Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus[2] (15 December 37 – 9 Juin 68),[3] born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, an commonly kent as Nero, wis Roman Emperor frae 54 tae 68. He wis the last emperor o the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero wis adoptit bi his great-uncle Claudius tae acome his heir an successor. He succeedit tae the throne in 54 followin Claudius' daith.

5t Emperor o the Roman Empire
Bust o Nero at the Musei Capitolini, Roum
Ring13 October 54 – 9 Juin 68
PredecessorClaudius, stepfather
Born15 December 37
Antium, Italy
Dee'd9 Juin 68 (aged 30)
Outside Roum
BuirialMausoleum o the Domitii Ahenobarbi, Pincian Hill, Roum
SpouseClaudia Octavia
Poppaea Sabina
Statilia Messalina
IssueClaudia Augusta
Full name
Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (birth to adoption)
Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus (adoption to accession)
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (as emperor)
Imperator Nero Cladius Divi Claudius filius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (imperial name)[1]
HooseJulio-Claudian Dynasty
FaitherGnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
MitherAgrippina the Younger

Durin his reign, Nero focused muckle o his attention on diplomacy, tred, an increasin the cultural caipital o the empire. He ordered the biggin o theatres an promotit athletic gemmes. His reign includit a successfu war an negotiatit peace wi the Parthian Empire, the suppression o a revolt in Breetain, an the beginnin o the First Roman–Jewish War.

In 64, maist o Rome wis destroyed in the Great Fire o Rome. In 68, the rebellion o Vindex in Gaul an later the acclamation o Galba in Hispania drove Nero frae the throne. Facin assassination, he committit suicide on 9 Juin 68.[4]

Nero's rule is aften associatit wi tyranny an extravagance.[5] He is kent for a nummer o executions, includin thae o his maither[6] an stepbrother.

He is an aw infamously kent as the emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned",[7] an as an early persecutor o Christians. This view is based upon the main survivin soorces for Nero's reign - Tacitus, Suetonius an Cassius Dio. Few survivin soorces paint Nero in a favorable licht.[8] Some soorces, tho, includin some mentioned abuin, portray him as an emperor who wis popular wi the common Auncient Romans, especially in the East.[9]

The study o Nero is problematic as some modren heestorians quaisten the reliability o auncient soorces whan reportin on Nero's tyrannical acts.[10]

See an aa



  1. Nero's regal name has an equivalent meanin in Scots as "Commander Nero Claudius, Son o the Divine Claudius, the Emperor, Conqueror o the Germans".
  2. Also called 'Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus
  3. Nero's birth day is listit in Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life o Nero 6. His daith day is uncertain, though, perhaps because Galba wis declared emperor afore Nero lived. A Juin 9t daith day comes frae Jerome, Chronicle, which leets Nero's rule as 13 years, 7 months an 28 days. Cassius Dio, Roman History LXII.3 and Josephus, War o the Jews IV, say Nero's rule was 13 years, 8 months which woud be Juin 11t.
  4. Suetonius states that Nero committit suicide in The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero 49; Sulpicius Severus, wha possibly uised Tacitus' lost fragments as a soorce, reports that it wis uncertain whether Nero committit suicide, Sulpicius Severus, Chronica II.29, also see T.D. Barnes, "The Fragments of Tacitus' Histories", Classical Philology (1977), p. 228.
  5. Galba criticised Nero's luxuria, baith his public an private excessive spendin, durin rebellion, Tacitus, Annals I.16; Kragelund, Patrick, "Nero's Luxuria, in Tacitus and in the Octavia", The Classical Quarterly, 2000, pp. 494–515.
  6. References tae Nero's matricide appear in the Sibylline Oracles 5.490–520, Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Monk's Tale, and William Shakespeare's Hamlet 3.ii.
  7. Nero wis no a fiddle player, but a lyre player (the fiddle wis no yet invented). Suetonius states Nero played the lyre while Rome burned, see Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero 38; For a detailed explanation of this transition see M.F. Gyles "Nero Fiddled while Rome Burned", The Classical Journal (1948), pp. 211–217 [1].
  8. These include Lucan's Civil War, Seneca the Younger's On Mercy and Dio Chrysostom's Discourses along with various Roman coins and inscriptions.
  9. Tacitus, Histories I.4, I.5, I.13, II.8; Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero 57, Life of Otho 7, Life of Vitellius 11; Philostratus II, The Life of Apollonius 5.41; Dio Chrysostom, Discourse XXI, On Beauty.
  10. On fire and Christian persecution, see F.W. Clayton, "Tacitus and Christian Persecution", The Classical Quarterly, pp. 81–85; B.W. Henderson, Life and Principate of the Emperor Nero, p. 437; On general bias against Nero, see Edward Champlin, Nero, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003, pp. 36–52 (ISBN 0-674-01192-9