Anicetus (freedman)

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Known forfreedman of the Roman emperor Nero

Anicetus was a freedman of the Roman emperor Nero, who – along with the freedman Beryllus – tutored the young emperor.[1]

After tutoring Nero, Anicetus was made commander of the fleet (praefectus classis) at Misenum[2] in 59 AD. He was later employed by the emperor to murder Nero's own mother, Agrippina the Younger. Nero wished to see his mother crushed in a collapsing boat, and employed Anicetus to see to it that this contraption was built. Nero put this strategy into action, though the collapsing boat failed to kill Agrippina. Afterwards, on 23 March AD 59, Anicetus himself stabbed Agrippina to death in her villa, on orders from Nero.[3][4][5]

Anicetus was subsequently induced by Nero to confess having committed adultery with Nero's wife, Claudia Octavia.[1][6] As punishment, Octavia was banished and died after immense suffering.[4] For his supposed part in this crime, Anicetus was banished to Sardinia, where he lived in comfortable exile until his death of old age.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Griffin, Miriam T. (2001). Nero: The End of a Dynasty. Roman Imperial Biographies. Routledge. p. 32. ISBN 0-415-21464-5.
  2. ^ Tacitus, Annals xiv. 3, 62
  3. ^ Tacitus, Annals xiv. 7, 8
  4. ^ a b Bunson, Matthew (2002). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. Facts on File Library of World History. Infobase Publishing. pp. 12, 19. ISBN 1-4381-1027-8.
  5. ^ Malitz, Jürgen (2005). Nero. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 31–33, 38. ISBN 1-4051-4474-2.
  6. ^ Suetonius, Nero 35.
  7. ^ Tacitus, Annals xiv. 62
  8. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History lxi. 13

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William (1870). "Anicetus". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. p. 178.