Nero Caesar Timeline

Nero Caesar: A chronology of historical, astronomical and astrological dates.

Nero Caesar: A chronology of historical, astronomical and astrological dates

15 B.C. May 24: Germanicus, Nero's grandfather and Agrippina's father, born
10 B.C. August 1: Claudius born at Lyons
4 B.C. -1.A.D.: Seneca born
3 B.C. December 24:b> Galba born
2-3 A.D.: Balbillus born
11 Casting imperial horoscopes outlawed by Augustus
14 August 19: Augustus dies
14 Sept 17: Tiberius proclaimed emperor
15 Nov 6: Julia Agrippina, Nero's mother, born Cologne, Germany
19 Oct 10: Germanicus, Nero's grandfather and Agrippina's father dies
25 or 26: Messalina born
29 Tiberius goes to Capri
29 Agrippina the Elder denounced by Tiberius for "arrogance" 
31 (circa): Poppaea Sabina 2nd born
32 Caligula joins Tiberius on Capri
32 (or 34): Phoenix appears in Egypt
32 April 25: Otho born
33 April 3: Best date for Jesus' crucifixion
33 Oct 18: Agrippina the Elder dies on the prison island of Pandateria
36 Thrasyllus dies after predicting the day and hour
37 March 16: Tiberius dies
37 March: Caligula succeeds Tiberius
37 March (after the 16th when his father was released by Caligula): Nero conceived
37 December 15 (at dawn): Nero born as Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus
38 January 1: At Rome and all over the empire a new oath sworn to Caligula's sisters as well as himself. Since he had no children his sisters are part of the succession.
38 June 10: Drusilla dies. She was Caligula's 2nd sister whom he named as his successor
38 Caligula marries Lollia Paulina
39 Claudius marries Messalina - she was then about 14
39 (between April and June): Messalina falls pregnant with Octavia - the father may have been Caligula
39 September or October: Caligula banishes Agrippina and Tigellinus "for adultery" - a charge often used as a euphemism for political collusion between men and women
40 (between January and March): Messalina gives birth to Octavia
40 May: Messalina falls pregnant with Britannicus
40 (near end of year): Nero's father dies - Nero was then 3
40 (summer): the most outrageous of Caligula's sayings and acts probably date from this period
41 January 24: on the last day of Palatine Games, Caligula assassinated.
41 Jan 25: Claudius hailed emperor
41 February 12: Britannicus born
41 Claudius recalls Agrippina to Rome
41 Claudius forces knights and women of similar rank who appeared on stage during Caligula's reign to do so again - probably as punishment
41 Claudius originates practice of putting senators in the front row at the Circus Maximus
41 (between October and early November): Balbillus returns to Rome and the imperial court
43 Claudius leaves for his British campaign - absent 6 months. Balbillus goes with him
44 January 1: Claudius celebrates his British triumph
45 St. Mark (John Mark who wrote the second gospel) traditionally makes his first convert in Alexandria
46 or 47: Agrippina's second husband C. Passieneis Crispus dies
47 April 21: Claudius celebrates secular games (held once every 110 years to inaugurate the new saeculum or age). Nero and Germanicus are the lead horsemen
47 (probably April 23, prostitute's day) Messalina reputedly prostitutes herself in the palace
47 Poppaea Sabina 1 (mother of Nero's second wife) accused of "adultery" with Valerius Asiaticus - kills herself
47 Claudius increases the size of the haruspex college (diviners of the future by traditional means) to 60 members to stave off astrology
47 Gaius Silius forced to divorce Junia Silana, Agrippina's friend, by Messalina
48 September 5: Claudius goes to dedicate public works in Ostia
48 October 11: Festival of the New Wine. Messalina, playing the part of Ariadne, "marries" Gaius Silius who plays Bacchus
48 October (perhaps 16th): Messalina's death at 23
49 Jan 1: Claudius marries Agrippina
49 March (circa): Agrippina has Lollia Paulina (ex-wife of Caligula and devotee of astrology) killed for forbidden astrological computations. 
