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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
2470273
247, Lot: 273. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $3250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Nero. As Caesar, AD 50-54. Æ Sestertius (34mm, 26.09 g, 6h). Balkan mint. NERONI CLAVDIO DRVSVS GERMANICO COS DESIG, bareheaded and draped bust right / EQVESTER/ ORDO/ PRINCIPI/ IVVENT in four lines within shield; spear behind. RIC I 108; Von Kaenel, "Britannicus, Agrippina Minor und Nero in Thrakien," SNR 63 (1984), N4 and Tafel 25, 38; BMCRE pg. 195 note; Cohen 99. See also RPC I pp. 311 and 319 for a discussion of this issue. Good VF, reddish-brown surfaces, smoothed and tooled. Rare.


Sestertii and dupondii in the name of Britannicus, Agrippina Jr., and the young Nero have been found localized in the Balkan region, and were most likely struck at a local mint servicing the legions guarding the border. Only four specimens of the sestertius were known to von Kaenel: one in the Berlin Museum, one in the British Museum, one in the Bibliothèque National and a fourth that appeared in Sternberg 12 (18-19 November 1982, lot 543). The missing S C is consistent with a provincial issue not issued under the nominal authority of the Roman Senate. RPC I proposed Perinthus as a mint, though always prefacing any opinion with "if any of them are genuine." Since that volume's publication, more examples from the Balkans have appeared on the market, all of which clearly appear genuine.

The title of princeps iuventutis was constitutionally recognized under Augustus, when he had this title bestowed on his grandsons, Gaius and Lucius Caesars. The ceremonial shield and spear, which the ordo equester presented, attempted to link the heir to the Roman cavalry. By this time, however, the equestrian order had long-since been divested of its military connections.