His mother Domitia Calvilla (or Lucilla) was a lady of consular rank, and the family of his father Annius Verus (prefect of the city and thrice consul), originally Spanish, had received patrician rank from Vespasian.
A conspiracy among his own freedmen - set on foot, it is said, by his wife Domitia Longina, who knew her own life to be threatened - cut short his career.
In 61 he returned to Rome, where he married Domitia Decidiana, a Roman lady of distinction.
When the tenure of the religious colleges - formerly filled up by co-optation - was submitted to popular election, a change effected by a lex Domitia of 104 B.C., a new type of comitia was devised for this purpose.
In the previous year (39) his mother had been banished by order of her brother Caligula (Gains) on a charge of treasonable conspiracy, and Nero, thus early deprived of both parents, found shelter in the house of his aunt Domitia, where two slaves, a barber and a dancer, began his training.