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Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Nerva

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

97, issued by Nerva

Artist:

Roman; minted in Rome

About this artwork

Obverse: Head of Nerva right, laureate
Reverse: Libertas, standing left, holding pileus and scepter

In A.D. 96 Emperor Domitian (r. A.D. 81–96) who fancied himself a god, was assassinated with the assent of his wife. To avert a succession battle, the Army and the Senate stepped in to choose the next ruler. From A.D. 96 to 180, Rome enjoyed a series of five wise leaders who were chosen for their merit and who came to be known as the “Good Emperors.” Nerva (r. A.D. 96–98; no. 1), an honest and respected senator, took the throne with the understanding that he would be succeeded by a popular general from Spain named Trajan (r. A.D. 98–117). Although Nerva ruled only two years, he enacted compassionate social programs and is considered the first of the Good Emperors. For the next 85 years each emperor would select from among the best possible candidates, adopting his chosen successor as his son.

Status

On View, Gallery 153

Department

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Nerva

Origin

Rome

Date

97 CE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Obverse: IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P Reverse: LIBERTAS PVBLICA

Dimensions

Diam. 1.9 cm; 7.64 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4870

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/5630/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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