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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ PoppaeaView Options:  |  |  | 

Poppaea Sabina, Wife of Nero, Augusta 63 - 65 A.D.

Poppaea was renowned for her beauty and voluptuous extravagance. In 62 A.D., Nero divorced his wife Octavia to marry Poppaea. According to Tacitus, Poppaea married Otho only to get close to Nero and then, in turn, became Nero's favorite mistress, and then wife. She bore Nero one daughter, Claudia Augusta, born 21 January 63, who died at only four months of age. At the birth of Claudia, Nero honored mother and child with the title of Augusta. According to Suetonius, one day in the summer of 65, Poppaea quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. She was pregnant with her second child. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her.


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Cyzicus, Mysia, Poppaea or Statilia Messalina Reverse

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RPC I notes, "although certainty is not at the moment possible (because of the small size and relatively poor preservation of the coins), the portrait of Nero seems to be the "steps" portrait, introduced in 63. If so, the bust should be that of Poppaea (or possibly Statilia Messalina)." In 62 A.D., Nero divorced Octavia and married Poppaea. In the summer of 65, Nero and Poppaea quarreled. She was pregnant. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her. Statilia Messalina was already Nero's mistress. After Poppaea's death, Nero forced Statilia's husband to commit suicide, so he could marry her. Statilia kept a low profile in public and survived the fall of his reign. After Nero's death, Otho promised to marry her, before his suicide in 69.
RP85905. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2249 (3 spec.), BMC Mysia -, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Tübingen -, Lindgren -, aF, green patina, weight 3.390 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 63 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN (counterclockwise on right), bare head of Nero right, ΦY monogram behind; reverse K-Y-Z (K over Z in left field, Z appearing as I, Y in right field), draped bust of empress right; only one specimen on Coin Archives; extremely rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Claudiconium (Iconium), Lycaonia

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After Alexander's empire broke up, Iconium was ruled by Seleucus I Nicator and later the kings of Pergamon. Attalus III, the last king of Pergamon, bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman Republic. Under Claudius, the name was changed to Claudioconium, and under Hadrian to Colonia Aelia Hadriana. Paul and Barnabas preached in Iconium during their 1st Missionary Journey, c. 47 - 48 A.D., and Paul and Silas probably visited it again during Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey, c. 50 A.D. After non-believers in Iconium attempted to stone him, Paul fled to Lystra and Derbe. This is also mentioned in the Second Letter to Timothy.
RP86549. Bronze AE 27, vA Lykaoniens 270; SNGvA 8647; BMC Lycaonia p. 4, 3; RPC I 3544; SNG Paris 2282; SNG Cop 4; SNG Fitzwilliam 5211, VF, toned, reverse slightly off center, light marks and scratches, weight 10.068 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 0o, Iconium (Konya, Turkey) mint, 62 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPWN KAICAP CEBACTOC (counterclockwise from lower right), laureate head right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA CEBACTH KΛAY∆EIKO,NIEWN (counterclockwise from lower right, ending in exergue), Poppaea (as Kore) seated left on low throne, poppy in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins, ex CNG e-auction 110 (16 Mar 2005), lot 119; scarce; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Poppaea Sabina, Wife of Nero, Augusta 63 - 65 A.D., Acmonea, Phrygia

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Poppaea was renowned for her beauty and voluptuous extravagance. Nero divorced his first wife Octavia to marry her in 62 A.D. Three years later, in a fit of anger, Nero kicked her in the abdomen. Pregnant, she died from her injuries.

Unusually long legend for such a small coin. The reverse fields are completely filled with letters.

RP38483. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 3175, F, weight 2.564 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Acmonea mint, obverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, lion on shoulder; reverse ΣEPOYHNIOY KAΠITΩNOΣ KAI IOYΛIAΣ ΣEOYHPAΣ AKMONEΩN, Artemis advancing right, drawing arrow and holding bow; a small figure of Nike holding palm and wreath before her; SOLD







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REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Poppaea