Background • Was born December 15th 37 AD into the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. • Mother was Agrippina the Younger, sister to Emperor Caligula ( Reign: 37 AD to 41 AD) • Adopted as stepson to the Emperor Claudius ( His Great Uncle) in 49 AD • Throughout his childhood, his mother had risen in political power (with plans to place him on the throne) through assassinations and marriage. • His mother had poisoned Claudius in 54 AD, and Nero was declared Emperor (the youngest to attain the position so far, at age 17.)
Background cont. • Historians describe his reign as tyrannical, murderous, and extravagant. • He is known for countless murders, executions, assassinations, (many of them of his own family members) and has been accused of countless other offences. • He was the first historical figure ever recognized as the “Anti- Christ.” • He is the emperor who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned in the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD.
Crimes • Countless murders, his victims include: His mother (Agrippina the Younger), his tutor (the philosopher Seneca), both of his wives, the head of the Praetorian Guard (Emperors Bodyguard) SextusBurrus, the Apostles Paul and Peter, his step-brother and second cousin Britannicus, countless Roman Senators, and many Christians as well. • MURDER: The killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law • Mother: Drown and stabbed • Seneca: Forced to commit suicide • Burrus: Executed • Paul: Beheaded • Peter: Crucified upside down • Others: poisoned, executed, fed to animals, burned
Evidence • Countless historical accounts of his crimes exist in the writings of Tacitus, Cassius Dio, and Suetonius. • All three historians have written of his murders.
Sentence • He was sentenced in 68 AD to be executed by being beaten to death by the Senate. • Before he could be captured, he committed suicide outside of Rome at a friend’s villa. • After his death he was declared as an enemy of the state by the Senate. • Quote up on death: “Qualisartifexpereo!” – What an artist dies in me! • Nickname: The Anti-Christ
Differential-Association Theory • I believe that the theory of Differential-Association best applies to the Emperor Nero largely because of his violent family life. I think that his mother, Agrippina the Younger, was the greatest influence on his criminal activities. Throughout his childhood she had constantly been in search of power. She had murdered two of her husbands in order to further her agenda (her second husband and the Emperor Claudius). Through these actions and her attempts to control Nero on the throne, I think Nero learned how to deal with other people from his mother. He learned how to hold on to power by executing any threat to his authority (even his mother). By watching the actions of his mother, he learned how to behave as his mother did. The constant political turmoil of his family served as training for his reign as emperor.
Books and Movies etc. • An episode of Looney Toons depicts the Emperor Nero ordering Yosemite Sam (dressed as a centurion) to round up victims to feed to lions. • Many references to Nero fiddling while Rome burned exist in pop culture. • Many non-fiction history books have been written about him and his family line.