Nero became emperor in 54 C.E. at the age of 16.  His ascent to the throne was marked by a series of machinations by his mother Julia Agrippina, great-granddaughter of the emperor Augustus, who is said to have poisoned the emperor Claudius and his son Brittanicus, Nero’s rival for the throne.  Nero’s early reign was looked upon quite favorably.  He outlawed capital punishment, lowered taxes and promoted the arts.  The later years of his rule were marked by corruption, extravagance and tyranny - behaviors that are said to have escalated after his murders of his mother and step-brother.















 Dupondius of Nero                       Copper and brass                                 54 – 68 C.E.                                     2015.16.0067                                     Gift of Ron D’Argenio