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ID number:  BIRBI-R1065
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  G. Haines Collection
Collector:  Haines, Geoffrey
Maker:  Nerva (96-98)
Denomination:  Denarius
Place made:  Mint of Rome
Culture:  Roman
Date made:  97
Metal:  Silver
Weight (g):  2.95

Description:  Obverse: Laureate head of Nerva.
Reverse: Clasped hands holding an eagle military standard, resting on the prow of a ship.

Nerva was proclaimed emperor in 96 following the murder of Domitian. Although Domitian was not popular with the Senate, the army supported him, and Nerva, as the choice of the Senate remained unpopular. In 97 the Praetorian Guard took Nerva hostage forcing him to turn over those who had killed Domitian. Nerva chose to adopt the popular general Trajan as his heir. This gave Nerva much needed military support and assured that there would be a smooth transition of power on his death in 98. Nerva continued to use the republican titles which were the constitutional basis of the secular power of the emperor, Tribunicia Potestate and his religious authority, Pontifex Maximus.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: IMPNERVACAESAVGPMTRPCOSIIIPP (Imperator Nerva Caesar Augustus, Chief Priest [holder of] Tribunician Power, Consul three times, Father of his Country)
Reverse: CONCORDIA [EX]ERCITVVM (Concord of the Army)

Bibliography:  Mattingly, H, and Sydenham, E. The Roman Imperial Coinage Vol II, Vespasian to Hadrian (London 1968) Coin 15.
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins (London 1973) 99-106.

2 Related People

Whitting, Philip David
Haines, Geoffrey Colton
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