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Coin Portraying Emperor Otho

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

69

Artist:

Roman

About this artwork

The front of this coin portrays the emperor Otho, facing right.

On the back, Otho is shown making offerings at an altar.

Roman emperor Nero killed himself in 68, bringing an end to his chaotic reign. What followed was an equally chaotic struggle over who would succeed him. The year 69 saw one general after another rule and die in quick succession: Galba (reigned June 68–Jan. 69), Otho (reigned Jan.–Apr. 69), Vitellius (reigned Apr.–Dec. 69), and finally Vespasian (reigned 69–79), who founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled until 96. The harsh character of these four emperors is emphasized by the realistic features of their coin portraits—the hooked nose of Galba, the double chin and vain curls of Otho (seen in this coin), the plump features of the gluttonous Vitellius, and the lined complexion of battle-hardened Vespasian.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Artist

Ancient Roman

Title

Coin Portraying Emperor Otho

Origin

Roman Empire

Date

69 CE

Medium

Bronze

Inscriptions

Obverse: IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TRI POT Reverse: SECVRITAS PR

Dimensions

Diam. 3.5 cm; 22.09 g

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. William Nelson Pelouze

Reference Number

1923.1307

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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