Poppaea Sabina —known as Poppaea Sabina the Younger and, after AD 63, as Poppaea Augusta Sabina—was a Roman Empress as the second wife of the Emperor Nero. She had been wife to the future Emperor Otho; the historians of antiquity describe her as a beautiful woman. Poppaea Sabina the Younger was born in Pompeii in AD 30 as the daughter of Titus Ollius and Poppaea Sabina the Elder. Most evidence suggesting Poppaea's Pompeiian origins comes from the 20th century excavations of the town, destroyed in the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79. For instance, legal documents found during excavations in nearby Herculaneum described her as being the owner of a brick- or tile-work business in the Pompeii area, it is likely that Poppaea's family came from Pompeii, the common belief is that they might have been the owners of the Casa del Menandro. Titus Ollius was a quaestor in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Ollius' friendship with the infamous imperial palace guardsman Lucius Aelius Sejanus ruined him before gaining public office.
Titus Ollius was from Picenum and he was an unknown minor character in imperial politics. Titus Ollius died in 31. Poppaea Sabina the Elder, her mother, was a distinguished woman, whom Tacitus praises as wealthy and "the loveliest woman of her day". In 47, she committed suicide as an innocent victim of the intrigues of the Roman Empress Valeria Messalina, having been charged with committing adultery with former consul Decimus Valerius Asiaticus; the father of Poppaea Sabina the Elder was Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus. This man of humble birth was consul in 9 and was the governor of Moesia from 12 - 35. Passed during his consulship was the Lex Papia Poppaea, a law meant to strengthen and encourage marriage. Sabinus received a military triumph for ending a revolt in Thrace in 26. From 15 until his death, he served in other provinces; this competent administrator enjoyed the friendship of the Emperors Tiberius. He died in late December of AD 35 from natural causes. After his death, Poppaea Sabina the Younger assumed the name of her maternal grandfather.
After Titus Ollius's death, Poppaea's mother married Publius Cornelius Lentulus Scipio the Elder, suffect consul, in 24. Her siblings included step-brother Publius Cornelius Lentulus Scipio the Younger, consul in 56, half-brother Publius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, suffect consul in 68. Poppaea's first marriage was to a man of equestrian rank, they married in 44. He was the leader of the Praetorian Guard during the first 10 years of the reign of the Emperor Claudius until 51 when Claudius' new wife Agrippina the Younger removed him from this position. Agrippina regarded him as loyal to the deceased Messalina's memory and replaced him with Sextus Afranius Burrus. Under Nero, he was executed. During their marriage, Poppaea gave birth to his son, a younger Rufrius Crispinus, after her death, would be drowned by Nero while out on a fishing trip. Poppaea married Otho, a good friend of the new Emperor Nero, seven years younger than she was. Nero fell in love with Poppaea, she became Nero's mistress. According to Tacitus, Poppaea divorced Otho in 58 and focused her attentions on becoming empress of Rome and Nero's new wife.
Otho was ordered away to be governor of Lusitania. Suetonius places these events after 59. According to Tacitus, Poppaea was ruthless, he reports that Poppaea married Otho to get close to Nero, in turn, became Nero's favorite mistress. Tacitus claims. Poppaea induced Nero to murder Agrippina in 59. Modern scholars, question the reliability of this story as Nero did not marry Poppaea until 62. Additionally, Suetonius mentions how Poppaea's husband, was not sent away until after Agrippina's death, which makes it unlikely that an married woman would be pressing Nero to marry her; some modern historians theorize that Nero's decision to kill Agrippina was prompted by her plotting to set Gaius Rubellius Plautus on the throne rather than as a result of Poppaea's motives. Still, Tacitus claims that, with Agrippina gone, Poppaea pressured Nero to divorce and execute his first wife and stepsister Claudia Octavia in order to marry Poppaea. Octavia was dismissed to Campania, coincidentally the same general geographic area that Pompeii, Poppaea's place of birth, is located.
