Atrocities Committed By Emperor Nero

Emperor Nero

Atrocities committed by Emperor Nero (reign 54 AD –  68 AD)

It is an indisputable fact when historians state that Nero’s reign over ancient Rome left a dark chapter of terrible scenes. After succeeding Claudius in 54 AD, Nero was a symbol of hope to Romans until he chose to go bloody and tyrannical. By this change of behavior, he accomplished a few good things, and then soiled his reputation with unspeakable acts. The following are five very brutal atrocities committed by Emperor Nero:

Nero murdered his own mother

Who would have thought that a newly crowned king would bite the hand that fed him? Well, that was exactly what Emperor Nero did to his mother, Agrippina the Younger. By marrying the reigning Emperor Claudius,  Agrippina masterminded her son’s succession to the throne after Claudius died in 54 AD.

Unfortunately, after her son’s rise to power, things didn’t work out well between mother and son. Agrippina became a thorn in Nero’s flesh. In 59 AD, her increased interference in the emperor’s reign and private matters led Nero to banish and kill her like in a very dishonorable manner. Nero’s initial attempt on his mum’s life was to sink her boat. When that failed, he ordered troops to eliminate her in broad daylight.

He killed his wives

Nero loved to flirt with beautiful women. His mother strictly disapproved of his promiscuity; unfortunately, that was part of the reasons for her premature death. Nero falsely accused Octavia (his 1st wife)  of adultery and had her murdered in 62 AD. Ostensibly, he had made plans to marry his new lover, Poppaea Sabina, that same year.

Fame and love blindfolded Poppaea from seeing the dangerous person she just was about to marry. They were blessed with a baby girl, but she died prematurely. In 65 AD, Poppaea died with her second pregnancy. Allegedly, in a dispute, Nero had kicked her belly, causing the poor woman to bleed to death.

Roman fire and the Christian persecutions

On 18th July 64 AD, Rome witnessed a devastating fire incidence. The fire first sparked from Circus Maximus and swept across vast portions of the Roman city. A large section of the city was left in ruins. Hearing of the incidence, Nero returned from Antium and provided aid to the victims.

He cast unfounded accusations at Christians, blaming them for the fire. He used the fire as an excuse to persecute Christians, killing them in the most horrifying of ways; the emperor would crucify them and set them ablaze in the night. Some claimed that he used their charred remains as light sources.  It has been speculated that Nero was the one who crucified Peter; the famous Jesus’ apostle.

Meanwhile, he himself was rumored to be dancing to music while the inferno charged on. As if that wasn’t enough, Nero proposed to build his dream villa (Domus Aurea) on the cleared spaces left by the fire. This raised suspicions that he played a role in causing the fire.

He held abusive sex parties in his villa

When the luxurious villa was completed, it became more or less a brothel for unnatural and very abusive sex gatherings. Nero’s crazy sex drive was well exhibited in this villa as he would camp undressed boys and girls and sleep with them.

Thankfully, the people of Rome breathed a sigh of relief after Nero’s demise. In 68 AD, it took a political uprising before Nero decided to call it quits on his close to 14-year reign of terror. The emperor ended his own life by committing suicide. He was succeeded to the throne by Galba.

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