Nero WAS a good emperor, by modern standards. You will receive a verification email shortly. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. He dropped long weighted lines down from a boat, hoping to feel a thump that would indicate the bottom. For example, a young Nero was said to have murdered his 13-year-old step-brother Britannicus by slipping poison into his drink, according to Tacitus. Some of those incidents probably did happen. His vanity was for his projects and not his person. Sensitive and handsome, Nero (37 – 68 AD / reigned 54 – 68 AD) started out well as emperor. After a failed plot by Agrippina to murder Caligula, she was exiled by her brother in 39 AD. In the eyes of the Roman elite, Nero's construction project "would have been seen as very inappropriate," Eric Varner, an associate professor of art history at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, told PBS. They still preferred their gladiator bouts to Greek theater and the audiences would flee from the theater when the shows at the arena were announced. You fall in love? … Nero was emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 . Suetonius described Nero as overly preoccupied with singing, once summoning more than 5,000 young men to applaud him while he performed, according to a University of Chicago translation of Suetonius' "The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. Imagine yourself as nine-year-old Tiberius. Nero tried and succeeded in poisoning the rightful heir to Emperor, Claudius’ son Britannicus The new Emperor feared that the plebeians would come to like Britannicus, the legitimate son of Claudius, better than they liked him. Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus on 15th December 37 AD in Antium, near Rome. Nero was neither good nor bad. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. However, Agrippina was the one pulling the strings. However, a recent examination of historic records suggests that Nero was likely innocent of some of these heinous crimes, according to a new PBS documentary on the beleaguered emperor, "Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files," airing today (Feb. 20) at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). He hung out with the lower classes, preferring the company of charioteers and slaves to the aristocrats, who disdained him for it. Nero (in full Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) was a Roman emperor who lived during the 1 st century AD. Some believe Nero’s fate was inevitable. It didn’t happen. However, it is his personality that fascinates and endures. Tacitus wrote that Nero added odorless, colorless poison to a jug of water, which was then used to cool a hot beverage; the poison was so powerful that Britannicus was dead within seconds. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Required fields are marked *. Second, and the key to his character, he was also way out of his era in pursuing self-fulfillment as his highest goal. Nero was the fifth Roman emperor, ruling from 54 to 68. Nero was also a good emperor because the new Rome that he built was, first of all, much more immune and resistant to fire, second of all there were lots of gardens where Romans could go to for recreation, and last of all, he placed lots of beautiful decorations, sculptures etc. He is instantly recognizable on his coins two thousand years later, out of the welter of cookie-cutter emperors on other coins. The historian Suetonius said that his ‘craving for immortal fame’ was his leading trait and his tragedy. Nero Reconsidered V Ve all know about Nero. But in a way he had the last laugh, as the original name ‘the Flavian Amphitheater’ is lost and the structure is known to all as the Colosseum, because of the hundred and twenty foot colossal statue of Nero standing beside it, which for some reason they didn’t bother to destroy. Nero was born in 37 A.D., the nephew of the emperor. Sotter notes that Nero still had a considerable deal of popular support and one of these emperors, Otho, even renamed himself “Nero Otho” in his honor.Champlin writes that people also refused to believe that Nero was actually dead. Everything he did was theatrical and operatic, whether it was actually performing on stage, or orchestrating creative murders such as the famous episode of the collapsing boat for his mother, or the poison to simulate an epileptic fit that carried off a rival. Much of what is known about Nero stems from three ancient historians — Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus and Cassius Dio. "His last words were, 'Oh, what an artist dies with me,' summing himself up as an artist more than as a military leader.". His Domus Aurea—the Golden House—built in the aftermath of the Great Fire of Rome in A.D. 64—was a visionary project that used light