Nero Titles

Names and Titles of Nero 

Nero’s full name was Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, shown in Figure 1 below. Unlike other emperors who received titles based on their success in adding new provinces to the Roman Empire,  the Germanicus was passed down from his adoptive father Claudius as a name rather than a title, and should not be confused with successful military conquest.

Inscription with Nero’s complete title

Figure 1: Inscription with Nero’s full title

The transcription is as follows:

Q(uinto) Paesidio C(ai) f(ilio)

Aem(ilia) Macedoni

prim(o) pil(o) leg(ionis) IX Hisp(anae)

praef(ecto) castror(um) leg(ionis) IV

Scythic(ae) trib(uno) milit(um) leg(ionis)

eiusdem auguri

flamini Neronis Claudii Caesaris Aug(usti)


Dating Using Titles

TRIB POT: 4 December 54; II, 13 October 55; received annually XIV December 67

IMP: II, 56; III,57; IIII, 57; V, VI, 58; VII, 59; VIII, 61; IX, 62; X, 64; XI, 66; XII, 67; XIII, 67

COS: I, 55; II, 57; III, 58; IIII, 60; V, 68

PP: 55

Every emperor had many different titles reflecting their time spent going through the cursus honorum. These titles can be very useful for dating inscriptions because we know the dates in which emperors held certain positions. For example in the inscription below it says “consul IIII” meaning that Nero had been consul four times. Looking at a timeline of his political positions shows that Nero was consul for the fourth time in 60. From this we can conclude that the inscription was made in 60 at the earliest. The most accurate title for dating is imperator because the position is consistently year after year. In the case of this inscription, we see that Nero was “imperator IX” showing that Nero was in ninth year as emperor. Again, looking at a timeline of his rule, Nero is emperor for the ninth time in 61. By analyzing titles found in inscriptions, it is possible to accurately date down to the year.

Nero Claudius divi
Claudi f(ilius) Caesar Aug(ustus)
Ger(manicus) po[nt(ifex)] max(imus) trib(unicia)
potestate VIII
imp(erator) IX co(n)[s(ul)] IIII
[a Pis]oraca m(ilia passum)

EDH: HD041163