Roman Empire, Nerva - A Balm for the Exhausted Empire

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The aurei of Nerva are remarkably difficult to find in anything more than passably good condition, and locating an aesthetically pleasing example is harder still. The present example is possessed of a fine style portrait, and fortunately lacks the circulation mark that mar so many other specimens.

Following the many tumultuous years of the Julio-Claudians and of Domitian, the elderly peace-monger Nerva served as a balm for the ravaged and exhausted Empire. He recovered the irritated bond of the senate and the army and adopted Trajan who would go on to have a successful 19 year reign after him. The image of two hands clasped on the reverse of this outstanding coin is significant in portraying Nerva’s calming influence on Rome. His brief but arguably vital reign ended when he died naturally in 98.

Nerva AV Aureus. Rome, AD 96. IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS II P P, laureate head right / CONCORDIA EXERCTIVVM, clasped right hands. RIC 2; Calicó 954; BMC 4; C 15. 7.40g, 19mm, 1h.

Near Extremely Fine. Rare.