Born 42 AD – Poisoned 55 AD
Tiberius 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 Britannicus in celebration of his father’s conquest of Britain. 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.
The only coinage of Latin origin was most likely issued by the Emperor Titus in memory of his childhood friend. Britannicus’ image would appear during his lifetime only on colonial Greek coinage.