To the design of their sesterces the Roman emperors paid particular attention. Thanks to their large surface, these coins were ideal for political propaganda. On this piece, Nero (54-68 AD) demonstrated his successes as pacifier of the Mediterranean.
The obverse shows Nero himself. The reverse depicts the temple of Janus with closed gates. For the Romans this was the sign of peace throughout the empire.
Janus was one of the oldest Roman deities, the god of new beginning and the patron of city gates. His temple has not been preserved, yet the coins depict a shrine in the form of a round archway with two gates facing each other on each side. These gates were open in wartime and closed in times of peace, which was not often the case in Roman history, however.