She was imprisoned on the island of Pandateria, a common place of banishment for members of the imperial family who fell from favor because of a charge of adultery. During his eight-year marriage to Claudia Octavia, Nero produced no children, in AD 62, Poppaea became pregnant; when this happened, Nero divorced Octavia, claimed she was barren, married Poppaea 12 days after the divorce. The Jewish historian Josephus makes questionable claims of a different Poppaea, he calls her a religious woman who urged Nero to show compassion to the Jewish people. However, in fact, in 64 she secured the position of procurator of Judaea for Gessius Florus, her friend's husband, harmful to the Jews, she bore Claudia Augusta, born on 21 January 63, who died at four months of age. At the birth of Claudia, Nero honored child with the title of Augusta; the cause and timing of Poppaea's death is uncertain. According to Suetonius, while she was awaitin
A court is an extended royal household in a monarchy, including all those who attend on a monarch, or another central figure. Hence the word court may be applied to the coterie of a senior member of the nobility. Royal courts may have their seat in a designated place, several specific places, or be a mobile, itinerant court. In the largest courts, the royal households, many thousands of individuals comprised the court; these courtiers included the monarch or noble's camarilla and retinue, nobility, those with court appointments and may include emissaries from other kingdoms or visitors to the court. Foreign princes and foreign nobility in exile may seek refuge at a court. Near Eastern and Eastern courts included the harem and concubines as well as eunuchs who fulfilled a variety of functions. At times, the harem was separate from the rest of the residence of the monarch. In Asia, concubines were a more visible part of the court. Lower ranking servants and bodyguards were not properly called courtiers, though they might be included as part of the court or royal household in the broadest definition.
Entertainers and others may have been counted as part of the court. A royal household is the highest-ranking example of patronage. A regent or viceroy may hold court during the minority or absence of the hereditary ruler, an elected head of state may develop a court-like entourage of unofficial, personally-chosen advisors and "companions"; the French word compagnon and its English derivation "companion" connote a "sharer of the bread" at table, a court is an extension of the great individual's household. Wherever members of the household and bureaucrats of the administration overlap in personnel, it is reasonable to speak of a "court", for example in Achaemenid Persia, Ming China, Norman Sicily, the Papacy before 1870, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A group of individuals dependent on the patronage of a great man, classically in ancient Rome, forms part of the system of "clientage", discussed under vassal. Individual rulers differed in tastes and interests, as well as in political skills and in constitutional situations.
Accordingly, some founded elaborate courts based on new palaces, only to have their successors retreat to remote castles or to practical administrative centers. Personal retreats might arise far away from official court centres. Etiquette and hierarchy flourish in structured court settings, may leave conservative traces over generations. Most courts featured a strict order of precedence involving royal and noble ranks, orders of chivalry, nobility; some courts featured court uniforms. One of the major markers of a court is ceremony. Most monarchal courts included ceremonies concerning the investiture or coronation of the monarch and audiences with the monarch; some courts had ceremonies around the sleeping of the monarch, called a levée. Orders of chivalry as honorific orders became an important part of court culture starting in the 15th century, they were the right of the monarch, as the fount of honour, to grant. The earliest developed courts were in the Akkadian Empire, in Ancient Egypt, in Asia in China during the Shang dynasty, but we find evidence of courts as described in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and in Asia in the Zhou Dynasty.
Two of the earliest titles referring to the concept of a courtier were the ša rēsi and mazzāz pāni of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. In Ancient Egypt we find a title translated as high great overseer of the house; the royal courts influenced by the court of the Neo-Assyrian Empire such as those of the Median Empire and the Achaemenid Empire would have identifiable developed courts with court appointments and other features associated with courts. The imperial court of the Achaemenid Empire at Persepolis and Pasargadae is the earliest identifiable complex court with all of the definitive features of a royal court such as a household, court appointments and court ceremony. Though Alexander the Great had an entourage and the rudimentary elements of a court it was not until after he conquered Persia that he took many of the more complex Achaemenid court customs back to the Kingdom of Macedonia to develop a royal court which would influence the courts of Hellenistic Greece and the Roman Empire; the Sasanian Empire adopting and developing the earlier court culture and customs of the Achaemenid Empire would influence again the development of the complex court and court customs of the Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire.
