ROMAN EMPIRE, Nerva, 96-98 AD, copper as


ROMAN EMPIRE, Nerva, 96-98 AD, as, no date (January-September 97 AD), Rome mint, Obverse: laureate bust R, IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, Reverse: Aequitas standing L holding scale & cornucopia, AEQVITAS AVGVST SC, copper, 26-28mm, 8.24g, SR3060, edge chip, pitted, F-VF

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Nerva had been a government employee for decades before becoming Emperor. Money problems and poor relations with the Army, who forced him to adopt one of their generals, Trajan, as heir. He died of natural causes, aged 68.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.