imperial. Obverse. Nero in the habit of Apollo to the right, bearing a cithara in his hands. Inscription: NEPfiNI AnOAAJlNI — "To Nero, the Apollo." Reverse. The winged figure of Victory, gradient, to the left, with crown in right hand and palm branch in left. Legend: NEPI2N02 — "Of Nero." This interesting specimen confirms the historical statements of the " royal fiddler," for Suetonius refers to this very coin when he says that Nero erected his statues in the form a cithara player, and also struck coins with the same figure. Xiphilinus declares that Nero stood on the stage in the guise of a cithara player, and that he called himself by the name of Apollo, and overcame many in musical contests.
No. 18, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. The figure of Agrippina, mother of Nero, seated on an ornamented chair to the left. A veil falls back from her forehead. In her left hand is an overflowing cornucopia; in her right a laurel branch. Legend: ArPIIIHEINlI 2EBA2T(H)—"The Empress Agrippina." Struck in some provincial city, it regards this dissolute princess as a deity to be worshiped!
No. 19, AE. Reverse. Head of Jupiter Ammon to the left, crowned, as enstomary, with ram's horns; bearded; hair thickly curled. Inscription (supplied): Colonia Julia Augusta Cassaudrens—" The Julian Augustan Colony at Cassandria." This place is situated in Macedonia, at the entrance of the Isthmus of Pallene. Pliny describes its people as worshiping a stone which fell from heaven.
No. 20, AE. Reverse. A bull, to the right, pushing with horns and tossing the dust. Legend (abbreviated): EX CONSENSV C C I B; (supplied) — Ex Consensu Colonia Campestris Julia Babba —"By Consent of the Julian Campestral Colony of Babba." This Babba waB a city in Mauritian Tingitana.
No. 21, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. The jugated heads of Nero and his wife, Poppaea, to the right. His head is laureate; hers presents the hair elaborately dressed; bust draped. Legend: " Nero, the Augustus; Poppaea, the Augusta."
No. 22, AE. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. Head of Poppaea to the right. The beauty of the hairdressing is marvelous. Legend: "Poppaea Augusta."
No. 23, AE. This may be compared with the two preceding. A Greek Imperial. Reverse. Head of Poppaea to the right. Legend: "Poppaea Augusta." The letters LI are for Lukabantos I—"Of the year 10" of the reign of her husband; viz. a.d. 63. Among the gold coins of Nero we instance the -following, which are rare :
1. Type, two standing figures; one radiated, of Augustus holding the patera in his right hand, and the hasta pura in his left; the other of Livia, having the patera in her right hand and two cornucopia; in her left. The Legend is: AUGUSTUS AUGUSTA. The frequent use of the patera in ancient coin-emblems is an evidence of the religious sentiment of the Romans. It was a broad, shallow bowl, and the vessel used for making . libations at a sacrifice, etc. (also, " a goblet or broad piece of plate to drink out of"), without which it would seem that no religious exercises could be conducted. In the changes that followed the introduction of Christianity into the Roman empire, the cross took the place of the patera.
2. Type, a female figure standing, holding patera and cornucopia; as usual. Legend: CONCORDIA AUGUSTA. This rare and beautiful aureus was struck to indicate the perfect concord that had been established between Nero and his mother Agrippina, who appears on this coin as Dea Concordia. Her position, seated, implied that concord between the parties (the son and the mother) is lasting. She is depictured holding a patera, because from that the libation was poured out.
3. Type, the emperor togated (wearing the toga or citizens' dress) and standing to the front. His head is radiated. In his right hand he holds a branch; in his left, a globe, with a victoriola surmounting it. Legend: AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS. This charming aureus was struck by command of Nero, in honor of Tiberius Claudius, by whom he had been adopted. The radiated head implies the decease and deification of the person thus honored. The titles Augustus and Germanicus are explained in our accounts of the Emperor Claudius. The branch denotes that peace prevailed through the universal empire, and that the temple of Janus had been closed. The globe, upon which the Gloriola sits, teaches that the whole world had been subdued and subjected to the Roman laws.
4. There is a beautiful gold coin (aureus) similar to No. 4 on our coinsheet.
5: Types, the patera, tripus, simpulum or capeduncula and lituus. Legend (abbreviated): SACRED COOP IN OMN CONL SVPRA NVM EX SC; (supplied)—Sacerdos Cooptatus In Omnia Collegia Supra Numerum. Nero, who had been Princeps Juventutis, and was not yet Augustus, took the title " The Priest Chosen," etc., as seen on the coin; The words Ex Senatus Constalto. so rare upon a gold or silver coin of the empire, are placed here to imply not that the coin was struck by order of the Senate, for the Senate had no control over those of the precious metals, but that the choice (cooptatus) was made by their order.
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