Sunday, 22 October 2017

Emperor Nero

Nero is among the best-known of all Roman emperors – but not for good reasons. During his reign, from 54 to 68 CE, Nero had few accomplishments and a very long list of failures.

Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, (Caligula's sister) dominated Nero's early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered. Nero's rule is usually associated with tyranny and most Romans thought him corrupt.


Silver denarius of 55/56
He was suspected of starting the Great Fire of Rome in the year AD 64 in order to clear the way for his planned palace complex, the Domus Aurea. It caused widespread devastation and countless mansions, homes and temples were destroyed. The fire is reported to have burned for over a week.

Nero seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive.
Nero devalued the Roman currency for the first time in the Empire's history. He reduced the weight of the denarius from 3.85 grams to 3.35 grams. He also reduced the silver purity from 99.5% to 93.5%—the silver weight dropping from 3.83 grams to 3.4 grams. He reduced the weight of the aureus from 8 grams to 7.2 grams.
In 65 a conspiracy against Nero failed after being discovered. In March 68, Gaius Julius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled against Nero's tax policies. The discontent of the legions of Germany and the continued opposition of the popular Galba in Spain, despite his being officially declared a public enemy were Nero's undoing.

The prefect of the Praetorian Guard also abandoned his allegiance to the Emperor. When the Senate declared Nero a public enemy it was the end. Nero could not bring himself to take his own life but instead forced his private secretary to perform the task. He died on 9 June 68.