Nero in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

LITERATURE The fifth Roman emperor, born at Antium December 15, 37 AD, began to reign October 13, 54, died June 9, 68. I. Name, Parentage and Early Training. His name was originally Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus but after his adoption into the Claudian gens by the emperor Claudius, he became Nero Claudius Caesar Germanicus. His father was Enaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus ("Brazen-beard"), a man sprung from an illustrious family and of vicious character. His mother was Agrippina the younger, the daughter of Germanicus and the elder Agrippina, sister of the emperor Caius (Caligula) and niece of the emperor Claudius. On the birth of the child, his father predicted, amid the congratulations of his friends, that any offspring of himself and Agrippina could only prove abominable and disastrous for the public (Suet. Nero vi: detestabile et malo publico). At the age of three the young Domitius lost his father and was robbed of his estates by the rapacity of Caius. In 39 his mother was banished for supposed complicity in a plot against Caius. Nero was thus deprived of his mother and at the same time left almost penniless. His aunt, Domitia Lepida, now undertook the care of the boy and placed him with two tutors, a dancer and a barber (Suetonius vi). On the accession of Claudius, Agrippina was recalled, and Nero was restored to his mother and his patrimony (41 AD)...

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