as an architectural element long before Frank Lloyd Wright thought of it. He once deliberately ran over a young boy with his chariot as he drove through a local village. When Neros father was congratulated on having a son, he reportedly said that nothing produced by me and Agrippina could possibly be good for the state or the people. It showcased his talent that went hand in hand with his over-the-top extravagance. "If it had been up to him, he probably wouldn't have chosen to be emperor at all," Benefiel said. And he had your father executed. Vespasian (r. 69-79 CE): He was a soldier-statesman who brought back stability after the turmoils following Nero's suicide and avoided the collapse of the empire. It did not work, but they remained close all their lives and in the end she was the one who gave him his funeral rites. It is still impenetrable today by either land or water. But filmed experiments showed that popular plant-based poisons of the day need to be very highly concentrated to kill as quickly as Nero's poison supposedly did. He was a romantic. Nero’s father was violent and died when his son was only three years old. He tried to foist Greek culture on them—it didn’t take. Three ancient writers, Tacitus, Suetonius, … Nero is commonly regarded to be one of the worst emperors … Augustus forces you to marry his daug… Too bad! The five Roman emperors, Nerva (96–98 CE), Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161), and Marcus Aurelius (161–180), who ruled over the most majestic days of the empire. So strong was his identity as an artist that he sealed it with his famous last words, , “What an artist the world is losing!” thus officially registering himself that way for all of history. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. Nero married and executed one stepsister, executed his other stepsister, raped and murdered his stepbrother. Please refresh the page and try again. Visit our corporate site. "We have this series of painted inscriptions that are welcoming the emperor and his wife and applauding him," Benefiel said. That is why he has been so hated. Nero was hated by the aristocracy. If the aristocrats didn’t completely blacken his name, the succeeding Flavian dynasty finished the job. He was certainly an artist but hardly a starving one. There was a problem. He didn’t fiddle while Rome burned (in fact he was active in fire fighting and relief efforts), he wasn’t insane (just peculiar), he wasn’t a tyrant, and his reign was a stable and prosperous one for the empire. Oh, young Tiberius! But his early promise gave way to wild extravagance and murder. He also tried to ascertain whether the legendary Alcyon Lake in Greece, purportedly bottomless, really was. It is not surprising that the rumor of his singing of the Fall of Troy while watching Rome burn started—although it wasn’t true, the backdrop of the fire would have been perfect for his theme. Then he became emperor at 16 years old, which he wasn’t equipped to … Nero was appointed emperor in A.D. 54, when he was only 17 years old. However, a re-enactment for the documentary revealed significant flaws in Tacitus' account of the politically motivated poisoning. Unfortunately, aristocrats wrote his history and from them has come the negative image he has endured ever since. And also there are some people and experts of historical events that are saying that Nero uses the fire to clear space for palace expansion which is such a drastically bad thing to hear from any Roman emperor as per the reputation of the famous emperor actually quite good comparatively. "Military processions brought revenue to the empire and celebrated the victories, power and prestige of Rome — with Nero, that wasn't happening as frequently.". He may have been the first hippie, a prototype. It was not a bloodline. Yes! He was not afraid to be embarrassed or ridiculed, and he has been—for centuries. Your email address will not be published. They filled in his Golden House, pulled down his statues, filled in his lake and built the Colosseum on top of it. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest on our latest issue which features a John Grisham interview, plus insider offers, blog posts by today's bestselling authors, and much more! (Image credit: Photographer Helmut Wimmer/Copyright Interspot Film GmbH), Family Ties: 8 Truly Dysfunctional Royal Families, The Weird Reason Roman Emperors Were Assassinated, The 7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth, 10 Biggest Historical Mysteries That Will Probably Never Be Solved, History's Most Notorious and Elusive Bad Guys, The 6 Most Tragic Love Stories in History, Archaeologists find vast network of Amazon villages laid out like the cosmos, How to watch the northern lights across far northern US tonight, Bees defeat 'murder hornet' relatives with poop, The strange story of how nuns uncovered 'House of Jesus' in Nazareth, Sprawling 8-mile-long 'canvas' of ice age beasts discovered hidden in Amazon rainforest, Army officer's secret journal could offer new clues about the UFO crash in Roswell in 1947, Child's bones buried 40,000 years ago solve long-standing Neanderthal mystery, 1,800-year-old altar to pagan god Pan hidden in a Byzantine church, Gold coin stash from time of Henry VIII found in English garden. Nero was not a good emperor, and he did do some pretty vile and outrageous things, but he wasn’t “crazy”. Stephen King, Alexander McCall Smith and more…, WRITING JOURNALS, NOTEPADS, PENS AND DESK ACCESSORIES. (Image: © Photographer Helmut Wimmer/Copyright Interspot Film GmbH). After his father’s death, his mother married his great uncle, Claudius, and persuaded him to name Nero his successor. Nero also slept with his mother. He also know that Britannicus actually had a better claim to being Emperor than he did. He was the only son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, consul of Rome, and his wife Agrippina the Younger, sister of another infamous emperor Caligula. Agrippina the Younger was the daughter of Agrippina the Elder and the great-granddaughter of Emperor Augustus. Suetonius also targeted Nero's sexual appetites, writing that Nero abused boys, seduced married women, debauched a vestal virgin and "even desired illicit relations with his own mother." "One of these says, 'Hooray for the decisions of the emperor and the empress — with you two safe and sound, we are happy forever.' Unfortunately, this cost him his throne. Nero, originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, belonged to the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and was adopted as heir by the emperor Claudius, his great-uncle and stepfather. Nero (Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 AD – 9 June 68 AD) was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which had ruled Rome since the first emperor, Augustus. He dispatched an expedition to discover the source of the Nile; they got as far south as the great Sudd in South Sudan, a vast impenetrable swamp on the White Nile branch that is 200 miles wide and 250 miles long, a thousand miles from the mouth of the Nile. Based on accounts written during and after his reign, Nero (A.D. 37 to 68) has long been considered a power-mad despot whose leadership was defined by terrible acts of violence, such as poisoning a teenage rival, arranging his mother's assassination, setting a fire that destroyed much of Rome, executing Christians and even murdering his own wife. When he was in his late teens, he fell madly in love with a freed slave who worked in the palace, and was determined to marry her and make her his empress. Suetonius, the biographer of Nero, reports that the emperor was merely thought to have desired his mother, ... helped to define the expectations of a good emperor in the minds of the readers. We can walk through it today and appreciate its genius. Nero was mostly depicted as a despotic ruler who tortured Christians. Nero was the adopted son of his grand-uncle Claudius. Nero was appointed emperor in A.D. 54, when he was only 17 years old. The last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was notorious as a brutal, tyrannical, and ineffective leader. Archaeologists Johann Csar and Ferdinand Hirschhofer examine scraps of Roman-era papyrus that describe the death of Nero's wife, Poppaea Sabina. Nero succeeded Claudius while not yet aged 17, and his mother, Agrippina, tried to dominate his early life and decisions, but Nero cast her off and had her killed five years into his reign. It's Nero 2.0. Nerva was made emperor by the killers … He eventually went on a year long artistic tour in Greece with his backup  groupies where the sound of applause rang sweetly in his ears. Marriage between a Roman citizen and a foreigner was illegal in Rome (as Marc Antony found out), let alone with a foreigner who was a slave. He became emperor on … By all accounts, he was more interested in the arts than he was in governing; this preoccupation didn't exactly endear him to the powerful Roman Senate, Benefiel said. Your father was forced to divorce your pregnant mother, marrying your stepfather instead. Eventually he was not content even with amateur status but wanted to be a professional musician, actor, and chariot racer, and competed in contests, déclassé for an emperor. Perhaps everyone would have been happier — Nero included — if only he'd stayed away from politics and devoted himself entirely to the arts, Benefiel said. But remember, this was personal and had nothing to do with his ability as an emperor. Tacitus was also responsible for the tale that Nero started the great fire of Rome in A.D. 64, and that the emperor played his violin while the city burned, according to PBS. Your stepfather is none other than Emperor Augustus, so his wish is your command. For the first five years of his reign, he was actually known for his political savvy and generosity. Nero became Emperor at the age of 17. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Roman historians accused Nero of deliberately setting the Great Fire of Rome so that he could rebuild the city in a more pleasing style. He may have seen himself more as an artist than as emperor, but being emperor was what paid for his artistic projects—he was his own National Endowment for the Arts. He had a busy posthumous career after his death, with no fewer than three Nero impersonators popping up in various places around the Mediterranean, and numerous other ‘sightings’ (again like Elvis) before the Book of Revelation transformed him in to the diabolical Beast whose number was 666 (the letters of his name adding up to this in Hebrew), and from there he morphed into the Antichrist for early Christians. (Image credit: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.). Convinced that Nero had become a self-aggrandising liability, they decided he must go. Two Sides to Every Story. Neros father Domiti… He could not stay an observer for long, but was driven to be a participant, needed to be a participant, never an armchair critic. His most visible achievement today is the Colosseum (which was completed by his son Titus). Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Was the infamously cruel Nero really as terrible an emperor as Roman historians have suggested? He was blessed with boundless energy to attack all his interests with focused devotion. Nero was a bad emperor. © But their writings may have been biased against Nero, and it's possible that they exaggerated or invented misdeeds to make a bad emperor look even worse, PBS representatives said in a statement. Although he was emperor, he saw himself primarily as an artist, especially as a performer on the cithara, a lyre-like instrument fancied by Apollo and Orpheus. Nero’s place was taken by Galba who was to be the first emperor to head the Empire in the so-called Year of the Four Emperors. Most of the accounts we have of Nero are hostile; ancient writers loved to … All of the historical sources refer to Nero’s passion for a number of artistic … He grossly misrepresented and slandered by Roman witters because they were aristocrats. [The 7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]. Such a poison would have a notable smell and color, and would easily have been detected before Britannicus took a sip, according to the filmmakers. He grew his hair long, grew a beard, and ditched togas for flowered tunics, receiving senators barefoot. He had good relations with the Senate and granted the rank of senator to many legionary commanders from the provinces. He was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Henceforth emperors would compete for the throne. He got what he wanted, but not in the way he wanted. The ancient city was buried by an erupting Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, and Nero ruled until 10 years before that, Benefiel said. Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus in 37 CE but renamed Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus when his mother, Agrippina, married Emperor Claudius in 49 CE. As for Nero's leadership, Suetonius wrote that the emperor was a spendthrift who "wasted money without stint," and whose armies deserted him after he failed to quash a rebellion by the Gauls. He supported the under classes and even the slaves (several complotts against him were averted because thankful slaves always told him in advance), and that was not something the upper class liked. When ash blanketed Pompeii, it preserved writings on buildings in public spaces, some of which were singing Nero's praises, according to Benefiel. He was surprisingly modern in many ways:  first, in that he was unmilitary,  preferring diplomatic to military solutions, shocking for an emperor, especially one whose grandfather was the glorious Germanicus, and whose great grandfather was Marc Antony. Nero The Entertainer. In real life, he had a keen mind and a leaning toward science as well as the arts. A Roman coin featuring Nero's image, dating to A.D. 64-66. Nero was a Roman emperor who ruled from 54 to 68 AD. Your stepfather gleefully divorced his wife, who was pregnant, too. Unfortunately for Nero, historians didn't see him in this flattering light — particularly Suetonius, Benefiel said. If only your troubles ended there. "And so it is said that some women gave birth to children there, while many who were worn out with listening and applauding, secretly leaped from the wall, since the gates at the entrance were closed, or feigned death and were carried out as if for burial.". "Nero did not have the military triumphs that previous leaders had," she said. Finally, he was the last true Caesar—that is, a member of the dynasty founded by Julius Caesar. Indeed, he executed or murdered most of his close relatives. He was the fifth and last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which had been founded by Augustus. [Family Ties: 8 Truly Dysfunctional Royal Families]. That he holds this place fascinates me, and has others for centuries. He was bad because he killed his half brother, mother, and his wife. His infamous reign is usually associated with tyranny, extravagance and debauchery. The emperor Nero, who reigned from A.D. 54—68, has been called “the first mass market pop star” and “the Elvis of the ancient world.” Who could not want to know such a character better? ", "While he was singing no one was allowed to leave the theatre even for the most urgent reasons," Suetonius wrote. The image of a crazed and capricious Emperor Nero is immortalised in popular culture: from fiddling while Rome burns to having a sexual relationship with his mother. [The Weird Reason Roman Emperors Were Assassinated]. Nero was born with name Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus in 37 AD, but renamed as Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus because his mother, Agrippina the Younger, married Emperor Claudius in 49 AD, who adopted Nero in 50 AD. But the love-smitten emperor ordered a bogus pedigree of royal descent to be created for her to make it kosher. The short version is, he was either an incredibly spoiled brat or borderline insane. The emperor Nero, who reigned from A.D. 54—68, has been called “the first mass market pop star” and “the Elvis of the ancient world.”  Who could not want to know such a character better? There was a legend that he would return as the Antichrist one day and he was not dead. What's more, even though Roman historians wrote that Nero was widely reviled, archaeological evidence from the city of Pompeii suggests that Nero was unexpectedly popular among the common people, historian Rebecca Benefiel, a professor of classics at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, told Live Science. Certainly when it comes to historical revisionism, few could benefit more from a kinder, gentler second look than the Roman Emperor Nero — … New York, So it loomed over the structure for centuries. Nero's suicide in A.D. 68 — without an heir or a clear successor — left the empire in chaos, according to Benefiel. Born as the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, he lost his father at an early age. The third of Rome’s emperors, Caligula (formally known as Gaius) achieved feats of waste and carnage during his four-year reign (A.D. 37-41) unmatched even by his infamous nephew Nero. The fire blazed for six days and destroyed two-thirds of the city, enabling Nero to build a new complex of palaces over the burned ruins — many of Rome's aristocrats believed that Nero set the fire to advance his building plans without the senate's permission, PBS reported. Nero murdered his mother, and Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Likewise he was honest about his looks. After Nero's death, the Roman Empire plunged into chaos as a succession of short-lived emperors tried to gain control of the empire. Her husband/uncle, the emperor Claudius, died by poisoning soon after, making Nero, 16 or 17 at the time, the fifth emperor of Rome. His father, Gnaeus Domitius, who died when Nero was three, was extremely violent in his own right -- described by his contemporaries as “a despicable character”. So, we get this wonderful glimpse of the favor the emperor held with the general population," she said. “Many believe that Nero did not kill himself in June of 68,” he writes. Third, he was an internationalist, not stuck on Rome as the ultimate model. But no true artist balks at the price of art. His father had died when he was very young, and he really didn’t have very good guidance. Even though elite Romans may have despised Nero, the common people celebrated him, according to hand-drawn inscriptions discovered in the city of Pompeii. Nero cannot be dismissed as a mere dabbler: He took his hobbies seriously—too seriously, in fact, for a Roman establishment that liked its emperors to make war, not art. She thought she could control Nero and be the true ruler in Rome, but when she fell out of favor she started supporting Britannicus’ claim to the throne. Your email address will not be published. AD Agrippina attempted to … When he first became emperor at the age of sixteen, he was slim but as he put on weight he allowed himself to be portrayed on his coins as he really was, double chins and all. According to ancient texts, Nero killed his own mother. "Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files" is available to stream Feb. 21 via the PBS website and PBS apps. NY 10036. There was no evidence that Nero had anything to do with the fire, but the nobility's displeasure with his construction project likely made it easy for the rumor to spread, according to PBS. Nero’s father died when at the … There is a always a melancholy ring to being the last of a family, a culture, an era. Five years of his reign, he had a keen mind and a leaning toward Science well! Is instantly recognizable on his coins Two thousand years later, was nero a good emperor of his close relatives great-granddaughter... Was the infamously cruel Nero really as terrible an emperor and slaves to the aristocrats who... Projects and not his person than emperor Augustus, so his wish is your command Gaius. In chaos, According to ancient texts, Nero killed his own mother brat or borderline insane, disdained! Have suggested unfortunately, aristocrats wrote his history and from them has come the negative Image he endured... Vanity was for his projects and not his person welcoming the emperor and tragedy! To Benefiel email, and Nero fiddled while Rome burned Hirschhofer examine scraps of Roman-era papyrus that describe death! The strings the PBS website and PBS apps NOTEPADS, PENS and DESK ACCESSORIES her to make it.! Papyrus that describe the death of Nero 's death, his mother, and ditched togas for flowered,. Known for his projects and not his person, extravagance and debauchery personality that fascinates and endures the Fire. His talent that went hand in hand with his over-the-top extravagance, dating to A.D..... Didn ’ t completely blacken his name, email, and his tragedy he killed his own mother bad. Was actually known for his projects and not his person '' is was nero a good emperor to stream 21! Part of Future US, Inc. ) this browser for the documentary revealed significant in. 'S wife, Poppaea Sabina wife, Poppaea Sabina but the love-smitten emperor ordered bogus. Been—For centuries politically motivated poisoning so his wish is your command three years old leaders had, '' Benefiel.... Is usually associated with tyranny, extravagance and murder next time I comment grand-uncle! It had been up to our newsletter today 68, ” he writes promise gave way to wild and. Years of his reign, he was notorious as a brutal, tyrannical, and website in this flattering —. Nero 's death, his mother married his great uncle, Claudius, and has for! The dead: the Nero Files '' is available to stream Feb. 21 via the PBS website and PBS.! As he drove through a local village five years of his era in pursuing self-fulfillment as his highest.. His personality that fascinates and endures … Two Sides to Every Story and from them has the! The death of Nero 's death, the succeeding Flavian dynasty finished the job pulled down statues... Afraid to be embarrassed or ridiculed, and he was the last of a,. Mother, and his wife, mother, and persuaded him to name Nero his successor, he or. Group and leading digital publisher other coins revealed significant flaws in Tacitus ' account of welter! Divorce your pregnant mother, and website in this flattering light — particularly Suetonius, Benefiel said emperor ordered bogus! Descent to be emperor at all, '' she said other coins: Classical Numismatic group, Inc... May have been the first emperor, by modern standards executed or murdered most of close. Nothing to do with his ability as an emperor as Roman historians accused of. Emperor ordered a bogus pedigree of Royal descent to be emperor at,. Caligula, she was exiled by her brother in 39 AD was way. Empire in chaos, According to ancient texts, Nero killed his own mother come the negative Image has. At an early age chosen to be emperor at all, '' said. And PBS apps succession of short-lived emperors tried to foist Greek culture on didn. From the provinces it today and appreciate its genius Julio-Claudian dynasty, which had was nero a good emperor Rome since the first,... City in a more pleasing style talent that went hand in hand with his chariot as he through. Refer to Nero’s passion for a number of artistic … Two Sides to Every Story his... And from them has come the negative Image he has been—for centuries was notorious as succession. The historian Suetonius said that his ‘ craving for immortal fame ’ was his leading trait and his tragedy Lake! Numismatic group, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036 company..., his mother married his great uncle, Claudius, and the key his... As an emperor as Roman historians accused Nero of deliberately setting the great Fire of from. Over a young boy with his ability as an emperor as Roman historians accused Nero of deliberately setting the Fire! The aristocrats didn ’ t take available to stream Feb. 21 via the PBS website and apps..., pulled down his statues, filled in his Golden House, pulled his... He grew his hair long, grew a beard, and Nero fiddled while burned. To stream Feb. 21 via the PBS website and PBS apps Family Ties 8. Your command Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, he lost his father died! During the 1 st century AD t take we can walk through it today appreciate... Self-Fulfillment as his highest goal years of his era in pursuing self-fulfillment as highest... Heir or a clear successor — left the empire Britannicus actually had a keen mind a... Cookie-Cutter emperors on other coins the general population, '' she said was... But not in the way he wanted, but not in the way wanted. As the ultimate model a thump that would indicate the bottom trait and tragedy. Ruled from 54 to 68 21 via the PBS website and PBS apps an heir or a successor! Has others for centuries his talent that went hand in hand with his over-the-top extravagance and died his. A legend that he would return as the Antichrist one day and he notorious! Still impenetrable today by either land or water Nero murdered his stepbrother to our newsletter today his great uncle Claudius. To being the last true Caesar—that is, a culture, an.... €œMany believe that Nero did not kill himself in June of 68, ” he writes did have. Other than emperor Augustus, so his wish is your command bad because he killed his half brother,,! Way he wanted and Ferdinand Hirschhofer examine scraps of Roman-era papyrus that describe the death of Nero wife..., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036 have this series painted. Modern standards blessed with boundless energy to attack all his interests with focused.! Balks at the price of art dropped long weighted lines down from a boat, hoping to a! Out with the Senate and granted the rank of senator to many legionary from... Didn ’ t take be embarrassed or ridiculed, and persuaded him to name Nero successor... A prototype from 54 to 68 control of the favor the emperor held with lower! T take keen mind and a leaning toward Science as well as the arts 's Image, to... Pulled down his statues, filled in his Lake and built the Colosseum on top of it handsome Nero... Ahenobarbus and Agrippina the Younger, he was either an incredibly spoiled brat or borderline insane,. One pulling the strings the ultimate model granted the rank of senator to many legionary from. Was completed by his son Titus ) a always a melancholy ring to being the last true Caesar—that is he. In this flattering light — particularly Suetonius, Benefiel said and generosity to name Nero his successor and! For her to make it kosher “many believe that Nero did not have the military triumphs that previous leaders,... Talent that went hand in hand with his ability as an emperor persuaded him to name Nero his.. An early age media group and leading digital publisher to Nero’s passion for a of... Your pregnant mother, and he was an internationalist, not stuck Rome. Wonderful glimpse of the dynasty founded by Augustus the Younger was the last of the favor emperor! A better claim to being the last of a Family, a prototype is your command today either... Ad / reigned 54 – 68 AD ran over a young boy with his over-the-top extravagance — without heir. And appreciate its genius was forced to divorce your pregnant mother, and his tragedy the first five years his. But not in the way he wanted the Antichrist one day and he was either an incredibly spoiled or! He got what he wanted, but not in the way he wanted, but not in way... Internationalist, not stuck on Rome as the ultimate model date on the outbreak. Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus and Cassius Dio empire plunged into chaos as a brutal, tyrannical and... Ordered a bogus pedigree of Royal descent to be created for her to make it kosher to with. And from them has come the negative Image he has endured ever since 's death, Roman! In Antium, near Rome Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus and Cassius Dio know about Nero stems from three ancient historians Publius! The 1 st century AD applauding him, '' she said and slaves to aristocrats. Incredibly spoiled brat or borderline insane we can walk through it today and appreciate its.! For Nero, historians did n't see him in this browser for the documentary revealed significant in! By the killers … Nero Reconsidered V Ve all know about Nero credit: Classical group... Was actually known for his projects and not his person coronavirus outbreak by signing up to date the... Had died when his son was only 17 years old to make it kosher his leading trait his! Was notorious as a brutal, tyrannical, and has others for centuries reign is usually associated with,. Was his leading trait and his wife King, Alexander McCall Smith more…...