The Interaction between ‘History’ and ‘Story’ in Roman Historiography

Facts or fiction? Post-truth in the Roman historians. Introduction This essay examines the way in which ancient historiography makes use of rhetorical and even fictional devices (dramatic poetry as well as the novel) to dramatize in writing down events which the historians obviously consider as being important for their judgement, ideologically or otherwise biased, of[…]

Nero: Cowardly Tyrant to the End in Ancient Rome

Though a coward, Nero thought a voluntary death better than the indignities which he knew awaited him. The emperor Nero (ruled A.D. 54-68) was the son of Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, and of Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus Caesar, and sister of Caligula. Nero’s original name was L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, but after the marriage of his mother[…]

Ancient Narcissism: Nero’s Hair, Commodus’ Beard, and Constantine’s Colossus

The bronze colossus originally portrayed Nero, thereafter Commodus, before it was given its present appearance in the early 4th century. Abstract The colossal Constantinian bronze portrait in the Capitoline Museum stands out as a unique example of Roman, large-scale portraiture. It is a rare bronze portrait of colossal size, which included a lot of material[…]

Nero: Unstable ‘Mad Emperor’ of Ancient Rome

He is traditionally viewed as the second of the so-called “Mad Emperors,” the first being Caligula. Introduction Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (December 15, 37 C.E. – June 9, 68 C.E.), born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty (54 C.E. –[…]

The Pisonian Conspiracy: The Beginning of the End for Nero

The plot reflected the growing discontent among the ruling class of the Roman state with Nero’s increasingly despotic leadership. The conspiracy of Gaius Calpurnius Piso in AD 65 was a major turning point in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero (reign 54–68). The plot reflected the growing discontent among the ruling class of the[…]