Indice Dietro Avanti
Roma, sesterzio, Nerone e il porto di Ostia
22.7.2023
Ringraziandola anticipatamente, per il servizio professionale che offre, sono entrato in possesso di codesta moneta (lasciata dalla suocera di mio nonno) e passo a fornire i dati richiesti:
peso gr. 39 circa;
diametro 34,70 mm;
spessore 5,58 mm;
colore bronzo o ottone;
asse di conio sembra che sia immutato, effettuando la rotazione l'asse rimane sempre lo stesso;
nessuna presenza di materiale ferroso, verificato con calamita e bussola;
tipologia della lega credo bronzo;
le allego le foto del caso;
Ringraziandola ancora la saluto cordialmente
fig. 1
Cliccare sulle immagini per ingrandire

Roma, 14.9.2023
Egregio Lettore,
di seguito riporto gli elementi significativi riguardanti la moneta di figura:

Sesterzio1, zecca di Roma, c. 64 d. C., RIC I 178 (pag. 162), BMC I 131 (pag. 222), Cohen I 37 (pag. 281)

Descrizione sommaria:
D. NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P2. Nerone, barbato, testa laureata a destra. Bordo perlinato.
R. Sopra AVGV-STI. In esergo SPOR OST C3. Vista a volo d'uccello del porto di Ostia. In cima faro sormontato da statua di Nettuno che sorregge uno scettro. In basso il dio Tiber. A destra e a sinistra moli porticati che si chiudono ad arco. Otto navi di varia foggia alla fonda4. Bordo perlinato.

