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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     0-31
Type:     Roman Provincial
Region:     IONIA
City:     SMYRNA
Date Ruled:     AD 41-54
Metal:     Bronze
Denomination:     AS
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 50-54
Diameter:     16 mm
Weight:     3.96 g
Obverse Legend:     Philistos and Eikadios, magistrates
Obverse Description:     Bare head of Britannicus(?) right OR NERO?
Reverse Description:     Nike flying right, holding trophy over her left shoulder.
Mint:     SMYRNA
Primary Reference:     RPC I 2476 (Nero as Caesar, under Claudius
Photograph Credit:     Joe Geranio Collection
Special Comments:     JOE GERANIO COLLECTION
Grade:     VF
Notes:     IONIA, Smyrna. 'Britannicus' Caesar. Died 55 AD. Æ 17mm (3.75 gm). Bare head of Britannicus (?) right / Nike flying right, holding trophy over her left shoulder. RPC I 2476; Klose XXXI; Lindgren & Kovacs 562. Fine, brown patina. ($300) The authors of RPC dispute Klose's identification of the head on this coin as Britannicus and identify it as Nero. Without an inscription, either is possible. Britannicus was the son of the emperor Claudius and Messalina and was born about 41 or 42 AD. He was originally named Germanicus, but was renamed Britannicus in honor of his father's successful British invasion of 43. In 55, while dining with friends, he was poisoned and died. The murder was almost certainly ordered by Agrippina Junior, (the wife and probable murderess of her husband Claudius), who wanted to clear the way for her son's succession to the throne.