The imperial court of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople would contain at least a thousand courtiers. The court's systems became prevalent in other courts such as those in the Balkan states, the Ottoman Empire, Russia. Byzantinism is a term, coined for this spread of the Byzantine system in the 19th century; the courts of Chinese Emperors were among the most complex of all. The Han Dynasty, Western Jin Dynasty, Tang Dynasty occupied the large palace complex at Weiyang Palace located near Chang'an, the Manchu dynasty occupied the whole Forbidden City and other parts of Beijing, the present capital city of China. However, by the Sui Dynasty the functions of the royal household and the imperial government were divided. During the Heian period, Japanese Emperors and their families developed an exquisitely refined court that played an important role in their culture. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West, a true court culture can be recognized in the entourage of the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great and in the court of Charlemagne.
In the Roman East, a brilliant court continued to surround the Byzantine emperors. In
The Principate or early Roman Empire is the name sometimes given to the first period of the Roman Empire from the beginning of the reign of Augustus in 27 BC to the end of the Crisis of the Third Century in 284 AD, after which it evolved into the so-called Dominate. The Principate is characterised by the reign of a single emperor and an effort on the part of the early emperors, at least, to preserve the illusion of the formal continuance, in some aspects, of the Roman Republic, it is etymologically derived from the Latin word princeps, meaning chief or first, the political regime dominated by such a political leader, whether or not he is formally head of state and/or head of government. This reflects the principate emperors' assertion that they were "first among equals" among the citizens of Rome; the title, in full, of princeps senatus / princeps civitatis was first adopted by Octavian Caesar Augustus, the first Roman'emperor' who chose, like the assassinated dictator Julius Caesar, not to reintroduce a legal monarchy.
Augustus's purpose was to establish the political stability needed after the exhausting civil wars by a de facto dictatorial regime within the constitutional framework of the Roman Republic as a more acceptable alternative to, for example, the early Roman Kingdom. The title itself derived from the position of the princeps senatus, traditionally the oldest member of the Senate who had the right to be heard first on any debate. Although dynastic pretenses crept in from the start, formalizing this in a monarchic style remained politically unthinkable. In a more limited and precise chronological sense, the term is applied either to the Empire or the earlier of the two phases of'Imperial' government in the ancient Roman Empire, extending from when Augustus claimed auctoritas for himself as princeps until Rome's military collapse in the West in 476, leaving the Byzantine Empire sole heir, or, depending on the source, up to the rule of Commodus, of Maximinus Thrax or of Diocletian. Afterwards, Imperial rule in the Empire is designated as the dominate, subjectively more like an monarchy while the earlier Principate is still more'Republican'.
Under this'Principate stricto sensu', the political reality of autocratic rule by the Emperor was still scrupulously masked by forms and conventions of oligarchic self-rule inherited from the political period of the'uncrowned' Roman Republic under the motto Senatus Populusque Romanus or SPQR. The theory implied the'first citizen' had to earn his extraordinary position by merit in the style that Augustus himself had gained the position of auctoritas. Imperial propaganda developed a'paternalistic' ideology, presenting the princeps as the incarnation of all virtues attributed to the ideal ruler, such as clemency and justice, in turn placing the onus on the princeps to play this designated role within Roman society, as his political insurance as well as a moral duty. What was expected of the princeps seems to have varied according to the times. Speaking, it was expected of the Emperor to be generous but not frivolous, not just as a good ruler but with his personal fortune providing occasional public games, horse races and artistic shows.