La ricerca nel web di monete della tipologia di figura ha dato luogo ai seguenti risultati:
  1. https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=403&lot=6067 Lot 6067 Starting price: 1800 USD Price realized: 3000 USD ROMAN EMPIRE NERO, A.D. 54-68. AE Sestertius (21.0 gms), Rome Mint, A.D. 64. RIC-178. Laureate head of Nero right wearing aegis; Reverse: Port of Ostia seven ships within harbor. Mottled green and deep chestnut with a few small chips in the patina. Pleasing detail and a respectable example of this famous and distinctive type issued under Nero.NEARLY VERY FINE.
    Estimate: $3000.
  2. https://www.arsclassicacoins.com/biddr/#!/auction/lot?a=132&l=1773&c=2282 Auction 100 - Part II, lot 1773 Price realized 5'000 CHF Starting price 2'800 CHF Estimate 3'500 CHF. Description Nero augustus, 54 68. Sestertius circa 64, 24.64g. Laureate head r., with aegis on l. shoulder. Rev. Bird's eye view of the harbour of Ostia. At the top pharos surmounted by statue of Neptune, holding sceptre; at bottom, reclining figure of Tiber l., holding rudder and dolphin; below, S POR OST C. To l. crescent shaped pier with portico. To r., crescent-shaped row of breakwaters. In the centre, seven ships. C 37. RIC 178. Very rare. Reddish tone and a very detailed reverse composition. Very fine / good very fine.
  3. https://www.arsclassicacoins.com/biddr/#!/auction/lot?a=90&l=1080 Auctions 97-98, lot 1080 Price realized 12'000 CHF Starting price 6'000 CHF Estimate 7'500 CHF. Description The Roman Empire. Nero augustus, 54 68. Sestertius circa 64, 27.08.g NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P Laureate head r., with aegis on l. shoulder. Rev. AVG - VSTI Birds eye view of the harbour of Ostia. At the top pharos surmounted by statue of Neptune, holding sceptre; at bottom, reclining figure of Tiber l., holding rudder and dolphin; below, S POR OST C. To l. crescent shaped pier with portico. To r., crescent-shaped row of breakwaters. In the centre, seven ships. C 37. BMC 131. RIC 178. CBN 300. Very rare and a fine specimen of this desirable and prestigious issue. Perfectly centred on a full flan and with a finely detailed reverse composition, brownish-black patina. A very pleasant good very fine Ex NAC 4, 1991, 326 and NAC 25, 2003, 382 sales. Illustrated on www.romancoins.info, section imagines imperatorum. A very detailed and beautiful representation of the port of Ostia. AMP.
  4. vcoins 5,399.00. Rates for: 09/09/23 Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Sestertius of the Roman Imperial Period 62/68 AD. Material: AE Bronze. Diameter: 32mm Weight: 24.03g Mint: Rome Reference: RIC I (second edition) Nero 178. * This was NO paduan or modern cast - original ancient Nero mint *. Obverse: Head of Nero, laureate, right, with aegis on neck. The Inscription reads: NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P for Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex Maximus, Tribunicia Potestas, Imperator, Pater Patriae (Nero Claudius, Caesar, Augustus, victor over the Germans, high priest, tribunician power, Imperator, father of the country). Reverse: View of the harbor at Ostia; Statue of Neptune set on pharos, above; Tiber reclining left, below. The Inscription reads: AVGVSTI S POR OST C for Augusti Portus Ostiensis, Senatus Consultum (To the venerable port of Ostia. Decree of the Senate). Comments: Bird's eye view of the harbour of Ostia. At the top, pharos surmounted by statue of Neptune left, holding sceptre in left hand; at the bottom, reclining figure of Tiber left, holding rudder in right hand and dolphin in left hand; to left, crescent-shaped pier with portico of fourteen pillars, terminating with figure sacrificing at altar before building; to right, crescent-shaped row of fourteen breakwaters or slips terminating with figure seated on rock; within the central harbour, seven ships (three left, one centre, three right). While Julius Caesar recognized the value of expanding Rome's port facilitites at Ostia, it was Claudius who began actual building in 42 AD. As part of the construction, one of Caligula's pleasure galleys was scuttled and filled with cement; above it was constucted a lighthouse surmounted by a statue of Neptune. Although the actual date of completion is not certain, it must have occurred shortly before this sestertius was minted. A further expansion of the facilities was required under Trajan and Hadrian. By the fourth century, however, its importance began to diminish as a result of silting. Soon the region became a breeding ground for malaria and was abandoned.
  5. https://ha-europe.com/de/durchsuchen/Coins_Currency_and_Medals_May_2022/3136 AE Sestertius (Rome AD 64, 25.48g) -NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right with aegis / AVGVSTI POR OST, S - C, birds eye view of the harbour of Ostia. At the top pharos surmounted by statue of Neptune holding sceptre; at bottom reclining figure of Tiber holding rudder and dolphin; left crescent shaped pier with portico; right crescent-shaped row of breakwaters; in the centre seven ships (BMC 131, RIC 178) - F+ Einstiegspreis: 100,00.
  6. https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/C_R-6445 Museum number R.6445. Denomination sestertius. Description. Copper alloy coin. Head of Nero, laureate, wearing aegis, right.  Bird's eye view of the harbour of Ostia. At the top, pharos surmounted by statue of Neptune left, holding sceptre in left hand; at the bottom, reclining figure of Tiber left, holding rudder in right hand and dolphin in left hand; to left, crescent-shaped pier with portico of fourteen pillars, terminating with figure sacrificing at altar before building; to right, crescent-shaped row of fourteen breakwaters or slips terminating with figure seated on rock; within the central harbour, seven ships (three left, one centre, three right). (reverse) Associated with: Roman Empire. Authority Ruler: Nero Cultures/periods Roman Imperial Production date 64. Production place Minted in: Rome (city). Europe: Italy: Lazio: Rome (province): Rome (city) Materials copper alloy. Dimensions Die-axis: Die-axis: 6 o'clock. Weight: Weight: 29.84 grammes. Inscriptions Inscription position: obverse Inscription content: NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P. Inscription position: reverse Inscription content: AVGVSTI S POR OST C. Curator's comments The construction of the harbour, begun by Claudius, was completed under Nero. Bibliographic references PCR / Principal coins of the Romans: Volume I: The Republic c. 290 - 31 BC; Volume II: The Principate 31 BC - AD 296; Volume III: The Dominate AD 294 - 498. (422)- RE1 / Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, vol. 1: Augustus to Vitellius (132, p.222). RIC1 / The Roman Imperial Coinage, vol. 1 (178, p.162) Exhibition history 2021 May 27-Oct 24, London, BM SEG, Nero harbour/port boat/ship classical deity mammal Associated names Named in inscription & portrayed: Nero. Representation of: Tiber Representation of: Poseidon/Neptune. Associated places. Topographic representation of: Ostia. Europe: Italy: Lazio: Ostia. Department Coins and Medals. Registration number R.6445. Additional IDs. Miscellaneous number: Miscellaneous number: HSBC.589 (Money Gallery Exhibited) (Money Gallery Exhibited)
