Dupondius (Orichalcum, 27 mm, 12.19 g, 6 h), Rome, 1-27 January 98. IMP NERVA CAES AVG GERM P M TR P II Radiate head of Nerva to right. Rev.
IMP II COS IIII P P / S - C Fortuna standing front, head to left, holding rudder in her right hand and cornucopiae in her left. BMC 145. CBN -. Cohen -. RIC -, cf. 105 (sestertius and as). Very rare. An exceptional piece with a chestnut brown patina and a spectacular portrait boldly struck in high relief, surely one of the finest known examples. Somewhat smoothed, otherwise,
good extremely fine.
From the Aes Augustorum Collection, formed since the late 1990s.
When Marcus Cocceius Nerva ascended the throne after Domitian's downfall in 96, he was a most unlikely candidate, being well into his sixties and having no heir. Moreover, he had previously been a part of Nero's inner circle and later advised the Flavians, without playing much of a public role. Perhaps it was this unassuming, behind-the-scenes presence which prompted the Senate to declare Nerva emperor, a conscious step away from the domineering character of Domitian. Almost immediately, Nerva met with opposition from the army, as Domitian had been popular with the troops. Tensions were only resolved when Nerva adopted Trajan, a well respected general, as his heir in 97. This would prove to be Nerva's soundest political decision, as it would usher in the golden age of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty. Nerva himself died on 27 January 98 as a result of a stroke suffered on 1 January 98 during a private audience, after a reign of just sixteen months. It is in this short period of time, in January 98, that our coin was issued.