The Truth About Nero

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Essay Two Word count: 1450 4. Why and in what ways is the image we have of Nero so negative? Can you find any positive tradition buried within the ancient sources for his reign? The Truth About Nero Nero Claudius Caesar was a controversial Roman emperor who ruled between the years of 54 and 68. This essay will explore the reasons why Nero was thought to be a destructive ruler and contrast the opinions found in ancient sources with that of modern beliefs. Before he was born he was destined for tragedy. He supposedly committed matricide as well as killing other family members. Nero is known for his extreme hate for Christians and trying to eliminate them. He was scandalously a lover of all things Greek. Then there is the complication on the Great Fire of Rome of 64AD; some say the emperor started it. The impressive ‘Golden House’ made for his own private pleasure adds arrogance to the image of Nero. There are, however, positive aspects to Nero’s persona, which contradict the malevolent nature, he supposedly lived by. This essay will also argue there is evidence that prove some of the listed theories wrong. Unfortunately for Nero, he was predestined to become a “public nature”. His father, Cnaeus Domitus Ahenonbarbus made this prophetic statement. Arrogance, violence and overindulgence were traits of his ancestors passed down to Nero through blood. The classical historian, Suetonius, writes of how Nero’s grandfather loved the brutal performances of the gladiators so much that Augustus had him rebuked and how his father was known for his quick temper and violent nature. These negative characteristics would definitely have an impact on the young emperor, as these figures are his role models. Whether Nero started the Fire of Rome or not is still argued about today. Most historic texts like that of Suetonius accuse him of the disaster. However, Tacitus

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