Yesterday's Featured Article - Nero
Nero, Son of Zero (full name and titles Imperator Caesar Maximus Naughtius Pretentious Stroppius Homosexius Nero Augustus) was an Emperor of the Roman Empire and history's first Emo. His reign notable for explosive violence, homoeroticism, and bad acting, which has lead to Simon Schama summing up Nero's rule as "the empire's Rambo-film period". He also embarked on an extensive and extremely-tasteless building programme which the ravages of time have spared our modern eyes.
Nero was selected as heir to the
office of First Citizen of the Republic monarchy during the reign of his stepfather Emperor Claudius (aka M.C. Clau-Clau-Claudius) which Nero didn't really want. What he really wanted to do was write poetry about how no one understood him and how the Praetorian Prefect was always making him tidy his room. After Claudius' poisoning tragic death his mother ensured that she would co-rule with her son. She also employed a philosopher, Seneca, to tutor her son in the ways of statecraft. Seneca famously recommended Nero rule "with clemency" but Nero didn't know what clemency meant (literally) and he found this so frustrating that he had several equestrians executed to take his mind off it.
Nero's mother was also constantly nagging at him. "It really is too much"
, the Emperor is said to have confided to his best friends one evening whilst in his cups "On and on that woman goes - "Nero, we need to secure the border in Britannia, Nero you need to deal with this deficit in the treasury". When I say I'd rather play my harp and write a ten-act play about my favorite sandals she goes off the boil! So unfair!"
. Nero eventually decided he'd had enough and made several attempts on his mother's life, including sailing her away in a collapsible boat and trying to drop a roof on her head. (more...)