By Jurgen Malitz

ISBN-10: 1405121777

ISBN-13: 9781405121774

ISBN-10: 1405121785

ISBN-13: 9781405121781

ISBN-10: 1405144742

ISBN-13: 9781405144742

ISBN-10: 1405144750

ISBN-13: 9781405144759

The 5th Roman emperor, Nero has long gone down in historical past because the archetypal narcissistic tyrant. during this interesting new biography, Jürgen Malitz invitations readers to think again Nero’s recognition.

Malitz makes a speciality of the transforming into pressure among Nero’s inventive traits and the political function for which his bold mom, Agrippina the more youthful, groomed him. the writer finds how, after sound beginnings less than Seneca and different severe males, Nero succumbed to his love of appearing; and the way, whereas utilizing the humanities to delight the folks, Nero alienated the senate together with his more and more autocratic sort. eventually, he explains how Nero met his premature finish following a failure of nerves within the face of uprising.

Nero’s crimes are infamous: he murdered his mom and all attainable contestants to the throne and brutally persecuted the Christians. regardless of Nero’s notoriety, Malitz outlines the usually forgotten features of his reign: his early, unusually liable political time table, his preliminary recognition, patronage of the humanities, and recommendations in structure.

This unique biography permits readers to shape a balanced judgment of this divisive and arguable Emperor.

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Sample text

While that remark, which soon reached Nero’s ears, might have been simply undiplomatic, her uncontrolled ranting about the advantages of Claudius’ son Britannicus was alarming. Obviously notorious for her hurtful speeches, the “daughter of Germanicus,” as she liked to call herself, also insulted the proud Burrus as a cripple and Seneca as an ambitious pedant. But these were errors that would be avenged. Britannicus, whom Agrippina is said to have described as a worthy replacement for her son, died only a short time later.

Menecrates, another “star” of the age, was also called in. From that time on, Nero worked untiringly on his training as a singer, rigorously trying to improve what was not a perfect singing voice. He left no effort by professional artists untried to prepare him for a veritable stage career. Wearing lead plates on his chest, he tried to strengthen his muscles. Supposedly detrimental foods were avoided, and laxatives were used to take care of the inner cleansing of the aspiring artist. Such efforts were explained by an unrestrained desire to perform in public and enjoy the earned applause.

He declined the prize for best performance on the kithara, but instead had it placed at the foot of a statue of Augustus in an effort to demonstrate that the statue would in no way be dishonored by such a prize. The message was understood. Historical tradition emphasized that Nero had an uncontrollable urge to perform in public. This easily overlooks the fact that Nero waited a long time after the festival games in the year 60 before his first totally public performance. Not until 64 did he perform as publicly as other artists did; even then, however, he performed not in Rome, but in Naples, which had a strong Hellenistic influence.

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Nero by Jurgen Malitz

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