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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the reputation of Nero, popular with his subjects but vilified in his lifetime and after and associated with the Beast in the Book of Revelation.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life of Nero (37-68 AD) who became Emperor at the age of 16. At first he was largely praised for his generosity yet became known for his debauched lifestyle, with allegations he started the Fire of Rome, watching the flames as he played the lyre. Christians saw him as their persecutor, an anti-Christ, and the number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation was thought to indicate Nero. He had confidence in his own artistry, took up acting (which then had a very low status) and, as revolts in the empire grew, killed himself after the Senate condemned him to die as a slave, on a cross.

With

Maria Wyke
Professor of Latin at University College London

Matthew Nicholls
Fellow and Senior Tutor at St John’s College, University of Oxford

And

Shushma Malik
Lecturer in Classics at the University of Roehampton

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

51 minutes

Clip

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Maria Wyke at University College London

Matthew Nicholls at the University of Oxford

Shushma Malik at the University of Roehampton

Nero - Wikipedia

 

READING LIST:

Larry F. Ball, The Domus Aurea and the Roman Architectural Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

A.A. Barrett, E. Fantham, and J. C. Yardley, The Emperor Nero: A Guide to the Ancient Sources (Princeton University Press, 2016)

S. Bartsch, K. Freudenburg, and C.  Littlewood (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Neronian Age (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

E. Buckley and M. Dinter (eds.), A Companion to the Neronian Age (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)

E. Champlin, Nero (Harvard University Press, 2003)

J. Drinkwater, Nero: Emperor and Court (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

J. Elsner and J. Masters (eds.), Reflections of Nero: Culture, History, and Representation (University of North Carolina Press, 1994)

M. Griffin, Nero: The End of a Dynasty (Routledge, 1987)

Jurgen Malitz, Nero (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005)

Gwyn Morgan, 69 A.D.: The Year of Four Emperors (Oxford University Press, 2007)

V. Rudich, Political Dissidence under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation (first published 1993; Routledge, 2014)

V. Rudich, Dissidence and Literature under Nero: The Prize of Rhetoricization (first published 1997; Routledge, 2013)

V. Rudich, Religious Dissent in the Roman Empire: Violence in Judaea at the Time of Nero (Routledge, 2018)

David Shotter, Nero (Routledge, 2005)

David Shotter, Nero Caesar Augustus: Emperor of Rome (Routledge, 2017)

 

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