Large distributions of food for the public and charitable institutions were means that served as popularity boosters while the construction of public works provided paid employment for the poor. With the fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in 68 CE, the principate was redefined in formal terms under the Emperor Vespasian in 69 CE; the position of princeps became a distinct entity within the broader – formally still republican – Roman constitution. While many of the cultural and political expectations remained, the princeps was no longer a position extended on the basis of merit, or auctoritas, but on a firmer basis, allowing Vespasian and future emperors to designate their own heir without those heirs having to earn the position through years of success and public favor. Under the Antonine dynasty, it was the norm for the Emperor to appoint a successful and politically promising individual as his successor. In modern historical analysis, this is treated by many authors as an "ideal" situation: the individual, most capable was promoted to the position of princeps.
Of the Antonine dynasty, Edward Gibbon famously wrote that this was the happiest and most productive period in human history, credited the system of succession as the key factor. This first phase was to be followed by, or rather evolved into, the so-called dominate. Starting with the Emperor Diocletian, oriental type of styles like dominus became current, though not legal, but there could by definition never be a clear, constitutional turning point, so this appreciation remains subjective; the reality is gradual development. This process is said to be established by the Emperor Septimius Severus. After the Crisis of the Third Century resulted in the Roman Empire's political collap
The Flavian dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 AD and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian, his two sons Titus and Domitian. The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho died in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69, his claim to the throne was challenged by legions stationed in the Eastern provinces, who declared their commander Vespasian emperor in his place. The Second Battle of Bedriacum tilted the balance decisively in favour of the Flavian forces, who entered Rome on December 20; the following day, the Roman Senate declared Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire, thus commencing the Flavian dynasty. Although the dynasty proved to be short-lived, several significant historic and military events took place during their reign; the reign of Titus was struck by multiple natural disasters, the most severe of, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79. The surrounding cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under ash and lava.
One year Rome was struck by fire and a plague. On the military front, the Flavian dynasty witnessed the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70, following the failed Jewish rebellion of 66. Substantial conquests were made in Great Britain under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola between 77 and 83, while Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against King Decebalus in the war against the Dacians. In addition, the Empire strengthened its border defenses by expanding the fortifications along the Limes Germanicus; the Flavians initiated economic and cultural reforms. Under Vespasian, new taxes were devised to restore the Empire's finances, while Domitian revalued the Roman coinage by increasing its silver content. A massive building programme was enacted by Titus, to celebrate the ascent of the Flavian dynasty, leaving multiple enduring landmarks in the city of Rome, the most spectacular of, the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum. Flavian rule came to an end on September 96, when Domitian was assassinated.
He was succeeded by the longtime Flavian supporter and advisor Marcus Cocceius Nerva, who founded the long-lived Nerva–Antonine dynasty. The Flavian dynasty was unique among the four dynasties of the Principate Era, in that it was only one man and his two sons, without any extended or adopted family. Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, replaced in prominence by a new Italian nobility during the early part of the 1st century AD. One such family were the Flavians, or gens Flavia, which rose from relative obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Vespasian's grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar's civil war, his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upward mobility of Petro's son Titus Flavius Sabinus I.
Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied himself to the more prestigious patrician gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to the senatorial rank. Around 38 AD, Vespasian married the daughter of an equestrian from Ferentium, they had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Titus Flavius Domitianus, a daughter, Domitilla. Domitilla the Elder died. Thereafter his mistress Caenis was his wife in all but name until she died in 74; the political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor and praetor, culminated with a consulship in 51, the year Domitian was born. As a military commander, he gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. Ancient sources allege poverty for the Flavian family at the time of Domitian's upbringing claiming Vespasian had fallen into disrepute under the emperors Caligula and Nero.
Modern history has refuted these claims, suggesting these stories were circulated under Flavian rule as part of a propaganda campaign to diminish success under the less reputable Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, maximize achievements under Emperor Claudius and his son Britannicus. By all appearances, imperial favour for the Flavians was high throughout the 60s. While Titus received a court education in the company of Britannicus, Vespasian pursued a successful political and military career. Following a prolonged period of retirement during the 50s, he returned to public office under Nero, serving as proconsul of the Africa province in 63, accompanying the emperor during an official tour of Greece in 66. From c. 57 to 59, Titus was a military tribune in Germania, served in Britannia. His first wife, Arrecina Tertulla, died two years after their marriage, in 65. Titus took a new wife of a more distinguished family, Marcia Furnilla. However, Marcia's family was linked to the opposition to Emperor Nero.
