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Octavia, wife of Nero, daughter of Claudius

Octavia was born in 40 A.D. the daughter of Claudius and Messalina. She married her cousin the future emperor Nero in 53 A.D. and was exiled then murdered by him in 62 A.D.


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Obverse legends:

OCTAVIAENERONISAVG


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Octavia





     Octavia, one of the most ancient families of Rome.Elected into the Senate by Tarquinius Priscus, and introduced amongst the patricians by Servius Tullius, it in aftertimes united itself to the plebeian order, and then returned again with great influence into the patrician ranks through Julius Csar. It was principally noted from Csar Octavianus Augustus.Mionnet and Akerman do not include the reputed coins of this family in their catalogues.Eckhel mentions them only as numi Goltziani, aut IIvirorum Corinthi.
     Octavia, the sister of Augustus, the third wife of Mark Antony, whom she married in the year of Rome 714 (B.C. 40), and by whom she was divorced in 722. She is said to have died of grief for the loss of the young Marcellus, her son by a former husband. There are coins of this Octavia; but, according to Mionnet, none are known in either metal of Roman die bearing her likeness, except a gold one of the highest degree of rarity, thus described by that eminent medallist, COS. DESIGN. ITER ET TER. IIIVIR. R.P.C. Naked head of Octavia.
     Rev.M. ANTONIVS M.F. M.N. AVG. IMP TER. Naked head of M. Antony. But the portrait and even the name of Octavia, adds Mionnet, is also found on a Latin brass medallion of Tiberius, struck out of Rome (in what province is not known). On the reverse of this coin appears the head of the princess fronting that of her brother Augustus; and the legend is DIVVS AVG. IMP. OCTAVIA.
     Octavia, the daughter of the Emperor Claudius, by Messalina. Born at Rome in 795-6 (A.D. 42 or 43); given in marriage to Nero (806), by whom soon after her father's death she was put away and banished to Campania, and afterwards to the island of Pandataria, where the ungrateful tyrant caused her death by suffocation in a bath, under pretext of her being an adulteress, A.D. 62, in the 20th year of her age. Her successful rival Poppa, at whose instigation she was murdered, had the bleeding head of the victim brought to her; and little perhaps anticipating the fatal kick of her brutal paramour, fed her own monstrous barbarity with the sight of it. The Romans were dismayed at her death, and preserved her memory as that of virtuous as well as a most unfortunate empress.
     The only coins of this empress which are known are of Colonial and of Greek fabric. From one of the former in the British Museum, in potin, the portrait annexed has been engraved. They are all of great rarity. One in third brass with her head is mentioned by Beauvais, as contained in his time in the cabinet of Pellerin, having for its legend OCTAVIAE AVG.




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