What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Roman Emperor Nero?


Quick Answer

The Roman Emperor Nero's reign has been called tyrannical and lavish, owing to the fact that he was a persecutor of Christians and was known for his excessive spending. Nero came to the throne at the age of 17, and when his mother tried to control him, he saw to it that she was killed.

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Nero was the nephew of the emperor Claudius, who named Nero his successor in favor of his own son. Claudius was married to Nero's mother, Agrippina, who is rumored to have poisoned Claudius so that her son could rule.

Nero and his mother disagreed on many matters, including his extramarital romance with a former slave, whom Nero openly lived with while still married. His mother called for Claudius's son, Britannicus, to be named emperor instead of Nero. Britannicus died from a suspected poisoning shortly thereafter and Nero banished his mother from court.

Another of Nero's love interests led to him commanding that his mother be killed. Nero dismissed the former slave girl and wished to marry another woman, Poppaea Sabina. His mother was opposed to the union and did not wish him to divorce his wife. Agrippina's death was carried out under Nero's direct order in 59 A.D.

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