Her uncle Barea Soranus and his daughter Servilia were among those who were killed after the failed Pisonian conspiracy of 65. Some modern historians theorize that Titus divorced his wife because of her family's connection to the conspiracy, he never remarried. Titus appears to have had at least one of them by Marcia Furnilla; the onl
Vespasian was Roman emperor from 69–79, the fourth, last, in the Year of the Four Emperors. He founded the Flavian dynasty. Vespasian was the first emperor who hailed from an equestrian family, only rose into the senatorial rank as the first member of his family in his lifetime. Vespasian's renown came from his military success. While Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion, emperor Nero committed suicide and plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho perished in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in April 69; the Roman legions of Roman Egypt and Judaea reacted by declaring Vespasian, their commander, emperor on 1 July 69. In his bid for imperial power, Vespasian joined forces with Mucianus, the governor of Syria, Primus, a general in Pannonia, leaving his son Titus to command the besieging forces at Jerusalem. Primus and Mucianus led the Flavian forces against Vitellius. On 20 December 69, Vitellius was defeated, the following day Vespasian was declared emperor by the Senate.
Little information survives about the government during Vespasian's ten-year rule. He reformed the financial system of Rome after the campaign against Judaea ended and initiated several ambitious construction projects, including the building of the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known today as the Roman Colosseum. Through his general Agricola, Vespasian increased imperial expansion in Britain. After his death in 79, he was succeeded by his eldest son Titus, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to be directly succeeded by his own natural son and establishing the Flavian dynasty. Vespasian was born in a village north-east of Rome called Falacrinae, his family was undistinguished and lacking in pedigree. His paternal grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, became the first to distinguish himself, rising to the rank of centurion and fighting at Pharsalus for Pompey in 48 BC. Subsequently, he became a debt collector. Petro's son, Titus Flavius Sabinus, worked as a customs official in the province of Asia and became a moneylender on a small scale among the Helvetii.
He gained a reputation as a scrupulous and honest "tax-farmer". Sabinus married up in status, to Vespasia Polla, whose father had risen to the rank of prefect of the camp and whose brother became a Senator. Sabinus and Vespasia had the eldest of whom, a girl, died in infancy; the elder boy, Titus Flavius Sabinus, pursued the cursus honorum. He served in the army as a military tribune in Thrace in 36; the following year he was served in Creta et Cyrenaica. He rose through the ranks of Roman public office, being elected aedile on his second attempt in 39 and praetor on his first attempt in 40, taking the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the Emperor Caligula; the younger boy, seemed far less to be successful not wishing to pursue high public office. He followed in his brother's footsteps. During this period he married Flavia Domitilla, the daughter of Flavius Liberalis from Ferentium and the mistress of Statilius Capella, a Roman equestrian from Sabratha in Africa, they had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Titus Flavius Domitianus, a daughter, Domitilla.
His wife Domitilla and his daughter Domitilla both died before Vespasian became Emperor in 69. After the death of his wife, Vespasian's longstanding mistress, Antonia Caenis, became his wife in all but formal status, a relationship that continued until she died in 75. In preparation for a praetorship, Vespasian needed two periods of service in the minor magistracies, one military and the other public. Vespasian served in the military in Thracia for about three years. On his return to Rome in about 30 AD, he obtained a post in the vigintivirate, the minor magistracies, most in one of the posts in charge of street cleaning, his early performance was so unsuccessful that Emperor Caligula stuffed handfuls of muck down his toga to correct the uncleaned Roman streets, formally his responsibility. During the period of the ascendancy of Sejanus, there is no record of Vespasian's significant activity in political events. After completion of a term in the vigintivirate, Vespasian was entitled to stand for election as quaestor.
