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Roman Emperor Nero Commits Suicide (68 CE) Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Roman Emperor Nero Commits Suicide (68 CE)

Often remembered as a tyrant who played the fiddle while watching Rome burn, Nero was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Though few surviving sources treat him favorably, some portray him as a competent emperor who was popular with the Roman people. In 68 CE, a military coup drove Nero into hiding, where he reportedly stabbed himself to avoid facing execution at the hands of the Roman Senate. Why do historians claim that the legend of Nero and his fiddle is false? More...
LucOneOff
Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 2:59:08 AM

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Popular legend claims that Nero played the fiddle at the time of the fire, an anachronism based merely on the concept of the lyre, a stringed instrument associated with Nero and his performances. (There were no fiddles in 1st-century Rome.) Tacitus's account, however, has Nero in Antium at the time of the fire. Tacitus also said that Nero playing his lyre and singing while the city burned was only rumor.
CheVegas ☁️ ✈ ☁️
Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 3:49:27 AM

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Been meaning to read Edward Gibbons' The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776) for years now. Haven't gotten around to it.

Anyone else read it? Share thoughts? (Free for Amazon Kindle. Bonus!)
monamagda
Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 1:11:31 PM

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"Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned"

Since musical historians agree that the viol class of instruments did not develop until about the eleventh century, it is conclusive that Nero could not have fiddled in this sense of the word while Rome burned.

There is another meaning of the word fiddle in use today. It is often employed to indicate the idea of accomplishing nothing, and is so defined by the New English Dictionary. The common remark, "He's just fiddling around," is an excellent illustration of this usage. It suggests a lack of proficiency and an aimless or frivolous attitude.

The phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" is used to express both these meanings of the word fiddle.3 First it presents the picture of an individual playing a musical instrument as he took a sadistic pleasure in the terrible misfortunes of others. Secondly it represents ineffectual effort. That is, Nero, who should have made himself useful, was fiddling. Although this conception is, in point of fact, unjust,4 it does not curtail the frequency with which it has been so used.

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Journals/CJ/42/4/Nero_Fiddled*.html
excaelis
Posted: Monday, June 9, 2014 11:53:00 PM

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Well, thank goodness that's over.

Sanity is not statistical
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