Nero married 5 times. He married 3 women and 2 men in his short life.

Claudia Octavia

She was the daughter of the Emperor Claudius and stepsister and first wife of Emperor Nero.

Nero’s mother Agrippina arranged marriage between Octavia and Nero on 9 June 53.

When emperor Claudius died on 13 October 54 and his son-in-law Nero succeeded him as emperor. Though, Agrippina was real power behind the throne.

Claudia Octavia - Nero's First Wife
Claudia Octavia – Nero’s First Wife

Soon, Octavia was caught up in the power struggles between Nero and his mother. Agrippina felt that she is losing influence over his son, started supporting Nero’s rival and  Octavia brother.

One day during the feast Nero poisoned Britannicus, which shocked both his wife Octavia and mother Agrippina.

After the murder of his brother, Octavia was fed up with Nero. Their marriage became deeply unhappy one. Soon Nero murdered his mother and Octavia was left without any protector.

Nero also got bored with her and hated her. Soon, he started affairs with other women. Later one woman called Poppaea got pregnant with Nero’s child.

Nero quickly divorced Octavia, claiming she was barren. Just twelve days after the divorce, he married Poppaea.

Nero and Poppaea wanted to get rid of Octavia, so they banished Octavia to the island of Pandateria on a false charge of adultery.

When Octavia complained about this treatment, Nero ordered torture and death of maids of Octavia.

Octavia’s was very popular with citizens of Rome and they protested loudly and openly against banishment of Octavia.

Freighted by the protest, Nero signed her death warrant.

A few days later, Octavia was bound and her veins were cut in a traditional Roman suicide ritual. Later assassins Octavia’s cut off the head of Octavia and sent it to Poppaea.

Poppaea Sabina

Poppaea Sabina was born to powerful family of Pompeii. She was married to Otho,   a good friend of the Emperor Nero.

Poppaea married Otho only to get close to Nero. Soon, Nero fell in love with Poppaea, and she became his mistress.

Soon Poppaea divorced Otho and focused her attentions on becoming Nero’s new wife.

Later Poppaea induced Nero to murder his mother Agrippina as she was a obstacle in her path of becoming empress.

in AD 62, Poppaea became pregnant with Nero’s child.

Poppaea Sabina - Nero's Second Wife
Poppaea Sabina – Nero’s Second Wife

With Agrippina gone, Poppaea pressured Nero to divorce and later execute his first wife and stepsister Claudia Octavia.

Nero married Poppaea 12 days after his divorce with Octavia.

She bore Nero one daughter, Claudia Augusta, who died at four months of age.

While she was pregnant with 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, causing her death.

When Nero got to his senses, he went into deep mourning. Nero not only embalmed her, but gave her a divine honor.

Statilia Messalina

After the death of Poppaea, Nero started an affair with Statilia Messalina. However at the time of this affair she was married to consul Marcus Julius Vestinus Atticus.

Nero wanted to marry her. So, in 66 AD, he forced Statilia’s husband Vestinus to commit suicide.

She was very witty and clever. She was far less flamboyant than Poppaea and kept a low profile in the public eye.

Just 2 years later, in 68 AD, Senate declared Nero as a public enemy and Nero commited suicide Statilia Messalina was one of the few of Nero’s courtiers who survived the fall of Nero’s reign.


In 67 AD, Nero saw a slave called Sporus, who bear a remarkable resemblance to his beloved Poppaea.

Nero ordered his soldier to castrate Sporus.

While he was already married to Statilia Messalina, Nero married Sporus in lavish ceremony. He then took Sporus on vacation to Greece.

One year later, after Senate declared him as public enemy, Nero sought a place where he could hide.

Nero travelled in disguise with his four loyal friends which include Sporus and reached the villa, where Nero committed suicide.


Pythagoras was a freedman of the Roman emperor Nero. Nero married him in a public ceremony in which the emperor took the role of bride.

Nero proclaimed Pythagoras as his husband and Sporus as his wife.

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