Revised throughout to take account of recent research in the field, this second edition of Nero provides an accessible introduction to Nero, emperor of Rome from AD 54 to AD 68The reign of Nero is often judged to be the embodiment of the extravagance and corruption that have, for many, come to symbolise ancient Rome. David Shotter provides a reassessment of this view and discusses major issues including: Nero's early life and accession to power Nero's perception of himself Nero's domestic and international policies the reasons for Nero's fall from power and its aftermath. Also including an expanded bibliography and a new index, this will be an essential tool in the study of Rome and its history.


Through the years, the reign of Nero Caesar Augustus as emperor of Rome has been seen as the very embodiment of the extravagance, debauchery and corruption that for many have come to symbolize ancient Rome.

Whilst it cannot be denied that Nero's reign saw many excesses and contained many actions for which there can be no justification, yet his was a government that was not lacking in achievement. For one thing, Nero may have been an inadequate ruler, but for a time, at least, he allowed himself to be guided and assisted by men of considerable ability. This was especially true of many of those to whom he committed key provincial appointments; under the guidance of these, imperial security and prosperity advanced in most parts of the empire.

Roman writers, such as Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, could find little positive to say about Rome's fifth Julio-Claudian emperor; in this they were reflecting continuing feelings about Nero entertained by those who had the closest experience of him - members of the senate and of the equestrian order. For many of them, Nero, by his excessively self-indulgent behaviour, stood as the antithesis of everything that, over the years, had given Rome its solid moral foundation and had made it the centre of a great, thriving cosmopolitan empire.

Nero was wayward and capricious, a young man who was more

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