Nero and Otho, Poppea and Statilia
Love and marriage in imperial Rome. Nero and Otho they met very young and did a strange physical resemblance, both held much of their physical appearance also.
Some traits of similarity could come from a certain degree of kinship; gossip of the palace spoke of Otho's father Lucius Otho, as a natural son of Tiberius to which resembled much and that had always held near to him and highly favored; Nero and Otho could therefore be both grandchildren of Tiberius. Claudio estimated Lucius Otho who was magistrate and foiled a plot against the emperor who also appointed him Senator.
The proximity to the imperial family encouraged the friendship between the two young men: Nero and Otho were companions of raids and carousing. But Otho was also complicit in the act vilest, the murder of Agrippina, creating an opportunity with a sumptuous dinner offered to the princeps and his mother Agrippina Augusta.
This complicity, as narrated in Suetonius Lives of the Caesars, also involved the marriage of Otho with Poppea Sabina; Nero would have been the first to notice the beautiful Poppea and to have a relationship with her but she was married to Claudia Octavia and his mother Agrippina was against the entry of women in the imperial family. At this point in order to attend her freely Nero decided to get her married to his friend Otho.
Otho married Poppea (A.D. 58) and was immediately taken by her beauty and elegance to want to keep her to himselves. Poppea with Nero had used all the arts of seduction by pretending to be attracted by his beauty and his spirit, but allowed herself very sparingly and not spent more than two nights with him on the grounds that she was now married and did not want to sacrifice her union with Otho and encouraging rumors.
Poppea was not only beautiful but also intelligent and ambitious, in fact the problem was purely legal; marriage to Otho was recent and still had not made the amount of time in accordance with usus wife entered legally into the family of her husband and was subjected to the manus of her husband, namely the protection and membership also economical to her husband's family with related rights. Otho was very rich, spend three nights out of his house, trinoctium, meant interrupting this period of time required for the acquisition of manus and thus risking to break the marriage and lose the rights and privileges connected.
In addition, as told by Suetonius seems that Otho wanted no granting longer the beautiful Poppea to the emperor, to the point of send back escorts that Nero had sent to accompany Poppea at Palace and then also leaving the Emperor himself out the door alternating threats and prayers, asking that it be given back what he had given in custody.
At the end almost certainly Nero he strove so Poppea could exercises the trinoctium, or pass more than three nights out of the house of her husband and then marriage became null. Nero, invalidated the marriage, just had to worry about the claims of Otho who was, however, a good friend and witness of many of his actions. Otho was lucky in some way, Nero not eliminated physically but promoted him, sending him as legatus in the remote province of Lusitania. Here Otho remained for the next ten years administering the province with capacity and balance ...
by M.L. ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Ed 1.0 - 30/08/2016)