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Historically Important Aureus of Nero

Historically Important Aureus of Nero and His Mother Agrippina to be offered at Stack’s Bowers Ponterio August ANA auction.

NERO, A.D. 54-68. AV Aureus (7.54 gms.), Rome Mint, October-December 54 A.D. RIC-I-150-1; Calico-399a. Busts of Nero and Agrippina(draped) the younger facing one another. Reverse: "EX S.C." within wreath, legend around. This type was struck shortly after the death of Agrippana’s late husband the emperor Claudius. Claudius was the adoptive step-father of Nero, no blood relation to the late emperor. The legend reads "Nero Claudius Caesar August Germanicus", the title Nero took when he was established as emperor. This type depicts the widowed empress face to face with her son the newly proclaimed emperor Nero. Some historians believe Agrippina herself poisoned Claudius in order to set her son up as emperor. However, murder seemed to be a family trait as Nero would have his own mother disposed of some five years later. Historians describe several colorful attempts plotted by Nero which include poison, a mechanical ceiling in her residence intended to crush her and a boat with a collapsible bottom intended to drown her at sea. It is believed that in the end Nero sent an assassin to kill her and make it appear as a suicide. Reportedly her last words requesting the assassin stab her in the womb, "smite my womb" for it was that place that gave birth to such an abomination of a son. This piece is nicely centered with virtually full legends and attractive high relief portraits. A small unobtrusive scrape is noted on central reverse. VERY RARE, bold VERY FINE.

Provenance: From the Demarete Collection.

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