Emperor Nero is considered one of the worst Roman rulers in the history of its republic and empire. Many of his contemporaries made him out to be a madman and that he was not well liked as a ruler. Some sources claimed that Nero was liked by the people, but his public appeal had waned after he supposedly set Rome on fire during his reign. He was known to persecute the early Christian believers who lived in Rome setting them on fire to light up the grounds near his palace during the night.
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Nero’s Childhood in Rome
Emperor Nero was born in 37 A.D., and he came to power in 54 A.D. Where is he listed on the Bible Timeline Poster. Nero was born to Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus who was the relative of five Julio-Claudian Emperors. Agrippa the Younger was his mother. She eventually married Emperor Claudius, who adopted Nero as his son.
Shortly before this took place, Nero’s father died in 40 A.D., and he left him an inheritance. Emperor Caligula was the ruling emperor during the time of Gnaeus death. After he had seized Nero’s wealth, he forced him to live with his aunt, Domitia Lepidia. Nero was never expected to become emperor because his uncle Emperor Caligula could produce his own heir, but Caligula was not taking any chances. Agrippa did not have any power to stop him from altering Nero’s life because she had been exiled. Emperor Caligula was eventually assassinated, and Claudius became the next emperor.
Claudius pronounced Nero an adult at the age of 14 and gave him various responsibilities such as being proconsul and he made appearances around Rome with Claudius. He was also featured on Roman coins. When Claudius had passed away in 54 A.D., he became emperor.
Nero Rules Rome
Nero’s mother acted as regent because Nero was not fully an adult when he came to power. She ruled the kingdom until Nero moved her away a few years later into a residence far from the palace. Nero used sensible reforms when he was emperor, and he also kept politicians from engaging in corruption with the treasury. He participated in legal matters, and he prohibited condemned criminals and gladiators from dying in the games.
Nero was involved in deviant sexual practices and kept scandals going inside of the government. A famous historical incident occurred during his reign in which a huge fire was started, and a great deal of the city had burned down. Nero needed a scapegoat, and he blamed the Christians. He then began to persecute Christian people for this act even though they were not behind the incident. Nero went as far as to light up captured and condemned Christians as human torches for his parties and social events. This further damaged his reputation as a leader.
Nero left out of Rome on an extensive vacation to Greece, and while he was there, a famine and other problems had occurred. When he returned home, the people were ready for him to leave office. On June 9, AD 68, the notorious and deeply unpopular Nero fled to the port of Ostia to escape the members of the Praetorian Guard who were hunting him down. Ship captains refused to shelter him, and he was forced to flee to the outskirts of Rome to seek refuge. Nero asked his aide to assist in his suicide after he saw that he was already cornered by the Praetorian Guard. He died from the wound he sustained during the assisted suicide.
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