Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, known as Nero , was one of the most popular Roman emperors who was in command of the Roman Empire . However, his popularity is not due to the love and devotion that the people felt for him, it is quite the opposite, the period of his mandate was considered one of the saddest periods of the Roman people. Due to the follies he committed, Nero became a despicable ruler . When was Nero born?
Under the mandate of Nero, the persecution of Christian and political enemies was promoted by murdering relatives . As a consequence of the eccentricities of the emperor there was the economic decline of the Roman Empire.
Who was Nero?
Biography of Nero
He was born in the Italian city of Anzio on December 15, AD 37 , he was the son of Agrippina who became the second wife of Claudius. His mother was a daring and authentic strategist who managed to get Emperor Claudius to adopt her son in 51 AD. And not only that, but also that he syndicated him as the successor, putting his own son first. When was Nero born?
The ambition of Nero’s mother had no limits, proof of this was that in the year 53 she managed to unite Nero in marriage with another daughter of Claudius, Octavia. In addition, a year after this union, he murdered Claudius so that his son Nero would have power. This is how Nero is proclaimed as the rightful emperor of Rome in the year 54 .
Reign of Nero
Nero’s reign can be described as having a good beginning full of entertainment, however it ends abruptly with the suicide of the emperor. During the first years of this government the reign of Nero stood out for:
- The establishment of the Roman protectorate over Armenia.
- It boosted commerce.
- Cultural and diplomatic events.
- Construction of theaters.
- Promotion of athletic competitions.
He was a defender of artistic spaces and entertainment through great shows , such as that of the gladiators, which won the adoration of the people. To a large extent the power of the empire rested in the decisions of his mother Agrippina. However, when Agrippina learns that Nero has grown tired of her manipulations and wants to get rid of her, she decides to conspire with her husband’s son, Británico. When Nero finds out about this he murders them both . When was Nero born?
Transition of the reign of Nero
After he murders his mother, the climate of Nero’s rule changes to a bleaker one. Nero gained popularity because he liked to enjoy the pleasures of life and beauty. Having as a lover the beautiful Poppea, who forced him to kill his wife Octavia to remain the sole wife of the emperor.
Extravagance and terror was the protagonist of Nero’s reign. He was flattered as a musician, athlete, poet, as the culprit of the burning of Rome to rebuild it to his liking and for persecuting Christians. Through gifts he wanted to win the acceptance of the people, these gifts destroyed the economy of the empire .
On the other hand, the little importance that he gave to the affairs of the state was reflected in his great trips that brought as a result the definitive danger of Roman peace . To obtain monetary collection he decided to confiscate his property from the senators, which resulted in hatred and conspiracies to remove him from the reign .
What was the worst mistake of the Nero government? Without a doubt, it was neglecting the borders that ended up exposing the weakness of Rome . In 68 the rebellion of the governors of Gaul, Lusitania and Hispania Citerior managed to subdue the senator.
What did Nero do?
The Roman Empire lasted for many years and throughout this time the emperors had to be either very social or very cruel in order to earn respect as Emperors . In Nero’s case, what earned him the respect or fear of the people were the atrocities he carried out .
Assassination of Agrippina
After becoming emperor, Nero became convinced that his mother Agrippina was plotting against him. For a time they ruled together, but she lost their support, due to the distrust of the emperor. For this reason, he decided to start a plan to get rid of his mother . When was Nero born?
The first thing he did was to send a ship where his mother was traveling to sink, when he saw that his mother managed to survive and reach the shore by swimming, his plan was frustrated. Therefore, he ordered his soldiers to kill her .
Murder of his first wife, Octavia
The union of Nero and his first wife Octavia was the product of Agrippina’s strategies, they did not get along. After several years of marriage, where they were estranged, the cruel emperor planned to get rid of her . The first thing he did was to divorce and accuse her of adultery , what he wanted with this accusation was for her to earn the hatred of the people. The emperor took this opportunity to banish her.
Everything did not stop there, as he proposed that she be sentenced to death for the alleged adultery. Although the evidence was unfounded, he managed to have Octavia executed for adultery . When was Nero born?
Fire of Rome
It may turn out to be the worst thing the emperor is accused of. The fire that affected Rome burned for several days and left much of the city destroyed by fire . According to various historians Nero played music in his palace while the city burned in flames, those rumors gained a lot of force due to the characteristic personality of the eccentric emperor.
The exact cause of the fire in Rome was never determined , but it is believed that it was Nero himself who started the fire to clear land for his new palace .
Nero blamed the Christians for the burning of the city, who were only a few who did not have the appreciation of the Romans . Due to this accusation, coming from the emperor, the Christians were arrested and subjected to horrific acts of torture and then they were assassinated.
There are stories that show that Nero was the one who ordered Christians to be dipped in oil and then hung on poles in his garden . It was said that the emperor walked every night in the garden to admire how the bodies of Christians were burned. When was Nero born?
Sexual torture of children
Nero was known for his orgies, but he performed them not only with men and women, but also with boys and girls . According to historians these poor children were placed on poles to be abused by the emperor.
It is said that the emperor dressed as animals and played to attack them. When he had spent a few years killing his second pregnant wife, the emperor found a slave boy who looked like her, castrated him, and married him .
Wars during the period of Nero
During the period of Nero’s government, only the war against the Fatherland was carried out, which represented a true military victory . However, Nero had to face internal rebellions that desired the power of his reign. In all history there were three emperors who were able to close the doors of the temple of Janus, as a sign of peacetime, Augustus , Vespasian and Nero .
Rebellions during the reign of Nero
Compared to previous emperors, Nero’s period was fairly quiet. The following rebellions occurred during his tenure :
- The great fire of Rome.
- British rebellion.
- Plison conspiracy.
- Jewish revolt.
- The rise of Galba .
Nero’s public appearances
The emperor was fond of public appearances, therefore, he excelled in poetry, the harp, songwriting and driving . From the year 64 he began to sing in public in Neápolis and in the Quinquennial Neroniana in the year 65. When was Nero born?
For the year 67 the emperor participated in the Olympic Games, with the purpose of improving relations with Greece and demonstrating Roman rule to the Hellenic people. He also participated as a singer and actor , although in each one he achieved victory, this is attributed to his status as Roman emperor since he bribed each of the judges.
Death of Nero
By the end of AD 67 the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gaius Julius Vindex, rebelled against Nero’s policy . As a strategy to quell the revolts, he sent Lucio Verginio Rufo, the governor of Gallia, with the purpose of getting many more allies, and requested support from Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconense. Vindex, when defeated, decides to kill himself and Galba is declared a public enemy. When was Nero born?
Nero regains military control of the empire but was used against him by all the enemies of Rome. For the year 68 the Senate proclaims Galba as emperor and Nero proclaims him as a public enemy .
Nero flees from Rome through the Via Salaria and with the help of his secretary plans his suicide . When a Roman soldier approached, his secretary stabbed him and according to Dio Cassius, his last words were “What an artist dies with me!” . Nero was the first Roman emperor to die in this way.