But his lack of political or family influence meant that Vespasian served as quaestor in one of the provincial posts in Crete, rather than as assistant to important men in Rome. Next he needed to gain a praetorship, carrying the Imperium, but non-patricians and the less well-connected had to serve in at least one intermediary post as an aedile or tribune. Vespasian failed at his first attempt to gain an aedileship but was successful in his second attempt, becoming an aedile in 38. Despite his lack of significant family connections or success in office, he achieved praetorship in either 39 or 40, at the youngest age permitted, during a period of political upheaval in the organisation of elections, his longstanding relationship with freedwoman Antonia Caenis, confidential secretary to Antonia Minor and part of the circle of courtiers and servants around the Emperor, may have contributed to his success. Upon the accession of Claudius as emperor in 41, Vespasian was appointed legate of Legio II Augusta, stationed in Germania, thanks to the influence of the Imperial freedman Narcissus.
In 43, Vespasian and the II Augusta participated in the Roman invasion of Bri
Faustina the Elder
Annia Galeria Faustina, sometimes referred to as Faustina I, was a Roman empress and wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. The emperor Marcus Aurelius was her nephew and became her adopted son, along with Emperor Lucius Verus, she died early in the principate of Antoninus Pius, but continued to be prominently commemorated as a diva, posthumously playing a prominent symbolic role during his reign. Faustina was the only known daughter of prefect Marcus Annius Verus and Rupilia Faustina, her brothers were praetor Marcus Annius Verus. Her maternal aunts were Matidia Minor, her paternal grandfather was named Marcus Annius Verus, like her father, while her maternal grandparents were Salonia Matidia and suffect consul Lucius Scribonius Libo Rupilius Frugi Bonus. Faustina was raised in Rome. While a private citizen, she married Antoninus Pius between 110 and 115 CE. Faustina bore Antoninus four children: two sons and two daughters; these were: Marcus Aurelius Fulvius Antoninus. Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus.
He is commemorated by a high-quality series of bronze coins struck at Rome, though their language is Greek. Aurelia Fadilla, she appears to have had no children with her husband and her sepulchral inscription has been found in Italy. Annia Galeria Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger, a future Roman Empress, she was the only child who survived to see Faustina elevated to the imperial rank. According to the unreliable Historia Augusta, there were rumours while Antoninus was proconsul of Asia that Faustina conducted herself with "excessive frankness and levity". On July 10, 138, her uncle, the emperor Hadrian and her husband became the new emperor, as Antoninus was Hadrian's adopted son and heir. Faustina became the Senate accorded her the title of Augusta; as empress, Faustina was renowned for her beauty and wisdom. Throughout her life, as a private citizen and as empress, Faustina was involved in assisting charities for the poor and sponsoring and assisting in the education of Roman children girls.
A letter between Fronto and Antoninus Pius has sometimes been taken as an index of the latter's devotion to her. After Antoninus Pius' accession to the principate, the couple never left Italy. Faustina's personal style was evidently much emulated, her distinctive hairstyle, consisting of braids pulled back in a bun behind or on top of her head, was imitated for two or three generations in the Roman world. Several provincial groups chose to honour her while she was empress: a company of couriers in Ephesus named themselves after her, while a company of clapper-players in Puteoli dedicated an altar to her in her own lifetime. Faustina died near Rome in 140 at Antoninus Pius' estate at Lorium. Antoninus took several steps to honor her memory, he had the Senate dedicate the Temple of Faustina to her in the Roman Forum. The Senate authorized gold and silver statues of her, including an image to appear in the circus, where it might be displayed in a carpentum or currus elephantorum. Antoninus ordered various coins with her portrait struck, inscribed DIVA FAVSTINA and elaborately decorated.
