Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Galba. Nero's failure to leave an heir marked the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The year following his death saw four different Emperors, Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian. The civil war began when several legions refused to acknowledge the Emperor Galba (a common occurrence - legions tended to favour making their commanders Emperor). Galba was unpopular and his vindictiveness towards Nero's memory and supporters did not win him any new friends. He reacted to the news of the legions' desertions by trying to secure his own dynasty through adoption, unfortunately this alienated Otho, a prominent senator, who overthrew him. Vitellius and his legions moved towards Rome and, following a victory at the Battle of Bedriacum, convinced Otho to commit suicide. Unfortunately for him the legions in the East (Syria and Judaea) united behind Vespasian who slowly moved through Egypt to Rome and became the fourth new Emperor in a year.
Assisted suicide. Nero was betrayed by Nymphidus who arranged for his guards to be absent and for Nero to be murdered. Nymphidus aimed to replace him with Galba, and bribed the Praetorians accordingly. Nero, however, managed to escape from the city but was convinced to stay nearby by Pharon, one of his freedman. This delay cost Nero his chance to escape to Egypt and perhaps try and rally the Eastern legions to his cause. As the soldiers closed in on his villa he went outside to supervise the digging of his own grave. He then, with the help of Epaphroditus, plunged a dagger into his own neck. He was only thirty. His body was claimed by his first love, Acte, and placed in his family tomb.
|Which hitherto ignored group was blamed by the Emperor for the Great Fire of Rome?||The Reign of Nero
The Christians. By the time of Nero's reign Christianity had reached Rome, but was little more than a small sect and had been deemed too small to be worth persecuting. Unfortunately for them the fire had to be blamed on someone and the Christians were first in line. They did not help themselves by preaching that the kingdom of God was about to arrive on Earth and cleansing fire would rain down on their enemies. As Rome was the centre of the world, the fire was seen as the Christians' attempt to try and bring about their paradise. Nero had to be sure that the fire was not seen as divine punishment for his actions, and thus decided that the Christians would have to carry the blame.
In the resort of Antium. The story of the fire has been distorted over time until the myth of Nero and his fiddle has become the dominant one. In reality Nero was out of the city, as was his habit at that time of year. The message about the fire reached him a few hours after it began and he immediately returned to the city to help with the fire-fighting efforts. Somewhat surprisingly, Rome had a large number of fire-fighters, around 7,000 of them. The system was implemented under Augustus and by Nero's time consisted of freedmen.
The idea that the fire was started by Nero, or under the orders of Nero, was a popular one amongst historians of the time, only Tacitus refrained from blaming Nero. That idea has been largely rejected by modern historians. The cost of rebuilding and rehousing was too great for him to burn it himself and the area in which he built his new palace was not, as often stated, on the site of the fire but several miles away.
|The most famous (or infamous) event of Nero's reign was the Great Fire of Rome. In what year was this event?||The Reign of Nero
64CE. The Great Fire of Rome gutted the city and burnt for almost a week. Only after 6 days was it brought under control. As the firefighters rested, the flames started up again in property belonging to Tigellinus. After a further 3 days of fire, the blaze was ended. Of Rome's fourteen districts only four escaped unscathed and three were completely destroyed including the Circus Maximus.
55CE marks the death of Britannicus. In myth, Nero frees a famous posioner Locusta and then had Britannicus murdered.
|Which woman, born a slave, did Nero develop an infatuation with in his early twenties?||The Reign of Nero
Acte. Nero was initially married to Octavia, daughter of Claudius and Messalina, at the age of fifteen. His bride, a tender thirteen-year-old, was trapped in the marriage by strong traditions and neither of them was able to appreciate the marital relationship. Octavia was very popular with the people and Nero's divorce from her led to mobs rising up in Rome to support her. After framing her for adultery, Nero had her murdered in prison.
Poppaea Sabina was reputedly a great beauty and already twice married. She became his mistress during his marriage to Octavia but was held in check by Burrus and Seneca. She pushed hard for Octavia's removal and her marriage to Nero because of her pregnancy. She wished to be married to guarantee the legitimacy of her child. In the end the child was a girl, and died a few months after birth. Poppaea became pregnant a second time but complications from pregnancy led to her death in 66CE.
Agrippina the Younger (Nero's mother) influenced and guided her son for many years. She hoped to govern the Empire through her son but Nero began to break away and the more Agrippina tried to hold him back the more he rebelled. Her murder was arranged and carried out in 59CE. There is no evidence of improper sexual relations between Nero and his mother, although Suetonius records that Nero's first mistress bore a striking resemblance to his mother.
