The great fire of Rome breaks out and destroys much of the city on this day in the year 64. Most of what we know about Nero's reign comes from three ancient writers: Tacitus, Suetonius, and Greek historian Cassius Dio. Poppaea Sabina was the mistress and second wife of the Roman emperor Nero. [77], 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. He cried, "Have I neither friend nor foe?" [133] However, Suetonius writes that, "since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, the [emperor Claudius] expelled them from Rome" ("Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit"). [99] This belief came to be known as the Nero Redivivus Legend. [13]:214 In Annals Tacitus writes that Agrippina opposed Nero's affair with Poppaea because of her affection for his wife Octavia. "[44]:53, In 67 AD Nero participated in the Olympics. Politically isolated, Seneca was forced to retire. The bulk of what is known of Nero comes from Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, who were all of the senatorial class. 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. Some evidence exists suggesting that Nero knew of the poisoning when he later called mushrooms the “food of the gods.” There was also fear that Britannicus (Claudius’s legitimate son) might be chosen as emperor ahead of Nero. Caligula's beloved sister Drusilla had recently died and Caligula began to feel threatened by his brother-in-law Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. At the Battle of Vesontio in May 68, Verginius' forces easily defeated those of Vindex and the latter committed suicide. In Apocolocyntosis, Seneca the Younger does not mention mushrooms at all. [30]:265 Nero decided to adopt a more lenient approach to governing the province, and appointed a new governor, Petronius Turpilianus.[16]:33. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support. By 48 AD, Agrippina the Younger had married her Uncle, Emperor Claudius and in 50 AD, the ailing Emperor adopted his great-nephew as his son. [538] Tertullian, Apol. It is not surprising that Seneca (c. 4 BC–65 AD), Nero's teacher and advisor, writes very well of Nero. [81], According to Suetonius and Cassius Dio, the people of Rome celebrated the death of Nero. The client state arrangement was unlikely to survive the death of the former Emperor. He wrote, "Examine your records. Pliny has one of the worst opinions of Nero and calls him an "enemy of mankind".[120]. He had bribed organizers to postpone the games for a year so he could participate,[109] and artistic competitions were added to the athletic events. Realising that this bias may be apparent to others, Tacitus protests that his writing is true. [30]:265–66[16]:35, In 66, there was a Jewish revolt in Judea stemming from Greek and Jewish religious tension. [citation needed], Books 61–63 of Dio's Roman History describe the reign of Nero. Rome Post Nero: Many in Rome celebrated the death of Nero, but their celebration would soon turn to fear and chaos. [54], In the wake of the fire, he made a new urban development plan. Agrippina, suspected of adultery with her brother-in-law, was forced to carry the funerary urn after Lepidus' execution. According to Suetonius the gymnastic contests were held in the Saepta area of the Campus Martius. In AD 68 Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled, with support from Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. [7] According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. He then asked a passing child to repeat the verse he had learned that day. The Roman victory came at a time when the Parthians were troubled by revolts; when this was dealt with they were able to devote resources to the Armenian situation. Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian – Christian Classics Ethereal Library", "Sanctioning Memory: Changing Identity – Using 3D laser scanning to identify two 'new' portraits of the Emperor Nero in English antiquarian collections", "Finding Nero: shining a new light on Romano-British sculpture", "Going for Gold: A History of Olympic Controversies", Rabbinic Popularity in the Mishnah VII: Top Ten Overall [Final Tally], "2 Thessalonians 2:7 – Passage Lookup – King James Version", Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, International Society for Neronian Studies, The Roman Empire in the First Century: Nero, "The Nero Files – Cause for a Cold Case Investigation? [121] Nero is portrayed as a tyrant, but those that replace him are not described as better. [14]:4 According to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Agrippina was exiled for plotting to overthrow Caligula. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. [79], With his death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty ended. And why would anyone believe that someone impersonating someone as reviled as Nero could help them seize power in Rome? The news sent Nero into a frenzied panic. How did Emperor Nero die? He is the third-most-frequently-mentioned sage in the Mishnah.