Propelled to power by the age of 17 by an ambitious mother, self-indulgent to the point of criminality, inadequate, paranoid and the perpetrator of heinous crimes including matricide and fratricide, and deposed and killed by 31, Nero is one of Rome’s most infamous Emperors.
But has history treated him fairly? Or is the popular view of Nero as a capricious and depraved individual a travesty of the truth and a gross injustice to Rome's fifth emperor?
This new biography will look at Nero’s life with fresh eyes. While showing the man 'warts and all', it also caste a critical eye on the 'libels' which were perpetrated on him, such as claiming he was a madman, many of which were most probably made up to suit the needs of the Flavians, who had overthrown his dynasty.
"A leading authority on imperial Rome and the historical work of Tacitus, as well as being an expert on coins, David Shotter has a distinguished record of publications on the Julio-Claudians. His new biography of the ever-fascinating Nero is up to date on the latest scholarship, extremely readable, and attractively illustrated." - Anthony Birley.
1. The Sources of our Picture of Nero 2. The Political and Governmental Context 3. Nero's Early Life and Upbringing 4. Nero's Governmental Style 5. An Emperor for the World? 6. Nero's Personality 7. The Fall of Nero 8. Conclusion: Emperor or Monster?