Bust, Naples National Archaeological Museum
A bust at the National Museum, Warsaw
Ancient bust of Seneca, part of the Double Herm of Socrates and Seneca
Bust of Claudius' mother, Antonia Minor
Modern statue of Seneca in Córdoba
A coin of Herod of Chalcis, showing him with his brother Agrippa of Judaea crowning Claudius. British Museum.
During the reign of Caligula, coins like the one pictured here were issued depicting his three sisters, Drusilla, Livilla, and Agrippina the Younger.
Nero and Seneca, by Eduardo Barrón (1904). Museo del Prado
Aureus of Claudius, struck at the Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, dated 41–42. The depiction on the reverse meant to commemorate the "reception of the emperor" (imperator receptus) at the Praetorian Camp and the protection the Praetorian Guard afforded Claudius in the days following the assassination of Caligula. Issued over a number of years in both gold and silver, these type of coins were struck to serve as part of the annual military payments Claudius had promised the Guard in return for their role in raising him to the throne. Caption: TI. CLAVD. CAESAR AVG. P. M., TR. P. / IMPER. RECEPT.
Messalina holding her son Britannicus (Louvre)
Manuel Domínguez Sánchez, The suicide of Seneca (1871), Museo del Prado
Claudius issued this denarius type to emphasize his clemency after Caligula's assassination. The depiction of the goddess Pax-Nemesis, representing subdued vengeance, would be used on the coins of many later emperors. Caption: TI. CLAVD. CAESAR. AVG. P. M., TR. P. X. P. P., IMP. XVIII / PACI AVGVSTAE Pax-Nemesis standing right holding caduceus over serpent.
Coins of Agrippina and Claudius as the de facto co-rulers of the empire
Lodovico Lana, Death of Seneca, National Gallery of Art
Bronze head of Claudius found in the River Alde at Rendham, near Saxmundham, Suffolk (British Museum). Potentially taken from the Temple of Claudius in Colonia Victricensis during the Boudican revolt.
Marble bust of Nero. Antiquarium of the Palatine.
First page of the Naturales Quaestiones, made for the Catalan-Aragonese court
The Porta Maggiore in Rome: remains of aqueducts Aqua Claudia and Aqua Anio Novus
Sculpture of Agrippina crowning her young son Nero (c. AD 54 –59)
Woodcut illustration of the suicide of Seneca and the attempted suicide of his wife Pompeia Paulina
Portrait of Claudius, Altes Museum, Berlin
Gustav Wertheimer: The Shipwreck of Agrippina (1874)
Naturales quaestiones, 1522
Messalina holding her son Britannicus, Louvre
Plato, Seneca, and Aristotle in a medieval manuscript illustration (c. 1325–35)
The Death of Messalina by Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse, 1916
The "Pseudo-Seneca", a Roman bust found at Herculaneum, one of a series of similar sculptures known since the Renaissance, once identified as Seneca. Now commonly identified as Hesiod
Sculpture of Agrippina crowning her young son Nero (c. AD 54–59)
"Seneca", ancient hero of the modern Córdoba; this architectural roundel in Seville is based on the "Pseudo-Seneca" (illustration above)
Claudius depicted as the Roman god Jupiter
Baroque marble imaginary portrait bust of Seneca, by an anonymous sculptor of the 17th century. Museo del Prado
The Claudian letters
A statue of Claudius in the Wesgha tal-Muzew, Mdina, Malta

Julia Agrippina (6 November AD 15 – 23 March AD 59), also referred to as Agrippina the Younger, was Roman empress from 49 to 54 AD, the fourth wife and niece of Emperor Claudius.

- Agrippina the Younger

In AD 41, Seneca was exiled to the island of Corsica under emperor Claudius, but was allowed to return in 49 to become a tutor to Nero.

- Seneca the Younger

Many authors contend that he was murdered by his own wife, Agrippina the Younger.

- Claudius

In 41 AD, Claudius became emperor, and Seneca was accused by the new empress Messalina of adultery with Julia Livilla, sister to Caligula and Agrippina.

- Seneca the Younger

Since Claudius was the first emperor proclaimed on the initiative of the Praetorian Guard instead of the Senate, his repute suffered at the hands of commentators (such as Seneca).

- Claudius

Among the victims of Messalina's intrigues were Agrippina's surviving sister Livilla, who was charged with having adultery with Seneca the Younger.

- Agrippina the Younger
Bust, Naples National Archaeological Museum

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Bust, Musei Capitolini, Rome


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The fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 until his death in AD 68.

The fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 until his death in AD 68.

