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    Description

    Nero Addresses German Bodyguard

    Nero (AD 54-68). Orichalcum sestertius (35mm, 27.12 gm, 7h). Rome, 64 AD. NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust of Nero right, aegis with Medusa head and snakes on front shoulder /  S - C across fields, Nero, togate, standing left on platform, raising right hand in act of address; behind him, also on the platform, praetorian prefect in tunic standing left; facing Nero are three German guardsmen standing right, all wearing tunics and swords in scabbards by their hips, the first two holding standards. RIC 135. BMCRE124. Very rare, with a fine portrait in high relief. Honey brown patination, with slight areas of isolated corrosion on the reverse.  NGC Choice VF ★ 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style.

    Ex Dr. Reinaldo Gomez Collection; Heritage-Gemini  CICF (14 April 2011), lot 287. 

    The soldiers depicted in this rare "Adlocutio" ("addressing the troops") sestertius of Nero are not from the Praetorian Guard, as is often claimed. The soldiers are all bearded, have rather shaggy hair and are shown without armor, wearing only tunics with swords slung at their hips. They can almost certainly be identified as members of the  Germani Corpori Custodes, the elite German Bodyguard that  served the Julio-Claudian dynasty. German bodyguards were first employed by Julius Caesar and by the end of Augustus's reign they numbered between 500 and 1,000 men. They were briefly disbanded after the battle of the Teutoburg Wild, but were reconstituted by Tiberius and were the last force to remain loyal to Nero when his regime collapsed in AD 68. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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