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539245
539245.

Nero. AD 54-68. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.40 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 64-65. NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head right / AVGVSTVS AVGVSTA, Nero, holding patera and scepter, and Statilia Messalina, holding patera and cornucopia, standing left. RIC I 45; RSC 43. Lightly toned, a couple of small deposits on reverse. Good VF. Broad flan.


Ex Benito Collection.

Statilia Messalina was Nero’s third wife, after Octavia and Poppaea Sabina. She was descended from a prominent senatorial family and was married to an ex-consul, Marcus Julius Vestinus Atticus, who was originally one of Nero’s sycophants. Nero, after the death of his wife Poppaea, fixed his eye upon Messalina and decided he must wed her, so Atticus was induced to commit suicide. Messalina managed to survive Nero’s downfall and Otho even planned to marry her before his own rapid demise. Her eventual fate is unknown.