Reproduction Sestertius of Nero - Horseman
Obverse: Laureate head of Nero left. Text around NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P (Nero Claudius, Caesar, emperor (Augustus), victor over the Germans, high priest, tribunician power, supreme commander (Imperator), father of the country).
Reverse: Nero, bare-headed and in military attire, prancing right on horseback, holding spear with right hand; behind him, mounted soldier prancing right with vexillum held over right shoulder. Text in exergue DECVRSIO (military manoeuvre), with S C above (Senatus Consultum - Decree of the senate).
History: There are three distinct “DECVRSIO” types. This version, depicting Nero and a soldier on horseback and with the large “S C” on the reverse is a later issue.
The Decursio which occurs on Nero’s Sestertii refer to the military manoeuvres performed by the praetorian guard held in the circus at Rome at special occasions (such as Imperial burials or triumphs) but also in certain times of crisis. It was an exhibition of equestrian skills which took on a form of pageantry shown on the coins by the rearing horses. While it has been recorded that Nero personally took part in several of these, the specific occasion for their staging during such games is unknown but may have been for events such as the death of Nero’s daughter Claudia or the success of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo in the Orient.
Date: Lugdunum mint, circa 62 - 68 AD