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Yes Nero has been a cute lad...to begin with


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During the last Leu web auction, being outbid on my main targets before the party had even started, I was lazily following the show, when I stumbled on this tiny coin of young Nero as Ceasar. You know what it is, you have no more than 20 seconds to make decisions, as things go very fast live. I was concerned about the patina being stripped off and redone, but thought the portrait was too good to pass. And I was OK with the price.

So here it is. In hand the coin is darker than it looks on the seller's pics (they have a greyish look that I don't like much TBH) but I have no spare time at the moment to take my own.

I like the subtle engraving of the portrait, and the somewhat soft strike adds a nice fading effect IMO


LYDIA. Thyateira. Nero, as Caesar, 50-54. Hemiassarion (Orichalcum, 17 mm, 3.54 g, 1 h).

NЄΡΩN KΛAY[ΔIOC] KAICAP ΓЄP Bare-headed and draped bust of Nero to right. 

ΘYAT-ЄIPH/NΩ-N Bipennis.

GRPC Lydia 143. RPC I 2381. Patina stripped and retoned, otherwise, very fine.


Thyateira (also Thyatira) (Ancient Greek: Θυάτειρα) was the name of an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor, now the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). The name is probably Lydian. It lies in the far west of Turkey, south of Istanbul and almost due east of Athens. It is about 50 miles (80 km) from the Aegean Sea.

It was an ancient Greek city called Pelopia (Ancient Greek: Πελόπεια) and Semiramis (Ancient Greek: Σεμίραμις), before it was renamed to Thyateira (Θυάτειρα), during the Hellenistic era in 290 BC, by the King Seleucus I Nicator. He was at war with Lysimachus when he learned that his wife had given birth to a daughter. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, he called this city "Thuateira" from Greek θυγάτηρ, θυγατέρα (thugatēr, thugatera), meaning "daughter", although it is likely that it is an older, Lydian name. In classical times, Thyatira stood on the border between Lydia and Mysia. During the Roman era, (1st century AD), it was famous for its dyeing facilities and was a center of the purple cloth trade. Among the ancient ruins of the city, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in the city. Indeed, more guilds συντεχνία suntechuia (syndicate) are known in Thyatira than any other contemporary city in the Roman province of Asia (inscriptions mention the following: wool-workers, linen-workers, makers of outer garments, dyers, leather-workers, tanners, potters, bakers, slave-dealers, and bronze-smiths).

The Apostle Paul and Silas might have visited Thyateira during Paul's second or third journey, Acts 16:13-16. They visited several small unnamed towns in the general vicinity during the second journey. While in Philippi, Paul and Silas stayed with a woman named Lydia from Thyateira, who continued to help them even after they were jailed and released.

In 366, a battle fought near Thyateira saw the army of Roman emperor Valens defeat Roman usurper Procopius.



Copyrighted free use, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1121115


Feel free to show anything relevant : Young Nero, Asia Minor, bipennis, or whatever


Edited by Qcumbor
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Very nice!  I like the young portraits of Nero.  

Here's one I couldn't pass up either.  Snatched it up early at an in person show.  Knew it wouldn't be around long.

Nero Pre-Reform Denarius
Bare head of Nero right

Legend around oak-wreath enclosing "EX. S C.

Lugdunum, 60-61 AD


Sear 1936, RIC 22, BMCRE 24, RSC 216




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Here's a youthful portrait of Nero, even though he had been ruling for 5-6 years already.

Nero, AD 54-68.
Roman provincial Æ 17.7 mm, 4.17 g, 1 h.
Lydia, Tralles, c. AD 60.
Obv: ΝΕΡⲰΝ ΚΑΙCΑΡ, bare head, right.
Rev: ΚΑΙC-ΑΡΕⲰΝ, bundle of four grain ears.
Refs: RPC I, 2657; BMC 22.345, 125-27; SNG Cop 692; RG 5426; SNG von Aulock --

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Congrats on a nice pickup, @Qcumbor - it's a great portrait. Here's my example:


Lydia, Thyateira, Nero, Æ 17mm

54-68 AD 
Obverse: NEΡΩN KΛAYΔIOC KAICAP ΓEP; Bareheaded bust of youthful Nero right.
Reverse: ΘYATEIPHNΩN; Labrys. 
References: RPC I 2381; SNG von Aulock 4268; SNG Copenhagen 595; BMC 58. 
17mm; 2.63g; 12h

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Nice labrys-bipennis on that one too! Sharp!

