The Jerusalem Post reports: A rare, well-preserved coin struck in 56-57 CE, bearing the image of Roman Emperor Nero, was found by archaeologists from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte during a recent excavation on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, just outside the Old City, it was announced Wednesday.
Described as an “emperor, theater actor, poet,” Nero, a flamboyant ruler who took the throne at age 17, was perhaps best known for killing his mother, who married his great uncle Claudius.
He was also notable for persecuting Christians, before taking his own life during a Roman revolt.
The last of the Julio-Claudian line, Nero was emperor for 14 years (54-68 CE). He had a reputation for being a tyrant, and some believed he was responsible for the devastating fire of 64 CE that resulted in the burning of much of Rome.
“The coin is exceptional because this is the first time that a coin of this kind has turned up in Jerusalem in a scientific dig,” said Dr. Shimon Gibson, who co-directed the excavation with Dr. James Tabor and Dr. Rafael Lewis.
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