Acte was the slave girl who Nero loved. She was a quite unfitting consort for such a noble Roman, but matters became worse when Nero threatened to take Acte to the island of Rhodes and live with her there. He tried to force the consuls to testify that Acte was of royal descent (from the Attalid family) instead of a slave from Asia. Little else is known about Acte, her age was likely to be about 25, a little older than Nero, and she had been freed a few years earlier. A few historians have suggested that she was Christian, but no proof of this has been found.
|What was the name of the famous orator and Stoic who tutored Nero and remained at his side in power until his resignation in 62CE?||The Reign of Nero
Seneca. Lucius Annaeus Seneca was famous as a playwright, philosopher and orator and was made tutor to the young Nero, staying with the Emperor through the first 7-8 years of his reign. As Nero broke away from his authority figures Seneca fell from favour until he felt he had no option but to offer his resignation. In 65CE he was forced to commit suicide after being accused of conspiring against his former student. Surrounded by his family he bled himself in his bath.
Sextus Africanus Burrus was another major advisor of Nero's reign, dying in 62CE. Initially Burrus was sponsored by Agrippina the Younger (the mother of Nero) but later acquiesced to her murder. This act did not slow his fall from grace and at the time of his death had lost most of his power.
Gaius Cornelius Tacitus is most famous as a historian and his 'Annals' cover the period from the ascension of Tiberius to the death of Domitian. Serving as consul in 97CE and later as the governor of Asia he probably died in 117CE.
Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus was the choice to replace Burrus and Seneca. He was a sinister figure, hated and feared by most of the Senate because of his delight in using the treason laws for personal gain.
Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Many Roman Emperors became known by nicknames following their ascension. Caligula (proper name: Gaius Caesar Germanicus) was named by the army at a young age, Caligula meaning 'Little Boots'. Nero was the son of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and given the prenom Lucius. The family name of Ahenobarbus was gained because the male (one hopes not the females) members traditionally had fiery red beards. In Roman times slaves had one name, freedmen two and free citizens three or more. It was common for a freedman to adopt his patrons name and pass it on to his children.
|Who was the first emperor to openly persecute Christians?||Nero
Nero. He openly started to persecute Peter and Paul in Rome. They were the usual scapegoats who whenever something went wrong were blamed for most of it.
|What year was the greatest fire in Rome to date?||Nero
64 AD. This is what earned Nero the phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned".
|The first five years of Nero's rule are commonly called the what?||Nero
quinquennium. It is a period of good government under the influence, not always coinciding, of three people, his mother, Seneca, and Sextus Afranius Burrus the praetorian prefect.
|What revolt occured in 67 which Vespasian was called to quell?||Nero
Jewish. It was later finally put down by Titus who destroyed the Jewish temple in 70 AD.
|Who was Nero's second wife?||Nero
Poppaea Sabina. He divorced Octavia and later killed Poppaea Sabina. Messalina was Claudius' wife and was exiled after Claudius got fed up with her. Agippina was during the reigns of Augustus-Claudius. She had barely any popularity in Nero's reign.
|Nero made a treaty with what powerful eastern nation?||Nero
The Parthians. The Sassanids did not conquer the Parthians until during the Severan Dynasty. The Armenians were subdued by Augustus and the Dacians were conquered by Trajan 40 years after Nero.
|Nero is what to Caligula?||Nero
His nephew. Nero was the son of Agrippina the Younger, who was the sister of Caligula.
|What age did Nero begin his rule as emperor?||Nero
17. He was the youngest emperor to take the throne. Probably too young by most historians' accounts.
|Who was Nero's father?||Nero
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. He was born in Antium to Gnaeus Domitius AHenobarbus and Aemilia Lepida in the year 37. He came to emperorship when he was only 16.
|What was Nero's birthname?||Nero
Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. One of the three weird emperors that were before Commodus' time, the other two being Caligula and Domitian.
His legions in Gaul, Spain, and Germany revolted. The disaffection of the legions in Gaul, Spain, and Germany revolted. Vindex delivered an inflmmatory speech to some leaders in Gaul, declaring that Nero was unfit to rule. The Senate cast no such vote, and Saint Peter, traditionally martyred during the Neronian persecution of Christians, was not in the habit of placing curses. Nero enjoyed great popularity with the masses, because he furnished them with bread and circuses. They would not have made such a demand on the Senate. In fact, many plebeians mourned the passing of Nero for months after his death.
|Having ordered one of his generals, Corbulo, to commit suicide, Nero was obliged to appoint another commander to deal with the Jewish revolt. Whom did Nero appoint? ||Nero, last of the Julio-Claudian emperors
Titus Flavius Vespasianus. Titus Flavius Vespasianus, later emperor of Rome and founder of the Flavian dynasty, was appointed to command the legions against the Jewish rebels. Aulus Plautius was already in retirement after serving Claudius in Britain. Neither Galba nor Vindex were considered, although Galba became emperor immediately after the death of Nero.
