Alexandrian Identity and the Coinage Commemorating Nero's 'Liberation' of the Greeks.
Couvalis, Spyridon George
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The emperor Nero visited Greece in 66–67 CE to compete in the prestigious festivals of old Greece. He declared the Greeks of Akhaea and the Peloponnese 'liberated' during his visit. Apart from the cities affected by his munificence or visited by him, only Alexandria clearly commemorated his visit on coins. It issued a prolific series of commemoratives celebrating the central festival deities of old Greece. Couvalis places Nero’s 'liberation' in the context of the activities of the Greek upper classes in the period 50–250 CE. He argues that the issue of the Alexandrian coins can be most plausibly explained by assuming that the governor of Egypt, a Hellenised lapsed Jew aptly named Tiberius Julius Alexander, was attempting to curry favour with the philhellenic Nero and the Alexandrian Greeks. The Alexandrian Greeks wanted to affirm that Alexandria was truly Greek as they felt threatened by Jewish claims to equal privileges.