49 Claudius expels Christians from Rome for creating a "disturbance" - splitting the Roman synagogue into two factions: orthodox and converts
50 Jan 1: Seneca made praetor (magistrate) and Nero's tutor
50 February 25: Agrippina gets Claudius to adopt Domitius Ahenobarbus as Tiberius Claudius Nero (soon after changed to Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus). She takes title of Augusta
51 March 4: Nero elected consul though he does not serve Nero, then 13, given title princeps inventutis "Head Boy".
51 Junius Gallo (Seneca's brother, governor of Achaea) dismisses charges against St. Paul (Acts 18:12)
52 Senate puts Britannicus on coins
52 Lucius Arruntius Scribonianus, whose father led a revolt against Claudius, and his mother, exiled for asking an astrologer to compute the date of Claudius's death. Scribonianus died soon afterwards. 
52 Claudius expels astrologers from Italy
53 April: Nero marries Octavia, Messalina's daughter by Claudius
54 June 9: comet appears at dawn
54 July 9: comet disappears
54 October 13: At "midday" according to the Roman historian Tacitus, Nero appears outside the palace gates and is hailed emperor by the Praetorian Guard
55 Balbillus now Prefect of Egypt
55 February 12: Britannicus turns 14 and is eligible for the toga virilis
55 March 17: Moon of the Year - important for astrology readings
55 March 17: Liber's day when youths got the toga virilis, perhaps Britannicus too. He died at about this time
55 Agrippina begins to lose control of Nero. Alarmed Agrippina begins to support Britannicus and looks for support from army officers and aristocrats. Nero terminates her great receptions, takes away her Praetorian escort and moves her to Antonia 2nd's palace
55 Tigellinus reappears in Rome
58 (summer): Nero is extravagantly elated by his general Corbula's Armenian victory
58 Nero takes Poppaea
59 March 19-23: Nero celebrates the Festival of Minerva at Baiae and decides on matricide. Agrippina is assassinated after banquet given by Otho
59 Otho made governor of Lusitania (Portugal).
59 September: Nero begins to engage in chariot racing and musical contests
59 Balbillus quits as prefect of Egypt, lives on in Rome till after 75
60 St. Paul preaches in front of Felix
60 Boudicca's revolt
60 August 9: brilliant comet appears
60 Rubellius Plautus exiled to Asia - by blood the nearest claimant to the throne
60 (possibly October 13, anniversary of his accession): Nero holds First Neronia (to be held every five years) 
60 December 9: comet disappears
61 or 62: Paul brought to Rome
61 September 27: A comet (possibly a supernova) appears
61 December 5: The comet (or supernova) disappears
62 April 21: Poppaea falls pregnant (inferred from January 21, 63 birth of girl
62 Tigellinus prominent again under Nero and already appointed praefectus vigilum (Chief of Police)
62 March: Death of Praetorian Prefect Burrus. Tigellinus and Faenius Rufus succeed him
62 Seneca retires
62 Nearest claimants to the throne, Rubellius Plautus and Faustus Cornelius Sulla, ordered to kill themselves
62 First Neronian treason trials
62 Octavia divorced for sterility and exiled to Calabria
62 Twelve days after his divorce Nero marries Poppaea
62 When there are popular demonstrations supporting Octavia, she is exiled to the remote prison island of Pandateria
62 June 11, anniversary of Nero's death, Octavia executed
63 January 21: Poppaea's child born - called Claudia Augusta
63 May: Claudia Augusta dies
64 Nero performs before the public for the first time in Greek speaking Naples and conceives of the idea of going straight to Greece. Shortly after his performance the theater suffers damage in an earthquake
64 May 3 (after sunset): a comet appears when Nero is in Beneventum on his way to Greece. Balbillus, his astrologer, advises Nero to expiate its evil by having several aristocrats executed
64 Nero gives up the idea of his Greek musical tour and unexpectedly returns to Rome where Tigellinus organizes the infamous "banquet" on Marcus Agrippa's lake where Nero performs
64 July 16: The comet disappears
64 July 17: Full moon
