Atrocities


As
Nero's rule continued on his his dark side grow more and more evident. At first his impulses began as simple extravagance. Before long, however, stories were circulating that he seduced married women and young boys.

In CE 58, Nero became romantically involved with Poppaea Sabina the wife of his friend and future emperor Otho. Reportedly because a marriage to her and a divorce from Octavia did not seem politically feasible with Agrippina alive, Nero ordered the murder of his mother in 59.
First he tried poison then tried to have "accidents" occur around her. Therafter even a collapsible boat was built, which was meant to sink in the Bay of Naples. However the plot only succeeded in sinking the boat, as Agrippina managed to swim ashore.
At last he ordered an assassin to have her clubbed to death.

Nero celebrated by staging wild orgies and by creating two new festivals of chariot-racing and athletics. He also staged musical contests, giving him further chance to demonstrate in public his talent for singing while accompanying himself on the lyre. In an age when actors and performers were frowned upon, it was a moral outrage to have an emperor performing on stage. Worse yet, Nero being the emperor, no one was allowed to leave the auditorium while he was performing, no mater the reason. There are reports of women giving birth during a Nero recital, and of men who pretended to die and were carried out.

In CE 62 he divorced Octavia and then had her executed on the charge of adultery. All this in order to marry Poppaea Sabina, who he later supposedly kicked to death.In CE 64 the great fire raged through Rome. Soon after Nero began building his Golden palace ("Domus Aurea"), a huge home for himself which included a colossus of himself and an artificial lake.


Nero, always a man desperate to be popular, therefore looked for scapegoats on whom the fire could be blamed and he found it in an obscure new religious sect, the Christians.
Thus many Christians were arrested and thrown to the wild beasts in the circus, or they were crucified . Many of them were also burned to death at night, serving as 'lighting' in Nero's gardens, while Nero mingled among the watching crowds. Do to this he became the first antichrist in the eyes of the church.

At last in AD 65 there was a serious plot against Nero. Known as the 'Pisonian Conspiracy' it was led by Gaius Calpurnius Piso. The plot was soon uncovered and nineteen executions and suicides followed, and thirteen banishments.There was never anything even resembling a trial: people whom Nero suspected or disliked or who merely aroused the jealousy of his advisers were sent a note ordering them to commit suicide.
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