  7. https://praefectuscoins.com/shop/roman-imperial/nero-a-d-54-68-ae-sestertius-port-of-ostia-very-rare-ngc-vf-5-5/ Nero, A.D. 54-68. AE Sestertius 23.33 gm. Rome Mint, ca. A.D. 64. NGC VF, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 3/5. Fine Style. Obv: NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate bust right, wearing aegis; Rev: S C / AVG-VSTI above, PORT OST below, Port of Ostia: seven ships within the harbor; at the top is a pharos surmounted by a statue of Neptune; below is a reclining figure of Tiber, holding a rudder and dolphin; to left, crescent-shaped pier with portico, terminating with figure sacrificing at altar and with building; to right, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips, terminating with a figure seated on rock. RIC-181 (var. PORT instead of POR), BMC 134. WCN 105. Rare. Ex R. Meyers FPL March 1981. Will remove from slab at no charge upon request. $9,995.00.
  8. https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=197927 900743. Sold For $24500. Nero. AD 54-68. Sestertius (36mm, 28.76g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 64. NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR [P I]MP P P, laureate head right / Port of Ostia: seven ships within the harbor; at the top is a pharus surmounted by a statue of Neptune; below is a reclining figure of Tiber, holding a rudder and dolphin; to left, crescent-shaped pier with portico, terminating with figure sacrificing at altar and with building; to right, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips; AVGV STI above; below, POR OST between S C. RIC I 178; WCN 120. Good VF, brown surfaces, some minor smoothing. Well struck, featuring impressive detail on the reverse. A great example of an iconic piece. Ex Clarence & Helen Zaar Maritime Collection. While Julius Caesar recognized the value of expanding Rome's port facilities at Ostia, it was Claudius who began actual building in AD 42. As part of the construction, one of Caligula's pleasure galleys was scuttled and filled with cement; above it was constructed a lighthouse surmounted by a statue of Neptune. Although the actual date of completion is not certain, it must have occurred shortly before this sestertius was minted. A further expansion of the facilities was required under Trajan and Hadrian. By the fourth century, however, the port's importance began to diminish as a result of silting. Soon the region became a breeding ground for malaria and was abandoned.
  9. http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/nero/RIC_0178.jpg Historical Coins Sale: CNG 69, Lot: 1538. Closing Date: Jun 08, 2005. NERO. 54-68 AD. Sestertius (25.26 gm, 7h). Rome mint. Struck 64 AD. Bidding Closed Estimate $2500 NERO. 54-68 AD. Rome mint. Struck 64 AD. Laureate bust right, wearing aegis / Port of Ostia with eight ships within the harbor, at the top is a pharus surmounted by a statue of Neptune, below is a reclining figure of Tiber, holding a rudder and dolphin. RIC I 178; BMCRE -; Cohen 38. VF, brown surfaces, corrosion on reverse. ($2500). From the Tony Hardy Collection. High bid of $3000, $3450 including 15% buyers fee, or approximately 2430, 1650, C$3750, A$3900, on June 8, 2005.
  10. http://numismatics.org/collection/1967.153.118 Obverse Legend: NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P Obverse Type: Head of Nero, laureate, right, with aegis on neck Date: AD 64-AD 68 Object Type: Coin Axis: 6 Denomination: sestertius Manufacture: Struck Material: ORICHALCUM Weight: 27.69 grams Department: Roman BMC.132 ric.1(2).ner.178.
  11. https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=403&lot=6068 Lot: 6068 Estimate: 3'000 USD Starting price: 1'800 USD Price realized: 3'450 USD ROMAN EMPIRE NERO, A.D. 54-68. Sestertius (27.44 gms), Rome Mint, ca. A.D. 64. RIC-181. Laureate bust of Nero right wearing aegis; Reverse: Bird's-eye view of the harbor at Ostia, at the top, pharos surmounted by statue of Neptune left holding scepter, at bottom, reclining figure of the river-god Tiber left holding rudder and dolphin, to left crescent-shaped pier with portico terminating with figure sacrificing at altar and with building, to right crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips, several ships within the central harbor. Good overall detail, full legends. Dark brown patina with green accents, light to moderate porosity. VERY FINE.
  12. http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=197927 900743. Sold For $24500 Nero. AD 54-68. Sestertius (36mm, 28.76 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 64. NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR [P I]MP P P, laureate head right / Port of Ostia: seven ships within the harbor; at the top is a pharus surmounted by a statue of Neptune; below is a reclining figure of Tiber, holding a rudder and dolphin; to left, crescent-shaped pier with portico, terminating with figure sacrificing at altar and with building; to right, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips. While Julius Caesar recognized the value of expanding Rome's port facilities at Ostia, it was Claudius who began actual building in AD 42. As part of the construction, one of Caligula's pleasure galleys was scuttled and filled with cement; above it was constructed a lighthouse surmounted by a statue of Neptune. Although the actual date of completion is not certain, it must have occurred shortly before this sestertius was minted. A further expansion of the facilities was required under Trajan and Hadrian. By the fourth century, however, the port's importance began to diminish as a result of silting. Soon the region became a breeding ground for malaria and was abandoned. AVGV STI above; below, POR OST between S C. RIC I 178; WCN 120. Good VF, brown surfaces, some minor smoothing. Well struck, featuring impressive detail on the reverse. A great example of an iconic piece. Ex Clarence & Helen Zaar Maritime Collection.
  13. http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=103915 The Port at Ostia Sale: CNG 75, Lot: 1007. Estimate $7500. Closing Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2007. Sold For $8000. This amount does not include the buyers fee. Nero. AD 54-68. Sestertius (29.00 g, 6h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 64. Laureate bust right, wearing aegis / Port of Ostia: seven ships within the harbor; at the top is a pharus surmounted by a statue of Neptune; below is a reclining figure of Tiber, holding a rudder and dolphin; to left, crescent-shaped pier with portico, terminating with figure sacrificing at altar and with building; to right, crescent-shaped row of breakwaters or slips. RIC I 178; WCN 120. VF, brown patina, traces of red on some high points, areas of light smoothing. Wonderful details on reverse.