Gaius Cornelius Piso. Piso was the head of the conspiracy, but the facts were laid bare, it failed, and heads rolled. Seneca was thought to have been involved, but his involvement, if any at all, was marginal because he was very ill at the time. Nevertheless, the overly frightened and paranoid Nero ordered his death. Flavius Scaevinus was never conclusively proven to be involved. One of his slaves accused him to Nero on scanty evidence, but all Nero needed was scanty evidence. Piso clearly organized the plot against Nero.
|The death of Nero's second wife, Poppaea Sabina, caused him great grief. He gave her a lavish funeral and had her body preserved in the Egyptian fashion rather than burned in Roman style. What was the cause of her death?||Nero, last of the Julio-Claudian emperors
He kicked her, causing a miscarriage and her death. Poppaea died as the result of being kicked by Nero. She was pregnant and Nero kicked her in the stomach, causing a miscarriage and she bled to death. Otho was her previous husband. In fact, Nero took Poppaea away from him, but Otho was sent to govern a foreign province.
All of these (Killed by wild animals, Crucifixion, Burning at the stake). All of these methods of cruel death were used and even more. Nero intended to sate the Roman mob with all sorts of cruel diversions. Christian victims were even dressed to reinact the deaths of mythical beings, Hercules burned on a pyre, Icarus fell from the sky, and there were many other legendary dramas enacted. Lions and other wild beasts were set upon the Christians, they were crucified en masse, and they were fastened to poles and covered with pitch to light Nero's gardens at night. Eventually, public opinion turned against this cruelty, and many Romans began to pity the Christians as the victims of the cruelty of one man.
|Gaius Petronius was an important member of Nero's court until he fell out of favor. He is thought to be the author of "The Satyricon." When he fell out of favor, Nero ordered his suicide. What did Petronius do before he died?||Nero, last of the Julio-Claudian emperors
He wrote a damning letter, criticizing Nero's artistic mediocrity, murders, and matricide. Petronius was a man of delicate words, and he wanted to hurl a final insult to Nero, whose music he always thought was mediocre at best. Safe because his impending death and beyond Nero's reprisals, he heaped one insult upon another. If he knew anything about the Christians, he had nothing to do with them. He was certainly too dignified to write graffiti on Rome's "message boards." He is not known to have been in correpondence with any military commanders in the provinces.
Seneca. Lucius Annaeus Seneca tutored Nero as a youth, and the first five years of Nero's reign were moderate and the government operated smoothly. Gaius Petronius was Nero's "arbiter of elegance," but he, Lucan, and Lucretius took no active part in Nero's elegance.
Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Nero bore the same family as his paternal grandfather, Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. Gnaeus Lucius Ahenobarbus was his father. Tiberius was not his grandfather, nor was Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
He emptied his bladder on a statue of Cybele.. Nero had little interest in religion, and he was capable of uncouth behavior. He voided his bladder on a statue of Cybele. Cybele was a Roman goddess of fertility, the Great Mother, imported from Phrygia. Nero knew practically nothing about Christians until after the Great Fire of Rome. He certainly knew nothing about the cross as a Christian symbol early in his reign. He also did nothing to disturb Jewish synagogues.
Ofonius Tigellinus. Ofonius Tigellinus replaced Burrus as Guard Commmander. He was a cruel, ruthless man who was more than willing to carry out Nero's every wish. Geta belongs in the reign of Claudius; he was one of Praetorians who pledged to assist Messalina and Gaius Silius in their plot against Claudius. Burrus has been mentioned earlier, and Rufus does not figure into this period.
Pallas. Pallas was a minister of finance under Claudius, and he was one of the first to go when Nero came to power. He was purportedly his mother's lover, and there was never much love lost between the two men. Nero had nothing to do with the fall of Narcissus; his demise was affected by his mother. Phaon was a loyal freedman, who survived Nero.
Brittanicus. Brittanicus was the son of Claudius by Messalina. Nero had poison administered to him during a dinner party and passed his death off as an epileptic fit. He was jealous of Brittanicus because his mother, Agrippina, began to favor him as the blood son of Claudius. Claudius had a son by a previous marriage, Claudius Drusus, but this child perished as the result of an accident much earlier. Gemellus died by assisted suicide during the reign of Caligula.
|Nero became emperor at the age of seventeen, the youngest of the Julio-Claudian emperors. What was the name of the Guard Commander who attended him when he was hailed as emperor? ||Nero, last of the Julio-Claudian emperors
Burrus. Burrus was the commander of the guard. At noon after the night of Claudius' death, the palace doors were thrown open, and Burrus emerged with the new heir to the throne. Tigellinus was not yet in Nero's service. The other two men, Rufus and Cornelius Sabinus, were in a different period.