[128]. [110] Champlin writes that though Nero's participation "effectively stifled true competition, [Nero] seems to have been oblivious of reality. A few years before his death, Domitius had been involved in a political scandal that, according to Malitz, "could have cost him his life if Tiberius had not died in the year 37". [17] Agrippina married Claudius in 49 AD and became his fourth wife. At last, the sound of approaching horsemen drove Nero to face the end. [90], The civil war during the year of the Four Emperors was described by ancient historians as a troubling period. Nor is the Bible explicit, calling Aquila of Pontus and his wife, Priscilla, both expelled from Italy at the time, "Jews" (Acts 18:2). [30]:260[45], Tacitus wrote that some ancient accounts described the fire as an accident, while others had claimed that it was a plot of Nero. [11]:22 Miriam T. Griffins 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. [75], 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"). [16]:11 He died from multiple stab wounds in January of 41 after being ambushed by his own Praetorian Guard on the Palatine Hill. [18]:51 When he turned 16, Nero married Claudius' daughter (his step-sister), Claudia Octavia. [101] Sometime during the reign of Titus (79–81), another impostor appeared in Asia and sang to the accompaniment of the lyre and looked like Nero but he, too, was killed. Nero did not consider it a serious danger when Gaius Julius Vindex, a governor in Gaul, rebelled in AD 68. [60] The freedman Milichus discovered the conspiracy and reported it to Nero's secretary, Epaphroditos. The legend of Nero's return lasted for hundreds of years after Nero's death. [28], Nero became emperor in 54 AD, aged sixteen years. On 9 June in AD 68, he committed suicide, becoming the first Roman Emperor to do so, after learning that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy. Nero provided emergency help and shelter for the dispossessed — but he also appropriated vast swathes of public land which he turned into a lavish palace and gardens — the so-called Golden House of Nero. Some modern biblical scholars[147][148] such as Delbert Hillers (Johns Hopkins University) of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the editors of the Oxford Study Bible and Harper Collins Study Bible, contend that the number 666 in the Book of Revelation is a code for Nero,[149] a view that is also supported in Roman Catholic Biblical commentaries. At the end of 66 AD, conflict broke out between Greeks and Jews in Jerusalem and Caesarea. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. [vii] 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. Just three years later, after the death of Claudius, he became Emperor Nero, after superseding Claudius’s natural son, Britannicus. [101] After persuading some to recognize him, he was captured and executed. Vitellius began his reign with a large funeral for Nero complete with songs written by Nero. What year did Nero die? At the time it occurred, Nero was at Antium but immediately returned to Rome to oversee relief efforts.While ancient writers tend to blame Nero for starting the fire, this is far from certain. [33] After Agrippina's exile, Burrus and Seneca were responsible for the administration of the Empire. 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". [16]:12 Nero, who was having an affair with Acte,[viii] exiled Agrippina from the palace when she began to cultivate a relationship with his wife Octavia. [95], Otho overthrew Galba. He snatched up two daggers and tried the points as if to kill himself —only to throw down again, protesting the time of his death had not yet come. [30]:257 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. "[30]:257 His respect of the Senatorial autonomy, which distinguished him from Caligula and Claudius, was generally well received by the Roman Senate. [104] Julius Classicianus replaced Decianus as procurator. The first five years of Nero’s reign were relatively benign. This made him the youngest sole emperor until Elagabalus, who became emperor aged 14 in 218. The first, who sang and played the cithara or lyre and whose face was similar to that of the dead emperor, appeared in 69 during the reign of Vitellius. Nero even turned on his old friend Petronius, author of the Satyricon. [vi][18] Claudius had gold coins issued to mark the adoption. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarus was born at Antium on December 15, 37 AD, the son of Gnaeus Ahenobarus and Agrippina the younger — the daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina, the granddaughter of Emperor Augustus. His murderous madness finally culminated in him kicking his pregnant wife, Poppaea, to death. Her passion to acquire money was unbounded; she wanted it as a stepping stone to supremacy. He also thought that existing writing on them was unbalanced: The histories of Tiberius, Caius, Claudius and Nero, while they were in power, were falsified through terror, and after their death were written under the irritation of a recent hatred. In the aftermath, Nero abandoned Rome and spent a happy two years touring Greece, competing in athletic and musical contests — including the Olympic games — and basking in the adoration of his Hellenistic subjects. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ruled the Roman Empire from 54-68 AD. 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