The Roman Emperor Nero is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the Roman Empire. During the early years of Nero's reign he lowered taxes and made positive changes to slavery laws. One of the most notable events that occurred during the later years was the burning of Rome in 64 A.D.
Nero was 17 years old when he became the Emperor of the Roman Empire after the death of his stepfather, the Emperor Claudius in 54 A.D. Nero was a respected and fair leader during the first part of his reign. He gave slaves the right to bring complaints up against their masters and banned capitol punishment within the Empire. He also supported the arts and athletics.
In the year 59 A.D. Nero ordered his mother to be murdered due to her interference in both his personal life and political policies. After her murder Nero became known as a tyrant. He spent excess amounts of government funds on personal indulgences, and began to execute or exile members of the senate who opposed him or who he felt threatened by. In 64 A.D. the Great Fire burned for 10 days and decimated 75% of Rome. While there is no concrete proof, it is believed that Nero started the fire to make room for his new villa. Nero placed blame on the Christians and began a campaign of heavy persecution against them. These antics continued until Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D.