Choice Nero Aureus
|Sale: CNG 82, Lot: 983. Estimate $20000.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2009.
Sold For $18000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
AD 54-68. AV Aureus (7.35 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 64-65. Laureate head right / Closed doors of the Temple of Janus. RIC I 50; Calicó 409. EF, attractively toned.
The Temple of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, was one of Rome’s most ancient centers of worship. It was said that Romulus had built it after he made peace with the Sabines, and that it was king Numa who decreed that its doors should be opened during times of war and shut during times of peace. In all of Roman history until the reign of Nero, the temple doors had been shut perhaps five or six times – once under king Numa (who originated the tradition), once at the end of the Second Punic War, three times under Augustus, and, according to Ovid, once under Tiberius.
In 65 AD, when peace had been generally established in the Empire, Nero understandably requested the closing of the temple’s doors. He marked the event with great celebrations and trumpeted his pacific policy by issuing a large and impressive series of coins. The inscription on this issue announces “the doors of Janus have been closed after peace has been procured for the Roman People on the land and on the sea." The doors of the temple probably remained closed for less than a year, being opened again with the onset of strife in Judaea in 66.