Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (n. 15 December 37, Anzio - d. 9 or 11 June 68, Rome) was from 54 years on. until 68 e.n. the fifth Roman emperor of the Iulio-Claudian dynasty.
It's supposed to have set on fire the city of Rome. He was suspected of raping his mother. Nero is one of those emperors who have been severely judged in ancient literature. Only in Greece there were voices preoccupied with a different image; thus, for Pausanias, Nero was an example of Plato's assertion that the great injustice "does not start from ordinary people, but from a corrupt noble soul through wrong education."
Statue of Nero
Nero was born on December 15, 377, in Antium, a small seaside town. His father, Gnaeus Dimitius Ahenobarbus, was a member of one of the most important families of the republic. Nero was known for his mother, Iulia Agrippina, the daughter of Germanicus and Caligula's sister. Nero's father died when he was only three years old, and his mother was exiled by Caligula to the Ponzians. But in 41, Claudius, with his ascension to the throne, recalled Agrippina to Rome. The two married in 49, and between the ages of 50 and 51 Nero was adopted and named heir. In 53, he married Claudius' daughter, Octavia. In the year 54, when Claudius died, Nero, aged 16, was accepted, without opposition, as emperor.
Nero offered an enormous donation to the Praetorian Guard and made a speech before the Senate, promising to return to the principles of Augustus. The senate's role in the government would grow, and the senators would enjoy more freedom in expressing their opinions. His speeches were written by Seneca, a distinguished Stoic philosopher, exiled in Corsica by Claudius, and recalled to deal with Nero as preceptor, along with Afranius Burrus, the perfect of the pretorium. Britannicus, son of Claudius, was poisoned at dinner in the year 55. His mother, Agrippina, exerted an enormous influence on his son through whom he hopes to lead the empire. Nero treated her with caution and supposedly even his mother seduced him to better control him. But at the beginning of the 55th, her guard was withdrawn, and she was banished from the palace. In the year 59, Nero ordered to be suppressed. After unsuccessful attempts, she was eventually killed. The Emperor wandered through the city in the evening, going from the pub to the bar with his friends, robbing people in the street, attacking women and stealing from shops and stalls. Silhouette married women and free-born boys. He married his dealers, Pitagora and Sporus, a castrated child. He was passionate about music, and he liked to play his own compositions, accompanying himself to the pound. He hired Professor Terpnus, the greatest lion singer, and organized private concerts for friends.
His public debut took place in Naples in 64, and the theater where he organized the recital was hit by an earthquake and collapsed. Suetonius says that Nero had a faint and clogged voice, Dio Cassius qualified his faint voice, but perhaps he was a talented and skilled musician. Nero dresses as a tragedy actor, supporting a second recital in front of the plebe, and playing a song about Niobe and other areas, female and masculine, with the Pretorian Guard soldiers standing next to him, ready to wear his pound. The show lasted until late at night. Nero imagined a poet and wrote poems.
In 58, Nero fell in love with Poppaea Sabina, married to one of Nero's close companions, Otho Marcus. Otho was appointed governor of Lusitania, and Poppaea came to the emperor's bed. He divorced in Oct. 62 and married Poppaea. Octavia was sent to Campania, isolated in Pandateria and accused of false adultery, was murdered, her head being brought to Rome for Poppaea to despise by looking at him. In the year 63 Poppaea gave birth to Nero a daughter, but who died at 4 months. In the year 65, in anger, Nero killed his pregnant wife for the second time, and immediately married Statilia Messalina, but then began an amorous relationship with Sporus, having a physical resemblance to Poppaea. She set herself up to be castrated and dressed in women's vestments.
When asked to sign the first death sentence, Nero commented "I would never have learned to write". After Burrus's death, in the year 62, Seneca's influence diminished, being dominated by Poppaea and Ofonius Tigellinus, successor to the command of the Pretorian Guard. Because the money was over, Nero increased the money, the currency depreciated, and the fortunes of the rich were confiscated to deepen the emperor's income.
In the year 64, Rome was devastated by a big fire, bursting near the Circus Maximus, which covered 10 of the 14 neighborhoods of the city, the center of Rome and part of the imperial residence on the Palatine Hill.
Fire, persecution and plot
Nero was at Antium when the fire broke out, but he soon returned to Rome to find out about the magnitude of the disaster. He helped the flood victims, transformed some public buildings into shelters, and offered cheap grain to the population. He has provided money for reconstruction and has imposed strict measures to reduce the risk of repetition of fires. The world believed that Nero himself would have caused the fire to make room for Domus Aurea. In the midst of the fire he watched the brook of the Mecenas tower and enjoyed the beauty of the flames, singing "The Burning of Troy," and few were deceived when he blamed the Christians. Accused of having ordered the great fire in Rome, Nero blamed Christians for a wave of summons. Many Christians were crucified and burned, as if they were living torches, to illuminate circus games. Among the victims of the persecution are also Saints Peter and Paul who were killed by the year 66.
Regardless of the author, the big fire cost Nero exactly when the revenues were already insufficient. He resumed trials for treason, exile, executions and suicides, fear and indignation spreading among senators and courtiers.
A group of senators, including officers of the imperial guard, led by Gaius Calpurnius Piso, planned to assassinate him during the Games of the Circus Maximus April 65. The plot was discovered, so 19 people were killed and 13 exiles. Even Seneca was accused of complicity in the pisonian conspiracy and was forced to commit suicide. There was another conspiracy when Nero was on his way to Greece, involving senior senators like Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo.
"Champion" and "Artist"
Nero was fascinated by Greek culture and made a trip to Greece. He wanted the Olympics and the German Games to be organized earlier. He has won all competitions, bribing referees and competitors. Spectators were forbidden to leave their seats while Nero was on stage and held recitals for hours. It happened that the women were born in the theater, others were made dead to be taken out, and the future emperor, Vespasian, fell asleep during the performance, being excluded from the king's entourage. The talented young people are quickly silenced and the statues of the winners are destroyed. He participated in the races with which he drew ten horses, but was almost killed after falling from it. Finally, he was declared victorious in the cheers of the 5,000 attendants brought specially from Rome to applaud him.
On the military side, General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus stifled a Boudica-led rebellion in Britannia in the year 61, and Corbula wore victories over the Armenians.
Upon his return to Rome in the year 67, relations between Nero and the Senate worsened. Because he imposed burdensome taxes, he was about to lose his support to the provinces. In March 68, the rebellion of Yulius Vindex, the governor of Gaul Lugdunensins, broke out, winning the adherence of Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis.
The Rin armies defeated Vindex at Besancon in May 68. They proclaimed him, however, Verginius Rufus, who refused. Galba has become the alternative solution. Galba waited in Spain, while his agents withdrew all of Nero's support. On June 8, Nero fled, being abandoned by the Pretorian commander, Nymfidius Sabinus.
He hoped he would go to Ostia to look for shelter in the Oriental provinces. But the Pretorians refused to help him. They left his servants. He went out into the street from the palace next to Sporus, and met Faon, one of his liberals, who made him disguise himself and led him to his villa, not far from the city. Nero was hiding in a room behind the house when the soldiers came to arrest him. He chose to commit suicide. He called on Epafroditus, his personal secretary, to help him stab himself in the throat, exclaiming at the same time, "Oh, what artist is missing with me!" Thus, Nero died on June 9, 68, at only 30 years. His body was deposited in the tomb of the Pinciana Hill Dormitories. He was seated in a porphyry sarcophagus and built a marble altar mounted on a stone railing. He remained popular among the plebeians, his grave being decorated with flowers, many years after his death.