Bust, Musei Capitolini, Rome
An aureus of Nero and his mother, Agrippina, c. 54. Caption: NERONIS CAES MATER AGRIPP. AVG. DIVI CLAVD. / NERONI CLAVD. DIVI F. CAES. AVG. GERM. IMP. TR. P. – EX SC
Bust of Nero, National Museum in Oslo
Bust of Nero as pharaoh
Emperor Nero being instructed by Seneca, work by Spanish sculptor Eduardo Barrón
Coin of Nero and Poppaea Sabina Billon tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt, 25 mm, 12.51 gr. Obverse: radiate head right; ΝΕΡΩ. ΚΛΑΥ. ΚΑΙΣ. ΣΕΒ. ΓΕΡ. ΑΥ. Reverse: draped bust of Poppaea right; ΠΟΠΠΑΙΑ ΣΕΒΑΣΤΗ. Year LI = 10 = 63–64.
The Fire of Rome by Hubert Robert (1785)
A marble bust of Nero, Antiquarium of the Palatine.
An 1815 illustration of the alleged tomb of Nero; actually tomb of proconsul Caius Vibius Marianus.
Apotheosis of Nero, c. after 68. Artwork portraying Nero rising to divine status after his death.
Head of Nero from an oversized statue. Glyptothek, Munich
A circa 18th century woodcut of the historian Josephus (c. 37–100) who accused other historians of slandering Nero.
Nero's Torches, Henryk Siemiradzki

He was adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and succeeded him on the throne.

Nero was born at Antium in AD 37, the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, a great-granddaughter of the emperor Augustus.

In the early years of his reign Nero was advised and guided by his mother Agrippina, his tutor Seneca the Younger, and his praetorian prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus, but he soon sought to rule independently and to rid himself of restraining influences.


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The third Roman emperor, ruling from 37 to 41.

The third Roman emperor, ruling from 37 to 41.

Marble portrait of Caligula from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Germanicus, the father of Caligula
Portrait of Agrippina the Elder, Caligula's mother
Caligula Depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors, by Eustache Le Sueur, 1647
A denarius of Gaius Caligula. Caption: C. CAESAR AVG. GERM. P. M. TR. POT.
The Vatican Obelisk was first brought from Egypt to Rome by Caligula. It was the centerpiece of a large racetrack he built.
The hull of one of two ships recovered from Lake Nemi during the 1930s. This massive vessel served as an elaborate floating palace for the Emperor.
Map of the Roman Empire and neighboring states during the reign of Gaius Caligula (37–41 AD).
Ruins of the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the Forum Romanum. Ancient resources as well as recent archaeological evidence suggest that, at one point, Caligula had the palace extended to annex this structure.
Caligula and Roma Cameo depicting Caligula and Roma, a personification of Rome
Roman sestertius depicting Caligula, c. AD 38. The reverse shows Caligula's three sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla and Julia Livilla, with whom Caligula was rumoured to have carried on incestuous relationships. Caption: C. CAESAR AVG. GERMANICVS PON. M. TR. POT. / AGRIPPINA DRVSILLA IVLIA S. C.
Bust of Caligula from Palazzo Massimo in Rome
Fanciful Renaissance depiction of Caligula
Marble bust of Caligula with traces of original paint beside a plaster replica trying to recreate the polychrome traditions of ancient sculpture.
Quadrans celebrating the abolition of a tax in AD 38 by Caligula.<ref>{{cite journal|last1=Woods|first1=David|title=Caligula's Quadrans|journal=The Numismatic Chronicle|issn=0078-2696|year=2010|volume=170|pages=99–103|jstor=42678887}}</ref> The obverse of the coin contains a picture of a Pileus which symbolizes the liberation of the people from the tax burden. Caption: C. CAESAR DIVI AVG. PRON[EPOS] (great-grandson of) AVG. / PON. M., TR. P. III, P. P., COS. DES. RCC. (probably Res Civium Conservatae, i.e. the interests of citizens have been preserved)
Roman gold coins excavated in Pudukottai, India, examples of Indo-Roman trade during the period. One coin of Caligula (AD 37–41), and two coins of Nero (AD 54–68). British Museum. Caption: C. CAESAR AVG. PON. M., TR. POT. III, COS. III. - NERO CAESAR. AVG. IMP. - NERO CAESAR AVG. IMP.
Bust of Caligula from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
The Assassination of the Emperor Caligula, by Lazzaro Baldi

On the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorians declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, as the next Roman emperor.

Gaius had two older brothers, Nero and Drusus, and three younger sisters, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla.

A brief famine of unknown extent occurred, perhaps caused by this financial crisis, but Suetonius claims it resulted from Caligula's seizure of public carriages; according to Seneca, grain imports were disrupted because Caligula re-purposed grain boats for a pontoon bridge.

Statue of Messalina holding her son Britannicus, at the Louvre


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Statue of Messalina holding her son Britannicus, at the Louvre
Messalina in a coin minted in Crete, c. AD 42
A bust believed to be of Messalina, in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Messalina guides the dragon chariot in the triumph of Claudius
Messalina working in a brothel: etching by Agostino Carracci, late 16th century
Peder Severin Krøyer, Messalina, 1881, Gothenburg Museum of Art
Messalina, Eugène Cyrille Brunet (1884), Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes
Hans Makart's painting of Charlotte Wolter in Adolf Wilbrandt's tragedy, Arria und Messalina

Valeria Messalina (c. 17/20–48) was the third wife of Roman emperor Claudius.

Her mother's brother, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, had been the first husband of the future Empress Agrippina the Younger and the biological father of the future Emperor Nero, making Nero Messalina's first cousin despite a seventeen-year age difference.

Within the first year of Claudius' reign, his niece Julia Livilla, only recently recalled from banishment upon the death of her brother Caligula, was exiled again on charges of adultery with Seneca the Younger.