Nero Debate Paper
The reign of Nero has been generally accepted to be a period of insanity and darkness in the Roman empire, however there is also new light being shed on this period of Roman history. It is true that Nero was a determined and violent man who was willing to smash any obstacle in his path in order to secure his throne, but did this necessarily make him any worse than his predecessors? If anything, atleast for a period, Nero was one of the more humane Roman leaders. Politics, whether it is in ancient Rome or even in the modern day, is a dirty game that demands certain reprehensible actions in extraordinary situations. The company one keeps plays a huge role in a leader’s actions as well, when Nero had good administrative aides, he did great things, when he had bad ones, he was indeed insane. Never the less, I feel people should judge Nero by how he ruled the Roman Empire, rather than by his personal morality or violent lashing out at the people in his life.
Nero was groomed by Agripina, the wife of Claudius. Agripina herself was no saint, one could argue her goal was not to see a rightful and just heir as Emperor of Rome, but rather to rule herself via proxy. Claudius chose to adopt Nero and have him take his name, as well as making him his heir. Agrippina has had a strong influence on the politics of Rome (she was related to Caligula, Claudius and Nero in one way or another) and possibly was responsible for the death of Claudius. While Agrippina loved Nero, it is likely that if the young Nero was to sway from the path she had set for him, she would’ve probably had him killed and replaced with Britannicus. Here is where “end’s justify the means” may come into play. Nero had decided that he would not allow Agrippina to rule for him, he wanted to pursue his own projects from Rome independent of whether his mother agreed or not. Nero felt threatened (with good reason, considering the history of Rome) and had...