His Birth and Youth

Brief overview of the birth and childhood of the Emperor Nero

On December 15, 37 A.D. Nero was born, his original name was Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. He was the only child of Julia Agrippina (the great-granddaughter of Augustus), and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, whose family descended from the ancient nobility and whose father had married a niece of Augustus.

Young Domitius had a rough childhood, he was taken from his mother when he was 2 years old, when his uncle Gaius Caesar (Caligula) took the throne sent the Ahenobarbus family into exile around 39 A.D. When Nero was 3 years old his father died. Caligula seized the entire Ahenobarbus family fortune, and the young boy spent many of his early years in poverty. Agrippina raised him with the help of Domitia Lepida, his aunt. His earliest tutors were apparently a dancer and a barber.