Veniamo alle conclusioni. Al di l del peso fuori norma, lo stile talmente improbabile da non lasciare dubbi sul fatto che la moneta sia una riproduzione moderna di pessima qualit. Anche le leggende sono realizzate in modo molto approssimativo. Devo ricordare che la tipologia numismatica in esame stata oggetto di imitazione sin dai tempi del famoso incisore rinascimentale Cavino, morto nel 1570 (si veda nel link l'immagine di un riconio di Cavino).

Un saluto cordiale.
Giulio De Florio

-------------------------------

Note:
(1) Sesterzio (oricalco). Riferisce  il RIC I (pag. 156) che il sesterzio di Nerone aveva un peso prevalente di 2630g. Raccolgo in tabella le caratteristiche fisiche dei sesterzi della tipologia di figura reperiti nel web:

Rif. Peso(g) Asse di conio (ore) Diametro(mm)
Link1 21 - -
Link2 24,64 - -
Link3 27,08 - -
Link4 24,03 - 32
Link5 25,48 - -
Link6 29,84 6 -
Link7 23,33 - -
Link8 28,76 6 36
Link9 25,26 7 -
Link10 27,69 6 -
Link11 27,44 - -
Link12 28,76 6 36
Link13 29 6 -
Da quanto sopra si evince che il sesterzio di figura presenta caratteristiche (39g, 34,70mm) anomale, quanto al peso, rispetto alle monete tabulate.
(2) NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P (NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGustus GERmanicus Pontifex Maximus TRibunicia Potestate IMPerator Pater Patriae). La moneta fa parte di una serie in oricalco che viene attribuita all'incirca al 64, caratterizzata da IMP posto come cognomen, cio quasi alla fine della leggenda, e dalla sigla SC nel rovescio. Per il profilo biografico di Nerone rimando alla pagina omonima del portale dell'Enciclopedia Treccani (v. link).
(3) La leggenda del rovescio va letta unendo la parte superiore, "AVGV-STI", a quella inferiore, "SPOR OST C", privata delle lettere d'inizio e fine che esprimono la sigla senatoria SC, cos diventando, POR OST (AVGVSTI PORTus OSTiensis - Porto Ostiense di Augusto).
(4) La descrizione e i commenti che accompagnano la leggenda del rovescio sono ripresi dalla moneta n 12: "In alto, faro sormontato da statua di Nettuno con scettro; sotto, personificazione del Tevere disteso che sorregge un timone e un delfino; a sinistra, molo a forma di mezzaluna, con portico terminante con personaggio sacrificante su un altare e con edificio; a destra, frangiflutti o scivoli a forma di mezzaluna". Alla fonda alcune navi (pi spesso in numero di sette, talora di otto o pi). Claudio dette inizio ai lavori della costruzione del porto di Ostia nel 42 d. C.. Come parte della costruzione, fu riempita di cemento e affondata una delle galere di Caligola e su di essa eretto un faro sormontato dalla statua di Nettuno. Anche se la data effettiva della fine dei lavori non certa, si suppone che l'opera sia stata completata poco prima della coniazione del sesterzio. Un ulteriore ampliamento delle strutture del porto di Ostia si rese necessario sotto Traiano e Adriano. Nel IV secolo, l'importanza del porto inizi a diminuire a causa dell'insabbiamento. Ben presto la zona divenne malarica e fu abbandonata. Nel link che segue l'ipotesi ricostruttiva del porto (v. link) e l'immagine di come si presenta oggi, dopo la bonifica moderna, la parte pi interna del porto realizzata sotto Traiano agli inizi del secondo secolo (v. link).
Indice Dietro Avanti