He established a charity called Puellae Faustinianae to assist orphaned Roman girls and created a new alimenta. Her remains were interred in the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Certain cities struck coin issues in honour of the "divine Faustina". Martin Beckmann suggests that the coins of Nicopolis might have been minted at Rome and given out as imperial largesse at the Actian Games; the coins issued in the wake of Faustina's funeral illustrate her elaborate funeral pyre, which may have influenced the design of private mausolea. Coins of Faustina were sometimes worn as amulets; the posthumous cult of Faustina was exceptionally widespread, Faustina's image continued to be omnipresent throughout Antoninus Pius' principate. A colossal marble head, believed to be that of Faustina and discovered in 2008, figured as one of several monumental imperial statues at the ancient site of Sagalassos in today's Turkey. In Olympia, Herodes Atticus dedicated a nymphaeum that displayed statues of Faustina and other Antonines as well as his own ancestors.
Faustina appears on the Parthian Monument at Ephesus commemorating members of the imperial family. Bergmann and Watson have characterized the commemoration of Faustina as central to Antoninus Pius' political persona. One larger-than-life statue, discovered in situ near the Termini railway station at Rome, appears to depict Faustina as Concordia, with a patera and cornucopia.
Nero was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor, she dominated Nero's early life and decisions. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered. During the early years of his reign, Nero was content to be guided by his mother, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and his Praetorian prefect, Sextus Afranius Burrus; as time passed, he started to play a more active and independent role in government and foreign policy. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire, his general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a major revolt in Britain, led by the Iceni Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was annexed to the empire, the First Jewish–Roman War began. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games.
He made public appearances as an actor, poet and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person and office, his extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxes, much resented by the middle and upper classes. Various plots against his life were revealed. In 68 AD Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled, he was supported by the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim, but Nero fled Rome when Rome's discontented civil and military authorities chose Galba as emperor, he committed suicide on June 9, 68 AD, when he learned that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, making him the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Nero's rule is associated with tyranny and extravagance. Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign.
Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty; some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts. A few sources paint Nero in a more favorable light. There is evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support. Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus on 15 December 37 AD in Antium, he was the only son of Agrippina the Younger. His maternal grandparents were Agrippina the Elder, he was Augustus' great-great grandson, descended from the first Emperor's only daughter, Julia.
The ancient biographer Suetonius, critical of Nero's ancestors, wrote that Augustus had reproached Nero's grandfather for his unseemly enjoyment of violent gladiator games. According to Jürgen Malitz, Suetonius tells that Nero's father was known to be "irascible and brutal", that both "enjoyed chariot races and theater performances to a degree not befitting their position."Nero's father, died in 40. A few years before his death, Domitius had been involved in a political scandal that, according to Malitz, "could have cost him his life if Tiberius had not died in the year 37." In the previous year, Nero's mother Agrippina had been caught up in a scandal of her own. Caligula's beloved sister Drusilla had died and Caligula began to feel threatened by his brother-in-law Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Agrippina, suspected of adultery with her brother-in-law, was forced to carry the funerary urn after Lepidus' execution. Caligula banished his two surviving sisters and Julia Livilla, to a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Agrippina was exiled for plotting to overthrow Caligula. Nero's inheritance was taken from him and he was sent to live with his paternal aunt Domitia Lepida, the mother of Claudius' third wife Valeria Messalina. Caligula's reign lasted from 37 until 41, he died from multiple stab wounds in January of 41 after being ambushed by his own Praetorian Guard on the Palatine Hill. Claudius succeeded Caligula as Emperor. Agrippina became his fourth wife. By February 49, she had persuaded Claudius to adopt her son Nero. After Nero's adoption, "Claudius" became part of his name: Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus. Claudius had gold coins issued to mark the adoption. Classics professor Josiah Osgood has written that "the coins, through their distribution and imagery alike, showed that a new Leader was in the making." David Shotter noted that, despite events in Rome, Nero's step-brother Britannicus was more prominent in provincial coinages during the early 50s.
Nero formally entered public life as an adult in 51 AD—he was around 14 years old. When he turned 16, Nero married Claudius' daughter (