Nero

Nero

2.0 1
by Edward Champlin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674018222

ISBN-13: 9780674018228

Pub. Date: 09/28/2005

Publisher: Harvard

The Roman emperor Nero is remembered by history as the vain and immoral monster who fiddled while Rome burned. Edward Champlin reinterprets Nero's enormities on their own terms, as the self-conscious performances of an imperial actor with a formidable grasp of Roman history and mythology and a canny sense of his audience.

Nero murdered his younger brother and

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Overview

The Roman emperor Nero is remembered by history as the vain and immoral monster who fiddled while Rome burned. Edward Champlin reinterprets Nero's enormities on their own terms, as the self-conscious performances of an imperial actor with a formidable grasp of Roman history and mythology and a canny sense of his audience.

Nero murdered his younger brother and rival to the throne, probably at his mother's prompting. He then murdered his mother, with whom he may have slept. He killed his pregnant wife in a fit of rage, then castrated and married a young freedman because he resembled her. He mounted the public stage to act a hero driven mad or a woman giving birth, and raced a ten-horse chariot in the Olympic games. He probably instigated the burning of Rome, for which he then ordered the spectacular punishment of Christians, many of whom were burned as human torches to light up his gardens at night. Without seeking to rehabilitate the historical monster, Champlin renders Nero more vividly intelligible by illuminating the motives behind his theatrical gestures, and revealing the artist who thought of himself as a heroic figure.

Nero is a brilliant reconception of a historical account that extends back to Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio. The effortless style and artful construction of the book will engage any reader drawn to its intrinsically fascinating subject.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674018228
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
949,245
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.87(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

1. The Once and Future King

2. Stories and Histories

3. Portrait of the Artist

4. The Power of Myth

5. Shining Apollo

6. Saturnalia

7. One House

8. Triumph

Epilogue

Note on Sources

Bibliography

Notes

Acknowledgments

Illustration Credits

Index

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Nero 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the author himself states: 'Readers of the present book will have little idea of the events of Nero's day or the fortunes of the Roman empire under him they will have little idea of the variety of literary discourses that evolved to deal with him and the fact of empire, during his lifetime and posthumously they will have little knowledge of the outrage vented by the aristocracy after his death, none of the attitude of the army which he ignored to his ultimate peril in his life, and none of the day-to-day workings of the empire which were barely affected by the pyrotechnics at Rome. Readers will have learned nothing about the various mechanissms of accommodation to tyranny, nothing about dissidence and dissimulation, nothing about modes of representation. All of this can be found in the best of the ever-flowing stream of modern literature on Nero.' Unfortunately, this revealing paragraph came at the end of this frivolous, wishy-washy book which does little more than grant theatrical license to the cruel deeds of the Roman emperor he assumes everyone should know. A picture may paint a thousand words but thousands of words do not necessarily paint a picture.