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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Poppaea||View 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.

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References disagree on who is the empress beside Nero. Most simply say empress. Sear (SRCV I) and Giard (BnF II) say the empress is Livia. RSC II says Messalina, but this type is now dated to the time of Nero's marriage to Poppaea Sabina. Nobody says it is his mother Agrippina, because he had her murdered in 59 A.D. We think it is Poppaea.

According to Tacitus, Poppaea was ambitious and ruthless. He reports that Poppaea married Otho 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 on 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, while she was awaiting the birth of her second child in the summer of 65, she quarreled fiercely with Nero over his spending too much time at the races. In a fit of rage, Nero kicked her in the abdomen, killing her.
RS72960. Silver denarius, post reform; RIC I 45 (R), BMCRE I 54, RSC II 43 (Messalina), BnF II 201 (Livia), Hunter I 24, SRCV I 1940 (Livia), EF, excellent portrait, fantastic reverse style, weight 3.402 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 64 - 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CAESAR AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse AVGVSTVS AVGVSTA, Nero, on left, standing slightly left, radiate and togate, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand; empress on right, standing left, veiled and draped, patera in right hand, double cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Imperial Coins; rare; SOLD


Judaean Kingdom, Herod Agrippa II, c. 49 - 95 A.D., Diva Poppaea and Diva Claudia Commemorative

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This is the only coin ever issued in the name of Claudia, Nero's daughter, who died in infancy, 63 A.D. Poppaea was described as a "god fearer" by Josephus and she may have interceded with Nero on behalf of the Judaeans.
SH60175. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 4846, Hendin 1270, SGICV 2058, Vagi 746, VF, weight 4.823 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Caesarea Paneas mint, reign of Nero, 65 A.D.; obverse DIVA POPPAEA AVG, distyle temple of Diva Poppaea, female figure seated left within; reverse DIVA CLAVD NER F, round hexastyle temple of Diva Claudia, female figure standing left within; rare; SOLD


Nero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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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.
RP79840. Bronze dupondius, cf. C. Howgego, “Greek Legends and Roman Types: a Neronian Enigma,” SM 140 (November 1985), 3 and 4; RPC I 2060a (including c/m); c/m: Howgego 591, F, spots of encrustation and corrosion, weight 9.024 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, 62 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KΛAY∆IOΣ KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ ΓE, radiate head of Nero right, countermark: GALBA in rectangular punch; reverse ΠOΠΠIAΣ ΣEBAΣTHΣ, Poppaea (as Securitas) seated right, relaxed pose with right hand to head; very rare; SOLD


Nero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Koinon Galatia, Galatia

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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.

RPC discusses three different possible mint cities for this type: Ancyra, Pessinus and Tavium. A strong argument that Tavium is the mint city is the countermark on this coin. The countermark on this type is always a laureate head of Zeus. Generally, countermarks are applied at the same place as the original mint. Of the three cities, only Tavium had a temple of Zeus and minted coins with Zeus as a standard type.
SH05476. Bronze AE 29, RPC I 3562, SNG BnF 2400, SNGvA 6117, SGICV 662, aVF, nice green patina with sandy earthen highlights, weight 12.1 g, maximum diameter 29 mm, die axis 45o, Tavium(?) mint, 62 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩNOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, laureate head of Nero right, countermark; reverse ΠOΠΠIAΣ ΣEBAΣTHΣ, draped bust of Poppaea right; SOLD


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. Ephesos, Ionia

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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.
SH62510. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 2630; BMC Ionia 212; SNG Cop -, VF, weight 6.555 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesus mint, proconsul M. Acillius C.f. Aviola, 65 - 66 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN ΠOΠΠAIA, jugate heads of Nero and Poppaea right; reverse AOYIOΛA ANΘYΠATΩ AIXMOKΛHΣ EΦE, stag standing right; scarce; SOLD


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

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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.

Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. Perinthus was the capital of Roman Thracia.
RP83451. Bronze AE 26, Schonert Perinthos 259 - 271; RPC I 1756; Varbanov 27 (R4); BMC Thrace p. 149, 15; Moushmov 4424; SGICV 6070, gF, green patina, light scratches and marks, some porosity, weight 9.709 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 320o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 63 - 65 A.D.; obverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust right, wearing stephane; reverse headdress of Isis, Π - E across field, over a stalk of grain on each side flanking base of crown, all within olive wreath; ex Pecunem auction 30, lot 290; SOLD


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., and Poppaea, Claudiconium, Galatia

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RP82516. Bronze AE 26, RPC I 3544, VF, weight 14.155 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Claudiconium mint, obverse NEPWN KAICAP CEBACTOC, laureate head right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA CEBACTH KΛAYA∆EIKONIΣΩN, Poppaea seated left, poppy extended in right, long scepter vertical in left; SOLD


Nero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Thyatira, Lydia

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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.
RP84927. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 2383 (6 spec.); BMC Lydia p. 302, 65; Weber 6932, SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, aVF, dark green patina, a little rough, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Thyatira (Akhisar, Turkey) mint, c. 62 A.D.; obverse NERΩN KΛAY∆IOC KAICAP CEBACTOC, laureate head of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIAN CEBACTHN ΘYATIPHNOI, draped bust of Poppaea right; rare; SOLD


Nero and Poppaea, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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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.
RX54010. Billon tetradrachm, RPC I 5282; Geissen 168; Kampmann 14.85; Milne 223; Curtis 143; BMC Alexandria p. 16, 124; SRCV I 2002, aVF, toned, weight 11.065 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 64 - 65 A.D.; obverse NEPΩ KΛAY KAIΣ ΣEB ΓEP AY, radiate head right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH, draped bust of Poppaea right, date L IA right (year 11); SOLD


Nero and Poppaea, 62 - 65 A.D., Thyatira, Lydia

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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.
RP71349. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 2383; BMC Lydia p. 302, 65; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -, VF, nice portraits, weight 3.979 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Thyatira (Akhisar, Turkey) mint, c. 62 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KΛAY∆IOC KAICAP CEBACTOC, laureate head of Nero right; reverse ΠOΠΠAIAN CEBACTHN Θ YATIPHNOI, draped bust of Poppaea right; rare; SOLD




  




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DIVAPOPPAEAAVG

REFERENCES|

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Calicó, E. Xavier. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier à Vespasien (41-78 après J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 après J.-C.). (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, J-B. Bibliothèque National Catalogue Monnaies de L'Empire Romain II: De Tebère à Néron. (Paris, 1988).
King, C.E. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mac Dowall, D.W. The Western Coinages of Nero. ANSNNM 161. (New York, 1979).
Mattingly, H. and R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, David R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, November 14, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Poppaea