Here are a couple of my distinctly less attractively portrayed Provincial Nero's (which is how I like him -- no chin, all neck!). One coin shows him on both sides, dressed up as Apollo fiddling (I highly doubt that's him as Thessalos on the other one jumping from a moving horse to wrestle a bull -- but who knows, he had a high opinion of himself, so the Thessalians may have wished to flatter him with that reverse too!):


Both of these Nero's were from the very interesting CNG E-Auction 325, "Coinage of the Thessalian League from the BCD Collection” (top one also illustrated in Burrer and ex-Merani Coll.).


And here's a "forever young" portrait of Britannicus, the little brother that Nero or Agrippina may or may not have murdered (the accounts don't quite add up, but maybe it just happened differently). (Looks much better in hand and in coin-in-hand video, IMO.) These ones virtually always have the same Mt. Argaeus countermark:


Edited by Curtis JJ
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Nice coin !


here is another fom Thyateira. Same reverse, but Nero looks already older:


Lydia, Thyateira
AE 17
Obv.: NEPΩN KΛAVΔIOC KAICAP CEBA, Draped bust right.
Rev.: ΘYATEIPHNΩN, Double axe.
AE, 3.38g, 17mm
Ref.: RPC 2382


and another youn Nero from Lydia:


Lydia, Hierocaesareia
Pseudo-autonomous. Time of Nero (54-68). Capito, high priest.
Dated between AD 54 and 59
Obv: ΝƐΡWΝ ΚΛΑΥΔΙΟϹ ΚΑΙϹΑΡ ϹƐΒΑϹΤΟϹ, draped bust of Nero, r.
Rev: ΙƐΡΟΚƐϹΑΡƐWΝ ƐΠΙ ΚΑΠΙΤWΝΟϹ, Artemis Persica standing facing, drawing arrow; stag on either side
AE, 4.95g 19mm
Ref.: RPC I, 2384


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I have only one young Nero:

Nero AR Drachm, AD 56/57 (Year 3), Syria, Seleucis & Pieria, Antioch Mint. Obv. Laureate head of young Nero right, ΝΕΡΩΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡΟΣ ΣΕΒΑ (beginning at upper right) / Rev. Tripod altar (supporting cauldron or lebes) with serpent entwined around center leg; ΔΡΑ-ΧΜΗ to sides (ΔΡΑ upwards on left; ΧΜΗ downwards on right), forming single word ΔΡΑΧΜΗ (“drachma”); above tripod, EP [for Year 105 of Caesarean Era) and Γ [for Nero’s Regnal Year 3]. McAlee 278(a) at p. 140 & n. 214 (ill. p. 141); Prieur 78; RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. I 4179 (1992); RPC Online at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/1/4179.  18 mm., 3.65 g., 1 h. Purchased at CNG [Classical Numismatic Group, LLC] E-Auction 512, 23 March 2022, Lot 399. [Footnote omitted.]


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A youngish Nero





A.D. 50- 54

PHRYGIA, Hierapolis

19x20mm   6.3g

Chares and Papias, magistrates

NEPΩN KAIΣAP; draped bust of Nero to right.

TI ΔIONYΣIOΣ IEPAΠO ΛITΩN; Apollo on horseback to right, with double axe over shoulder.

RPC I 2976; SNG Copenhagen 456



“The obverse is self explanatory: a youthful portrait of the emperor with some drapery, and a short inscription in Greek for the Latin form Nero Caesar. On the reverse we have the depiction of a male figure on horseback, holding a double axe over his shoulder. We know that this is a depiction of Apollo, who was the principal deity of Hierapolis, and who appears in different ways on the coinage. On this coin, we also have a personal Greek name, with two elements, Ti(berios) Dionysios , and the name of the people of the city, in the genitive plural as had always been normal on Greek coins. We know nothing about Dionysios other than his name.”


Andrew Burnett "The Augustan Revolution Seen from the Mints of the Provinces" The Journal of Roman Studies Vol. 101 (2011), p. 3

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