Did he burn Rome to the Ground? A tyrant known for his unmatched cruelty and extravagance. The legend of Nero playing the fiddle during the burning of Rome is refuted historically given the fiddle did not exist in his era, but is a great metaphor for many Romans’ beliefs that he caused the Great Fire of Rome (which brought the city to its knees) to clear land for his palace, the Domus Aurea. The adopted son of Claudius, he is known for his unmatched cruelty, often having Christians dipped in oil and burned alive in his garden for light in the dark hours of the night.
He began the First Roman Jewish War, which ultimately destroyed the Second Temple of Jerusalem. His suicide in 68 AD plunged the Empire in to a dark period known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Nero was extremely narcissistic and had his coinage struck widely throughout the Empire, making copper, silver, and gold coins of his reign among the most available of the Twelve Caesars. Even so, they are always in high demand due to his infamy.
The present piece in particular, with a perfect 5/5 strike grade, features Nero facing right, while the reverse depicts goddess Salus seated, a symbol of safety and well-being– possibly a sarcastic act of propaganda considering Nero’s considerable lack of leadership prowess. Only 29 have been graded VF at NGC!