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Roman Empire

Ruler: Poppaea Wife of Nero (with Nero)
Reigned: died 65 AD
Denomination: Billon Tetradrachm
Mint: Alexandria
Date of Issue: Year 10 (63/64 AD)
Obverse: Radiate bust of Nero, right. "ΝΕΡΩ ΚΛΑϒ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΡ Αϒ"
Reverse: Draped bust of Popaea right. "ΠΟΠΠΑΙΑ ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗ" To right of bust, "LI" (regnal year 10)
Reference: RCVM 2002, GIC 664, Milne 223
Weight: 12.7 gms
Diameter: 25.1 mm


Poppaea Sabina, named after her maternal grandfather C. Poppaeus Sabinus (consul AD 9) became Nero's second wife in AD 62. She had previously been married to Rufrius Crispinus, praetorian prefect under Claudius, and later to the future emperor M. Salvius Otho. Her association with Nero seems to have begun as early as AD 58 when Otho was sent to Lusitania as governor, his wife remaining in Rome as the emperor's mistress. Following her subsequent divorce from Otho, Poppaea became empress in succession to Octavia and on 21st January 63 AD bore Nero a daughter Claudia, who died within four months. Poppaea herself died two years later when, pregnant again, she was kicked by her husband in a fit of temper. Filled with remorse, Nero accorded her a public funeral and divine honours.

Nero married Statilia Messalina the following year, but then took up with the boy Sporus because he resembled Poppaea in appearance.

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