64 July 18-19: The Great Fire of Rome breaks out. The 19th was the anniversary of Rome's sack and burning by the Gauls 4 1/2 centuries earlier and considered ill omened
64 July 19: Sirius re-appears at dawn just before the sun (heliacal rising) - a date of Christian apocalyptic expectation see:
64 August 1: Martyrdom of the Christians in Caligula's circus in the Vatican Gardens
64 August or September: Nero's Golden House started
65 April 18: Epaphroditus foils great conspiracy of Piso
65 Nymphidius Sabinus, son of a court freedwoman and Caligula's reputed son, made Praetorian Prefect with Tigellinus
65 The possible date of yet another Neronia. There is a chronological problem in the sources here. Suetonius says Nero was so eager to perform he brought back the Neronia in 64 before it was due (which was 65). In the novel I follow Suetonius
65 August 16 at about 5 a.m.: a comet is appears in Rome conjunct the star Regulus
65 Poppaea is known to have died in the summer. I have her dying the day the comet appears
65 August: Tiridates, the Persian prince, sets off for Rome
65 September 22: The comet disappears
65 (autumn): A plague breaks out in Rome killing 30,000. This must have been immediately after the disappearance of the comet and therefore confirming its malignancy
65 Probably because of this comet L. Junius Silanus Torquatus, son of the "golden sheep", is accused of conspiracy
66 Tiberius Alexander made Prefect of Egypt
66-67 Astrologer Ptolemy Seleucis is a fixture at Otho's court in Lusitania (Portugal). 
66 February 20: Halley's comet appears in Rome before dawn - previous appearance 12 B.C. during the funeral celebration for Marcus Agrippa, Nero's great-grandfather
66 April 10-11: Halley's comet disappears at eleven degrees of Virgo. The execution of several knights and senators follow
66 (before May 20): Nero marries Statilia
66 (before mid May): Tiridates, the Persian prince, arrives in Rome to prostrate himself in front of Nero who then closes the temple of Janus indicating that the empire is at peace
66 (summer): Jewish revolt breaks out
66 (August or September): Nero lets his hair grow long and departs on his concert tour of Greece
67 Nero races in the Olympic Games. He falls from his chariot and is nearly run over
67 October 4: Saturn advances to the same longitude (conjunction) as Nero's natal Saturn
67 October: Nero's freedman Helius goes to Corinth and begs Nero to return home
67 November 28: Back in Corinth on his way to Rome, Nero gives Greece its freedom from imperial taxation
67 December: Nero's triumphant entry into Rome
68 January 6-11: Having advanced through the zodiac past its position at Nero's birth, Saturn now moves backward and fatefully begins returning to the same position
68 March 18: Nero, on holiday in the seaside resort of Baiae, hears about the Vindex (the name means vengeance) revolt. This is the anniversary of his mother Agrippina's
68 about April 1: Nero back in Rome
68 April 2: Galba, then 73 years old, declares himself representative of the Senate and Roman people
68 (end of April): Nero dismisses the Consuls before their term and assumes consulship alone
68 April 29: The Julian lucky star Venus goes retrograde (moves backward in the zodiac) 
68 May: Tigellinus, claiming illness, deserts Nero
68 (early May): Verginius Rufus's Rhine legions defeat and kill Vindex
68 May 29: Retrograde Saturn reaches its station (stops moving) at 27 degrees 6 minutes of Virgo (conjunct Nero's natal Saturn) where it remains until June 6 before advancing again
68 June 8-10: Nero hears reports that some legions have revolted while others remain loyal
68 June 9: The moon enters Pisces, last sign of the zodiac and therefore of the end of things
68 June 10: Venus reaches its station (is stationary in the zodiac) 
68 June 10-11: Prefect Nymphidius Sabinus bribes the Praetorian Guards to desert Nero for Galba
68 June 11 (soon after midnight): Nero flees hoping to reach Egypt or Persia
68 June 11 (at about dawn): Epaphroditus helps Nero commit suicide to escape a humiliating execution. Nero was 30. Venus begins moving forward again in the zodiac at 12:55 p.m.
68 June 12: The moon leaves Pisces at 1 a.m.

Lucy Knipe