Nero Claudius Caesar was one of the most infamous Roman emperors, who ruled from 54 AD until 14 years later when he committed suicide. He is best known for his debaucheries, political assassinations, persecution of Christians, and love of music, which led to the probably fictitious rumor that Nero fiddled. But did you know why he had his wife, Octavia, executed?
When Emperor Nero’s mistress became pregnant, he divorced and exiled his wife, Octavia. When this sparked public outrage, he had her executed instead.
Emperor Nero’s Obsessions
Nero organized orgies that lasted days in his massive palace Domus Aurea in Rome. The guests ate until they puked and slept until they passed out from exhaustion.
Aside from orgies, Nero had an unusual fetish. He had naked girls and boys tied to stakes. Then he disguised himself as a wild animal and leaped on them, pretending to eat their genitals.
Nero forced his mistresses to be the wives of Roman senators. He even had sex with a Vestal Virgin on one occasion. During those times, sex with the Vestal Virgin was a capital offense. Of course, no one dared to kill Nero, even if he violated one of the most sacred laws and earned the Romans’ wrath.
Nero married freedman Pythagoras in 64 AD. Nero played the role of a bride in this marriage, which was unusual. Nero even wore a bridal veil during the wedding ceremony. The newlyweds exchanged vows in front of their guests. (Source: Medium)
The Execution of Octavia
In 53 AD, Nero married his first wife, Claudia Octavia, out of convenience. She was his predecessor’s daughter, Emperor Claudius. Nero’s marriage to Claudia legitimized his claim to the throne even more.
Nero poisoned Octavia’s brother Britannicus during a family dinner in 55 AD. The adolescent was only fourteen years old. Octavia was taken aback. Nero and Octavia’s relationship deteriorated further when he began cheating on her.
Nero eventually decides to get rid of Octavia after falling in love with one of his mistresses, Poppaea Sabina. He attempted to strangle her several times but failed each time. He divorced her in 62 AD on false charges of adultery. Octavia was exiled from Rome.
Octavia, on the other hand, was very popular among the Romans. People expected her to return to Rome. In 62 AD, Nero panicked and had Octavia beheaded.
Nero married his mistress Poppaea Sabina in 62 AD. The marriage was blissful. Nero, on the other hand, had extreme rage outbursts. In 65 AD, he severely beat Poppaea during one of his rage attacks. He threw her down and kicked her in the stomach. These injuries killed Poppaea and her unborn child. The rage was because Poppaea had chastised Nero for arriving home late. He did. However, regret killing his wife. (Source: Medium)
Nero sought a woman who resembled his late wife Poppaea, whom he had murdered in a rage. He didn’t find any similar women, but he did meet an enslaved man Sporus who resembled Poppaea. He did what any bereaved husband would do. He castrated Sporus, dressed him in women’s clothing, and married him in 67 AD. He addressed him as a gentleman.
They stayed together until Nero died. Nero cried out to Sporus just before committing suicide in 68 AD. (Source: Medium)
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