Britannicus – Son

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Britannicus Bust Pompeii

Born 41 AD – Poisoned by Nero 55 AD

Britannicus-BTiberius Claudius Germanicus (Britannicus) was the son of Claudius and Messalina, his third wife. He was born in February 41 AD just one month after his father’s accession. Britannicus was originally named Germanicus, after Claudius’ brother. Nonetheless, his name was formally changed to Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus in celebration of his father’s conquest of Britain in 43AD. Britannicus, as he is known to history, grew up at court and became close friends with the son of one of his father’s generals, Titus. As fate would have it, Britannicus would never become Emperor, but his boyhood friend would one day issue coins in his memory when he inherited the throne. Britannicus was poisoned on the orders of Nero in 55AD while eating dinner at the palace. Nero had his body quietly removed and buried in secret.


Monetary System

Britanicus AE Sesterius-R

The only coinage of Latin origin is the sestertii of Britannicus  which has been a matter of some dispute as to who issued the coinage. Previously, the issue had been attributed to Rome around the end of Claudius’ reign when Britannicus adopted the toga virilis. However, such an attribution was problematic, given the fact that the Rome mint was not producing the bronze as at that time. This resulted in the coinage being attributed to the early years of Titus, when many restoration and commemorative issues were being struck. This appeared logical given the reported close friendship between the Britanicus and Titus as boys. Nevertheless, with the fall of the Iron curtain reasonable numbers of Latin coins (sestertii and dupondii) in the name of Britannicus, Agrippina Jr., Nero Caesar, and Nero Augustus have been found in the Balkan region. This appears to be aof Thracian origin for the series based upon the style and fabric of the coins. Additionally, find locations of these Latin bronze coinage would have been struck for use by the legions servicing the border at that time resulting in Latin coinage rather than Greek provisional issues.

Mints: Thrace


Æ Sestertius (Bust Left)

Æ Sestertius (Extremely Rare Bust Right)



Æ Sesterius (Countermark hippocamp right above triangular object, all within incuse square) UNIQUE


Britanicus AE Colonial-r
Æ24 SYRIA, Aegeae(Bare bust rt)
Æ22 BITHYNIA (Bare bust rt/Arch)
Æ17 IONIA, Clazomenae (Bare bust rt/Ram)
Æ17 IONIA, Smyrna (Bare hd rt/Nike flying)
Æ16 AIGAI, Aeolis (bare hd rt)

BRITANICUS with Octavia & Antonia

Æ22 CAPPADOCIA, Caesarea (Bard hd rt/Oct & Ant stg)

BRITANICUS with Claudius

AE23 MACEDON Thessalonica (bare hd Claudius lf/Brit. hd lf)
AE21 TROAS Ilium (bare hd Claudius rt/Brit. hd rt)


Æ18 CRETE (Bare hd Claudius lf/Brit & Octavia Conjoined)

BRITANNICUS & OCTAVIA & ANTONIA children of Claudius

Æ29 PELOPONNESUS, Patrae (Bare Claudius lf/3 busts)
Æ13 Cyzicus (Bare Britanicus rt/Ant & Oct facing)
Æ EGYPT Tetradrachm (Laur hd Claudius rt/3 busts)


Britanicus & Nero ColonialÆ21 TROAS, Ilium (Brit. & Nero facing/River-god)
Æ17 MYSIA, Pergamon (Brit/Nero)
Æ17 UNCERTAIN (Bare hd Brit rt/Bare hd Nero rt)
Æ23 UNCERTAIN (Laur hd Brit lf/laur Nero lf)


Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong