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15 December AD 37 Antium. 9 June AD 68 (aged 30) Outside Rome. Mausoleum of the Domitii Ahenobarbi, Pincian Hill. Ahenobarbus (birth) Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus (AD 50).
Followed by Year of the Four Emperors. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. 15 December 37 9 June 68 AD, originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, was the fifth emperor of Rome. And the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
By the Roman emperor Claudius. At the age of thirteen, and succeeded him to the throne at the age of seventeen. Nero was popular with the lower-class Roman citizens.
During his time and his reign is commonly associated with unrestricted tyranny. Nero was born in Antium. When Nero was two years old, his father died of edema. Which enabled his mother Agrippina the Younger. To marry the emperor Claudius.Nero was initially heavily guided by his mother Agrippina, his tutor Seneca the Younger. Nero received a classical education including Greek. Under the tutelage of Seneca, who was to become a major influence throughout his early reign. However, these early years saw Nero attempting to free himself from all such advisors and become his own man. As time passed, Nero played a more active role in government and foreign policy.
And came to rely much less on his initial influences. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy. As well as on the cultural.
He ordered the construction of amphitheaters. He also made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician, and charioteer.
This extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxation. A move that was much resented by the upper class. Style of rule remained well-admired among the lower classes of both Rome and the Roman provinces.
Until his death and beyond. Most Roman sources including the Ancient Roman historians Suetonius. Offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign. Claims the Roman people thought him compulsive. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome.
Was instigated by Nero as a way to clear land for his planned palatial complex. Also, according to Tacitus, he was said to have seized Christians. For the fire, and had them burned alive.
Seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. Some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts due to the overwhelming evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners especially in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. After his death, at least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as Nero reborn. In order to gain popular support.
A significant event that took place during his reign was the RomanParthian War of 5863. Where the prestigious general Corbulo. Had acted as commander and had successfully negotiated peace with the hostile Parthian Empire. As a result of the war.
The Roman general Suetonius Paulinus. Had also quashed a major revolt. To the empire, and the First JewishRoman War. During Nero's reign, various plots against his life developed, and Nero had many of those involved in these conspiracies put to death. In AD 68, the Roman senator Vindex.Who had support from the eventual Roman emperor Galba. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim; however, Nero fled Rome when its discontented civil and military authorities eventually chose Galba as emperor. On 9 June in AD 68, Nero committed suicide, becoming the first Roman Emperor to do so. He made this decision after learning that he had been tried in absentia.
And condemned to death as a public enemy. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil war. Known as the Year of the Four Emperors. The birthplace of emperor Nero. Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus on 15 December 37.
He was an only-child, the son of the politician Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. His mother Agrippina was the sister of the third Roman emperor Caligula. Nero was also the great-great grandson of former emperor Augustus. Descended from Augustus' only daughter, Julia. Who was critical of Nero's ancestors, wrote that emperor Augustus had reproached Nero's grandfather for his unseemly enjoyment of violent gladiator.
According to Jürgen Malitz, Suetonius tells that Nero's father was known to be "irascible and brutal", and that both "enjoyed chariot races and theater performances to a degree not befitting their position". Nero's father, Domitius, died in 40 AD. A few years before his fathers' death, his father was involved in a serious political scandal.His mother and his two surviving sisters, Agrippina and Julia Livilla. Were exiled to a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea. His mother was said to have been exiled for plotting to overthrow the emperor Caligula. Nero's inheritance was taken from him, and he was sent to live with his paternal aunt Domitia Lepida the Younger. The mother of the later emperor Claudius. After Caligula's death, Claudius became the new Roman Emperor. Nero's mother married Claudius in 49. AD, becoming his fourth wife. By February, 49 AD, his mother had persuaded Claudius to adopt her son Nero.
After Nero's adoption by the emperor, "Claudius" became part of his name: Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus. Claudius had gold coins issued to mark the adoption. Classics professor Josiah Osgood has written that the coins, through their distribution and imagery alike, showed that a new Leader was in the making. Noted that, despite events in Rome, Nero's step-brother Britannicus.Was more prominent in provincial coinages during the early 50s. Nero formally entered public life as an adult in 51. AD at approximately 14 years old. When he turned 16, Nero married Claudius' daughter (his step-sister), Claudia Octavia. AD, he gave several speeches on behalf of various communities, including the Ilians; the Apameans. After their settlement had suffered a devastating fire. Of Nero and his mother, Agrippina. Caption: NERONIS CAES MATER AGRIPP. AD; many ancient historians claim that he was poisoned by Agrippina. Shotter has written that Claudius' death in 54.
AD has usually been regarded as an event hastened by Agrippina due to signs that Claudius was showing a renewed affection for his natural son. He also notes that among ancient sources, the Roman historian Josephus. Was uniquely reserved in describing the poisoning as a rumor.Contemporary sources differ in their accounts of the poisoning. Tacitus says that the poison-maker Locusta. Prepared the toxin, which was served to the Emperor by his servant Halotus. Tacitus also writes that Agrippina arranged for Claudius' doctor Xenophon. To administer poison, in the event that the Emperor survived. Suetonius differs in some details, but also implicates Halotus and Agrippina. Like Tacitus, Cassius Dio writes that the poison was prepared by Locusta, but in Dio's account it is administered by Agrippina instead of Halotus. Does not mention mushrooms at all.
Agrippina's involvement in Claudius' death is not accepted by all modern scholars. Before Claudius' death, Agrippina had maneuvered to remove Claudius' sons' tutors in order to replace them with tutors that she had selected. She was also able to convince Claudius to replace two prefects of the Praetorian guard (who were suspected of supporting Claudius' son) with Afranius Burrus. Since Agrippina had replaced the guard officers with men loyal to her, Nero was subsequently able to assume power without incident. Most of what we know about Nero's reign comes from three ancient writers: Tacitus.And Greek historian Cassius Dio. Modern historians, though, note that the period was riddled with deflation and that it is likely that Nero's spending came in the form of public-works projects and charity intended to ease economic troubles. Statue of Nero as a boy. Nero became emperor in 54 AD, aged sixteen years. This made him the youngest sole emperor until Elagabalus. Who became emperor aged 14 in 218. The first five years of Nero's reign were described as Quinquennium Neronis by Trajan. The interpretation of the phrase is a matter of dispute amongst scholars. Of Egypt, Nero adopted the royal titulary Autokrator.
Neron Heqaheqau Meryasetptah Tjemaahuikhasut Wernakhtubaqet Heqaheqau Setepennenu Merur'Emperor Nero, Ruler of rulers, chosen by Ptah. The sturdy-armed one who struck the foreign lands, victorious for Egypt, ruler of rulers, chosen of Nun. Nero's tutor, Seneca, prepared Nero's first speech before the Senate. During this speech, Nero spoke about "eliminating the ills of the previous regime". Writes that he promised to follow the Augustan model in his principate, to end all secret trials intra cubiculum , to have done with the corruption of court favorites and freedmen, and above all to respect the privileges of the Senate and individual Senators.
His respect of the Senatorial autonomy, which distinguished him from Caligula and Claudius, was generally well received by the Roman Senate. Emperor Nero being instructed by Seneca. Work by Spanish sculptor Eduardo Barrón. Scullard writes that Nero's mother, Agrippina, "meant to rule through her son".Agrippina murdered her political rivals: Domitia Lepida the Younger, the aunt that Nero had lived with during Agrippina's exile; Marcus Junius Silanus. A great grandson of Augustus; and Narcissus. One of the earliest coins that Nero issues during his reign shows Agrippina on the coin's obverse. Side; usually, this would be reserved for a portrait of the emperor.
The Senate also allowed Agrippina two lictors. During public appearances, an honor that was customarily bestowed upon only magistrates and the Vestalis Maxima.
55, Nero removed Agrippina's ally Marcus Antonius Pallas. From his position in the treasury. Shotter writes the following about Agrippina's deteriorating relationship with Nero: What Seneca and Burrus probably saw as relatively harmless in Nerohis cultural pursuits and his affair with the slave girl Claudia Acte.
Were to her signs of her son's dangerous emancipation of himself from her influence. Britannicus was poisoned after Agrippina threatened to side with him. Nero, who was having an affair with Acte, exiled Agrippina from the palace when she began to cultivate a relationship with his wife Octavia.Jürgen Malitz writes that ancient sources do not provide any clear evidence to evaluate the extent of Nero's personal involvement in politics during the first years of his reign. Scholars generally credit Nero's advisors Burrus and Seneca with the administrative successes of these years. Malitz writes that in later years, Nero panicked when he had to make decisions on his own during times of crisis.
Coin of Nero and Poppaea Sabina. Billon tetradrachm of Alexandria, Egypt, 25 mm, 12.51 gr. Reverse: draped bust of Poppaea right; OAIA EBATH.
Year LI = 10 = 6364. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome cautiously notes that Nero's reasons for killing his mother in 59. AD are "not fully understood" According to Tacitus. The source of conflict between Nero and his mother was Nero's affair with Poppaea Sabina. Tacitus writes that the affair began while Poppaea was still married to Rufrius Crispinus.But in his later work Annals. Tacitus says Poppaea was married to Otho. In Annals Tacitus writes that Agrippina opposed Nero's affair with Poppaea because of her affection for his wife Octavia. Anthony Barrett writes that Tacitus' account in Annals "suggests that Poppaea's challenge drove [Nero] over the brink". A number of modern historians have noted that Agrippina's death would not have offered much advantage for Poppaea, as Nero did not marry Poppaea until 62.
Barrett writes that Poppaea seems to serve as a literary device, utilized [by Tacitus] because [he] could see no plausible explanation for Nero's conduct and also incidentally [served] to show that Nero, like Claudius, had fallen under the malign influence of a woman. Nero had his former freedman Anicetus.Arrange a shipwreck; Agrippina survived the wreck, swam ashore and was executed by Anicetus, who reported her death as a suicide. Modern scholars believe that Nero's reign had been going well in the years before Agrippina's death. For example, Nero promoted the exploration of the Nile river. Sources with a successful expedition. After Agrippina's exile, Burrus and Seneca were responsible for the administration of the Empire. However, Nero's "conduct became far more egregious" after his mother's death. Suggests that Nero's decline began as early as 55. AD with the murder of his stepbrother Britannicus, but also notes that "Nero lost all sense of right and wrong and listened to flattery with total credulity" after Agrippina's death. Griffin points out that Tacitus "makes explicit the significance of Agrippina's removal for Nero's conduct".
He began to build a new palace, the Domus Transitoria. It was intended to connect all of the imperial estates that had been acquired in various ways, with the Palatine. Including the Gardens of Maecenas. AD, Nero's adviser Burrus.
That same year Nero called for the first treason trial of his reign (maiestas trial) against Antistius Sosianus. He also executed his rivals Cornelius Sulla. Jürgen Malitz considers this to be a turning point in Nero's relationship with the Roman Senate. Malitz writes that Nero abandoned the restraint he had previously shown because he believed a course supporting the Senate promised to be less and less profitable. After Burrus' death, Nero appointed two new Praetorian Prefects: Faenius Rufus.Politically isolated, Seneca was forced to retire. According to Tacitus, Nero divorced Octavia on grounds of infertility, and banished her.
After public protests over Octavia's exile, Nero accused her of adultery with Anicetus and she was executed. Main article: Great Fire of Rome.
The Great Fire of Rome erupted on the night of 18 to 19 July, AD. The fire started on the slope of the Aventine. The Fire of Rome by Hubert Robert. The main ancient source for information about the fire, wrote that countless mansions, residences and temples were destroyed. Have both written of extensive damage to the Palatine, which has been supported by subsequent archaeological excavations.
The fire is reported to have burned for over a week. It destroyed three of fourteen Roman districts and severely damaged seven more. Tacitus wrote that some ancient accounts described the fire as an accident, while others had claimed that it was a plot of Nero.
Tacitus is the only surviving source which does not blame Nero for starting the fire; he says he is "unsure". Suetonius and Cassius Dio all wrote that Nero was responsible for the fire. These accounts give several reasons for Nero's alleged arson like Nero's envy of King Priam.
And a dislike for the city's ancient construction. Suetonius wrote that Nero started the fire because he wanted the space to build his Golden House.
This Golden House or Domus Aurea included lush artificial landscapes and a 30-meter-tall statue of himself, the Colossus of Nero. The size of this complex is debated (from 100 to 300 acres). Tacitus wrote that Nero accused Christians of starting the fire to remove suspicion from himself.
According to this account, many Christians were arrested and brutally executed by "being thrown to the beasts, crucified, and being burned alive". Suetonius and Cassius Dio alleged that Nero sang the Sack of Ilium.In stage costume while the city burned. The popular legend that Nero played the fiddle.
While Rome burned is at least partly a literary construct of Flavian. Which looked askance on the abortive Neronian attempt to rewrite Augustan models of rule. In fact, the first recorded reference to the bowed lira. The ancestor of most European. Stringed instruments, was in the 9th century by the Persian.
According to Tacitus, Nero was in Antium during the fire. After the fire, Nero opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, and arranged for food supplies to be delivered in order to prevent starvation among the survivors. In the wake of the fire, he made a new urban development plan. Houses built after the fire were spaced out, built in brick, and faced by porticos.
Nero also built a new palace complex known as the Domus Aurea. In an area cleared by the fire. To find the necessary funds for the reconstruction, tributes. Were imposed on the provinces of the empire.
The cost to rebuild Rome was immense, requiring funds the state treasury did not have. Nero devalued the Roman currency.
For the first time in the Empire's history. He reduced the weight of the denarius.
From 84 per Roman pound. To 96 (3.80 grams to 3.30 grams). He also reduced the silver purity from 99.5% to 93.5%the silver weight dropping from 3.80 grams to 2.97 grams.
Furthermore, Nero reduced the weight of the aureus. From 40 per Roman pound to 45 (7.9 grams to 7.2 grams). A Roman statesman, organized a conspiracy against Nero. With the help of Subrius Flavus and Sulpicius Asper, a tribune and a centurion of the Praetorian Guard.
According to Tacitus, many conspirators wished to "rescue the state" from the emperor and restore the Republic. The freedman Milichus discovered the conspiracy and reported it to Nero's secretary, Epaphroditos. As a result, the conspiracy failed and its members were executed including Lucan. Nero's previous advisor Seneca.Was accused by Natalis; he denied the charges but was still ordered to commit suicide as by this point he had fallen out of favor with Nero. Nero was said to have kicked Poppaea to death in 65. AD, before she could have his second child. Modern historians, noting the probable biases of Suetonius, Tacitus, and Cassius Dio, and the likely absence of eyewitnesses to such an event, propose that Poppaea may have died after miscarriage or in childbirth. Nero went into deep mourning; Poppaea was given a sumptuous state funeral. And was promised a temple for her cult. A year's importation of incense was burned at the funeral. Her body was not cremated, as would have been strictly customary, but embalmed after the Egyptian manner and entombed; it is not known where. In 67, Nero married Sporus. A young boy who is said to have greatly resembled Poppaea. Nero had him castrated, tried to make a woman out of him, and married him in a dowry and bridal veil. It is believed that he did this out of regret for his killing of Poppaea. Revolt of Vindex and Galba and Nero's death. A marble bust of Nero, Antiquarium of the Palatine. In March 68, Gaius Julius Vindex. The governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. The governor of Germania Superior.
Was ordered to put down Vindex's rebellion. In an attempt to gain support from outside his own province, Vindex called upon Servius Sulpicius Galba. The governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. To join the rebellion and to declare himself emperor in opposition to Nero.At the Battle of Vesontio. In May 68, Verginius' forces easily defeated those of Vindex, and the latter committed suicide. However, after defeating the rebel, Verginius' legions attempted to proclaim their own commander as Emperor. Verginius refused to act against Nero, but the discontent of the legions of Germania and the continued opposition of Galba in Hispania did not bode well for him. While Nero had retained some control of the situation, support for Galba increased despite his being officially declared a public enemy ("hostis publicus").
The prefect of the Praetorian Guard. Also abandoned his allegiance to the Emperor and came out in support of Galba. In response, Nero fled Rome with the intention of going to the port of Ostia. And, from there, to take a fleet to one of the still-loyal eastern provinces.According to Suetonius, Nero abandoned the idea when some army officers openly refused to obey his commands, responding with a line from Virgil. Is it so dreadful a thing then to die?
Nero then toyed with the idea of fleeing to Parthia. Throwing himself upon the mercy of Galba, or appealing to the people and begging them to pardon him for his past offences and if he could not soften their hearts, to entreat them at least to allow him the prefecture of Egypt. Suetonius reports that the text of this speech was later found in Nero's writing desk, but that he dared not give it from fear of being torn to pieces before he could reach the Forum.After sleeping, he awoke at about midnight to find the palace guard had left. Dispatching messages to his friends' palace chambers for them to come, he received no answers. Upon going to their chambers personally, he found them all abandoned.
When he called for a gladiator. Or anyone else adept with a sword to kill him, no one appeared. He cried, Have I neither friend nor foe? And ran out as if to throw himself into the Tiber.
Returning, Nero sought a place where he could hide and collect his thoughts. Offered his villa, located 4 mi (6.4 km) outside the city.
Travelling in disguise, Nero and four loyal freedmen. Reached the villa, where Nero ordered them to dig a grave for him.At this time, a courier arrived with a report that the Senate had declared Nero a public enemy, that it was their intention to execute him by beating him to death, and that armed men had been sent to apprehend him for the act to take place in the Roman Forum. The Senate actually was still reluctant and deliberating on the right course of action, as Nero was the last member of the Julio-Claudian family. Indeed, most of the senators had served the imperial family all their lives and felt a sense of loyalty to the deified bloodline, if not to Nero himself.
The men actually had the goal of returning Nero back to the Senate, where the Senate hoped to work out a compromise with the rebelling governors that would preserve Nero's life, so that at least a future heir to the dynasty could be produced. Nero, however, did not know this, and at the news brought by the courier, he prepared himself for suicide. Pacing up and down muttering Qualis artifex pereo ("What an artist dies in me").
Losing his nerve, he begged one of his companions to set an example by killing himself first. At last, the sound of approaching horsemen drove Nero to face the end. However, he still could not bring himself to take his own life, but instead forced his private secretary, Epaphroditos.
An 1815 illustration of the alleged tomb of Nero; actually tomb of proconsul Caius Vibius Marianus. When one of the horsemen entered and saw that Nero was dying, he attempted to stop the bleeding, but efforts to save Nero's life were unsuccessful. Nero's final words were Too late! He died on 9 June 68, the anniversary of the death of his first wife Claudia Octavia.And was buried in the Mausoleum of the Domitii Ahenobarbi, in what is now the Villa Borghese. It is unclear whether Nero took his own life. With his death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty. When news of his death reached Rome, the Senate posthumously declared Nero a public enemy to appease the coming Galba (as the Senate had initially declared Galba as a public enemy) and proclaimed Galba as the new emperor. Chaos would ensue in the year of the Four Emperors.
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