Nero

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Nero

Nero (Nero Claudius Caesar) (nērˈō), A.D. 37–A.D. 68, Roman emperor (A.D. 54–A.D. 68). He was originally named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus and was the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul in A.D. 32) and of Agrippina the Younger, who was the great-granddaughter of Augustus. Agrippina married (A.D. 49) Claudius I and persuaded him to adopt Nero. In A.D. 55, Agrippina saw the bonds of her domination of Nero loosening and intrigued in favor of Claudius' son, Britannicus, but Nero poisoned the boy. Poppaea Sabina, the wife of his friend Otho, became his mistress; according to rumor she was to blame for the worst of Nero's behavior. In A.D. 59 he murdered his mother and in A.D. 62, his wife Octavia. He later married Poppaea. When half of Rome was burned in a fire (A.D. 64), Nero accused the Christians of starting it and began the first Roman persecution. In A.D. 65 there was a plot to make Caius Calpurnius Piso emperor. The detection of this plot began a string of violent deaths, e.g., of Seneca, Lucan, and Thrasea Paetus. Nero had ambitions to be a poet and artist. In A.D. 68 a series of revolts, including one by his own Praetorian Guard, caused him to commit suicide. Among his last words were reported to be, “What an artist the world is losing in me!” His memory was publicly execrated, perhaps to exalt the Flavian emperors, whose rule began in A.D. 69 with Vespasian.

Bibliography

See biographies by M. Griffin (1985) and D. Shotter (2008); study by J. Drinkwater (2019).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nero

 

(Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus). Born A.D. 37; died 68. Roman emperor from 54, of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

In the first years of his reign Nero ruled in concert with the Senate and was guided by Burrus, prefect of the praetorian guard, and by the philosopher Seneca. Later he instituted a policy of repressions and confiscations, which angered not only the senatorial elite (Piso’s conspiracy of A.D. 65) but other strata as well. Among Nero’s victims were his closest relatives, including his mother, and many such prominent people as Seneca, the poet Lucan, and the writer Petronius. In 68 the provincial governors Vindex and Galba rebelled against Nero. Abandoned even by the praetorians, Nero fled Rome and en route committed suicide. Historical sources portray Nero as narcissistic, cruel, and debauched, more engrossed in his “artistic” pursuits than in affairs of state, which he entrusted to his freedmen and court favorites.


Nero

 

(also Lake Rostov), a lake in Yaroslavl Oblast, RSFSR. It has an area of 54.4 sq km, a length of approximately 13 km, and a width of up to 8 km. Its depth averages 1–1.3 m; the maximum depth is 3.6 m. The bottom is covered with a thick layer of sapropel. Lake Nero is fed mainly by snow. The water level fluctuates by 3.2 m, with the highest levels occurring in April and May, and the lowest in October. The lake freezes in late October or in November; the ice breaks up in April. A total of 18 tributaries empty into the lake, the largest being the Sara River. Flow from Lake Nero is regulated by a dam with a sluice at the source of the Kotorosl’ River (a tributary of the Volga). There is local navigation on the lake and fishing for European bream, perch (Perca fluviatilis), and pike. The city of Rostov (Iaroslavskii) is on Lake Nero.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nero

coarse, conceited, brutal emperor of Rome (37–68). [Polish Lit.: Quo Vadis, Magill I, 797–799]

Nero

(A.D. 37–68) hated as Roman emperor; led life of debauchery. [Rom. Hist.: NCE, 1909]

Nero

(37–68) Roman Emperor who is reported to have fiddled while Rome burned. [Rom. Hist.: Misc.]

Nero

(37–68) demented Roman emperor; initiated persecutions against the Christians. [Rom. Hist.: NCE, 1909]

Nero

(37–68) emperor said to have fiddled while Rome burned (64). [Rom. Hist.: Misc.]
See: Violin
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nero

full name Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus; original name Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. 37--68 ad, Roman emperor (54--68). He became notorious for his despotism and cruelty, and was alleged to have started the fire (64) that destroyed a large part of Rome
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005