15.40), Nero wanted to re-found Rome, naming it after himself (i.e., as Neropolis: Suet. Lib. But if the disagreement among our three sources isn’t enough to debunk one of history’s most pervasive myths , there’s one final detail: the fiddle wasn’t invented until around the eleventh century. Rome burned, true, in A.D. 64. A century after the Timagenes episode, the emperor was Nero, “who oversaw a revival of Afrianus’ Incendium, a farce in which characters escape from an urban conflagration. Rome, as the saying goes, was not built in a day. Artwork of the Great Fire of Rome .Photo source: Wikimedia. He does not connect the persecution with the conflagration, but with police regulations. Suetonius recounts how Nero, while watching Rome burn, exclaimed how beautiful it was, and sang an epic poem about the sack of Troy while playing the lyre. The Great Fire of Rome. Everyone thought that Nero had started the fire so that he could rebuild a more beautiful city, including his Golden House. In retaliation, Nero began to persecute Christians. Cassius Dio gives the most detailed version of the story. Ancient historians have a different opinion about Nero's whereabouts during a fire. Suetonius (Nero 38.1) maintains that Nero “set the City ablaze because of his disgust with the unsightliness of its antiquated buildings and the narrow and winding streets.” According to Tacitus (Ann. SUETONIUS, Life of the Emperor Nero, chapter 16: "[After the Great Fire]...punishments were also inflicted on the CHRISTIANS, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief ...." PLINY (Governor of the Province of Bithynia-Pontus) Epistles Book 10 #96 addressed to the Emperor Trajan (ca. After the conflagration, Nero embarked on an ambitious rebuilding programme – one that, according to the Roman historian Tacitus, he tackled with such gusto that many Romans soon suspected that he’d ordered the fire to be started in the first place. Nero’s father died when at the … Richard Cavendish | Published in History Today Volume 64 Issue 7 July 2014. Of the early Roman emperors, Nero alone rivalled Caligula in his reputation for sheer unbridled viciousness. pp. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, Nero sang and played the lyre while Rome burned. But a … —Suetonius, Nero 31.1. i. of the edition in the Antiq. Suetonius describes Nero's suicide, and remarks that his death meant the end of the reign of the Julio-Claudians (because Nero had no heir). Despite the well-known stories, there is … At the first news of the Gallic revolt Nero is thought to have formed a characteristically perverse and wicked plan to depose the army commanders and provincial governors and execute them on charges of conspiracy; to murder all exiles, for fear they might join the rebels, and all the Gallic residents of Rome as sharing in and abetting their countrymen’s designs; to allow his armies to ravage the Gallic provinces; to poison … In 64 A.D. a devastating fire swept through Rome destroying everything in its path. Nero’s Rome burns The great fire of Rome breaks out and destroys much of the city on this day in the year 64. Even at this distance it is possible to hear the anti-Neronian axes grinding away. There is a story told by Suetonius that when a man said to Nero, ‘When I am dead, let the earth be consumed by fire’, the emperor replied, ‘No, while I live!’ Traditions of the church place the martyrdoms of SS Peter and Paul at Rome, under the reign of Nero. The fire is the last big event in Tacitus’ account of AD 64 ( Annals 15.33–47). 112 A.D.) Augustus himself famously burned paperwork that erased a huge debt owed to the Roman treasury, thus earning him an equally huge debt of gratitude by the Roman people. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. Their bias against Nero gives their audience a negative view before reading their narratives about the fire, thus already creating a grim opinion of the emperor. Nero the Emperor of Rome (pictured) is infamous for his tyrannical rule and a devastating fire which is said to have ravaged much of the city. Before Dio and Suetonius even mention the fire they foreshadow that Nero’s intentions are to destroy and burn Rome. 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. Tacitus’ account of the fire of Rome can be divided as follows: 38: The outbreak of the fire and its devastation of the city. 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. No hard evidence, however, is produced for this claim other than the fact that he undertook a large … Nero’s father was violent and died when his son was only three years old. The account of Suetonius, Nero, c.16, is very short and unsatisfactory: "Afflicti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominum superstitionis novae ac maleficaea." The emperor Nero commandeered many of the neighborhoods razed by the Great Fire of A.D. 64 to build a palace complex of staggering dimensions. Lyre, lyre, Rome. In the aftermath of the fire, rumors quickly spread about the cause of the fire. 206, etc., with the notes and reference to the apocryphal works on which they are founded. Nero 55). https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-was-the-great-fire-of-rome.html 39: Nero’s return to Rome and his counter-measures. 41: Assessment of the damages. According to Suetonius, the play became a … The first is that he was a mad megalomaniac who burned down the city simply because he could. Separated by almost two millennia from a devastating event in the ancient city of Rome, came a software program called Nero Burning Rom that allows you to burn discs. One of the most popular stories about the fire is that while Rome burned, Nero simply played his lyre and sang. Two years later when this coin was struck circa 64-66 CE at Rome, Nero’s image was almost completely different than the youthful portrait from a … On the evening of July 18, in the scorching summer of 64 CE, a fire started in a shop under the Circus Maximus in Rome. Nero had a reputation as an arsonist even in antiquity, with rumours that he started the Fire of Rome in A.D. 64 appearing in the histories of Tacitus and Cassius Dio and the biography of Nero … According to Suetonius, he observed the fire in the tower of Maecenas (Nero 38.2); Cassius Dion believed that he was on the roof of his palace (Roman History 62.18.1); when Tacitus thought Nero was outside Rome, in Antium (Annals 15.39). See vol. AD 64 always has been, and will continue to be, all about the Great Fire of Rome. In AD 64, a fire ripped through Rome, devastating 10 of its 14 districts. The city burned on 18 July AD 64. 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