Saturday, October 16, 2010

10 of the worst Roman Emperors in history.

5 Nero


Nero
Nero used the office of emperor to suit his desire for an opulent lifestyle, and had absolutely no care for the welfare of the people. He never trusted his mother, Agrippina, rightly so, and tried to kill her by having her ship sunk. This didn’t work, and he simply ordered her executed. He routinely executed anyone close to him, whom he did not trust, always under mysterious circumstances, because he feared the Praetorian Guard.
He managed to reign for 15 years in this way, killing anyone who dissented. He was accused of treason beginning in 62, and simply executed the accusers, several dozen of them. He loved to go to bars and whorehouses, not even disguising himself.
The Great Fire of Rome, in 64, has given rise to the legend that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. This is not true. He was away in Antium (Anzio), and returned to Rome to try to have the fire put out. He even paid for this out of his own pocket.
He did help out the survivors tremendously, letting them stay in the palace until homes were rebuilt, feeding them, etc. But the fire largely destroyed the city center, and Nero had a large part of this destruction rebuilt as his Domus Aurea. This was his gift to himself, a gigantic palatial garden complex of 100 to 300 acres, for which he heavily taxed the citizens throughout the Empire.
The city wanted a scapegoat, so Nero blamed the fire on the Christians, and they were terribly persecuted. He had many arrested, impaled, and burned to death as torches to light his gardens in the Domus Aurea. He is said to have breathed in the stench and laughed heartily, then turned to his lyre and sung his own songs.
The taxes irritated the populace sufficiently to begin revolts in various provinces, until by 68, Nero was no longer loved, but hated by all. His Guards deserted him in the palace, and he fled to a nearby villa, where a messenger appeared to tell him that the Senate had declared him a public enemy, whom they would beat to death. He had a grave dug, while he repeated, “What an artist dies within me!”
Then he stabbed a dagger into his throat and bled to death. It is believed by most scholars that Nero is the Great Beast whose number is six hundred and sixty six referred to in the last Biblical book The Apocalypse.

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